SYRACUSE — The market’s only Italian-American radio show will have a new home when the new year begins, and maybe some new listeners as it expands to new markets. Starting on New Year’s Day, Ciao! with Joey Nigro and Jim Battaglia will move to Classic FM (WCNY-FM). Ciao! will still begin at 3pm on Sunday afternoons, just like when it aired on Oldies 1050 (WSEN).
We heard received a tip about the move from a CNYRadio.com reader earlier this month — and a press release today from WCNY makes it official.
Longtime readers may recall Ciao! started in mid-2008 on WFBL, when the station was known as “Oldies 1390.” The program features a blend of music by artists of Italian heritage — from world-famous names like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, to local favorites like San Colella and the Pompeian Players. When WFBL flipped back to talk radio in 2009, its oldies format moved over to sister station WSEN[AM], and so did Ciao!.
“This is a terrific opportunity to share our love of all things Italian with the audience of Classic FM,” Nigro said in a statement released by WCNY. Not only will the show sound clearer on the FM band — it’ll benefit from the fact that WCNY-FM’s programming is simulcast on 89.5 in Utica and 90.9 in Watertown. All three frequencies are also available in HD Radio.
In addition to the music, the show’s co-hosts talk about Italian-American traditions and heritage. Nigro says the show aims to provide “a platform to the oral history of a shared American experience. Many of our generation are the last to have had personal experience with a group of immigrants who helped America rise during the last century.”
If two hours aren’t enough to whet your appetite for Italian programming, WCNY says Ciao! will be followed at 4pm by an hour of Classic Sinatra. The station hasn’t yet revealed what will happen to other Sunday programs as a result of the new addition.
Correction made 12/23: We originally reported Ciao! would air from 3-5pm. Thanks to Joey Nigro for pointing out the show will be one hour in length.