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News/Talk 870 WHCU
Depend on it!
First Air Date: 1912
City of License: Ithaca, NY
Arbitron Market: Ithaca-Cortland
Frequency: AM: 870 kHz
FM: 95.9 MHz
Class: B
ERP: 5,000 watts ND day
1,000 watts Dir night
Owner: Cayuga Radio Group
Callsign Meaning: Home of Cornell University (historical owner)
Request Line: (607) 257-9428
newsroom (607) 257-8249
Business Office: (607) 257-6400
Mailing Address: 1751 Hanshaw Road
Ithaca, NY 14850


The forerunner to WHCU began in 1912 as an experiment in the School of Electrical Engineering at Cornell University. The original call letters were 8YC, later changed to 8XU. A forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission issued a broadcast license on May 27, 1922, with the call letters WEAI. The new station took to the air on January 23, 1923. The station was used as a vehicle for promoting the university's extension service and all of its programming was educational in nature.

In 1932, Cornell joined with the Elmira Star-Gazette to start radio station WESG in Elmira, which shared programming with WEAI. The Star-Gazette managed the station during this period, however, the FCC ordered Cornell in 1940 to run the station itself or surrender the license. Within 12 hours of the deadline, the station signed on with borrowed staff and equipment.

The stations went their separate ways. WESG became WENY and WEAI became WHCU, which stands for Home of Cornell University.

WHCU's first complete studios and offices were completed in 1941. New studios were built in downtown Ithaca in 1957.

Cornell University sold WHCU and sister station WYXL to Eagle Communications in 1985. Six years later, the stations moved into a new complex on Hanshaw Road, northeast of Ithaca in the town of Dryden, near the Ithaca-Tompkins Regional Airport.

WHCU and sister stations WYXL, WQNY, and WNYY were purchased by Saga Communications in 2005, under the name Cayuga Radio Group.

WHCU features a three-and-a-half hour local news and interview based morning show each weekday called the Morning Newswatch. It also has a one-hour local news show weekday evenings, called the Evening Newswatch. WHCU is an affiliate of CBS News and carries top of the hour news coverage, as well as one-minute bottom-of-the-hour news updates during its live, local programming. It is also the flagship of Cornell University football, hockey, and men's lacrosse broadcasts.

In March 2010, WHCU returned to the FM airwaves when sister station WQNY launched News/Talk 870 on its HD3 channel. WHCU had been on a former WYXL translator (first at 95.5, then at 95.9 briefly) before Saga turned off the translator, accommodating the introduction of WFIZ into the market. The use of WQNY-HD3 overcomes the challenges of 870's night time pattern, especially outside of Tompkins County.

In August 2010, WHCU returned to analog FM broadcasting with the reintroduction of a translator at 95.9 FM. W240CB is a 250-watt translator located on Ithaca's south hill, and it is licensed to rebroadcast WQNY. As with Hits 103.3 and 98.7 the Vine, the company uses the translator to rebroadcast the aforementioned HD3 signal.

Some information courtesy Wikipedia

Programming Schedule


  • 12mid : Bill Cunningham (Mon) John Batchelor (Tue-Fri)
  • 1:00am : Coast to Coast
  • 5:00am : First Light with Dirk Van
  • 5:30am : Morning Newswatch with Dave Vieser and Geoff Dunn
  • 9:00am : Glenn Beck
  • 12:00pm : Rush Limbaugh
  • 3:00pm : Sean Hannity
  • 5:00pm : Evening Newswatch
  • 6:00pm : Sean Hannity (3rd Hour Delayed)
  • 7:00pm : Mark Levin
  • 10:00pm : John Batchelor


  • 12mid : John Batchelor
  • 1:00am : Coast to Coast
  • 5:00am : Dr. Dean Edell
  • 7:00am : Saturday Morning Newswatch
  • 9:15am : Lifelong Radio Program
  • 9:30am : In Focus Public Affairs
  • 10:00am : Glenn Haege
  • 12:00pm : The Best of Clark Howard
  • 3:00pm : Dr. Dean Edell
  • 7:00pm : Best of Sean Hannity
  • 10:00pm : Lars Larson


  • 12mid : Lars Larson
  • 1:00am : Coast to Coast
  • 6:00am : CBS News Weekend Roundup
  • 7:00am : Day 1 Protestant/Sage Chapel Conversations
  • 8:00am : Easy Gardening with Mark Viette
  • 10:00am : Rudy Paolangeli Show
  • 12:00pm : Meet the Press
  • 1:00pm : Kim Kommando
  • 4:00pm : Handel on the Law - Bill Handel
  • 7:00pm : Lars Larson
  • 10:00pm : Bill Cunningham

Arbitron Ratings

Cortland-Ithaca Ratings Information from

Translators / Simulcasts

  • 103.7-HD3 / WQNY-HD3 / Ithaca
  • 95.9 FM / W240CB / Ithaca

Ownership and Sister Stations News Coverage

All articles mentioning WHCU

Selected Links

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