UTICA-ROME -- This one slid under our radar earlier this month: a familiar set of call letters is back on the air, though with a new frequency and a new location. WRUN-FM is simulcasting Northeast Public Radio programming on 90.3 from Remsen.
The engineering blog for Northeast Public Radio -- based at WAMC in Albany -- says the new signal was up and running as of December 16th. WAMC's Pat Cooney invites listeners to tune in, and let him know how good (or bad) the reception is... be sure to include your listening location if you send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Former WRUN engineer Jeff Moulton, back in the area to visit family for Christmas, tells us he was listening to WRUN-AM when he heard WRUN-FM and its 90.3 frequency mentioned in the WAMC legal ID. Moulton recalls that the original WRUN-FM actually signed on in 1946, two years before WRUN-AM (very rare in a time when FM radio was not very popular).
That 100,000-watt station would provide Dick Clark's first shot at being an announcer. Moulton says Clark himself "actually told me his father would let him on the FM but not the AM because no one had an FM reciever back then." He adds, "by the way, the AM was a daytimer for about a year because they couldn't get the night pattern to work." That original WRUN-FM would eventually become WKGW-FM, and it's now known today as Big Frog 104 (WFRG-FM).
By contrast, today's WRUN-FM is a Class A signal running 1,200 watts at 204 meters above average terrain. FCC records indicate the tower is located on Crowell Road, a few miles northwest of the Village of Remsen. The 60dBu Contour Map shows WRUN-FM covering most of northeastern Oneida County, along with small portions of Lewis and Herkimer Counties -- though the contour only partially covers the cities of Utica and Rome.
Thanks to Jeff Moulton for tipping us off on this -- if you have news to share, e-mail cnyradio(at)cnyradio.com or use our handy Contact Form.