Colonial City AM Gains An FM Translator


A 1kw AM radio station serving the first capital of New York since 1939 has finally obtained an FM signal for its programming.

This gives this recently reinvented radio station a new platform for its community-focused mix of music, sports, news and even foreign-language programming.

The “colonial” city of Kingston, N.Y. is home to WKNY-AM 1490, which had been a highly successful Full Service radio station airing CBS News and local programs largely hosted by Warren Lawrence until recently, when technological advances and an aging listener base led Townsquare Media in August 2017 to sell the station for $500,000 to Radio Kingston Corp.

Radio Kingston a nonprofit led by Chair Peter Buffett and Executive Director Jimmy Buff, who was the 20-year PD/morning host of WDST-FM “Radio Woodstock” in nearby Woodstock, N.Y., until the end of June 2017.

At the time of WKNY’s sale, the deal’s broker, Andrew Guest of Guest Technology told RBR+TVBR that Radio Kingston will be seeking an FM translator for WKNY.

Guest, who also serves as technical advisor for Radio Kingston Corp., can now rejoice along with Buff and the rest of the WKNY crew: The FCC on Monday (4/23) granted the nonprofit operation an Original Construction Permit (CP) for an FM translator to operate at 107.9 MHz.

For old dial-tuned radios, that means a simple switch to FM from AM will yield WKNY’s new static-free stereo signal.

Radio Kingston won the right to build the translator after a mutually exclusive party based in Hyde Park, N.Y., bowed out.

The transmitter will be on WKNY’s longtime broadcast tower off of Col. Chandler Drive, behind Albany Ave.

The signal will be limited to Kingston, Hurley, the Town of Ulster, and the Dutchess County villages of Rhinebeck and Rhinecliff.

WKNY’s weekday programming features Lawrence in morning drive and in the noon hour for his long-running “Lunch Box Oldies” program, Spanish-language program “La Voz” between 10am and noon, checkerboard community talk shows between 1pm-3pm, Buff from 3pm-5pm, and station veteran Frank Auringer from 5pm-7pm.