WNDR Syracuse Tribute


The WNDR Syracuse Tribute Page

     Originally named as “The Wonder Station”, WNDR began broadcasting in Syracuse, New York on a frequency of 1260 kilocycles in the month of August 1946. The studio and transmitter were located on Andrews Road in DeWitt, N.Y. WNDR was the fourth Syracuse AM radio station on the air.

    WFBL AM 1390 in 1922 was the first Syracuse radio station on the air in 1924 and WSYR-WMAC AM 570 second in 1924. WOLF AM 1490 began broadcasting in 1940, WAGE AM 620 in 1941, WQSR AM 1320, WSOQ AM 1220 and WPAW AM 1540 on the air by the early 1950’s. In 1959 WSEN AM 1050 went on the air with a country music format. WSEN radio was the first station north of the Mason-Dixon Line to plat country music. WNDR was one of the 300 affiliates to join The Mutual Broadcasting System network in 1946.


WNDR, Onondaga Radio Broadcasting Corp.

FCC Construction Permit, September 16, 1946..

October, 1946..

WNDR approved call, October 1946..

WNDR-FM 102.5 megacycle FCC Grant, October 2, 1946..

WNDR First Staff Christmas Party 1946






January 20, 1947..

January 20, 1947..

1947 WNDR QSL Verifications..

March 24, 1947..

Late 1940’s..

August 1948..

March 1949..

October 1947..

February 1948..

October 1949..


The 1950’s..

April 1950..

April 1950..


July 1950..

November 1950..

February 1951..

August 1951..

December 1952..

August 1953..

February 1953..

April 1953..

November 1953..

November 1954..

November 1954..

December 1954..


WNDR Department Heads


Arthur C. Kyle Jr., General Manager           N.L. Kidd, Vice President/Treasurer

Melvyn M. Silvieus, Commercial Manager

On Air Personalities


Bob Ehle / Bill Quinn


         Dan Leonard  /  Jim Cosgrove “All Night Show”


Fred Jeske, The WNDR Timekeeper  /  Glenn Williams


Jerry Hoffman /  Jim McKechnie

     Jim McKechnie was famous sports announcer for the Syracuse Nationals basketball franchise in 1953. The National road games were broadcast by tickertape, which was sent from the visitor’s court to the WNDR studios over a phone line. The National’s were sold and moved to Philadelphia in 1963,  McKechnie stayed on at WNDR. Jim branched out and started his own radio station in 1959, WJMK AM 1220 North Syracuse, New York and later became WSOQ.

1260 WNDR 1955 Coverage Map

September 1955..

February 20, 1959..

September 1956..

September 1957..

January 1958..

June 1958..

July 20, 1959..

November 1959..

December 21, 1959..

AM 1320 WQSR Solvay was on the air in the Syracuse area from 1959-1964.

April 1959..

   These great WNDR personalities combine to make WNDR Syracuse’s most colorful station. In the sample “Hooper-rating” above, Glenn Williams and Fred Jeske combine to put WNDR in a tie for first place (third column is WNDR) for largest share of audience at the morning’s most important time.

    Syracuse Nationals – (top row, left to right) Red Rocha, Jim Tucker, John Kerr, Earl Lloyd, Dolph Schayes;  (bottom row, left to right) Capt. Paul Seymour, Bill Kenville, Wally Osterkorn, Dick Farley, George King, Coach Al Cervi. Audience survey show that more people listen to WNDR’s broadcast of the “Nats” Basketball Games than any other radio show in Syracuse.

WNDR Behind The Scenes


Francis Patterson, Receptionist  /  “Mickey” Lansley, Traffic Manager

WNDR Engineers


John Rathbun, Chief Engineer / Fred Schamu, Engineer

WNDR Programs

Wayne Schramm (third from left) and his Ozark Mountain Boys


Left to Right, Jack Bailey “Queen For A Day” / Gabriel Heatter / Fulton Lewis, Jr.

Aldo Ray visits WNDR 1955..

December 1958..

Peter C. Cavanaugh in 1959


The 1960’s..

May 1960..

August 1960..

December 1960..


vumeter WNDR Dan Leonard, September 28, 1961 (30:04)

vumeter WNDR Gary Vann, September 28, 1961 (29:54)



WNDR 1960’s Music Surveys. The WNDR ‘Tunedex’ music survey premiered in 1960. It became ‘The Sing-a-Long Survey’ in 1966.

In 1961 Joey Reynolds worked at WNDR then moved on to WKBW Buffalo..

WOLF Syracuse ad.. 1961

March 1961..

October 1961..

July 1961..

December 1961..

August 1962..

October 1962..



April 1963..

July 1963..

March 1964..

WNDR’s Bud Ballou took over WNYS-TV9’s version of American Bandstand-1965..

WNDR’s Newsman Claude “Red” Parton joined WNYS TV 9 in 1965..

March 1967..

October 1967..

January 1968..

October 1968..

December 1968..

March 1969..


Dan Leonard and Jolly Rolly Fowler

WNDR Lighters..


WNDR Lighter    

WNDR Presents The Beatles Premiere Film “A Hard Days Night” at the North Drive-In Theatre, US Route 11, Cicero, NY.. August 12, 1964



Billboard Article, December 1966, WSEN FM 92.1 / AM 1050..

Syracuse Radio Station Market Info.. 1966

Classic 1968 WNDR Jocks Mug..

Jim O’Brien, Fran McGrath, Don Bombard, George Plavokis & Mike Andrews




 WNDR Bobby Ryan, August 1968 (29:46)

 WNDR Howie Castle, August 29,1968 (7:50)






vumeter WNDR Dandy Dan Leonard to Jack McNamee, November 21, 1969 (17:23)



WNDR Studios and Transmitter Site 1969


December 20, 1969..



  The 1970’s  

vumeter WNDR 1968-1971 Air Composite: Howie Castle, Dandy Dan Leonard, Happy Jack Jack McNamee, Mack & Maude, Big George Plavokos & Don Bombard (39:04)

vumeter WNDR Dave Laird’s Last Show, October 1970 (8:36)

vumeter WNDR Don Bayley, November 1970 (7:39)


Thanks to former WNDR Employee Don Bayley for his Aircheck Contributions


January 1970..

Billboard Magazine November 21, 1970..

December 5, 1970..


vumeter WNDR Don Bombard Saturday Night of Gold, 1971 (16:11)

vumeter WNDR Don Bayley, May 15, 1971 (26:51)

vumeter WNDR George Plavocos to Dan Leonard, March 15, 1971 (11:03)

vumeter WNDR Don Bombard Saturday Night of Gold & Production Tape; WNDR & American Top 40 Promos, Jingles, E.B.S. Test, etc.. 1971 (13:59)


Thanks to Don Bayley for his Aircheck Contributions


March 1971..

     1260 WNDR was part of the growing American Top 40 family. WFBL will be next to carry AT 40 in 1973. A year later, 104.7 WKFM.

WNDR Sponsors the Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie Concert at The Syracuse War Memorial.. August 20, 1970

November 1971

WNDR Don Bombard added to Top 50 Air Check LP





November 1973..

December 1973..

January 1975..

June 1975..

Fall 1975, Syracuse ARB..

August 1975..

August 1975..

1975 Air Personalities..


December 1976..

August 1977, Syracuse ARB..

September 1978..

June 1979..

November 1979..

WNDR 1978 Control Room

The 1980’s – 2017

    In the 1980′ WNDR ‘Musicradio’ was a solid gold oldies format. In 1989, the calls were changed to WNSS and the changed to an all news format “W-News”. In 1995, the WNDR call letters were assigned to FM 103.9 MHz in Mexico,N.Y., then changed to WVOQ in 1998. Currently, WNDR-LP, (W18AL), is a low power television station in the Syracuse area. AM 1260 WSKO is currently (2017) an E.S.P.N. Sports Affiliate.

WNSS News Radio 1996..

   In the mid 1960’s WNDR became Central New York’s number one pop music station until WOLF changed format from country music to top 40 in 1969 as they both competed for a 18-34 year old audience. Three decades of WNDR Air Personalities..

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