UTICA/ROME -- If the FCC approves (and we can't see why they wouldn't), it looks like WRUN-FM will soon officially drop the -FM suffix from its call sign. The station at 90.3FM, licensed to Remsen, simulcasts "Northeast Public Radio" from WAMC in Albany.
Per FCC regulations, AM stations never use a suffix in their legal ID. Stations of other services -- like FM and TV -- must use a suffix if there is any other station already using the same call letters, but the suffix becomes optional if the call letters are not in use elsewhere.
Adding or deleting a suffix is a minor change that many stations don't bother to make. But we surmise that WAMC may be looking to remove the two letters in an effort to shave even a fraction of a second from what's evolved into a relatively lengthy legal ID, considering the number of stations simulcasting WAMC's programming. Stations are required to run their legal ID every hour, as close to the top of the hour as possible.
You can listen to clips of the WAMC legal ID, which includes WRUN, on tophour.com.
When Northeast Public Radio first entered the Utica-Rome market in 2005, it did so by purchasing WRUN(AM) 1150. But in 2008, it launched the new WRUN-FM, and eventually sold the AM station. As part of the sale in 2009, the new owner changed WRUN to WUTI. Since there's no longer any other station using the WRUN call letters, WRUN-FM can apply for (and will likely receive) permission to ditch the -FM suffix.
The application to change WRUN-FM to WRUN was included in the FCC's monthly list of call sign actions, which was released today.