|Utica, New York|
|Broadcast area||Utica, New York|
|Owner||Townsquare Media |
(Townsquare Media Licensee of Utica/Rome, Inc.)
|WFRG-FM, WIBX, WODZ, WLZW|
First air date
WOUR (96.9 FM) is a classic rock radio station that broadcasts from Utica, New York. The station is currently owned by Townsquare Media as part of a cluster with news-talk station WIBX, country-formatted WFRG-FM, hot AC-formatted WLZW and classic hits-formatted WODZ.
WOUR signed on in 1969 as a religious station. In 1970, it changed formats to the syndicated automated Top 40/Oldies "Hit Parade '70" format. In 1971, it programmed "Hit Parade '71" by day, and Progressive Rock at night, with a live DJ. In 1973, WOUR became a full-time Progressive Rock/Album Rock station.
At that time, WOUR became the only album oriented rock station in the Syracuse/Utica market. The station was well known for a series of radio concerts broadcast live from local clubs including "Four Acres" in Marcy, New York. Artists who appeared on the series of live concerts included Elvis Costello, Blackjack (featuring Michael Bolton and Yellowjackets' bass player Jimmy Haslip), Cindy Bullens (with Central New York's Mark Doyle), Craig Fuller & Eric Kaz, Nick Gilder, The Ramones and others.
WOUR also became known for presenting rare interviews with rock musicians, among them Boston's Tom Scholz (in one of his rare radio interviews), Journey's Steve Perry, Ross Vallory and Greg Rolie, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ed King, Charlie Daniels, Anthony Phillips, former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, John Hall of Orleans, and several more.
WOUR alumni include John Cooper, Bob Lassiter, Tony Yoken, Steve Huntington, Bob London, Peter Hirsch, Dale Edwards, Tom Starr, Robin Sherwin, Jerry Kraus, "Genesee" Joe Trisolino, Alisson Ryan, J.P. Hastings and many more. A morning drive show with Hirsch and Bill Houser became popular among WOUR listeners in the late-1970s to early-1980s.
Previous owners have included Bunkfeldt Broadcasting, Dame Media and Clear Channel Communications, who sold it to Galaxy Communications in 2007 when Clear Channel chose to exit small markets and go private. Galaxy, who already owned WRCK, itself a classic rock station, sold WRCK to the Educational Media Foundation, a religious broadcaster who already owned WKVU, and purchased WOUR. Under Galaxy ownership, WOUR brought "Fireworks Over Utica" back, brought Dickey Betts to Hanna Park, created the annual Wine & Chocolate event, created Fan Fest for the Utica Comets season kick-off and righted the Classic Rock playlist.
In 2016, Galaxy moved their Utica studios (WKLL, WOUR, WUMX, WTLB, WRNY and WIXT) from Washington Mills to Downtown Utica inside the new landmark building (the old HSBC Location) and renamed it Galaxy Media. Inside their new location the walls on the side of the street for each studio are made entirely of glass, allowing people to see DJs at work similar to the "Good Morning America" Studios.
Townsquare Media announced it had agreed to purchase WOUR on February 15, 2018. The sale was approved by the FCC on September 24, 2018, and finalized on October 2, 2018.