Upstate New York NPR Station Goes Dark

88.5 WUOW Oneonta Milford SUNY 91.3 104.7 Gary WickhamSUNY Oneonta Public Radio’s 88.5 WUOW Milford, NY/91.3 W217BY Oneonta has ceased broadcasting.

WUOW began as an LPFM on 104.7 in 2007 before moving to the Class A 88.5 signal in 2012. The 91.3 translator was acquired in March 2012 for $12,500 to improve coverage in Oneonta proper. The station featured a mix of local music and talk programming along with national programming such as The World Cafe, Undercurrents, and Democracy Now. SUNY Oneonta will continue to operate student run “Red Dragon Radio” 90.9 WONY Oneonta.

While no reasons for the shutdown were given, Northeast Radio Watch’s Scott Fybush reports that the station was not self-sustaining with not enough underwriting revenue to fund the station.

Station Manager Gary Wickham posted the following message on the station’s Facebook page:

To our radio family;

With sadness, I must announce the end of WUOW, SUNY Oneonta Public Radio this Thursday (05/09) morning at 10am.

During the past 7 years we have strived to bring diverse music and programming to the area and the community response has been very positive. To say the least, we’ve made a lot of friends.

The idea behind this experiment was not just to provide the area with diverse content, but also to be a connection to the community. The station featured a lot of local voices in music such as Drew DuFour, Jill Carey, Esther Grace Ellis, and the Horseshoe Playboys. The local voices also came in segments of “Alan Donovan’s Kitchen Table Conversations” . These classic pieces of oral history will be archived by our friends at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society.

While WUOW may be going away, you can still find great community radio at WIOX in nearby Roxbury and WCDO in Sidney. On line versions of such progressive stations as WXPN, WEXT, WUMB and WFUV are available as well.

There are a lot of people to thank as we leave the air, and I’ll never remember them all. Carol Blazina and Alan Donovan were there at the beginning. State Senator Jim Seward stepped up to help. Brian Levis, Rebecca Hoey and Mark Simonson were large pieces of this as well . Dr. Nancy Kleniewski hosted a show spotlighting not for profits. The voice you hear on the Station ID’s is local favorite Doug Decker. We had great contributions in Jazz programming from our buddy Jake Longwell, local and regional music from the Late Terry Doyle, and of course our long time friend, Mark Drnek and the “Blue Light Central”. Visits from area authors on “Jill Carey’s Telling Tales” and the list goes on.

Please Join President Emeritus Alan Donovan at 8:50am Thursday morning. We’ll talk about some of the guests on “Kitchen Table Conversations” and the folks that brought this to you over the past 7 years. At 10 AM, it all comes to an end.

To our wonderful radio family I wish you good health and good times and as always, thanks for listening.

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1 Comment
  1. MattParker says

    Although technically an “NPR member station,” they did not carry the programming most people think of when they hear “NPR.” Northeast Public Radio and WSKG/WSQX do have sticks covering the same territory and they do carry programming most associated with the NPR brand. WUOW with a hodge-podge of left-overs, alternative music and public access type local shows was odd man out. This is one more example that block programming, or the so-called “tent pole” format no longer works well for public radio and public radio stations need consistent formats.

    Public radio is now dominated by the news and information format. Some classical and jazz stations can still get by but alternative (or world music) stations struggle.

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