Buffalo Bills Radio Network

The Buffalo Bills Radio Network is a broadcast radio network based in Buffalo, New York. Its primary programming is broadcasts of Buffalo Bills home and away games to a network of 23 stations in upstate New York, northwestern Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada.

Previously, the broadcasts originated from WBEN through much of the team's history except for a period from 1971 to 1977 when WKBW was team flagship. WGR briefly carried games in the early 1990s.[1] From 1998 through 2011, the Bills were flagshipped at WGRF, as well as other stations owned by Citadel Broadcasting. When Cumulus Media purchased Citadel in late 2011, it dropped Bills games from all of its stations at the end of the season.[2] Cumulus never fully paid off the money Citadel owed for Bills games, instead eventually seeking to nullify the debt in January 2018 when the company went into bankruptcy.[3] Entercom Communications and Galaxy Communications picked up the rights, restoring broadcasts to WGR for the 2012 season.[4][5]

John Murphy, formerly a sports anchor at WKBW-TV and WIVB-TV in Buffalo, is the current play-by-play announcer, with former Bills offensive lineman Eric Wood as color commentator and WGR employee Sal Capaccio as sideline reporter.

The network is an autonomous organization from the team, and is unique in that it, and not the team itself, was the main sponsor of the Bills' cheerleaders, the Buffalo Jills, until that squad was disbanded due to legal disputes.

Van Miller was the voice of the Buffalo Bills from the team's inception until 2003, with the exception of 1972 to 1978, when WKBW controlled radio rights and Miller's TV employer, WBEN-TV (now WIVB), would not permit him to appear on WKBW broadcasts. Miller was succeeded by Murphy, his longtime color commentator, when he retired from the booth after the 2003 season.

Stations

Buffalo Bills radio affiliates
Map of radio affiliates.
City Call sign Frequency
Buffalo, New York (Flagship station) WGR 550 AM
Buffalo, New York (home games only) WWKB 1520 AM
Rochester, New York WCMF-FM 96.5 FM
WROC 950 AM
Ithaca, New York WYXL 98.7 FM
Alfred/Hornell/Wellsville, New York WZKZ 101.9 FM (translator on FM 96.3)
Amsterdam, New York WKAJ 1120 AM
Bath, New York WABH 1380 AM
Glens Falls, New York WMML 1230 AM & 97.9 FM
Bradford, Pennsylvania WBRR 100.1 FM
Dunkirk, New York WDOE 1410 AM (translator on FM 94.9)
Elmira, New York WELM 1410 AM
Jamestown, New York WWSE 93.3 FM
WJTN 1240 AM
Newark, New York WACK 1420 AM
Olean, New York WPIG 95.7 FM
Syracuse, New York WKRL 100.9 FM/106.5 FM
Utica-Rome, New York WKLL 94.9 FM
Dansville, Livingston County, New York WDNY-FM 93.9 FM
Corry, Pennsylvania WWCB 1370 AM
Ogdensburg, New York WQTK 92.7 FM
Watertown, New York WOTT 94.1 FM
Toronto, Ontario CJCL 590 AM
Hamilton, Ontario CHML 900 AM

The WGR and network broadcast incorporates a broadcast delay; the WWKB broadcast is live, and is intended for listeners inside New Era Field. If the Bills ever reach the Super Bowl, the Bills' home-team broadcast would air on WWKB. Since WWKB is a clear channel signal, it would allow the Bills' broadcast to be heard across the East Coast.

Announcers

Play-by-play

Color analysts

Sideline reporters

  • Jeff Burris (2006)
  • Paul Peck (2005, 2007–2008)
  • Rich Gaenzler (2009–11)
  • Joe Buscaglia (2012–2014)
  • Sal Capaccio (2014–present)

Studio hosts

  • Rich Gaenzler (2004–2008)
  • Brent Axe (2009–2011)
  • Howard Simon (2004, 2012–present)
  • Sal Capaccio (2012–present)

References

  1. ^ Connors, Greg (January 3, 2012). "WGR lands Bills games; will add player and management shows". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  2. ^ 97 Rock, The Edge will no longer carry Bills games. WGRZ (2012). Retrieved September 2012.
  3. ^ “Cumulus Seeks To Cancel WLUP/WKQX LMA Purchase; And Chicago PBP Deals” from Radio Insight (January 19, 2018)
  4. ^ Major, Andy (January 4, 2012). "Bills announce new broadcast agreement with Entercom". Buffalo Bills. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  5. ^ "Buffalo Bills Moving to TK99 and WOUR". CNYRadio.com. June 21, 2012. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  6. ^ https://www.wivb.com/sports/buffalo-bills/eric-wood-joins-bills-radio-broadcast-booth/2016287411

External links

Al Meltzer

Al Meltzer (June 26, 1928 – June 12, 2018), nicknamed "Big Al", was an American sportscaster.

Born in Syracuse, New York, Meltzer worked for Channel 10 and Channel 3 in Philadelphia, and Comcast SportsNet (as sports director). He also worked for WPHL-17 where he called play-by-play of Big 5 and 76ers basketball. He has also covered the Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies, and Temple Owls. Previously, he worked in Buffalo, New York at WEBR. He is a member of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Big 5 Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame. During the 1970s, Meltzer, while still living in Philadelphia, commuted to Buffalo to serve as the Buffalo Bills Radio Network play-by-play announcer, serving on a team with Rick Azar and Ed Rutkowski. He died at the age of 89 on June 12, 2018.

CHML

CHML is a radio station, broadcasting at 900 AM in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. CHML's transmitter power is 50,000 watts using an eight-tower directional antenna array with a signal oriented largely west-northwest to east-southeast, covering the Niagara Peninsula and Western New York, USA strongest; the array is located between Peter's Corners and Cambridge. Its studios are located on West Main Street (next to Highway 403) in Hamilton. The station airs a news/talk format branded as Global News Radio 900 CHML. CHML is owned by Corus Entertainment.

CJCL

CJCL (590 AM, Sportsnet 590 The Fan) is a Canadian sports radio station in Toronto, Ontario. Owned and operated by Rogers Media since 2002, CJCL's studios are located at the Rogers Building at Bloor and Jarvis in downtown Toronto, while its transmitters are located near Grimsby atop the Niagara Escarpment. Programming on the station includes local sports talk radio shows during the day; CBS Sports Radio overnight; and live broadcasts of Toronto Blue Jays baseball, Toronto Raptors basketball, Toronto Maple Leafs hockey, Toronto Marlies hockey, Toronto FC soccer, Buffalo Bisons baseball and Buffalo Bills football.

Due to its location near the bottom of the AM dial, as well as its transmitter power and height, CJCL covers most of southern Ontario during the day. The station's signal is directional from north to south to protect various lower-powered radio stations east and west of the station; the station, despite not having clear-channel status, can be heard through a stretch of eastern Appalachia at night under ideal conditions.

Cleveland Hill Union Free School District

Cleveland Hill School District is a K-12 school district within the Cleveland Hill hamlet of Cheektowaga, New York.

Eric Wood

Eric Wood (born March 18, 1986) is a former American football center. He played college football at the University of Louisville and was drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft (28th overall) by the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). Wood played nine seasons in the NFL, including a Pro Bowl appearance, before retiring following the 2017 season due to a neck injury.

John Murphy (sportscaster)

John Murphy (born March 14, 1955) is an American sportscaster from Buffalo, New York. He is best known as the voice of the Buffalo Bills Radio Network and host of One Bills Live (formerly The John Murphy Show) on WGR and MSG Western New York. In addition to the Bills, he also served as commentator for the Buffalo Bisons, Canisius College Golden Griffins, Buffalo Bulls and Niagara University Purple Eagles in the 1980s.

Mark Kelso

Mark Alan Kelso (born July 23, 1963 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a former American football player and current broadcaster. He was a member of the Bills teams that appeared in four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990-1993, and served as the color commentator for the Buffalo Bills Radio Network until he was replaced by former Bill Eric Wood beginning in the 2019 season. Kelso decided to step away to focus more of his time on his NASCAR team.

Van Miller

Van Miller (November 22, 1927 – July 17, 2015) was an American radio and television sports announcer from Dunkirk, New York, where he began his career at Dunkirk radio station WFCB calling play-by-play for high school football games. In the 1950s, he moved to Buffalo where he became the chief play-by-play announcer for the Buffalo Bills Radio Network, the official radio broadcasting arm of the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League from the team's inception as an AFL team in 1960 to 1971, and again from 1977 to 2003. At the time of his retirement in 2003, Miller was the longest-tenured commentator with one team (37 years) in pro football history.

WACK

WACK (1420 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a full service format and licensed to Newark, New York, United States. The station is owned by Waynco Radio, Inc., and features programming from CNN Radio and Westwood One.WACK is the station where Lowell Paxson, later the founder of Home Shopping Network and PAX TV, began his broadcasting career.

Programming heard on WACK includes National Farm Report with Orion Samuelson, Farming America with Steve Alexander, America in the Morning, a classic hits-formatted local morning show hosted by Dean Amsler, The Osgood File, The Laura Ingraham Show, Chris Plante, The Dave Ramsey Show, The Sean Hannity Show, On the House with the Carey Brothers, and American Standards By the Sea. Any time slots not filled by programming are filled with SB Nation Radio.

The combination of Ingraham, Plante, Ramsey and Hannity forms what the station dubs the "Great American Talk Show Line-Up" (prior to Plante, The Radio Factor and subsequently Dennis Miller were also included in that branding). Samuelson's and Alexander's programs are considered to be one show, which is given its own full half-hour time slot under the title "WACK Farm and Agribusiness Report".

Sports programs heard on WACK include the Buffalo Bills, New York Yankees, Syracuse Orange and the NASCAR Sprint Cup, in addition to local high school sports.

WBKX

WBKX (96.5 FM) is a radio station that is based in Dunkirk, New York and also broadcasts at 100.3 FM (via translator W262BX) in Jamestown, New York. The station, along with WDOE, is owned by Alan Bishop and George Kimble.

The station broadcasts a country music format at 96.5 MHz in Dunkirk and 100.3 MHz in Jamestown and is branded as "Kix Country." The station broadcasts a local morning show hosted by Mark James. Other dayparts use the Waitt Radio 24-hour format.

The station was originally known as WCQA, 96.5 "The Bull," also under a country format. Said format was adopted after the demise of the station's longtime country outlet, WBUZ. (Shortly before WBUZ's end, WCQA submitted a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move to the Jamestown, New York suburb of Falconer; however, it was rescinded when WBUZ failed, leaving Dunkirk with WCQA as the lone commercial radio station.) However, after 2000, the station shifted to a satellite adult contemporary format from ABC and changed their branding to "96 Kix". After a few years, and numerous complaints, WBKX decided to revert to the country format in 2006. In 2009, WBKX began simulcasting at 100.3 FM to make a big competition in Jamestown competing with WHUG "My Country 101.9".

WDOE

WDOE is an AM/FM radio station located in Dunkirk, New York. It is owned by Alan Bishop and George Kimble, who also own sister station WBKX in Fredonia, and operates on a frequency of 1410 kHz. On December 7, 2012, WDOE began simulcasting on an FM translator at 94.9 MHz

WDOE operates a mostly automated classic hits format from Waitt Radio Networks, with a local newsman, Dave Rowley. Dan Palmer hosts the morning show from 6:00-8:45 AM, and Dave hosts "Viewpoint," a daily 15-minute public affairs program. Also, Dave Thompson hosts a midday show from 10:00 AM–1:00 PM. In addition, the station broadcasts local high school football, basketball, baseball, and softball games, mainly for Dunkirk and Fredonia high schools.

On Saturdays, WDOE broadcasts the Chautauqua Brick Home Solutions Show from 8:00-8:30 AM, the Fundamental Wealth Management Show from 9:00-10:00 AM, and the nationally syndicated American Top 40: The 1970s from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM, local personality Tina Zboch hosts an hour-long polka show.

WDOE also serves as an affiliate of ABC News and Buffalo Bills football. Former Bills announcer Van Miller was one of the station's first employees, and former Bills public address announcer, and current WECK Buffalo radio personality

Danny Neaverth also worked at the station in the late 1950s.

WEDG

WEDG is a radio station in Buffalo, New York, United States. The station's on air branding is "103.3 The Edge" and broadcasts on 103.3 MHz FM. WEDG has an alternative rock format and is best known for its morning radio hosts, "Shredd and Ragan." The station's transmitter is located east of Delaware Park in Buffalo, and studios are located on the city's east side.

WGR

WGR ("WGR Sports Radio 550") is an all sports radio station in Buffalo, New York that broadcasts on 550 AM. It is the flagship station of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, carrying a mostly locally originated sports talk and play-by-play lineup. Owned by Entercom, its studios are located on Corporate Parkway in Amherst, while its transmitter is located at a four-tower array in Hamburg, New York.

Although it has a power of 5,000 watts, during the day can be heard across nearly all of Western New York, the Greater Toronto Area, and nearby Erie, Pennsylvania. While a single tower is used during the day, power is fed to all four towers at night in a directional pattern to protect WKRC in Cincinnati, Ohio and WDEV in Waterbury, Vermont, concentrating the signal around Buffalo and Toronto.

WGRF

WGRF is a radio station in Buffalo, New York, United States. The station's on air branding is "97 Rock". The station mostly plays Classic rock from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. WGRF broadcasts at 96.9 MHz from a transmitter north of downtown Buffalo, and studios are in the city's eastside.

WGRF is owned by Cumulus Media. Previous owners included the Taft Television and Radio Company, Rich Communications, Mercury Radio Communications (who separated the longtime combination with WGR in 1995 when it bought WGRF from Rich Communications, who in turn retained WGR until selling it to the Sinclair Broadcast Group two years later), and Citadel Broadcasting (which merged with Cumulus on September 14, 2011).

WGRF streamed its programming on the Internet until 2002, when it became economically unfeasible for some stations to continue their streams given changes in licensing and royalty agreements. In March 2006, Citadel launched an initiative that provided for the streaming of many of Citadel's stations. WGRF was among the first commercial stations in Buffalo to resume streaming after the earlier changes.

WGRF currently competes with cross-border rival CIXL-FM.

WPIG

WPIG is an FM radio station located in Olean, New York. Branded as “95.7 The Big Pig,” the station operates at 95.7 MHz on the FM dial and operates a mainstream country music format. It is owned by Seven Mountains Media.

WROC (AM)

WROC is an AM radio station licensed to Rochester, New York. On September 2, 2008, WROC changed from an Air America affiliate to an ESPN affiliate. The format is closely affiliated with Buffalo sister station WGR, and carries Buffalo Sabres games, ESPN Radio, and beginning late 2012, Buffalo Bills games. The station's studios are located at High Falls Studios downtown, and its transmitter tower is on Rochester's southside near the I-390/I-590 freeway interchange. The station also airs on 95.7 FM as ESPN Rochester.

The station's call sign is a reference to WROC-TV; while the stations are not and have never been co-owned, WROC radio has an agreement with WROC-TV to provide local news coverage, and the borrowing of the WROC call sign from WROC-TV is included in this agreement. (The WROC call sign was previously used on 1280 kHz, now WHTK, which was originally co-owned with WROC-TV.)

WROC began broadcasting in 1947 under the callsign WARC. It was an early affiliate of the ABC radio network, but later changed to a locally programmed, personality-driven popular music station. It was purchased by the B. Forman regional department store chain in 1953 and changed its call letters to WBBF, the last three letters of which stood for "Buy B. Forman". In 1966 it was sold to LIN Broadcasting for what was then a market record of over $2 million, but retained its popular music format and personality lineup until the early 1980s. As WBBF, 950 AM was a popular Top 40 music station in Rochester, often leading the market in ratings surveys from the 1950s through the early 1970s, and ranking among the city's top stations through the late 1970s even after strong format competition arrived in 1972 from WAXC and later on the FM band from WPXY. Consistent success was achieved although as a relative latecomer to the AM band in the postwar era, WBBF's coverage area had to be restricted to the east and west to prevent interference with other stations on the same channel. In 1982, as hit music radio listeners were migrating to FM, the station evolved into a talk format. The WBBF calls are now in use in Buffalo, New York. As WEZO, from 1998 to 2000, the station carried a "Beautiful music" format. The WROC call sign was adopted in 2002 when the station adopted a second-tier conservative talk format featuring The Laura Ingraham Show and The Radio Factor; the station switched to progressive talk radio upon the launch of Air America Radio in 2004, a format it held until 2008, when it adopted its current sports format.

WSPQ

WSPQ (1330 AM) was a radio station licensed to Springville, New York. WSPQ served the Southtowns region of Western New York from 1986 to 2017.

WWCB

WWCB (1370 AM) is a full-service radio station licensed to Corry, Pennsylvania and serving Corry, Union City, Erie County, Pennsylvania and Clymer, New York from its studio located at 122 North Center Street (PA 426) in downtown Corry and a transmitter facility off of West Columbus Avenue (U.S. Route 6). It is a Licensed Class B AM station operating 24 hours a day/7 days a week with 1,000 watts during the daytime, and 500 watts in the evening hours.

The station's format is primarily country music, and also broadcasts a variety of local sports programming featuring Corry High School Beavers football, basketball, baseball and softball and Clymer High School football, basketball and baseball. In addition, WWCB serves as an affiliate for the Motor Racing Network's and The Performance Racing Network NASCAR coverage. The station is owned by Samuel Jordan Jr. and Bill Stafford, through licensee Greater Corry Area Broadcasting LLP.

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