Alt 95.9 Launches In Ithaca

Alt 95.9 IthacaAfter stunting as “X-A Radio” with X Ambassadors music all weekend, Saga Communications launched Alternative “Alt 95.9” W240CB/WQNY-HD3 Ithaca NY at 5pm today.

Brand Manager Mike Kerr states that the station will also try to associate the station with cuisine stating, “Our Alt 95.9 will be very popular with millennials. Two of their favorite activities are listening to music…followed closely by enjoying cooking and food. Our plan is to do some very creative associations of “food” with “audio”. Alt 95.9 is the first radio station to put these two drivers together.”

The new format creates a competitor to Cornell Media Guild’s 93.5 WVBR.

Cayuga Radio has launched a brand-new station into the Ithaca market, “Alt 95.9”.

“We are very excited to bring this station to Ithaca,” said Mike “McCabe” Kerr, Brand Manager at Cayuga Radio Group, “This is an excellent market for alternative music. It fits the dynamic collegiate environment we are located in, and the format has a deep history here.”

Kerr added, “Our Alt 95.9 will be very popular with millennials. Two of their favorite activities are listening to music…followed closely by enjoying cooking and food. Our plan is to do some very creative associations of “food” with “audio”. Alt 95.9 is the first radio station to put these two drivers together.”

“Our initial response from advertisers and listeners when we tested the branding was outstanding. We did a sift to potential key advertising investors and they jumped aboard immediately,” added Osadchey. “Descriptive phrasing sells more at restaurants. In their menus, their advertising, and at point of sale through servers. Our descriptive phrasing will also make radio spark the senses. Our touch points in personality, imaging, promotion are all connected to our music.”

The radio station stunted with Ithaca’s based band the X-Ambassadors for almost a week until making the final flip to Alt 95.9.

Original Report 8/30: Saga Communications has moved the FM simulcast of News/Talk 870 WHCU Ithaca NY to 97.7 W249DW Ithaca clearing the way to launch a new format on 95.9 W240CB.

That process began at 5pm today as W240CB/WQNY-HD3 has begun stunting as “X-A Radio” playing the Ithaca based Alternative band X Ambassadors around the clock. We marked a domain registered back in June that hints at that format as well.

There’s a new station on your FM dial, but it really grew up with Ithaca.

95.9FM is the dial position for the new XA Radio. “We wanted to put a radio station on that celebrates the biggest band to ever come out of Ithaca,” Said Mike Kerr, Brand Manager for the new station. “X-A” stands for “X-Ambassadors” one of the most popular bands in America today. “Their roots are here, and their biggest fan base is here too”. Said Jake Davis, Promotions and Marketing Director.

“95.9 is a metro signal, so it needs to be a programmed format that is popular with the Ithaca audience. It just makes sense to make it about a band like the X Ambassadors”. “We think people will love the station…because they love the band.

3 Comments
  1. atthestars says


    This is insane.

    Including translators, Saga has (if my count is correct), 13 FM signals in the market. With a new format on 95.9, they still have 5 open FM frequencies to drop any format on to battle whomever they want.

    Yeah, they have 4 full-power FMs, but in a market like Ithaca, with the translator signals covering the city proper, they have pretty much a monopoly. So it’s technically legal, but c’mon.

    1. atthestars says


      Make that 3 open frequencies (94.9, 100.3, and 103.3). Hard to keep track of all of their stations.

      1. Lance Venta says


        Those three are needed to fill in coverage gaps for the full powered signals in Ithaca proper due to the terrain of the area, which was the original purpose of translators.

        And yes, Ithaca is a perfect example of how other markets will be should more deregulation pass. Only 93.5 WVBR and 1160/107.1 WPIE prevent Saga from having a full monopoly on commercial signals in the market.

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