Infobox Radio Station
name = WBLK
airdate = 1965
frequency = 93.7 (MHz) HD Radio
Depew, New York
area = Buffalo
format = Urban Contemporary
erp = 47,000
branding = "93.7 WBLK"
slogan = "#1 for Hip Hop and R&B"
class = B
website = [http://www.wblk.com/ www.wblk.com]
callsign_meaning = W Benjamin L. Kulek
WBLK is an
Urban contemporary FM radio stationlicensed to Depew that serves Buffalo. WBLK plays the musical genres of hip hop, R&B, urban contemporary gospel, and soul. WBLK celebrated its 40th anniversary as a FMradio station in 2005. Its transmitteris located in Buffalo.
WBLK is currently owned by
Regent Communications. It is the Buffalo area's radio home for the nationally syndicated Tom JoynerMorning Show.
WBLK-FM began in 1964 as an
urban contemporarystation that primarily played R&B and soul. The station was founded by legendary Buffalo radio personality George Lorenz("Hound Dog"), who had earlier championed rhythm-and-blues music on other area stations such as WXRA, WINE (both of these stations were predecessors of today's WUFO, 1080 AM), WJJL, and WKBW. Lorenz's voice was heard on the station from its inception until his death in 1972. WBLK can be classified as a "heritage" station; it has held the same basic format and call signs for its entire 44-year existence, and as such, it is one of the longest continuously running formats in Buffalo radio today. The station also regularly ranks in the top 5 radio stations in Buffalo's Arbitronratings. Some on air personality's were, Roosevelt Tucker, Bradley J. Cool, Chuckie T, Mansfield Mann's, Gary Lanier, Ron Baskin, Don Allen Sr, Don Allen Jr, Don Robinson, & Freddie Patrick. WBLK 93.7 went from a mono signal to Stereo in 1974.With a play list called the Funky Forty, at three PM that Monday when Don Robinson flipped the switch and the stereo light flickered on the first song was Marvin Gays Let get it on.
Contrary to popular belief, despite WBLK's format and target audience, its call letters do not stand for the word "BLacK" "per se"; rather, they are a tribute to
Benjamin L. Kulek, who was a major financial backer of the station when it first went on the air [ [http://www.wnymedia.com/buf_calls.html] ] .
WBLK began streaming its programming on the Internet on November 13, 2006 and was sold to
Regent Communicationsin December 2006.
Audience in Canada
In the 1980s and 90s, WBLK also had a significant listenership among fans of urban music in
Toronto, which did not have an urban-format radio station. Many commercials were geared at listeners in Southern Ontario. The Toronto audience's reliance on an American station with no Canadian contentrequirements, in turn, significantly impacted the commercial development of Canadian hip hopand R&B.
However, after the launch of CFXJ in 2001 on the adjacent 93.5 frequency, WBLK became much harder to receive, and lost its prominence in the Toronto market.
Programming and hosts heard on WBLK include the aforementioned
Tom JoynerMorning Show, Chris Reynolds, "The Magic Man," and Mike Chaz. A Quiet Stormprogram is heard on weekends.
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