The Buffalo radio veteran who goes by the on-air name Buddy Shula will live out a dream he has had since since he was a teenager: owning a local radio station.
William Ostrander bought WECK AM 1230 and FM 102.9 from Richard Greene for $655,000. He expects to take ownership at the end of April, pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission. Greene has owned WECK since 2007.
Ostrander has worked at Entercom Radio for the past 19 years in on-air and marketing capacities. But his radio career goes back to 1983, when, as a 15-year-old Lancaster High School student, he was an intern at WPHD (now called WEDG).
Now he gets to fulfill his dream at WECK. “I want it to totally serve Buffalo, and the local businesses and the local charities, and the local advertisers, and the local everything,” he said.
WECK will stick with the station’s “Music of Your Life” format, playing artists like Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow and The Carpenters.
But Ostrander also plans to add employees at the station, which is based on Genesee Street in Cheektowaga, and offer lots of local information and promotions.
“I didn’t buy the radio station to just run it out of a closet,” he said. “I really have a passion for making great radio, and I want it to make a difference in the community. I want to help people with it.”
Ostrander, 50, has also worked at WYRK and WNUC 107.7 and created a one-hour show, “Buffalo Means Business,” that he also hosts, on WBEN 930.
Through consolidation, a few large companies have come to control a large number of radio stations across the country. But Ostrander said he doesn’t see WECK going head-to-head with the giants.
“I’m not competing against them,” he said. “I’m doing my own thing. My job isn’t to compete with the three big companies. My job is to make WECK as locally relevant as possible.”
Ostrander said he has received “phenomenal” feedback about the purchase.
“I’ve had calls and emails from a ton of seasoned broadcasters and seasoned media sales reps who would like to work for me, because I think they know my commitment to radio, and they like the local thing,” he said.
Ostrander praised Entercom and said he would have stayed with the company until retirement if the opportunity to buy a station hadn’t surfaced. “They have been nothing but supportive.”
He also credited radio personalities like Taylor and Moore, and a 97 Rock DJ, JP, with helping him build a career in the industry. His wife and stepsons also supported him following his dream to be a station owner.
“I think my whole journey through Buffalo radio has prepared me for owning a station, I really do,” he said.
Story topics: Shared