As market No. 58, Buffalo-Niagara Falls and the cities of Amherst, Grand Island and Depew are among the largest in the U.S. that are not measured by Nielsen’s Portable People Meter (PPM).
With diary-based methodology in place, and two important FM translators, a forlorn AM radio station once owned by CBS Radio has seen new life with a locally focused Oldies format.
Now, Entercom wants to see similar success by putting a long-running Urban Oldies format serving Western New York’s Black population on an FM translator perfectly situated just north of downtown Buffalo.
Gone is “AM 1400 Solid Gold Soul.” Instead, listeners can now tune to Class C WWWS-AM in Buffalo or W297AB at 107.3 MHz to enjoy what is now being branded “Classic R&B 107.3.”
It puts Urban AC on the dial, shifting from Urban Oldies, and provides immediate competition for one of the nation’s dominant Urban Contemporary stations, Townsquare Media-owned WBLK-FM 93.7.
WBLK is a powerhouse, with listeners on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border of all races and ethnicities. For those traveling to and from Toronto, WBLK is largely the lone source of hip-hop and R&B music.
With Entercom’s move, added pressure may also come from Top 40 WKSE-FM “98.5 Kiss FM.”
Speaking of WWWS’s shift, Entercom/Buffalo SVP/Market Manager Greg Ried said, “This move is part of a larger commitment to update and refresh the music that our listeners love hearing daily. The success of AM 1400 leads to our excitement in expanding the reach of our Classic R&B music to the FM dial.”
It’s also sweet news for advertisers, who may have shied away from a monaural AM facility with no FM translator — a throwback for listeners that may only want a musical throwback, not a technological one.
The 107.3 MHz facility puts a signal over nearly all of the region’s African-American population.
Meanwhile, the use of the 104.7 MHz translator for WLKK-FM 107.7 “Alternative Buffalo” will continue, a source tells RBR+TVBR.
This puts to rest a rumor that Classic R&B would be replacing WLKK.