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WE WILL, WE WILL SHOCK YOU

He's baaaa-acccck! And he's aiming right for 97 Rock.

Notorious radio shock-jock Howard Stern is returning to Buffalo radio airwaves as part of Infinity Broadcasting's attempt to pump life into its ailing WBUF-FM (92.9).

Starting Monday, Stern's syndicated morning show will air on the new "92 Rock," which signed on Friday with the Genesis song "Turn it On Again" and a classic-rock format eager to erode the ratings of the market's perennial leader, WGRF-FM, 97 Rock.

This marks Stern's second attempt to crack the Buffalo radio market. In January 1993, WWKB began airing his morning show only to garner dismal ratings. He was replaced in January 1996 with syndicated country programming. Stern resurfaced on the FM dial in the summer of 1997, at Toronto's longtime classic-rock station CILQ (Q-107). His ratings since have been better, though uneven, reflecting a pattern that still finds Stern No. 1 in New York, for example, but slipping in Los Angeles and elsewhere, according to the Arbitron ratings.

Whether Stern can make a dent in Buffalo rock radio's coveted adult demographics by coming at listeners from both ends of the dial -- 92.9 and 107.1 -- remains to be seen.

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