DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. — Cumulus Media‘s WFAS-FM has been, for the past three years, a hyper-local Westchester County, N.Y.-focused Adult Contemporary station operating on a 250-watt translator that served as a successor to a Class A facility at 103.9 MHz that in summer 2014 became Urban WNBM-FM.
However, something about the “new” WFAS was different. It’s Tweeter feed has been dormant since 2016. The same goes for its Facebook page. Local hosts were dismissed in June 2015.
As of today (5/2), the entire operation is now silent.
Instead of hearing Intelligence for your Life from syndicated air personality John Tesh, those tuning to W232AL at 94.3 MHz, in Pomona, N.Y., during Thursday’s lunch hour could hear nothing but silence.
That’s because Tesh’s midday show, along with programs featuring Westwood One hosts, are now in Cumulus’ past. WFAS has ceased operations, as the translator is poised to become a member of its licensee’s “Bridge Radio” network.
W232AL had been leased by Cumulus from Bridgelight LLC, a New Jersey-based broadcast ministry. A company spokesperson tells RBR+TVBR WFAS in recent months was airing the WWO AC format and used to clear Tesh’s show in the New York DMA. The Cumulus representative added that WFAS-FM at 103.9 MHz was “shut down as part of the takeover of WEBE-FM in Bridgeport, Conn.”
With 50kw, “WEBE 108” only has a fringe signal in Westchester County and mainly serves Stamford, Bridgeport, Danbury, New Haven and Waterbury, Conn.
Furthermore, Westport, Conn.-licensed WEBE has just been traded to Connoisseur Media along with heritage News/Talk WICC-AM 600 in Bridgeport and FM translator W279CP in Bridgeport in exchange of 50kw Class B Classic Hits WODE-FM 99.9 “The Hawk” in Easton; Class A Alternative WWYY-FM 107.1 “Spin Radio” in Belvidere; FM translator W234AX; and Class C WEEX-AM 1230 in Easton and WTKZ-AM 1320 in Allentown, which simulcast as “FOX Sports Lehigh Valley.”
With legal counsel Kathleen Victory of Fletcher Heald & Hildreth, Bridgelight on April 19 filed a Form 349 application with the FCC that seeks to relocate W232AL from Pomona, N.Y., to a site across the Hudson River in Alpine, N.J.
This is within Palisades Interstate Park, and would allow Bridgelight to reach upper Manhattan, the Bronx, and such Westchester County communities as Dobbs Ferry, Tarrytown and Yonkers.
On the Garden State side, the translator would serve northern Bergen County, and that’s the mission of the relocation, as much of Rockland County, N.Y. and Westchester County towns north of I-287 would lose reception.
The translator used WPLJ-FM HD3 as its main feed; with the shift to Alpine, N.J., an HD multicast associated with Newark-licensed WNSH-FM — now a part of Entercom Communications — is set to take effect. WPLJ is being sold to Educational Media Foundation.
“The Bridge” offers Christian Talk & Teaching programming across an array of translators and uses WRDR-FM 89.7 in Freehold Township, N.J., as its originating station. Class A WJUX-FM 99.7 in South Fallsburg, N.Y., brings “The Bridge” to Sullivan County, N.Y., while its programming is fed to W295BK at 106.9 MHz, serving Poughkeepsie and New Paltz, N.Y.
— Reporting by Dominick Stern in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and Adam Jacobson in West Palm Beach, Fla.