|Broadcast area||Central New York|
|Format||Mainstream Top 40|
First air date
|1945 (as WFBL-FM)|
Former call signs
|WFBL-FM (1945-circa 1955)|
WDDS (1955-circa 1975)
WNTQ (93.1 FM) is a Mainstream Top 40 radio station based in Syracuse, New York. The Cumulus Media outlet operates with an ERP of 97,000 watts.
WNTQ originally went on the air c. 1945 as WFBL-FM on 45.9 MHz (before the FM band was reallocated to the current 88-108 MHz spectrum). It later moved to 93.1 MHz when the FM band moved c. 1946. Reports show that WFBL-FM went off the air several years later, and did not return until 1955, where it went back on the air as WDDS, a call sign reportedly chosen because its beautiful music format was marketed to dentists' offices. The station has been in continuous operation since 1955. The call sign changed from WDDS to WNTQ in the 1970s.
WNTQ is known as a "grandfathered super-powered" FM station because its Effective Radiated Power (ERP) of 97,000 Watts exceeds the FCC Class B maximum of 50,000 Watts. Likewise, WNTQ's Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT) of 201 meters (660 feet) exceeds the FCC maximum for a Class B facility of 150 meters (492 feet). The FCC rules determining the power and height maxima for Class B stations were not formed until 1964. Because WNTQ was operating at powers in excess of the FCC rules when they were adopted in 1964. WNTQ and other stations were grandfathered to be permitted to operate with power and height larger than what is allowed by today's rules. This makes WNTQ one of the more powerful stations in the region with great signal coverage compared to most of its competition in the Syracuse market.
WNTQ made its debut with its current format in 1981. They are also one of three Top 40s in Syracuse, the other two being Rhythmic rival WWHT (HOT 107.9) and non-commercial Syracuse University student-run WJPZ(Z89). Unlike WWHT, whose playlist and presentation target urban teens and young adults, WNTQ's music is more balanced and has mass appeal. This approach has worked for 93Q, resulting in 93Q beating HOT 107.9 in total weekly audience every quarter since their rivalry began in 1996. As of October 2012, WWHT has changed its format to mainstream top 40, similar to WNTQ's. When WNTQ launched in 1981, the station began competing against WKFM for the first four years of operation until WKFM dropped CHR in 1985 for AOR, leaving WNTQ the only CHR station in the Syracuse market.
WNTQ was owned by Citadel Broadcasting until their merger with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011. This caused a slight tweak in the music played, as Cumulus micromanages the playlists of their Top 40 stations, something that Citadel did not practice. Each respective music director was allowed to pick the music played under Citadel's ownership. In its heyday during the 1980s, long-time Syracuse personalities were amongst the top DJs of the area entertained at 93q. Dave Laird and Ted Long in the Morning. Of course, Ted carries on the morning duties. Rob Cunningham middays. Bob Brown in the afternoon. Gary Dunes at night. Kenny Dees overnight. Also, Jim Shields, Brian Ocean, Dollar Bill, Jack Strap, and Mike Andrews were all on-air talents. Dave Edwards was the station's engineer. Dave was responsible for Teen Talk. A program on Sunday nights designed to help troubled youngsters with their issues. Mike Andrews wrote and produced WNTQ's Thursday Top 40 countdowns hosted by Gary Dunes, and Kenny Dees had central New York's hottest dance shows on Saturday nights called "Club Beat".
On Wednesday, June 13, 2018, the station hosted the 10th anniversary of the 93Q Summer Jam concert. The lineup for the concert included The Shadowboxers, Rozes, Livvia, RJ Ward, Mackenzie Nicole, and Taylor Grey.