WAMC logo
City of license Albany, New York
Broadcast area

Primary: Albany Capital District of New York; parts of Eastern New York ; Southern Vermont, Western Massachusetts, Upper Northwest Connecticut

Secondary: West-Central Connecticut, southwestern New Hampshire, northwestern New Jersey, northeast Pennsylvania, a small portion of Quebec.[1]
Branding WAMC, Northeast Public Radio
Frequency 90.3 MHz
Repeaters see below
First air date 1958 (Original licensee Albany Medical College)
Format Public Radio
Audience share 4.7 (FALL 2007, RRC[2])
ERP 10,000 watts
HAAT 600 meters (2,000 ft)
Class B
Facility ID 70849
Transmitter coordinates 42°38′14.00″N 73°10′7.00″W / 42.63722°N 73.16861°W / 42.63722; -73.16861
Callsign meaning Albany Medical College
Owner WAMC
Website www.wamc.org

WAMC is a public radio network headquartered in Albany, New York. As of April, 2011, the network comprised 11 transmitters and 11 translators. The organization's legal name is "WAMC" and it is also known as "WAMC Public Radio" or "WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network."

In addition, the station operates The Linda, WAMC Performing Arts Studio, a performance venue in Albany located near its Central Avenue studios.

A member of NPR and affiliate of Public Radio International and American Public Media, WAMC is a charitable, educational, non-commercial broadcaster meeting the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. §501(c)(3))[3] It had total annual revenues for the fiscal year 2009 of $6.49 million.

Its corporate officers include Anne Erickson, chair of the board of trustees and Alan S. Chartock, president & chief executive officer (since 1981).



WAMC started in 1958 as a radio station for the local hospital and medical school, Albany Medical Center and Albany Medical College. Albany Medical Center is a large tertiary-care hospital serving the upper Hudson Valley, and the medical school (with which it is affiliated) is one of the country's ACGME-accredited medical schools. The affiliation with Albany Medical Center was the source of the call letters "WAMC."

The station's 24/7 non-commercial classical musical format served a large listener base and was popular amongs music aficionados. The earliest years also included broadcasts of health information and lectures from visiting professors. Early on, part of WAMC's regular programming was the broadcast of live concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra from Tanglewood and Boston. When the NPR network was founded in 1970, WAMC signed-on as one of NPR's original ninety 'charter' members. Around 1980, financial pressures caused the hospital and medical school to divest the station. In 1981, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license on 90.3FM was transferred to a 501c3 tax-exempt entity, WAMC, which had been set up by a group of five corporators (amongst them the current CEO and president, Alan S. Chartock) affiliated with the State University of New York and New York State government. In the years since the transfer, the station has cut back on most classical music programming (live BSO concerts are still broadcast) while becoming a producer of information-based, non-music programming, providing a variety of interview-format programs to radio stations across the country via the station's in-house subsidiary, National Productions.

Community and corporate contributions (often obtained during regular fund drives) have helped the original single station grow over the years into a network of 22 facilities with large primary service contours covering New York's capital district, western Massachusetts, southern Vermont, and parts of New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New Jersey. WAMC-FM's main transmitter and antenna are atop Mount Greylock in Adams, Mass., the highest mountain in the state, giving the flagship 90.3 MHz signal a large radius for a transmitter of its size.

It has been a custom on WAMC to play two songs to mark the end of every fund drive: Kate Smith's "God Bless America" and Ray Charles' rendition of "America the Beautiful".

Criticism and views

Accusations of bias

NPR's official news policy says its affiliate stations should be "fair, unbiased, accurate, honest, and respectful of the people that are covered." [4]

A Washington-based NPR news producer, who requested anonymity, stated that Alan Chartock, the station's president and a frequently heard voice on the station, presents politically-biased commentary.[5] The producer stated that he was "driving through upstate New York and listening to the local public radio station, and there was this guy on the air ranting."[5] "He was talking about the war in Iraq and how wrong it was and how we’re being held hostage as a country by this right-wing administration." The NPR producer assumed he had tuned into a Pacifica radio station, one of a small network of community radio stations that broadcast left-of-center advocacy-journalism programs. "But then I nearly couldn’t believe it when this guy said, ‘In just a few moments we’ll be returning to NPR’s All Things Considered.’ The NPR producer was listening to a pledge drive hosted by (WAMC CEO) Alan Chartock.[5]

"If you took a photo of me in the car,” says the NPR producer, “my jaw would have been on the floor. It really freaked me out. As a producer, I want NPR to be viewed as middle-of-the-road. I want people to think that NPR is fair. But when someone like Chartock gets on the air, it makes us look like a left-of-center organization, just as we believe Fox cable news is a right-wing organization because they mix commentary with news. And I guarantee you that Joe Listener out there is not making a distinction between the crazy local guy and the reasonable national organization."[5]

Chartock responded that WAMC’s editorial neutrality is maintained by "including as many conservative commentators on the air as liberal ones".[5]

Network expansion

WAMC has grown into a network of eleven stations and eleven translators serving portions of seven New England and Middle Atlantic States, bringing news, information and cultural programming. The station's fund drive in March 2011 raised over $1,000,000 in nine days.


First Amendment Fund

In 2005, WAMC's board of trustees established a "First Amendment Fund" to promote and preserve the First Amendment and the right of free speech by providing a source of funding "to support WAMC if special situations or needs should arise". The contributions in this "unrestricted, board designated" fund reported on WAMC's 2006 IRS Form was $482,577. "WAMC's IRS Form 990 for Fiscal 2006 (page 35)". http://www.wamc.net/WAMC990-2006.pdf. 

Original programming

WAMC produces many programs of its own. These include:

  • The Academic Minute
  • The Best of Our Knowledge
  • The Book Show
  • The Capitol Connection
  • Dancing on the Air (monthly presentation of Live at the Linda)
  • 51%
  • The Health Show
  • Hudson River Sampler
  • The Legislative Gazette
  • Live at the Linda
  • The Media Project
  • Midday Magazine
  • Northeast Report
  • Performance Place
  • The Power of Words
  • The Roundtable
  • Tim Coakley Jazz
  • Vox Pop
  • WAMC Bluegrass Time

Former programs

  • The Environment Show -- name was dropped, format changed, and program morphed into "In Our Backyard," with NYS wildlife expert Ward Stone.
  • Knock on Wood -- with Steve Charney and Harry
  • Me and Mario
  • Music Through The Night -- Midnight to 5 A.M.
  • Rachael's Place
  • Weekly Rundown
  • Zucchini Brothers show

National productions

WAMC also produces programs that are distributed under the name "National Productions". These include:


WAMC also podcasts their original programs.

Technical data

Stations, wattage, service contour maps

Call Sign Frequency Location Effective Radiated Power (ERP) or transmitter power output (T.P.O.) Service contour maps[6][7] Call sign meaning
WAMC 90.3 FM Albany, NY 10.0 kW ERP (10,000 watts) Map see infobox
WAMC 1400 AM Albany, NY 1 kW Unlimited hours (1,000 watts) Map (Day)

Map (Night)

see infobox
WRUN 90.3 FM Remsen, NY 1.2 kW ERP (1,200 watts) Map Rome-Utica News
WAMK 90.9 FM Kingston, NY 0.94 kW ERP (940 watts) Map Kingston
WOSR 91.7 FM Middletown, NY 1.80 kW ERP (1,800 watts) Map unknown
WCEL 91.9 FM Plattsburgh, NY 0.38 kW ERP (380 watts) Map unknown
WCAN 93.3 FM Canajoharie, NY 6.0 kW ERP (6,000 watts) Map CANajoharie
WANC 103.9 FM Ticonderoga, NY 1.55 kW ERP (1,550 watts) Map Adirondack North Country
WAMQ 105.1 FM Great Barrington, MA 0.73 kW ERP (730 watts) Map variation of WAMC
WWES 88.1 FM Mount Kisco, NY 0.20 kW ERP (200 watts) Map
WANZ 90.1 FM Stamford, NY 0.23 kW ERP (230 watts)



Translators of WAMC-FM
Callsign MHz City of license Power
Additional Information
W219AK 91.7 Lake Placid, New York 11 D FCC
W226AC 93.1 Rensselaer, New York 80 D FCC
W246BJ 97.1 Hudson, New York 50 D FCC


Translators of WAMK
Callsign MHz City of license Power
Additional Information
W271BF 102.1 Highland, New York 10 D FCC
W280DJ 103.9 Beacon, New York 10 D FCC
W299AG 107.7 Newburgh, New York 10 D FCC


Translators of WOSR
Callsign MHz City of license Power
Additional Information
W215BG 90.9 Milford, Pennsylvania 10 D FCC
W296BD 107.1 Warwick, New York 10 D FCC
W295AA 106.9 Middletown, New York 27 D FCC
W243BZ 96.5 Ellenville, New York 5.5 D FCC


Translators of WCAN
Callsign MHz City of license Power
Additional Information
W247BM 97.3 Cooperstown, New York 10 D FCC


Translators of Unknown
Callsign MHz City of license Power
Additional Information
W257BL 99.3 Oneonta, New York 250 D FCC

Coverage maps

  1. WAMC's published coverage map showing counties that are covered in whole or in part
  2. Old service contour map - created with the intent of discrediting WAMC's coverage claims, using the map above (an outdated version predating WAMC's most recent network expansions) overlaid with FCC service contour maps (again, predating expansions) for comparison. When viewing this map, the following FCC disclaimer should be taken into consideration: "Often stations may be received at locations well beyond the displayed service contour, depending on the location of other stations on the same or adjacent channels."

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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