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Broadcast area Rochester, New York/Western New York
Branding NewsRadio WHAM 1180
Slogan Rochester's News, Weather, and Traffic Station
Frequency 1180 kHz
First air date 1922
Format News/Talk
Power 50,000 watts
Class A
Transmitter coordinates 43°4′55″N 77°43′30″W / 43.08194°N 77.72500°W / 43.08194; -77.72500
43°5′51″N 77°35′1″W / 43.09750°N 77.58361°W / 43.09750; -77.58361 auxiliary (backup)
Affiliations Premiere Radio Networks, Fox News Radio, Westwood One
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
Sister stations WAIO, WDVI, WHTK, WKGS, WNBL, WVOR
Webcast Listen Live
Website WHAM 1180.com

WHAM (1180 kHz) is an AM clear channel station in Rochester, New York. It is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and airs a News/Talk format. Its 50,000-watt non-directional transmitter, located in Chili, New York, is the maximum power for commercial AM stations in the U.S., allowing WHAM to be heard on some nights through much of the Eastern U.S. and Canada. Its studios are located at Five Star Bank Plaza in downtown Rochester. WHAM is an affiliate of the Fox News Radio Network.


As with most iHeartMedia News/Talk stations, WHAM carries a mix of local shows and nationally syndicated programs from Premiere Networks, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia. Local weekday programs include The WHAM Morning News (5 to 8 am) and The WHAM 5 O'Clock Hour News (5 to 6 pm), Bob Lonsberry (8 am to noon), Kimberly and Beck (8 to 9 pm) and Sports Talk with Bob Matthews (6 to 8 pm). Matthews is a former Rochester Democrat and Chronicle columnist. Matthews is usually joined every Wednesday by former NFL player Fred Smerlas.

The Premiere Networks syndicated weekday lineup features Rush Limbaugh (noon to 3 pm), Sean Hannity (3 to 5 pm), Clyde Lewis (midnight to 1 am) and Coast to Coast AM with George Noory (1 to 5 am). Michael Savage from the Westwood One Network is heard weeknights from 9 am to midnight. Weekend programming includes shows on money, health, home repair, law, Bill Cunningham, computer expert Leo Laporte "The Tech Guy," and some brokered programming.

Some listeners in southern Ontario, who do not get popular American syndicated conservative talk shows such as Limbaugh and Hannity on their local Canadian radio stations, can often pick up WHAM's 50,000 watt ERP signal.


The station first went on the air on July 11, 1922.[1] While not the first station to be licensed to the Rochester market (that distinction belongs to the defunct WHQ), it is the oldest surviving station in the area. The selection of the "WHAM" call letters came from a suggestion from industrialist George Eastman (founder of the Eastman Kodak Co., based in Rochester). He helped the University of Rochester launch the station and thought the "WHAM" name would prove to be a clever marketing tool.

In 1927, WHAM was acquired by Stromberg-Carlson.[2]

WHAM increased its power to 25,000 watts March 4, 1933. A ceremony marking the event included a three-hour broadcast from the Eastman Theatre with "a galaxy of stars" participating.[3]

In February 1948, WHAM and its sister station, WHFM, moved into a new facility, Rochester Radio City. The building included 24 offices and six studios, the largest of which could accommodate 400 people in the audience.[2]

WHAM has ties to two of the city's television stations. It spawned the city's first station, WHAM-TV, in 1949; that station is now WROC-TV, the area's CBS affiliate. In 2005, the area's ABC affiliate, WOKR, changed its calls to WHAM-TV; Clear Channel (now known as iHeartMedia) bought the station in 2002 and sold its entire television group to Newport Television (controlled by Providence Equity Partners) in 2007; the two stations still have a news partnership.

Founded by Jordan Barney while he was working on behalf of the University of Rochester in 1922, WHAM grew to become the dominant AM station serving Rochester and the Genesee Valley. The station was sold in the mid-1920s to Stromberg-Carlson, a maker of radio and telecommunications equipment then based in Rochester. Stromberg-Carlson expanded the station's operations and boosted its signal to 5,000 watts in 1927. It was relocated from 1080 to 1150 kHz in the overall national reorganization of the AM radio band by the Federal Radio Commission in 1928. Later, in 1933, WHAM was allowed to increase power first to 25,000 watts, then to its current 50,000 watt level. In the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement shuffling of the AM band in March 1941, WHAM changed frequency once more to its current 1180 kHz.


  1. ^ "Widespread Circle Help To Mark WHAM Birthday" (PDF). Broadcasting4. July 14, 1947. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "(photo caption)" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 16, 1948. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "WHAM ad" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 1, 1933. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 

External links

  • WHAM 1180 Home Page
  • Query the FCC's AM station database for WHAM
  • Radio-Locator Information on WHAM
  • Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WHAM
  • FCC History Cards for WHAM
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