WBNY is a college radio station run at Buffalo State College located within the city of Buffalo, New York. WBNY broadcasts on 91.3 FM and was first licensed in 1982. The station went FM after many years of being an AM carrier-current station known as WSCB, which was difficult to receive, even within the Buffalo State Campus environs.
WBNY maintains studio locations at Campbell Student Union 220 with transmitter facilities located on Porter Hall, with an Effective radiated power of 100-watts, allowing for full campus-wide coverage as well general coverage as far south as Downtown Buffalo and as far north as The City of Tonawanda.
Music programs on WBNY include two and three hour intervals of RPM, punk rock, retro, folk/bluegrass, loud rock, jazz, American Roots, reggae, hip hop, and "format" shows, consisting of music from WBNY's library rotation. Once a week, there is a six hour block of talk radio, featuring shows and discussions about professional wrestling, politics, sports, and trivia. Wrestling radio show Monday Night Mayhem originated on WBNY and after moving to internet-only broadcasts in 12/04, has become one of the most popular and longest running wrestling radio shows in the country.
The station has been entirely student run since its inception in 1982. The station was not immediately cutting-edge. Instead, it began as a fairly banal training lab for aspiring broadcasters. Then Tom Calderone became PD, and started the move with the rest of the new team to NewMusicRadio. He fought hard against USG and some facility members against the format change. Shortly thereafter though, a group of avant WBNY staffers led by Music Director Dave Johnson and General Manager Bob DeAmbra met one holiday break and largely erased the existing collection of carted mainstream rock, frantically replacing those "carts" with recordings of the latest in punk, new-wave, art-rock/electronica, roots rock, reggae, hip-hop/rap and offbeat Americana. Encouraged by a now-defunct record store, "Home of the Hits," WBNY's passionate, music-loving jocks were able to borrow and air the very latest in what was an exciting and expanding alternative musical palette. From that point forward, the station leadership subtly made it known that Billy Joel and The Outlaws were no longer acceptable fixtures on the BNY playlist unless appropriate irony was injected and/or they were played backwards.
Though it was a rogue move, that seminal format switch, endorsed with a wink and a nod by a then nascent music/entertainment mogul, Program Director Tom Calderone--who had recently been exposed to the new music scene on his native Long Island--took hold and changed the music landscape in Buffalo forever.
The D.I.Y. spirit of that underground coup spawned a creative wave of experimentation at what was once was an under-powered, embarrassingly copycat WSCB. Suddenly late-night jocks were paving the way for a college-radio revolution that fertilized a dormant Buffalo music scene. Local bands, regardless of status or talent, were invited in for cutting-edge programs like 'Down at Lulu's." The station also began bringing in relatively unknown acts like R.E.M. and The Replacements for local performances. Some staffers were even inspired to launch their own bands, among them Tina Peel's "Intergalactic Burnt Toast," Jeff Hastings' "The ShAnkHeAds," and Kevin Walsh's "Leper Gumbies."
Built upon that innovative spirit, WBNY continues to be a potpourri of cutting-edge, musical poop. Tune in and you never know what you'll get, but: According to one of WBNY's tongue-in-cheek sweepers, "If you're in the mood for crap, [you should] tune into 91.3 FM WBNY, where crap is in high abundance!" Crap, yes, crappy, no.