SYRACUSE — After three months of stunting, the new format for 103.9 (WNDR, Mexico) and translator 95.3 (W237AY, DeWitt) has been revealed. Locally-owned Renard Communications launched “95.3 and 103.9 The Dinosaur” at noon today, offering “Classic Top 40,” predominantly from the 60s and 70s. The station brings some well-known names back to the Syracuse airwaves — and they’re looking for more talent to join the team.
The stunting started back on October 5, 2013, when the mostly-religious “Love Radio” was moved to 87.7FM, the audio carrier for TV channel 6 (WVOA-LP), making way for 95.3 and 103.9 to launch “Holly-FM,” an all-Christmas station. After Christmas, the two FM signals switched to an all-Beatles format, calling itself “WBTL,” though the official WNDR call sign remained.
Mornings will be hosted by Nick Caplan, who once worked in the same building as part of the final years of the top 40 format on 1490 WOLF in the late 70s and early 80s. Caplan is also program director. Morning news reports will be handled by Melissa Midgley, former morning co-host at Galaxy’s Sunny 102.1 (WZUN). She’ll also have her own jock shift on Saturdays from 10-3.
Longtime Y94 Saturday night host Tony Fallico is hosting middays for the time being. Bob Brown, who recently left middays at Leatherstocking Media’s 92.1 WSEN, will be handling afternoon drive for the station. From 7pm to midnight, for the time being, it’s yours truly, Peter Naughton.
(And yes, I referred to myself and Fallico as having our weekday shifts, “for the time being,” because we are interim hosts. Caplan is seeking permanent hosts for these shifts, and once replacements are on board, Fallico and myself will move to weekends only. If you’re interested, send your aircheck and resume to Nick Caplan at WOLF Radio, Inc., 401 W. Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY 13204.)
A special Saturday night request show will be hosted by Lee Goodman, whose decades of radio experience includes time at WOLF, WFBL, WHEN and Y94 (WYYY).
The name of the new format was discovered in December by RadioInsight.com’s Lance Venta, who noticed station manager Sam Furco was listed as the contact for a new internet domain registration for “dinosaurradio.com.” The name left observers guessing on the exact nature of the format… and without any comment from Furco, even more guessing followed when Furco filed another domain registration for “realcountry103.com” — which we now know was a decoy, although a convincing one since some observers had predicted the two FMs would eventually wind up simulcasting co-owned Real Country 1300 (WOSW, Fulton).
CNYRadio.com editor Peter Naughton received an offer to join the air staff in late December. We had no knowledge of the new format prior to that time. Once Naughton learned of the plans, it was requested that the details be “embargoed” until today’s launch. Just like many mainstream news media outlets, CNYRadio.com has routinely honored “embargoes” placed on information provided in advance by sources. Also, in conjunction with — but not necessarily as a result of — this news, Naughton has an official announcement about CNYRadio.com today.