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Title: Wgwe  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Collection: Cattaraugus County, New York, Native American Radio, Radio Stations in New York
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


City of license Little Valley, New York
Broadcast area Western Twin Tiers
Branding Classic Hits 105.9 WGWE
Slogan "The Greatest Hits of All Time"
Frequency 105.9 MHz
First air date February 1, 2010
Format Full service/Classic Hits
ERP 7,000 watts
HAAT 191 meters
Class B1
Facility ID 166028
Callsign meaning "Gwe" translates to "What's up?" in the Seneca language
Affiliations Classic Hits Radio
Owner Seneca Nation of Indians
(Seneca Broadcasting LLC)
Webcast Listen Live

WGWE is an FM radio station licensed to Little Valley, New York. The station, with a tower atop Fourth Street in the village of Little Valley, broadcasts a loosely defined classic hits format on 105.9 MHz and operates under the ownership of the Seneca Nation of Indians; the Seneca nation purchased WGWE's construction permit from Randy Michaels in early 2009. Originally a locally-originated automated station for its first several months, the station began broadcasting what is now Cumulus Media Networks' Classic Hits Radio satellite format in late June 2010 in all shifts except weekday mornings and noon. Mike "Smitty" Smith, former disc jockey at WPIG and member of the Salamanca City Council, is the station manager, hosting the morning drive time show and noon call-in request hours from studios inside the former Uni-Mart in Salamanca. Additional local hosts were added several months later; as of 2015, the on-air lineup includes "Wake Up Next to Smitty" in morning drive time, the midday "JB's Jukebox", the Smitty-hosted "All Request Classic Lunch," Ace Boogie with "Guaranteed Classic Afternoons," and fill-in hosts Bigg Monte and Austin Hill.

Casey Hill and Jesse Garon, both of whom had previously worked with Smitty at WPIG, also held shifts at WGWE for several years before leaving Western New York. (Garon's prerecorded monthly specials are still occasionally rerun on the station, as are a handful of commercials recorded by both.) Former KFXM disc jockey "Double-D" Danny Dare also worked at the station for a short stint in fall 2014.

Local high school and youth athletics (including the Big 30 Basketball Classic), St. Bonaventure Bonnies women's basketball, Salamanca Merchants recreational baseball, and Buffalo Bandits lacrosse are carried on the station as well; the station also carried Southern Tier Diesel football during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. National Native News is heard twice during the day. The station does not employ any professional weather services, instead taking public domain forecasts from the National Weather Service. A daily sermonette airs during the evening hours, provided by Red House Memorial Chapel, a local church.

The station's playlist can be described as full-service and features a mix of oldies ranging from the 1950s through 1980s, some limited 1990s material, classic rock, native music, big band and easy listening instrumentals, soul music, blues and classic country. WGWE's in-house music library includes an eclectic collection of traditional singles alongside album cuts, live performances, and extended mixes; its disc jockeys are generally given a larger amount of latitude in choosing their playlist compared to most commercial radio stations. One song that stands out on the station's playlist is "As Long as the Grass Shall Grow," a song performed by Johnny Cash and written by Peter La Farge and Bob Dylan about the construction of the Kinzua Dam; it was the first song played upon the station's sign-on and is played every Friday at noon. A half-hour on each Saturday morning is devoted to traditional Seneca music, which is also heard in the station's bumpers and station identifications instead of traditional radio jingles. It is paired with "Weekend Chat," the station's public affairs program. In November 2010, the station added the weekly hourlong series "Soul to Soul," hosted by The Blues Hounds, an all-Seneca blues band from the Cattaraugus Reservation; the show ran until 2013.

The station is operated independently of the Seneca government, however it does advocate Seneca views through public service announcements, outlining the Senecas' position on items of interest such as the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act and New York's continuing taxation efforts on cigarettes, both of which the Seneca government opposes. The use of the station in this manner has reduced as the station has reached critical mass. The station is owned by Seneca Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Seneca Holdings, which is wholly owned by the Seneca Nation. Dave Kimelberg, an enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation, leads Seneca Holdings as its CEO to diversify the Seneca Nation's economy through various companies. He was instrumental in forming and implementing WGWE.

WGWE is the official broadcast partner for the Native American Music Awards.

The station's mascot is "Rocky the Rockin' Raccoon," a play on the Beatles song of a similar name.

External links

  • WGWE official Web site
  • WGWE Classic Hits on Facebook
  • Salamanca Press article on station's launch
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for WGWE
  • Radio-Locator information on WGWE
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WGWE

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