UTICA-ROME - Townsquare's 950 WIBX has borrowed a page from the playbook of many other news/talk stations on the AM dial, by adding an FM simulcast. Translator W295DI was officially licensed by the FCC as of December 27, allowing listeners to hear WIBX at 106.9 FM.
And yes, 106.9 FM is the same frequency being used "down the road apiece" in Syracuse, to simulcast iHeart's Newsradio 570 WSYR.
But there's no worry about overlap -- according to the FCC database, the new W295DI's signal is only strong enough to cover the City of Utica and the immediate surrounding area. The 60 dBu service contour map doesn't even touch the market's secondary city of Rome, let alone Syracuse.
The move is likely in response to the growing number of new cars where AM radio can be tricky to find, with carmakers devoting preset buttons to FM, satellite and Bluetooth connections. In fact, Tesla and BMW have completely abandoned AM radio on some of their electric models because the cars' motors cause interference with the reception.
In the most-recent ratings report made public by Nielsen (Spring 2021), WIBX garnered a 5.0 share among all Persons 12+, Monday through Sunday between 6am and midnight. That's a notable drop from the 7.2 share the station enjoyed during the Fall 2020 book, when the presidential election dominated news and talk programming.