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WUFO is now an AM-FM radio station

Western New Yorkers and listeners in Southern Ontario can now hear WUFO on both the AM and FM dials.

At noon Wednesday, it became newly available on 96.5 FM in addition to its regular place on the AM dial, 1080. The station's motto is "Power 96.5: A Blend of R&B and Your Favorite Throwbacks."

There was one change since WUFO announced last December during its 56th year celebration that it was adding a FM channel to improve sound quality and to broaden its audience, a move that was described back then as a "game-changer."

Originally expected to be at 100.7 FM, the station that focuses mainly on gospel, R&B, blues, jazz and reggae and also carries sports, religious and community affairs talk shows, is instead on 96.5 FM after approval by the Federal Communications Commission.

Sheila Brown, who bought the station in 2013 and is the majority owner, said the change in channel location was required by the FCC because of coverage map issues regarding 100.7 FM.

WUFO broadcasts an assortment of local and nationally syndicated African-American radio personalities from sun up to sun down on AM.

The addition of the FM channel, Power 96.5, enables WUFO to operate 24 hours a day with additional music programming.

"It really is surreal," Brown said Wednesday afternoon of the addition of the FM channel. "'It is something I have been working for and praying for a long time. I can't get caught up in the emotion. We want to make a difference in the community."

In the U.S., there are 4,671 AM radio stations and 10,837 FM stations, of which 4,100 are educational FM channels, according to a September 2016 Federal Communications Commission report.

Brown, who started at WUFO in 1986 as an account executive, owns 84 percent of the station at 143 Broadway, in the African-American cultural heritage district.  True Bethel Community Development Corp., which is headed by Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen, owns 16 percent.

Back in December, Leander Roberson, the host of the Western New York Gospel Connection, which airs Sundays on WUFO, proclaimed the addition of the FM channel as "a game-changer" because of the potential for more success by reaching a larger audience with a better-quality sound.



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