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Wpig

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Wpig

WPIG
City of license Olean, New York
Broadcast area Olean/Bradford/Jamestown
Branding 95.7 The Big Pig
Slogan Sizzlin' Country
Frequency 95.7
First air date 1949 (current format began in 1989)
Format Mainstream country
ERP 43,000 watts
HAAT 226 meters
Class B
Callsign meaning W PIG
Owner Community Broadcasters, LLC
Website http://www.wpig.com/

WPIG is an FM radio station located in Olean, New York. Branded as “95.7 The Big Pig,” the station operates at 95.7 MHz on the FM dial and operates a mainstream country music format. It is owned by Community Broadcasters, LLC.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Programming 2
    • Weekday schedule 2.1
      • The Morning Pigpen 2.1.1
      • Mark Thompson 2.1.2
      • Katie McLean 2.1.3
      • Justin Case 2.1.4
      • Michael Hamm 2.1.5
      • News and weather 2.1.6
    • Weekend programs 2.2
    • Sports programming 2.3
    • Special programming 2.4
    • Discontinued programming and hosts 2.5
      • Syndicated 2.5.1
      • First generation 2.5.2
      • Second generation 2.5.3
      • Third generation 2.5.4
  • Audience 3
  • Other uses 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History

The station originally signed on as WHDL-FM in 1949 and in its early years was affiliated, like most upstate New York FMs of the time, with WQXR in New York City. James F. Hastings, later a U.S. Congressman, ran the station from 1952 to 1966. The call sign was changed from WHDL-FM to WEBF-FM in recognition of station owner E. Boyd Fitzpatrick. During the 1980s, the station aired what today's jockeys pejoratively referred to as an "elevator music" (likely something along the lines of middle-of-the-road, beautiful music or easy listening) format. In September 1988, under new ownership, the station was known as WOLN (not to be confused with FM 91.3, the public radio station that uses the call signs) with an adult contemporary format. A year later, on September 29, 1989, the call sign was changed to WPIG. Later, on November 6, mirroring the national trend, the station switched formats to the rapidly burgeoning country music format and became known as "The Big Pig 95.7, Today's Sizzlin' Country," which remains the station's motto.

During the first several years of the country format, WPIG disc jockeys used pseudonyms with pig-based puns, such as: "Smokey' Joe Bacon," "Michael Hamm," "Peggy Banks," "Sue EE Cinamon Frank "Adam Ribbs," and "Christopher Neggs" (the first incarnation of The Morning Pigpen's hosts were thus bacon, ham, 'n'eggs; see also the Froggy brand, which uses similar frog-based pun names). This idea was dropped in the late 1990s as the second generation of disc jockeys would join the station, all of whom used more conventional names. Hamm (who still uses his original pseudonym) and Neggs (who now uses his real name, Nick Purcio) have since rejoined the station.

The second generation of hosts remained in their positions for over a decade; from 1998 to 2006 and 2008 to 2009, the station's lineup featured the same lineup of disc jockeys. Mark Thompson, the program director and co-host of the morning show, is the last remaining on-air personality from this era; the others left for other stations in the market (many ended up on WGWE shortly after that station's launch in 2010, although only one remains there as of 2014). This cleared the way for the third, and later fourth, generation of hosts that currently air on the station. WPIG added the slogan "Today's Fun Country" in 2009, which rotates with the "Sizzlin' Country" format. Also added around this time was the Big Pig Jackpot, a contest in which the station announces the amount of money in a progressive jackpot over the course of the day cold-calls random people in the listening area to test if they listen to the station; a person who either knows the answer (or, by chance, guesses correctly) wins the jackpot. The jackpot was dropped in 2014.

The station tweaked its image in 2013 with its sale to Community Broadcasters, adding 30-minute blocks of "continuous country," dropping national news, auto racing coverage and its Saturday night classic country block, taking over the local chapter of the national Country Showdown competition (which had previously rested with WQRS), and changing its voiceover announcer for the first time since adopting the country format. The station began streaming its programming on the Internet for the first time in its history beginning in 2014.

Programming

Two programs have been on WPIG ever since its launch: the Morning Pigpen, the station's morning show, and the Country Call-in Café, an all-request lunch hour (although both have changed hosts since their inception). WPIG relies heavily upon local content.

Weekday schedule

The Morning Pigpen

The Morning Pigpen is one of WPIG's oldest programs and currently features Mark Thompson, Katie McLean, weather with Wayne Mahar and newsman Gary Nease. It airs weekdays from 6–9 a.m.

Mark Thompson

Thompson currently hosts a two-hour voicetracked shift immediately after the Morning Pigpen ends.

Katie McLean

Katie McLean hosts middays from 11a-2p. Included in McLean's shift is the Country Call-In Cafe, an all-request lunch hour that airs from noon to 1 p.m. and generally features at least some music not normally aired in the station's regular playlist. Close's Lumber is the current presenting sponsor of the request hour.

Justin Case

Afternoon drive is currently hosted by Justin Case since the departure of Brad Majors in May 2014. It airs weekdays from 2p-6p

Michael Hamm

Michael Hamm is the host of "Sizzlin' Country Nights" from 6 pm−12 mid on the Big Pig! He is a former afternoon drive host on the Big Pig and also previously worked at WMXO as Program Director and morning show host as well as spending time with Q Rock in Salamanca and 96 KIX in Dunkirk. Hamm's show features a "Top 8 at 8" countdown which tabulates the eight most requested songs of the day.

Overnights feature CMT After Midnite with Cody Alan, which was added in 2014 after Blair Garner ended his syndicated overnight show.

News and weather

Weather operations for WPIG are handled by Wayne Mahar, who is also the chief meteorologist for WSTM-TV in Syracuse. A recording of his daily forecast is heard at the top of each hour and he has a live telephone interview segment each weekday morning during the Morning Pigpen. In the event Mahar is unavailable, either Phil Spevak (also based in Syracuse) or another WSTM personality will fill in.

WPIG operates a local news bureau headed by news director Gary Nease and reporter Nick Purcio. ABC News Now is heard hourly during the Morning Pigpen (prior to 2013 it was heard at the top of the hour throughout the day) and all day on weekends.

Weekend programs

  • Saturdays, 8−10 am: Powered by Country
  • Saturdays, 10 am −7 pm: The weekday disc jockeys rotate in these time slots, either live (often as a remote) or voice-tracked.
  • Saturdays, 7 pm − Midnight: The Big Time with Whitney Allen
  • Sundays, 6:45 am Twin Tiers in Focus
  • Sundays, 7−10 am: Rick Jackson's Country Classics

Sports programming

Special programming

  • WPIG airs A WPIG Country Christmas, an automated selection of country-themed Christmas music, throughout Christmas Eve through Christmas Day. Between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, the station generally plays one Christmas song each hour. (Beginning in 2013, the Christmas selections were broadened to include more traditional Christmas songs from the adult standards format in addition to country Christmas covers.)

Discontinued programming and hosts

Syndicated

First generation

  • Southern Fried Friday, a local program dedicated to Southern rock, was discontinued sometime after 2000 and replaced by the Foxworthy Countdown.
  • "Smokey' Joe Bacon" - Mornings, left ca. 1998
  • "Peggy Banks" - Middays, including "Classic Country Café," left ca. 1998
  • "Tommy Spurrs" Mid Day Original Southern Fried Friday Host Left ca. 1993
  • "Sue EE" Weekend Late Night Left ca. 1991[1]

Second generation

  • Kerry Monroe(aka Adam Ribbs, 1992-1997, evening host, and host of Southern Fried Friday) - fill-in and weekend host upon returning after leaving the station for a short time.
  • Casey Hill, sporadic co-host of the Morning Pigpen (c.1999-2006, 2008–2009). Currently out of the radio industry.
  • Mindy Cunningham, former co-host of the Morning Pigpen and later host of Midday Mayhem show (2006–2008). Currently broadcasting under another name.
  • Mike "Smitty" Smith, midday and afternoon drive host (ca. 2000–2009). Currently at another station.
  • Jesse Garon, evening radio personality (1998–2010). Currently the Mid-day Personality on "Triple M" WMMM-FM in Madison WI

Third generation

  • Tim McKeever, afternoon drive host. Is now a pastor at the Gowanda Free Methodist Church.
  • Marian Carter, fill-in and weekend host.
  • Bethany, co-host of the Morning Pigpen and mid-day host. Currently the morning show co-host at WGNA-FM in Albany
  • Jasmine Clark, host of the mid-day show. Currently out of the radio industry
  • Brad Majors, afternoon drive host. currently at another station

Audience

WPIG's 43,000 watts of power allows the station to boom its signal through Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, and Wyoming Counties in New York, as well as McKean and Potter Counties in Pennsylvania.

The station regularly registers by far the top Arbitron ratings in the Olean market. Prior to 2009, the station ranked over a 20 share; the most recent ratings, from fall 2014, show the station having dropped to a 17 share due to increased competition.[2]

Other uses

  • An entirely fictional "WPIG" radio station made several appearances on the CBS sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, where it was the hated cross-town rival of the eponymous station. The punchline was that the air staff at WPIG Cincinnati was "a bunch of swine." This usage predates the current WPIG's usage of the call sign.
  • A different fictional "WPIG" − WPIG Aurora − appeared in the 1993 motion picture Wayne's World 2. The station featured two memorable characters in the form of "Handsome Dan" and "Mr. Scream," portrayed by Harry Shearer and Ted McGinley respectively. (Incidentally, the real WPIG, which had begun broadcasting its current format by this time, and the fictional WPIG Aurora both broadcast on 95.7 MHz, a departure from the usual practice of using nonstandard frequencies for fiction.)
  • Sister station WPGI (100.9) in Elmira is modeled after WPIG.

References

  1. ^ I worked there in the early 90's
  2. ^ http://www.buffalobroadcasters.com/news/Industry-News:--Revised-radio-ratings-with-public-stations-numbers/34

External links

  • WPIG Official Web site
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for WPIG
  • Radio-Locator information on WPIG
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WPIG

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