WPDH
Broadcast areaHudson Valley and Catskills
Frequency101.5 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding101.5 WPDH
Programming
FormatClassic Rock
SubchannelsHD2: WALL simulcast (Classic hits)
HD3: WEOK simulcast (Spanish Adult hits)
HD4: same as HD2
Ownership
Owner
WALL, WCZX, WEOK, WKNY, WKXP, WPDA, WRRV, WZAD
History
First air date
1962 (as WEOK-FM)
Former call signs
WEOK-FM (1962-1972)
Call sign meaning
W Poughkeepsie Dutchess (County) Hudson (River/Valley)
Technical information
Facility ID71514
ClassB
ERP4,400 watts
HAAT469 meters (1,539 ft)
Translator(s)HD2: See WALL § Translators
HD3: See WEOK § Translators
Repeater(s)106.1 WPDA (Jeffersonville)
Links
WebcastListen Live
Websitewpdh.com

WPDH (101.5 FM) is a commercial radio station licensed to Poughkeepsie, New York, and serving the Hudson Valley and Catskills. The station is owned by Townsquare Media and broadcasts a classic rock radio format. Its studios and offices are on Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie.[1]

WPDH has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 4,400 watts. The transmitter site is on Illinois Mountain in Highland, New York.[2] WPDH is one of only four full-power Class B FM stations between New York City and Albany. (WSPK, WHUD and WFGB are the three others.) WPDH is also simulcast on a Class A station, 106.1 WPDA in Jeffersonville, New York. Several translators relay WPDH's digital subchannels.

History

WEOK-FM

In 1962, the station signed on as WEOK-FM. It was the sister station to WEOK 1390 AM and was Poughkeepsie's second FM station after WKIP-FM (today's WSPK). The main purpose of the station at the outset was to provide Muzak programming to area offices and stores via its subcarrier. By day, WPDH simulcast the AM's middle of the road (MOR) format, with block programming airing between the AM's sign off and 10:00 p.m.

In 1972, WEOK AM and FM were sold to the Dyson family (also owners of Dyson Racing) and with the sale came key changes to the FM side. The transmitter moved from a site in Milton (now used by WVKR) to the current Illinois Mountain site. It upgraded to a full Class B signal and added FM stereo capabilities in the process.

Country Music to AOR

At the end of these upgrades, it relaunched as country music formatted WPDH. At the time, only some people owned FM receivers and almost no car radios were equipped for FM radio. WPDH was beaten by New York City signal WHN after that station flipped to country. With the poor ratings playing country music, management saw a hole for an album-oriented rock (AOR) station in the Hudson Valley. The leading rock stations from New York City, 95.5 WPLJ and 102.7 WNEW-FM, were difficult to receive so far from Manhattan. In 1976 WPDH abandoned country for rock music, and this format remains to this day.

Through its decades in rock radio, there have been several variations of WPDH's format. At the outset, it was automated, with no disc jockeys. Then, it added DJs, playing progressive rock along with an occasional jazz track. The format evolved through the 1980s as the station gradually tightened its playlist to the top selling albums of the day, and the last couple of decades of rock.

The splintering of rock in the 1980s and early 1990s had varying effects on WPDH. The station added heavy metal into the playlist as well as early modern rock and European imports. The station remained successful and was a solid #1 in the market in the early 1980s, and by the 1990s was alternating the #1 spot in the market with 104.7 WSPK's Top 40 sound.

Classic Rock

In 1994, WPDH owners Crystal Radio Group (the Dyson family spinoff headed by Rob Dyson) purchased Middletown-based 92.7 WKOJ and 1340 WALL from Orange & Rockland Utilities. With this purchase came an opportunity to both solve the new rock dilemma and to strengthen WPDH by owning its only direct competition. WPDH spent the latter part of 1994 and early 1995 evolving to Classic Rock while WKOJ flipped to alternative rock WRRV in April 1995.

WPDH's ratings went through some instability in the early years as classic rock. It was the regular #2 to WSPK's #1 by the turn of the 21st Century. Rob Dyson sold the Crystal Radio Group to Aurora Communications in 2001 which, in turn was bought out by Cumulus Media in 2002. Amid an extended drop in ratings, WPDH was relaunched as a mainstream rock station over Labor Day Weekend 2003. Gary Cee, formerly of WLIR, was hired as Program Director, and the station stabilized at the top of the ratings in both Dutchess and Orange counties.

In January 2012, Andrew Boris, program director of sister station WRRV, became the new Program Director of WPDH.[3] No formula changes in the programming were enacted. Boris later began hosting the morning drive time show, in addition to his PD duties.

Changes in Ownership

On August 30, 2013, a deal was announced in which Cumulus would swap its stations in Dubuque, Iowa, and Poughkeepsie (including WPDH) to Townsquare Media in exchange for Peak Broadcasting's Fresno, California stations. The deal was part of Cumulus' acquisition of Dial Global. Townsquare, Peak, and Dial Global are all controlled by Oaktree Capital Management.[4][5]

The sale to Townsquare was completed on November 14, 2013.[6] Under Townsquare management, WPDH plays a large amount of classic rock with a few current and recent titles.

Current WPDH Personalities

The Past WPDH Airforce

This article is in list format but may read better as prose. You can help by converting this article, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (February 2013)

Notable alumni

HD Radio

Cumulus Broadcasting began upgrading its stations to HD Radio broadcasting in 2005. One of the first ten stations to be upgraded was WPDH.[8]

WPDH uses its HD2 and HD4 digital subchannel to rebroadcast co-owned oldies WALL 1340 AM and its HD3 subchannel to rebroadcast Spanish adult hits WEOK 1390 AM.

See also

References

  1. ^ WPDH.com/prize-questions
  2. ^ "WPDH Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  3. ^ Barry, John. "After 17 years Andrew Boris will host final morning show". Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Official: Cumulus Buys Dial Global, Spins Some Stations To Townsquare; Peak Stations Sold To Townsquare, Fresno Spun To Cumulus". All Access. August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  5. ^ "Cumulus Makes Dial Global And Townsquare Deals Official". RadioInsight. August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  6. ^ "Cumulus-Townsquare-Peak Deal Closes". All Access. November 15, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  7. ^ "CNYRadio.com". Former Clear Channel Utica OM Stew Schantz Dies; June 11, 2010.
  8. ^ Harnett, Mary Beth (2006-04-24). "Harris Corporation Announces Multi-Deal Agreement as Exclusive HD Radio(TM) Supplier to Cumulus Broadcasting". EE Times.

Coordinates: 41°43′08″N 73°59′46″W / 41.719°N 73.996°W / 41.719; -73.996