|Broadcast area||Rochester metro area|
|Frequency||97.9 MHz (HD Radio)|
|Subchannels||HD2: Channel Q|
First air date
|September 14, 1959|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|PXY = Pixy (reference to former beautiful music format)|
|HAAT||142 meters (466 ft)|
Public license information
|Webcast||Listen live (via Audacy)|
WPXY-FM (97.9 MHz) is a heritage Top 40/CHR radio station licensed to Rochester, New York. Its transmitter is located on Pinnacle Hill in Brighton, and its studios are located at High Falls Studios in downtown Rochester. WPXY also broadcasts on HD Radio, and includes a secondary subchannel, known as "Channel Q", which carries a LGBTQ+-oriented Talk/EDM format.
WPXY-FM signed on air on September 14, 1959 as WVET-FM, the FM sister to WVET. It first aired classical music, before flipping to an automated beautiful music format. In addition to being an FM sister, WVET-FM was also a sister station to WVET-TV, and was originally under the ownership of Veterans Broadcasting. Veterans changed the stations call letters to WROC-FM in 1961, and sold the WROC stations (which included WROC-TV) to Rust Craft Broadcasting in 1964, before being sold to Associated Broadcasters, which later became part of Pyramid Broadcasting. Due to the ownership split, in 1975, WROC-FM became WPXY, and was known as "Pixie" (hence the "PXY" call letters). (WROC would become WPXN.) In the Summer of 1982, WPXY began its long running top 40 format. The first Top 40 talent that was heard on 98 PXY was then-morning personality Jim Harrington. Consultant Gary Burns had Harrington demo the new format for an hour, the afternoon before the new format was actually implemented. Harrington had just arrived in Rochester and his car was still unpacked. The station began broadcasting Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 in November 1983 (until late 1988) and American Top 40 with Casey Kasem in March 1987.
WPXY would begin simulcasting on its AM sister station in 1983, with the simulcast running until 1991, when the AM would flip to standards, and then oldies, before returning to a simulcast in 1992, and then splitting again a year later. (The AM would be sold off to Jacor in 1996.)
The Lincoln Group would purchase the station from Pyramid in late 1993. Lincoln would then merge with American Radio Systems in February 1996, with ARS merging with Infinity Broadcasting in September 1997. (Infinity would be renamed CBS Radio in December 2005.) CBS sold WPXY-FM to Entercom Communications on November 30, 2007.
Scott Spezzano was the morning voice of 98 PXY for over 25 years & is one of the most recognized celebrities in the Rochester Community. For years, Spezzano would climb atop the roof of Marketplace Mall the weekend after Thanksgiving and broadcast live, living on the roof for 57 hours to raise money for the Salvation Army Homeless Holiday Campaign. This "stunt" for years was called the 98 PXY Help the Homeless Weekend or just simply "The Roof-Sit". Community members and business owners every year pledged their support of Spezzano, the only brave celebrity locally to attempt stunts like this for the community.
Spezzano, in his over 30 years on Rochester radio, has been honored many times for his charitable contributions and always giving back to the community, and remains a household name in the Rochester Community. On September 7, 2014 it was announced that Spezzano and Sandy Waters would be moving to sister station WBZA. Megan Carter, along with Corey James (former PXY alumni Corey Kincaid), took over the PXY morning show beginning on Friday, September 12, 2014 with a special duel simulcast including Spezzano and Sandy with special guests on both WPXY and WBZA. Their show was called #TeamPXY with Carter + Corey.
Carter + Corey continued until early 2018, when Megan Carter exited the station. Whitney Young (who had been doing the midday shift) was promoted to co-host with Corey. However, Young's time at PXY did not last long, and she departed the station in July 2019 over a highly-publicized gender wage gap dispute, which received local and national media attention. Young was replaced by Brianna 'Breezy' Sloth.
Another popular personality on 98PXY is Chris Debbins, known simply as 'Debbins'. Debbins has been with the station since 2014, and currently hosts the afternoon drive show from 3pm - 7pm.
Throughout the years, 98PXY has put on many fun events including the High School Challenge, a penny drive where Rochester area High Schools competed to collect the most pennies. The winner got a free concert at their school by a national recording artist. The proceeds benefited various Hillside agencies. Artists that performed include Donnie Klang, Boys Like Girls, O-Town, and more...with Justin Bieber being the draw in 2009.
WPXY was the first station to air Rochester native Teddy Geiger's single "For You I Will (Confidence)". Teddy mentions the station inside the cover of their hit album Underage Thinking.
WPXY began streaming worldwide online at 98pxy.com on April 1, 2008.
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