For the first time since it began broadcasting on Aug. 11, 1932, White Plains radio station WFAS can no longer be heard on standard AM radios.
Cumulus Media, which owns 415 radio stations in 86 U.S. markets, has shut down the station’s analog AM transmitter, leaving only electronic noise to be heard on standard AM radios tuned to the WFAS frequency of 1230 on the AM dial.
Cumulus has converted WFAS-AM into AM1230Digital and is transmitting a digital signal that can only be heard on digital AM receivers. Cumulus says that the digital signal will offer listeners equipped with digital radios better sound quality while covering an expanded area beyond Westchester County. I
The station’s new coverage area includes large portions of New York City, the North Shore of Long Island, northern New Jersey and Fairfield County.
According to the National Association of Broadcasters, approximately 25% of the vehicles on the road in the U.S. have radios that are capable of receiving digital AM signals. The Federal Communications Commission has approved use by U.S. broadcasters of the digital radio technology known as HD Radio MA3 and foresees a gradual voluntary transition to digital broadcasting on the AM radio band.
Cumulus says that the new AM1230Digital is the first digital AM radio station broadcasting in the New York metropolitan area.
Cumulus several years ago ended WFAS-AM’s programming as a full-service community-oriented station and now offers a news-talk format on weekdays and CBS Sports Radio on weekends. The former “WFAS” referred to Frank A. Seitz, father of station founder Frank A. Seitz Jr.
In 1947, WFAS added an FM station to its existing station on the AM band. Beginning in the 1950s, both the AM and FM stations operated from studios on Secor Road in Hartsdale. AM1230Digital now gives a contact address in New York City.
In 2014, Cumulus changed the call letters of WFAS-FM to WNBM and moved the transmitter site to the Bronx and began programming the station from existing Cumulus studios in Manhattan.
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