WGXC-90.7 FM

Another Gen X station opens in Albany

Jan 04, 2011 9:55 am
Want a sense of how new radio is talked about in the business community, instead of the way we talk of business here on community radio? Check out this piece from the Albany Business Journal on "the Albany area’s newest radio station" which made its debut at 12:01 a.m. on Monday morning, January 3 as
WQSH “The Crush” at 105.7 FM, complete with a “Gen X format" that general manager Robert Ausfeld described as “grunge, hip-hop, hair bands, boy bands and everything in between" designed to appeal to women between the ages of 25 and 39. WGXC-FM, your new "Hands-On" Community Radio Station for Columbia and Greene counties, plus some of the Albany area as well, will be going on the air at 90.7 on the FM band later this month and can be heard in test broadcasts on this website until then. Stay tuned!

Owner Townsquare Media also hired Michael Morgan, the longtime morning man and program director for Top 40 station WFLY, 92.3 FM in Albany, as program director for WQSH. Morgan most recently was with Adirondack Broadcasting, the Glens Falls unit of Latham-based Pamal Broadcasting. Pamal owns WFLY through its Albany Broadcasting unit.

The Crush takes the place of WBZZ “The Buzz,” the hot contemporary station that occupied 105.7 FM since September 2007. Regent Communications, the predecessor to Townsquare, had just purchased the 25,000-watt station from Vox Radio Group for $5 million.

The Buzz never lived up to Ausfeld’s expectations. In the summer survey by Arbitron Inc. of New York City, the most recent book available, the station had 2 percent of the overall audience in the Albany-Troy-Schenectady market, compared to 6.8 percent for adult contemporary rival WYJB, 95.5 FM. BIA Advisory Services, a Chantilly, Va.-based media research firm, estimated WBZZ’s 2009 revenue at $500,000.

The Buzz actually signed off on Nov. 1, when 105.7 began playing 24-hour Christmas music as “Santa 105.7.” The holiday format continued though Jan. 2.

Ausfeld said TownSquare did “heavy research” in the fall, using an outside firm to ask area listeners about their taste in music, their feelings about other stations, and what they thought was missing in the market, before developing The Crush format. Artists will include Mariah Carey, The Cure, Matchbox Twenty, U-2, Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“We don’t have the luxury of not getting it right this time,” Ausfeld said.

He said Townsquare will introduce The Crush with a month of uninterrupted music, a total of 10,000 songs, and heavy promotion to include billboards and television commercials. At 25,000 watts, the signal reaches from Lake George to the Catskills, and from western Massachusetts to Herkimer County.

Townsquare, which is based in Greenwich, Conn., also owns four other Albany-area radio stations: country powerhouse WGNA, 107.7 FM; sports radio WTMM, 104.5 FM; and the rock simulcast of WQBK, 103.9 FM and WQBJ, 103.5 FM.

Read more: New radio station WQSH debuts | The Business Review