WHLD Talk 1270 logo.png
Broadcast areaBuffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area
Frequency1270 kHz
BrandingTalk 1270
FormatConservative talk
AffiliationsWestwood One
Fox News Radio
First air date
May 20, 1940; 82 years ago (1940-05-20)
Call sign meaning
Hilda Lewis Carpenter Hull (wife of founder)
Technical information
Facility ID7822
Power5,000 watts (days)
1,000 watts (nights)
WebcastListen live

WHLD (1270 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Niagara Falls, New York, and serving the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area. It is owned by Cumulus Media and carries a conservative talk radio format, much of it from co-owned Westwood One. Nationally syndicated shows including Dan Bongino, Chris Plante, Ben Shapiro, Michael J. Knowles, Mark Levin, Lars Larson, Red Eye Radio, and America in the Morning. Most hours begin with Fox News Radio.

By day, WHLD is powered at 5,000 watts. But to protect other stations from interference, at night it reduces power to 1,000 watts. The transmitter is off Cloverbank Road at Sawgrass Court in Hamburg.[1] It uses a directional antenna with a five-tower array. The studios are on James E. Casey Drive in Buffalo along with its Cumulus Media sister stations.


Earl Clement Hull

On May 20, 1940; 82 years ago (1940-05-20), the station signed on the air. It was owned by Earl Clement Hull of Niagara Falls, New York. The call sign represents the name of his second wife, Hilda Lewis Carpenter Hull, of Ontario, Canada. Earl Hull was a radio pioneer who entered St. Lawrence University in 1916. He gained a knowledge of wireless technology which he later applied to communication problems in World War I. His talents helped put the university radio station on air in 1922. He later built WKY in Oklahoma City.

In 1940, he returned to Niagara Falls to establish WHLD. The radio station often programmed classical music and featured local artists. Among them was a continuing program of classical piano duets played by Niagara Falls pianist Harold Bradley and his friend John Peirce Langs of Buffalo. In 1946, an FM station was added, 98.5 WHLD-FM (now WKSE). In its early decades, WHLD-FM mostly simulcast WHLD 1270, but later switched to beautiful music. It changed its call letters to WZIR-FM in 1980.

Changes in ownership

Locally owned Butler Communications Corporation bought WHLD and its sister station WZIR-FM in May 1980. During the Butler Communications days, WHLD played adult standards and big band music on weekdays, with some ethnic programming on weekends. The station was billed as "The Station of the Nations", and owner Paul Butler's daughter Mary Ann Butler gave the station its tag line, "The Sound of the Falls." Veteran Buffalo Radio Personality John LaMond began his career at WHLD in 1981.

In August 1999, WHLD was purchased by Citadel Broadcasting Corporation. At midnight on Monday, February 13, 2006, WHLD gave up its brokered programming format and Niagara Independent Media began operating the station via a Local marketing agreement (LMA). It was branded "News Talk 1270: The Voice of Reason." It began carrying the progressive talk shows of Air America Radio.[2] That programming was dropped in December 2006 due to financial problems.[3] Some of the non-profit programs, including Democracy Now, were moved to sister station WBBF.

Urban gospel and adult standards

The station then began an urban gospel format through a lease with the Totally Gospel Radio Network.[4] That programming had been carried on daytime only station WBBF since May 1997. On August 2, 2010, Totally Gospel ended its 3½ year lease of WHLD in preparation of the construction of its own station, WFWO at 89.7 kHz.[5]

WHLD, back under the control of Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, then switched to an automated adult standards format, becoming the first adult standards station in the market since WECK dropped the format in 2006.[6] On August 11, 2010, WHLD began branding itself "Swing 1270" featuring vocalists associated with the Great American Songbook.[7] Harv Moore, a well-known local radio personality, was added as the first disc jockey in April 2011. Its only competitor for the adult standards market in Western New York was distant but powerful 50,000 watt CFZM, located in Toronto.[citation needed]

Sports radio

Cumulus Media bought WHLD and other Citadel stations in a deal approved in September 2011.[8] In January 2013, Cumulus announced that WHLD would be changing its format, this time to sports talk. Most programming would come from CBS Sports Radio. One local program, hosted by Rich Gaenzler, aired from noon to 3 p.m. (CBS Sports Radio's offering in that time slot, The Jim Rome Show, was already carried in Western New York by 1520 WWKB).[9] Cumulus Media planned to move the former WHLD Spanish-language Christian radio format to 1120 WBBF, but protests from the Spanish speaking community led the company to reconsider.[10] In May 2013, the adult standards format was picked up by 1230 WECK.

WHLD acquired the rights to Buffalo Bulls sports teams in 2013 from the University of Buffalo. Those rights had previously been with 1230 WECK. WHLD lost the rights to UB athletics in 2014 when they moved to 1520 WWKB. WHLD acquired local rights to the NFL on Westwood One along with Westwood One's NCAA football package in 2015.[11] Gaenzler left the station in late 2015, moving to 96.9 WGRF. The Herd with Colin Cowherd was inserted into his previous local time slot, leaving the station entirely syndicated. WHLD temporarily added a show from Bob Koshinski (formerly of WNSA, WBBZ-TV and the Empire Sports Network) and The Buffalo News columnists Bucky Gleason and Jerry Sullivan in January 2016. The station brought back The Bucky and Sully Show in September 2016, and also add a weekly show with News columnist Tim Graham.[12]

On September 1, 2016, WHLD made a deal to carry radio the broadcasts of Syracuse Orange basketball and football in the Buffalo market, as well as Notre Dame Fighting Irish football's national broadcasts in weeks where the Irish and Orange games are played at different times.[13]

Talk radio

On May 24, 2021, Cumulus changed WHLD's format to conservative talk, branded as "Talk 1270." The move was part of Cumulus's rollout of Dan Bongino's national show.[14]

WHLD now competes primarily with 930 WBEN, a Buffalo news/talk station, owned by Audacy. With WHLD carrying the Westwood One talk line-up, The Mark Levin Show, previously heard on WBEN, shifted to WHLD.


  1. ^ Radio-Locator.com/WHLD
  2. ^ Article by Geoff Kelly ArtVoice February 23, 2006, retrieved August 10, 2010. Contrary to the article, gospel programming was only a part of the previous brokered programming format.
  3. ^ 2006 in review fybush.com
  4. ^ Totally Gospel website Retrieved October 28, 2011
  5. ^ WFWO Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  6. ^ Fybush.com
  7. ^ It's back to the future on WHLD 1270 AMBuffalo News August 12, 2010; retrieved August 14, 2010
  8. ^ Fink, James (September 13, 2011). "Cumulus, Citadel radio swap nearly done". Buffalo Business First. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  9. ^ Connors, Greg (January 6, 2012). "1270 The Fan will debut Monday". The Buffalo News. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  10. ^ Kwiatkowski, Jane (January 14, 2013). "Hispanic radio station fights for its survival". Buffalo News. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  11. ^ "National NFL, college games headed to 1270 the Fan and 103.3 the Edge - Talkin' TV". Archived from the original on August 21, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  12. ^ ""The Tim Graham Show" debuts tonight on 1270 the Fan - BN Blitz". Archived from the original on September 15, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  13. ^ "1270 the Fan to carry Syracuse, Notre Dame football - Talkin' TV". Archived from the original on September 3, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  14. ^ Cumulus Launches Talk 1270 Buffalo Radioinsight - May 25, 2021

Coordinates: 42°44′41″N 78°53′13″W / 42.74472°N 78.88694°W / 42.74472; -78.88694