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April 20, 2020 9:12 pm  #1


WJJL to become WEBR


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

April 21, 2020 4:52 am  #2


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

I don't really care about the call letter change, as long as they don't flip formats as well.

 

April 21, 2020 8:28 am  #3


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

I haven't heard WJJL for a long time, because they simply don't reach Toronto and are drowned out by the adjacent station on 1430. For years, they didn't even have a website or weren't streaming. They've finally rectified both of those oversights.

WEBR has a storied past in Buffalo and there's even a remarkable Facebook page dedicated entirely to the long defunct station. 

It was the station that carried the original Larry King overnight talk show, via the now long gone Mutual Broadcasting System. It was one of the first overnight syndicated talk shows, a pioneer in some ways, and back in those days, King was a far cry from what he later became. 

I remember WEBR from the 1970s, when they were one of the more obscure Top 40 stations in the city, overshadowed by bigger fish like WKBW and WGR. But though that incarnation of the station was brief, boy, was it great. Talents like Bill Kimble (who, for some reason, always referred to himself on air as "The Bill Kimble") and the fabulous Loren Owens, who did afternoons and was absolutely hilarious. He would later go on to be a huge star in Boston, and I would rush home from school to listen to him. The day he announced he was leaving I was crushed, he was that good.

But as good as some of the jocks were - including Kevin O'Connell, who also worked there for a time - there was also some terrible talent. They had an overnight jock named, if memory serves, "Mansfield Mann," who was definitely the worst announcer I've ever heard in my life. The man mumbled his way through every show and you couldn't understand a word he said, including when he pronounced his name. (That's why, to this day, I'm still not sure if that's his moniker or not.)

WEBR had quite a history in Buffalo. Happy to see the calls resurrected, if they get the go ahead. In these days when call letters are an afterthought at most places, I'm sure few will care. But what a great and important station it was during its tenure in the city. I hadn't thought of it in years, until Dale's post. I'll be curious to see if the change goes through. 

https://scontent.fybz1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/12646997_1039718119419064_8869270725827824820_n.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_sid=2d5d41&_nc_ohc=lNj2VQzOYTIAX-9neil&_nc_ht=scontent.fybz1-1.fna&oh=91ebf9f0c07f934d4cca0949c40be1bb&oe=5EC413EB

 

April 21, 2020 10:26 am  #4


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Sold for
"$60,000 plus a time brokerage agreement before closing." 
https://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/194365/wjjl-niagara-falls-sold 

Actually, I hope the new owner gets rid of all the talk shows and goes with a music format & jocks...similar to what 1220 sounds like. (in it's current test mode)
Knowing that 1440 AM radio won't have to worry about 35-40% Can Con, I'm sure they'll sound great.

Last edited by Radiowiz (April 21, 2020 10:33 am)

 

April 23, 2020 5:08 pm  #5


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Two good WEBR airchecks #68 - a 60 second jingle for WEBR in the "good neighbour city of Buffalo"

#73 - WEBR History doc.
http://www.buffalobroadcasters.com/audio/
 

 

June 19, 2020 3:33 pm  #6


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

WJJL becomes history on July 6th, with the old historic calls taking their place. 

Not sure if the oldies format will be retained, judging by this sentence in a story on Buffalo Broadcasters Assn. 

"The station, currently known as WJJL-AM, will be renamed to WEBR-AM and feature music from and inspired by the Great American Song Book. Local host Tom Darro will remain with the station and continue to host his program, “View Point,” which can be heard weekdays at 9 a.m."

That doesn't sound like oldies to me, more like The Music of Your Life. But we'll see. The new website - not up yet - is WEBR1440.com.

WEBR-AM Returns to Airwaves

https://i2.wp.com/www.buffalobroadcasters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/104480967_164621631727841_288232883916797874_n.jpg?w=576

 

June 19, 2020 5:45 pm  #7


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

October 14, 1960, Joe Rico of WEBR presented Stan Kenton and his Orchestra with Ann Richards and Count Basie's Big Band featuring Joe Williams at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo. I was 19 and lucky to be there.

Last edited by mike marshall (June 19, 2020 9:25 pm)

 

June 20, 2020 12:06 am  #8


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

RadioActive wrote:

WJJL becomes history on July 6th, with the old historic calls taking their place. 

That doesn't sound like oldies to me, more like The Music of Your Life. But we'll see. 


  
 

 

June 20, 2020 4:05 am  #9


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Surprised they are dropping oldies for an even older demo. But maybe there's still some life left in Music of Your Life.


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
     Thread Starter
 

June 20, 2020 7:38 am  #10


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Dale Patterson wrote:

Surprised they are dropping oldies for an even older demo. But maybe there's still some life left in Music of Your Life.

I'm equally surprised there's no mention of AM stereo. 

 

June 20, 2020 8:19 am  #11


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

This sort of strikes me as more of a hobby radio station rather than a real commercial enterprise. I mean their evening power is 55 watts and at 1440, they won't be travelling too far.  As RA mentioned, at least they have the website now. Also they don't take part in the Buffalo ratings.

To me it looks like the format is going to be more of a "Music of Your Life" deal. Don't know who will listen to the station beyond people 70+ and those that enjoy music from the era. I wonder if they are going to keep their ethnic block programming.

A station like this here wouldn't be playing 35% cancon, it would be more like 15% since the music would be heavy instrumental (big band) and mostly from the 30's into the 60's.

 

Last edited by paterson1 (June 20, 2020 8:41 am)

 

June 20, 2020 11:21 am  #12


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Radiowiz wrote:

I'm equally surprised there's no mention of AM stereo. 

I am gobsmacked that somehow this thread didn't tie in some yarn about the Waters family walking on water and turning water into wine. 😏

 

June 20, 2020 3:37 pm  #13


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Tickle Trunk wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

I'm equally surprised there's no mention of AM stereo. 

I am gobsmacked that somehow this thread didn't tie in some yarn about the Waters family walking on water and turning water into wine. 😏

Or Greg Carrasco having a show on the station

 

June 21, 2020 6:46 pm  #14


Re: WJJL to become WEBR



Wish I had listened to this YouTube demo posted earlier in the thread by Radiowiz. The "stinger" they refer to near the beginning is the ending of Stan Kenton's theme song "Artistry In Rhythm."
Wiz, when I finally listened to it, in light of what I'd posted right before it, you could have knocked me over with a feather. 

BTW, if this demo is any indication of what these people are going to play on WEBR, it's almost too hip to be called The Music of Your Life. Their music universe has got some very good bones.
 

Last edited by mike marshall (June 21, 2020 7:12 pm)

 

June 21, 2020 7:06 pm  #15


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Great find, Mike. It also confirms that the oldies are staying - they're just a lot older than many of us remember or might like!

I suppose there's an audience for the Music of Your Life style format in Western New York but I would imagine it's fairly limited overall, as listeners from that era are getting up there in age. I wonder how long they're prepared to stay with it. Should be interesting to see how they do with the demo - which at the end of the video they call "cool adults over 40."

(Love the old "Sound of the City" jingle at the end. I do have to laugh a bit though - WEBR's calls have been missing for decades from Buffalo, but they're coming back - and they're STILL on a terrible frequency!)

 

June 21, 2020 7:17 pm  #16


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

RA, see above.

 

June 21, 2020 7:31 pm  #17


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Thanks Mike. Like you, I missed that video somehow. But I finally had a listen to it.

Meantime, I found a little more on them on their Facebook Page. Among those returning as "personalities" on the station are veteran jazzman Al Wallach and former WGR-TV weathercaster Barry Lillis, who for many years was in the depths of alcoholism until he got sober. I'm not sure he's done any broadcasting in almost a decade. 

The morning show will be co-hosted by Bob Stilson and Gail Ann Huber, who was recently let go from WECK. Stilson used to appear on Sandy Beach's WBEN show doing a movie segment.  

There's another paragraph in the announcement which may raise eyebrows for some. New owner William Yuhnke of Kenmore Broadcasting said, "We are broadcasters, patriots and Christians who love the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region and are dedicated to God, family, freedom and country. Our pledge is to serve our hometown community with reliable, non-biased, fair and balanced news, information and entertainment. We will provide listeners an open mic to express their personal opinions without interruption by a talk show host.” 

Make of that what you will.

WEBR Facebook page

https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/s960x960/105024798_10222832301947123_7706691363165006173_o.jpg?_nc_cat=106&_nc_sid=8024bb&_nc_ohc=Jztt02ntVBwAX9gGnj0&_nc_ht=scontent-lga3-1.xx&_nc_tp=7&oh=be0921dd4288271d121d20e80d7de556&oe=5F15491F

 

 

June 21, 2020 7:46 pm  #18


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Kind of reminds me of what WQEW used to play. I think I'm gonna like this.


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
     Thread Starter
 

June 21, 2020 7:56 pm  #19


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

You'll have to stream it. No way the signal reaches where you are. 

 

June 21, 2020 8:34 pm  #20


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

The demo is ok but judging by the selections they scoped through, I prefer the music with The Lounge on Jewel FM.  They play classic MOR and the standards but also an interesting mix of contemporary artist performances.  Plus being on FM with a huge coverage area on 92.1 gives The Lounge a big advantage. I am sure WEBR will take a page from them and likely end up doing something similar.  I imagine Jewel 92.1 likely has quite a few listeners in Western NY.

Anyway best of luck to WEBR.  

Last edited by paterson1 (June 21, 2020 8:35 pm)

 

June 22, 2020 4:35 am  #21


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

mace wrote:

I don't really care about the call letter change, as long as they don't flip formats as well.

Is somewhat similar to AM 740 but without Magic Windows commercials.    I REALLY like it

 
 

 

June 23, 2020 7:46 pm  #22


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

The Niagara (N.Y.) Gazette has done a story on the call letter and format changes. But it contains this odd claim:

"The station...has operated as WJJL for decades. The station was originally called WEBR when it was formed on Oct. 14, 1924 by engineer Herbert H. Howell." 

That can't be right. Are they claiming WJJL was once known as WEBR? I don't think for a moment that's true. 

About the format:


"WEBR will feature a new music format called "Standards of Excellence," which is inspired by the "Great American Song Book" and will include classic tunes from Hollywood, Broadway and Tin Pan Alley...The change is reflective of contemporary recording artists such as Michael Buble, Diana Krall, Harry Connick and Norah Jones and will offer listeners access to “cool, classy and sophisticated songs.” "

So classic Music of Your Life but not by the original artists who performed those songs. Hmmm.
 
WJJL's future includes nod to the past

 

June 23, 2020 8:50 pm  #23


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

The website is now up and running @  https://webr1440.com/  

 

June 23, 2020 8:51 pm  #24


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

I bet they will be playing both the classic original artists and contemporary performers similar to what Jewel does with The Lounge.  92.1 acknowledges their listeners in Western NY on a few of their station idents so I am sure the "new" WEBR will do something fairly close to The Lounge.  Maybe they will apply for a "translator" at some point to better compete with Jewel's big coverage area? 

 

June 23, 2020 9:20 pm  #25


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Radiowiz wrote:

The website is now up and running @  https://webr1440.com/  

Not much up there yet, but still interesting to see the Photo Gallery section. I suspect many of those pics are placeholders, but there is one that reveals something about the upcoming change. Caricatures of station personalities seems to reveal they'll only be on live from 6 AM - 6 PM. Might mean the rest will be either ethnic programming, automation or else paid programming. 

https://i.imgur.com/jd7x51H.jpg

 

June 23, 2020 9:40 pm  #26


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

paterson1 wrote:

I bet they will be playing both the classic original artists and contemporary performers similar to what Jewel does with The Lounge.  92.1 acknowledges their listeners in Western NY on a few of their station idents so I am sure the "new" WEBR will do something fairly close to The Lounge.  Maybe they will apply for a "translator" at some point to better compete with Jewel's big coverage area? 

I'm curious how CKPC 92.1 has listeners in western NY with WZDV Amherst's 1200-watter on the air for over a year or so now... 

 

June 23, 2020 10:28 pm  #27


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

Saul wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

I bet they will be playing both the classic original artists and contemporary performers similar to what Jewel does with The Lounge.  92.1 acknowledges their listeners in Western NY on a few of their station idents so I am sure the "new" WEBR will do something fairly close to The Lounge.  Maybe they will apply for a "translator" at some point to better compete with Jewel's big coverage area? 

I'm curious how CKPC 92.1 has listeners in western NY with WZDV Amherst's 1200-watter on the air for over a year or so now... 

WZDV would have certainly  picked off most of Jewel's coverage area in Western NY with their new 1200 watt station.  So point taken, I wasn't aware of WZDV, never heard of them. But Jewel and the Lounge would have been well established in the Buffalo area prior to a year ago, so it is possible they still have listeners from the area that listen on line.  And they still do reference listeners in Western NY on air.

 

June 23, 2020 10:50 pm  #28


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

paterson1 wrote:

Saul wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

I bet they will be playing both the classic original artists and contemporary performers similar to what Jewel does with The Lounge.  92.1 acknowledges their listeners in Western NY on a few of their station idents so I am sure the "new" WEBR will do something fairly close to The Lounge.  Maybe they will apply for a "translator" at some point to better compete with Jewel's big coverage area? 

I'm curious how CKPC 92.1 has listeners in western NY with WZDV Amherst's 1200-watter on the air for over a year or so now... 

WZDV would have certainly  picked off most of Jewel's coverage area in Western NY with their new 1200 watt station.  So point taken, I wasn't aware of WZDV, never heard of them. But Jewel and the Lounge would have been well established in the Buffalo area prior to a year ago, so it is possible they still have listeners from the area that listen on line.  And they still do reference listeners in Western NY on air.

I wasn't aiming that at you, per se, but at CKPC. But your point about online for legacy listeners is entirely plausible.
 

 

June 24, 2020 9:21 am  #29


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

There could be some CKPC listeners in the Dunkirk area. It appears to be outside of WZDV's coverage area.

 

June 24, 2020 9:38 am  #30


Re: WJJL to become WEBR

paterson1 wrote:

Maybe they will apply for a "translator" at some point to better compete with Jewel's big coverage area? 

The FCC had only a limited series of application windows for AM stations to apply for new FM translators, and those windows have been closed for two years now.

WJJL didn't ever apply for one, and so they're most likely out of luck now when it comes to getting one. (Not that there are any available frequencies, even if the FCC were still taking applications.) 

As for WZDV, it indeed wipes out useful CKPC-FM reception over a big swath of the Buffalo area now. But it was deliberately designed with a rather directional antenna. It's impressive to hear how well the WZDV pattern protects the Canadian border. You can take a 10-minute drive from the 290/990 interchange in Amherst, almost within sight of the WZDV antenna (it's on WBFO's tower next to the UB north campus) over to the south Grand Island bridge, and by the time you've crossed Grand Island and headed into Niagara Falls NY, WZDV has completely given way to CKPC.