WSYR AM &  FM Radio Timeline Page

In The Beginning...

    In 1922 few people saw the possibilities of radio in Syracuse, but Mr. J. E. Page was interested and set up a small transmitter that was to be the original WSYR. On November 24,1923 the license was transferred to Clive B. Meredith, who established studios at his home in Cazenovia, New York. The next three years were witness to great improvement in broadcasting technology. In November 1926 the new WSYR studios were installed in the Hotel Syracuse.


The WSYR Executive Personnel

Phil Hoffman...General Manager Dan Dwyer...Sales Representative


Alan Beckwith...Sales Representative, graduated from Syracuse University. His brother was the youngest Amateur Radio Operator in Central New York.


Clara Bristol...Receptionist, joined WSYR in 1937. She studied voice at Union Academy at Syracuse University. Julia Merrick...Receptionist, worked at the Telephone Company until she joined WSYR in 1938. Thyrza Fullerton...Receptionist, came from North Dakota. 


The WSYR Announcers

   Fred Jeske...known as 'The Timekeeper', Fred worked as an announcer and production director from Chicago to Milwaukee to Des Moines to Atlanta to WSYR.

   Bill Rothrum...Chief Announcer, was the most popular Syracuse radio talent in the 1930's. Bill was the announcer on "The Lone Ranger" in 1939.


  Alan Parker, was born in Greece and graduated from Rensslaer Polytechnic Institute. Al started in radio at WGY. In 1937 he came to WSYR.

   Jan Costley, first radio singing job was with  CFLC, Prescott,Ontario then came to WSYR.


   Frank Stuhlman, was a co-captain of the Syracuse University Varsity Crew. He started at WSYR on June 19, 1939.

Florence Cummings... Traffic Manager and Secretary, joined WSYR in 1929.


   Nick Stemmler...Sports Reporter, started at WSYR in 1929. Nick broadcast baseball games and live sports events.

    Ruth Chilton...Women's Features, In March of 1939 Ruth completed 14 years on the air as a singer, dramatist, writer and commentator. She was awarded four scholarships at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.


WSYR Program Features

Local NBC Dance Program
WSYR relays the speeches at the 1939 Syracuse University Commencement

"Uncle Bill Reads The Funnies"


Hon. James Farley, US Postmaster General and Mrs. F.D. Roosevelt speak over WSYR at the annual banquet of the Onondaga County Democratic Committee at Onondaga Hotel.

Hon. Herbert H. Lehman, Governor of New York, is heard over WSYR from the Empire Court during The New York State Fair.


The WSYR Engineering Department

     WSYR operated on 570 kilocycles with a power of 1,000 watts from it's transmitter located on Valley Drive. WSYR had 9 engineers through the 1940's. A.G. Belle Isle, Chief Engineer, Through his own Amateur Radio Station, W8CNJ, he became interested in commercial radio in the mid 1920's.

A.G. Belle Isle, Chief Engineer


AM Transmitter Building...Valley Drive


Interior of Transmitter Building. Bob Murphy on duty.


Master Control Room


Albert Eicholzer, Control Engineer, joined WSYR in 1929 and was once a farmer. J.R. Blaich, Control Engineer, joined the US Navy in 1917 as a radio operator. In 1921 he turned to selling and manufacturing radios, and came to WSYR in 1930.


WSYR's Mobile Short-Wave Radio Car



Syracuse Herald-American Newspaper Radio Program Guide

for Sunday November 11, 1934

Only 2 Syracuse AM Stations on the air - 570 WSYR & 1390 WFBL

( Click newspaper )


The 1940's & 1950's

    The Central New York Broadcasting Corporation, owned by Harry C. Wilder, President, applied for a construction permit in 1940 to build and operate a new FM broadcast station in Syracuse on 46.3 megacycles. The call letters were W63SY. In October 1941, W63SY was granted a modification to change it's transmitter location from Sentinel Heights Road in the town of Onondaga to Pompey Hills, Pompey, New York. Due to the war, construction had not yet begun until early 1942. In that year, it was decided to abandon the W63SY permit which the FCC cancelled.

   Harry Wilder applied for a Conditional Grant on January 9, 1946 for a new FM broadcast station on 93.5 megacycles with a power of 7 kilowatts. A 750 foot tower and antenna system was constructed and a new General Electric FM transmitter installed in the new building atop the Sentinel Heights location.

Syracuse FM stations on the air in 1947..

93.1 WFBL-FM
94.5 WSYR-FM
98.5 WAGE-FM
102.5 WNDR-FM

In 1946, Fred Hillegas joined WSYR radio, where he served as the station's entire news staff. Later, with a full news staff, Fred became news director of both radio and the new WSYR-TV.

Fred Hillegas 1950's TV Logo

     In July 1946, WSYR-FM began a full time schedule of a simulcast of WSYR-AM. The studios were located on the 7th floor of the Syracuse Kemper Building at 224 Harrison Street. E.R. Vadenboncoeur was Vice President of the first new FM station in Syracuse.

E.R. Vadenboncoeur

   The FCC granted it's first 'Class B" license in November 1946. WSYR-FM changed frequencies from 93.5 to 94.5 megacycles and a power increase to 9 kilowatts on June 12, 1946. Power was increased to 10 kilowatts in July 1950 when a new 4-bay GE antenna was installed at Sentinel Heights. In 1952, Wilder retired and Vadenboncoeur became President and General Manager of WSYR-FM. It continued to simulcast the WSYR program schedule. William V. Rothrum was promoted to Vice President and General Manager in 1959. Also that year, the FCC granted WSYR-FM a construction permit to increase power to 100 kilowatts. New studios and offices were opened at 1030 James Street on September 29, 1959. The broadcast center housed WSYR and WSYR-TV channel 3.

Timekeeper Fred Jeske Ad...1943


The 1960's

   On July 7,1960,WSYR-FM's licensee name was changed to the Newhouse Broadcasting Corporation. The station began fulltime separate programming in 1960 when it's power increased to 100 kilowatts. In 1961, the FM station began multiplex stereo operation and joined the "QXR Network" for syndicated "Classical Music". By mid 1964, WSYR-FM operated from 8 a.m. until 12 midnight with a "Good Music" format.

The 1963 WSYR & WSYR-FM Airstaff..


The 1970's-1990's

Start The Cart!  AM 570 WSYR 1979-85 Air Composite
  Don Dauer to Ed Murphy 5-16-79
  Denny Sullivan 4-5-79
  Larry Martin 4-30-80
  Rick Gary 2-15-84
  Don Dauer 7-19-84
  Denny Alexander 12-29-85

   WSYR AM continued with it's very successful Middle of the Road format thru the 1970's with well known announcers like morning sign-on Don Dauer and morning man, Timekeeper Ed Murphy. The morning show pulled in a 33 share and lasted almost 20 years, the highest ratings of any Syracuse station.

   David Shurtleff joined the WSYR stations as their new Vice President and General Manager in early 1972. In 1976,the station's duplicated hours were reduced to 25 percent. By 1977, WSYR-FM aired an Easy Rock format from it's new Harris System 90 automation system. Hugh Barr joined WSYR in November 1978 and was promoted to General Manager in 1980. A fulltime "AOR" music format began in 1980 when WSYR-FM dropped 25 percent duplication of the WSYR-NBC program schedule. The new format slogan was now "94 Rock". Studios moved from 1030 James Street to 2 Clinton Square in 1981. In September of 1982, WSYR AM and FM were sold for 5.1 million dollars to Katz Communications of Syracuse.

The 94 Rock Airstaff (1980)

     Pictured from left to right are: 'Big Mike' (mornings), Louise DiPace (overnights), Tommy Nast (MD/nights), Andy Albert (weekend/swing), Howie Castle (PD/afternoons), Michelle Michaels (middays), and the late Dick DeLine (news/morning co-host).


   On January 10,1983, programming switched to the "Superstars" adult contemporary music format.

    Bob Mitchell's career began at AM 1490 WOLF in the late 1960's. Bob is seen hosting The WYYY  Saturday Night Oldies Party back in 1986.

 After 4 decades,the call letters changed from WSYR-FM to WYYY-FM. In November 1983,Katz Communications sold WSYR-WYYY to NewCity Communications Inc. in a 68.3 million dollar buyout on August 11,1986. The WYYY studios moved to a refurbished old factory building, named "Bridgewater Place" in early 1990. 


    WSYR AM is still a News Talk format. Joe Galuski continues the morning tradition, just as Don Dauer, Ed Murphy, Elliot Gove and Fred Jeske did for eight decades. WSYR's weekly schedule includes syndicated talk and financial shows. WYYY continues it's adult contemporary format since 1983.The offices and studios are shared at 500 Plum Street.

Joe Galuski

WSYR-AM-FM-TV & WYYY promotions...

1988 Don Dauer Calendar






Transmitter Site Photos - Taken June 5, 2005

WYYY 94.5    VHF-UHF Repeaters
WTVH Ch. 5 & FM 107.9

Taken June 5, 2005

WYYY 94.5 FM Antenna  450 Feet Older WYYY FM 94.5 tower/antenna  and New 1200' WSTM Ch. 3 communication tower


WSTM Ch. 3 Transmitter Building (6-2005)





FM 107.9 & WTVH Ch. 5 Site- Taken at WSTM Site



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