Saturday, October 10, 2015


After living in and around New York City for seven years, it was pretty easy to give up faith in the radio.  The music was loud and bad, and it repeated itself every hour (or so it seemed.)  Along with the expected upgrades that came with moving to Rochester such as cost of living and commute times came an unexpected upgrade: great radio stations.  While Rochester has its share of corporate stations, it takes its music seriously.  The result is some slightly off the beaten bath gems.  Here are a few examples:

  • WITR (89.7 FM) is broadcast from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Offering a unique mix of indie, alternative, and specialty music, WITR is considered one of the best college radio stations in the country.
  • WGMC (90.1 FM), or Jazz 90.1, is listener supported and broadcast from a high school in the Rochester suburb of Greece.  In addition to providing programs in Lithuanian, German, and Spanish, Jazz 90.1 is one of perhaps 55 stations nationwide dedicated to jazz.
  • WBER (90.5 FM) is a local, independent, and commercial-free radio station that derives support from listeners and local school districts.  With an eclectic mix of music which can generally be defined as alternative, WBER serves as a much needed antidote to the mindless babble otherwise available on a morning commute.  It has been recognized (at least by some random guy) as one of the 40 Best Little Radio Stations in the country.
  • WEPL (97.1 FM) doesn't exist yet, but it illustrates an important point about Rochester.  Upstate New York is often unfairly labelled as homogeneous.  In Rochester's case, the label is particularly unjust and generally inaccurate.  WEPL will be a 24-hour Spanish radio station catering to Rochester's Spanish speaking community which is the largest in New York State outside New York City.

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