WFLY (FLY 92.3) is a Top 40/CHR station licensed to Troy, New York and serving New York's Capital District as well as the surrounding areas, including the Adirondacks. The station is owned by Pamal Broadcasting and is considered their flagship station. The studios are located at 6 Johnson Road in Latham, while their transmitter is located on the Helderberg Escarpment antenna farm in New Scotland. WFLY is the oldest FM radio call sign currently in use in the Albany market, as it has been in use since 1948.
|City||Troy, New York|
|Broadcast area||Capital District|
|Slogan||Albany's #1 Hit Music Station|
|Owner||Pamal Broadcasting |
(6 Johnson Road Licenses, Inc.)
|WAJZ, WKLI-FM, WROW, WYJB, WINU|
First air date
|August 18, 1948|
Call sign meaning
|W Frank Loyd York (station founder)|
WFLY signed on in 1948 as the radio station of The Troy Times Record newspaper, published by Frank Loyd York. The station was originally experimental and intended to use an FM signal to broadcast a radio-facsimile image of that day's paper to subscribers with the equipment to receive it. The station was programmed with classical music, news and local interest programs. Upon sign on, it had an Effective Radiated Power of 5.4 kW. Beginning in 1949, it was a member of the Rural Radio Network, receiving network programming via an over the air relay of WVCV in Cherry Valley. The Rural Radio Network dropped most of its farm content and switched to mostly classical music, which was originated at WQXR in New York City. This was received via over air relay from WKIP-FM on Mount Beacon. This affiliation lasted until 1960, when the Rural Radio Network folded. The classical music continued as locally produced programming.
By the late 1960s, the FM audience was changing, and the Troy Record had a difficult time funding the station. In 1970, the station switched to a Top 40/Oldies format with live DJs. At that point, they were known as "The Big 92". DJs on "The Big 92" included Craig Stevens, Gary Mitchell, Rex Gregory, Dale Lane, Bob Harris, Bob Roberts, Johnny Lance and Chris Calvert. Though the station (the first commercial FM rock station in the Albany market) did very well with the new format, protests over the format flip among classical music listeners were intense and a partial victory was claimed in late 1971, when the Troy Record sold WFLY to Functional Broadcasting. The programming was changed to an easy listening/classical hybrid. The partial return of classical was not successful, given the sign-on of WMHT-FM as a full-time classical station. By this time, there were already two other easy listening outlets in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy market.
Functional lost money on WFLY, and sold the station in early 1975 to the Rochester, New York-based Rust Communications Group. After the sale, the station changed programming to an automated album-oriented rock format, billing itself as "sophisticated rock." WFLY went adult contemporary in 1977, and then reverted to top 40 in 1979 as The New FLY 92 FM. In 1983, the station was sold to Five States Tower Company, owned by Rob Dyson, who also owned WPDH and WEOK in Poughkeepsie. In 1987, it was subsequently sold to Jim Morrell's Albany Broadcasting. The second go-around of Top 40 was the charm, as WFLY caused the eventual deaths of AM powerhouses WTRY and WPTR. Under program director Todd Pettengill (then a little known DJ from WBUG in Amsterdam, New York), the station anchored itself securely in the CHR format. In the following years, most rivals eventually failed, though three stations (WGFM/WGY-FM (99 GFM, later Electric 99 WGY FM) from 1982 to 1990, WKLI-FM (K100) from 1996 to 1999, and WKKF (102.3 Kiss FM) since 2000) have survived for an extended period (though WKKF has more recently been directly competing against WFLY's sister station WAJZ). In 2005, the station rebranded with the full frequency as FLY 92.3 and tweaked its format to be more modern rock-leaning to separate itself more from co-owned WAJZ (which had taken on a more rhythmic format); however, over time, the station has reverted to a more mainstream CHR format.
WFLY has aired a CHR format since 1979, the second longest-running commercial format in Capital District radio (WGNA-FM's country music format has been in place since 1973), and is also one of the oldest "heritage" stations in the format. The station has also been through several playlist evolutions throughout the years; however, the station has stayed true to a CHR format for over almost 40 years.
- "WFLY Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- The Troy Times Record, August 18, 1948, Evening Edition
- "Building the FM band". Engineering Radio.
- The Troy Times Record August 5, 1949, Evening Edition
- "1986 Broadcasting Yearbook page B-199" (PDF). Broadcasting Publications, Inc.