Infobox Radio Station
name = WDDY

area = Albany, New York and the Capital Region
branding = Radio Disney
slogan =
airdate = June 14, 1924 as WOKO at 1290 kHz
(in New York City)
frequency = 1460 (kHz)
format = Children
power = 5,000 watts
class = B
owner = The Walt Disney Company
licensee = Radio Disney Group, LLC
website = [http://radio.disney.go.com/mystation/Albany/ radio.disney.go.com/mystation/Albany/]
callsign_meaning = W RaDio DisneY

WDDY is an AM radio station licensed to Albany, New York. It broadcasts in rare AM Stereo from facilities located in Delmar, New York, operating with 5000 watts of power on 1460kHz. The station is owned by The Walt Disney Company, and is a full-time affiliate of Radio Disney.


What today is WDDY began its life in 1924 [http://www.ratzer.at/pdf/wwh02_77low.pdf] as WOKO, at 1290 kHz [http://members.aol.com/jeff560/nyam.html] in New York City, moving in 1928 to Mount Beacon, New York in southern Dutchess County and serving Newburgh and Poughkeepsie at 1430 kHz. Billed "The Voice of the Clouds" [http://www.nynjctbotany.org/lgtofc/beacontown.html] for its transmitter site on its namesake mountain, WOKO's signal into the areas it wanted to target was poorer than anticipated and in 1930 the station was sold and moved to Albany, New York becoming the first radio station licensed to that city.

With the move to Albany came an affiliation with CBS whose programming had been previously cleared partially on WGY. The early 1940s saw some key changes as the CBS affiliation went from WOKO to upstart WTRY and the station's frequency changed from 1430 to 1460 in the NARBA frequency shift of 1941. In light of these differences, WOKO evolved into a locally-based format consisting largely of music independent of any network, a rarity in a medium market in that era.

The decline of variety formats on radio in the 1950s led WOKO to find a set format for its programming, settling on country music after finding that the country programs on the station were the station's highest rated programs. WOKO's country format lasted over 20 years but competition from FM rival WGNA led WOKO to change formats to disco music in 1978. Coming into the format right after the peak of the disco fad and having to battle two decades of country heritage, the new format failed and in early 1980 WOKO returned to country. Though initially regaining some audience, the flip of the more powerful WPTR to country later that year wiped away any gains the station had made.

On August 23, 1982, WOKO ended its second attempt at country by flipping to a all-news radio format simulcasting CNN Headline News (then CNN2) most of the day with sports from the Enterprise Radio Network at night. With this flip came new call letters: WWCN. Though low overhead, the new station also retained the low ratings of the previous format and soon added more talk programming. Even with the advantage of a nighttime signal over established talker WQBK, WWCN struggled and folded in early 1987.

The demise of WWCN led to the return of the WOKO calls, this time running an oldies format and converting to C-QUAM AM stereo (only the second station in the market, behind WPTR, to do so). This format was short lived as the next year WOKO was purchased by Barnstable Broadcasting, then owners of WGNA, with the sale closing in early 1989. Barnstable then took WOKO to a WGNA simulcast (minus some special programming and Albany-Colonie Yankees games) under the WGNA calls with the FM becoming WGNA-FM. This arrangement would last for over a decade through several owners.

By the start of the 21st Century, the AM simulcast had become superfluous and after Regent Communications acquired the WGNA stations in 2000, the 1460 frequency was put up for sale. In March 2002, Regent sold the station to ABC Radio which converted it to their Radio Disney format, the only such Disney-owned outlet in Upstate New York. The station operated under the ABC Radio umbrella until the division's sale to Citadel Broadcasting in 2007. The Walt Disney Company retained total ownership of Radio Disney and its stations.


*The Mount Beacon tower site used by WOKO prior to its move is today used by FM station WSPK. Though unforgiving to AM due to the lack of a ground system, Mount Beacon would prove to be ideal for FM as its terrain allows WSPK to be heard in parts of six states.
*Ian Fleming had the main character listening to WOKO in his novel The Spy Who Loved Me
*In 1990, the WOKO call letters resurfaced in Burlington, Vermont at a newly-launched country station at the behest of an employee who wished to honor the prior WOKO. Those calls remain there to this day and the station usually is tops in the Burlington ratings.

External links

* [http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/amq?state=&call=wddy&arn=&city=&freq=530&fre2=1700&type=0&facid=&class=&list=1&dist=&dlat2=&mlat2=&slat2=&NS=N&dlon2=&mlon2=&slon2=&EW=W&size=9 FCC AM Radio Database Query]
* [http://radio.disney.go.com/music/yourstation/albany/index.html WDDY's Website on Radio Disney]


* [http://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/finder?sr=Y&s=C&is_lic=Y&is_unl=Y&is_cp=Y&call=WDDY Radio-Locator: WDDY]

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