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Snappy Sunrise, by Mel Hunt

Wellsville’s WJQZ was founded 37 years ago

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Michael T. Baldwin founded the iconic FM radio station February 3, 1984

WJQZ radio is Allegany County’s first commercial FM radio station. Work with the FCC began in 1984 and on February 3, 1986 the tunes began to air, according to founder Michael T. Baldwin of Wellsville who was 24 at the time.

Happy 37th birthday to the broadcast adventure. Baldwin says, “it wasn’t an easy venture, but it brought staff from across the state who wanted the opportunity to be part of the experience.” Within the first year, a major ratings company listed WJQZ as having the #1 morning show in western New York, outside of the Buffalo metro area. According to Baldwin, “I’m grateful to the local and regional businesses who advertised with us…it was special.” WJQZ grabbed widespread acclaim with its reporting of the low-level radioactive waste sites proposed for Allegany County.

“I’ll always cherish the radio station…the memories…and the staff. Happy Birthday WJQZ.”

Baldwin at the Bump the Dump protests

Baldwin says “quite by accident, we learned of the plan for Allegany County(Bump the Dump) and broke the story on a Saturday morning…I covered the story aggressively and fed my findings with the Associated Press, local media and with the Buffalo media. Baldwin says “we brought a different style of broadcasting to the area…and I’m very, very proud of that.”

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