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|City||Rochester, New York|
|Broadcast area||Rochester metropolitan area|
|Slogan||Rochester's New Country|
|Frequency||92.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||February 1961 (as 101.3 WBBF-FM)|
HD2: Sports (WROC simulcast)
|HAAT||152 meters (499 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||W BEE (using a bee as the station's mascot)|
|Former callsigns||WBBF-FM (1961–1969)|
|Owner||Entercom Communications |
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBZA, WCMF-FM, WPXY-FM, WROC|
WBEE-FM (92.5 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station in Rochester, New York. It airs a country music radio format and is owned by Entercom Communications, after being acquired from Sinclair Broadcasting in 1999. The station's studios are located in downtown Rochester at Entercom's High Falls Studios, while its transmitter tower is off Five Mile Line Road in Penfield.
The station is usually #1 or #2 in listenership in the Rochester radio market according to Nielsen Audio. The station broadcasts in HD and airs the all-sports format from co-owned AM 950 WROC on its HD-2 channel.
The 92.5 MHz dial position in Rochester was first occupied in 1960 by WVOR, owned by the Functional Broadcasting Company. But within a couple of years, that station moved to 100.5 (home today to WDVI). In 1965, classical music station WBBF-FM moved to the unoccupied 92.5 frequency. WBBF-FM had already been established in 1961 at 101.3 as the sister station to popular AM outlet WBBF. The call letters were changed to WBFB in 1969.
In 1975, NBC Radio started a 24-hour all-news radio network called NIS (News and Information Service), with WBFB switching to join the NIS Network, becoming WNWZ. However, the network was not profitable, and NBC announced it would be shut down at the end of 1976.
At the same time, the soft rock format had been catching on around the country, heard on stations such as WMGK in Philadelphia and WMJC in Detroit. LIN Broadcasting, which owned WNWZ at the time, decided to put a soft rock format on 92.5, calling the station WMJQ, as well as their branding "Magic 92". These stations played many of the same artists as were heard on album rock stations, but only their softer works. Over time, WMJQ moved to a more mainstream album rock sound, putting it in competition with Rochester's leading rock station WCMF, eventually WMJQ was renamed as "Rockradio 92MJQ".
By early 1983, WMJQ had shifted to more of a modern rock sound, though continuing to play a lot of mainstream album rock artists, and used the slogan "Rock of The Eighties." The modern rock format had proved to be quite successful on KROQ in Los Angeles and other stations around the country. But in the late summer of 1983, LIN Broadcasting decided to make a switch. Co-owned WBBF had given up its Top 40/CHR format for news-talk the previous year, as many AM stations were doing at the time. WMJQ switched to a Top 40/CHR format in early September 1983, under their new nickname as "Hitradio Q92". (The Rochester market now had three FM Top 40/CHR/stations (WPXY had adopted a Top 40/CHR format the previous year, and WHFM 98.9FM had been Top 40/CHR leader since the late 1960's)). Even after WHFM changed format in early 1985, WMJQ was in a difficult competitive position against format ratings-leader WPXY.
On April 2, 1987, WMJQ flipped to another format that was quickly becoming popular among FM radio stations at the time and began broadcasting country music as WBEE-FM. (The WMJQ call sign was then immediately acquired by what is now WTSS in Buffalo, who held the sign for the next decade.) It used the FM suffix to its call letters because there was already an AM station, WBEE in Harvey, Illinois near Chicago, now known as WBGX.
The award-winning morning show, The BEE Morning Coffee Club is hosted by Jeremy Newman, Steve Hausmann, and TJ Sharp. The show had been hosted by Bill Coffee from the show's inception until his death in 2005.
The midday shift is hosted by longtime morning show co-host Terry Clifford, who moved into middays in August 2015. Billy Kidd hosts afternoon drive time and Justine Paige hosts the evening shift weeknights from 7pm-midnight. Up until the departure of long time overnight host Dave Beck, the station had live talent 24 hours a day on weekdays. Overnights and some weekend hours are now automated. Weekends feature Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 and CMT Country Countdown USA.
A long running feature on WBEE is its Guitars and Stars concert which was held at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, New York, and now takes place at Finger Lakes Gaming and Race Track in Farmington, New York. It features up and coming country music stars in an acoustic setting to benefit the Ronald McDonald House charity.
In the past the station also hosted "Random Acts of Country" where an up-and-coming country music star would show up and play without prior public notice at a local bar or restaurant in the Rochester area. The Bee Morning Coffee Club and Terry Clifford in particular were frequent targets on The Opie and Anthony Show during their Jocktober month.
- WBEE-FM official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WBEE
- Radio-Locator information on WBEE
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WBEE
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