UTICA-ROME -- It's the latest volley in what might possibly be a brewing "sports talk radio war" in the Mohawk Valley. The ESPN Radio Utica-Rome AM trimulcast (WTLB/WIXT/WRNY) has finally made its long-awaited expansion to the FM side of the dial.
CNYRadio.com readers in the Utica-Rome market wrote to tell us the 99.1FM signal is now simulcasting ESPN Radio, as of today. For the past several weeks, the 99.1FM signal had been simulcasting another Galaxy station.
The addition of 99.1 FM for the ESPN stations, owned by Syracuse-based Galaxy Communications, is hardly anything new -- Galaxy first announced plans to buy the translator (W256AJ) back in March, for $40,000. Over the summer, the FCC approved a proposal to move the transmitter from the Hotel Utica to a much higher location on Smith Hill, home to the market's major television stations and many of the market's radio transmitters.
From the new location, at a significantly higher elevation, the 99.1 signal covers more territory than it did under the previous ownership.
Although Galaxy was first to announce plans to bring sports radio to the FM dial, former TV executives Tom Coyne and Frank Abbadessa claimed bragging rights as being the first to bring sports talk to the FM dial in the market, with last month's debut of 95.5 WUSP, using translator W238CA to simulcast AM stations 1550 WUSP and 1480 WRCK.