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About Radio Kingston

Radio Kingston is a soon-to-be noncommercial platform dedicated to a vibrant, just and healthy Kingston centered around community storytelling, artistic and musical expression, conversation and connection.

At a time when growing polarization, media consolidation, privatization and exploitation of community resources threaten the basic fabric of local communities, Radio Kingston hopes to demonstrate that a radically different path is possible. It will create a space for residents to build renewed trust, empathy and connection, while celebrating our shared strengths and creativity, and deepening a truly local conversation about creating a community that works better for everyone.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to imagine and build a new community asset for the City of Kingston,” says Jimmy Buff, executive director of Radio Kingston. “Radio is an intimate and powerful medium that offers the opportunity to rediscover our common story, shared meaning, and renewed connection to our home and to each other. This new platform is dedicated to Kingston stories told by Kingston people—and the difference it makes could be transformative.”

Through music, conversation, spoken-word performances, educational programming and more, Radio Kingston will reflect and celebrate one of the city’s greatest strengths – its diversity – and will be guided by a commitment to lifting up voices not often heard in other media. Together, its programs will offer a chance for all residents to engage, listen and learn from each other.

A Brief History of WKNY

WKNY went on the air December 16, 1939 at 8:15 PM from the auditorium of Kingston High School before an audience of approximately 100 people with authorization to broadcast at just 250 watts at a frequency of 1490 kHz. In 1959 the FTC authorized WKNY to increase its daytime power to 1,000 watts, and in the 1980s, permission was given to broadcast at that power 24 hours a day.

In the 1940s, WKNY moved to the Community Theatre Building at 601 Broadway, and later to 212 Fair Street. From its Fair Street studios, WKNY became Ulster County’s most-listened-to radio station.

Noted former personalities include “Morning Mayor” Ward Todd, who commanded the lion’s share of WKNY’s audience, which is focused in Northern Dutchess and Ulster Counties.

WKNY also aired New York Yankees baseball for many years.

In 1986 WKNY moved into its present studio and offices at 718 Broadway, and in 2013, Townsquare Media took over management of WKNY.

On August 2, 2017, a new non-profit, Radio Kingston Corporation, announced an agreement was reached with Townsquare to purchase the radio station and move it to non-commercial status. Jimmy Buff, former program director and morning host for WDST/Woodstock and 30 plus year broadcast veteran was named executive director of Radio Kingston. On October 31st, 2017 the sale between Radio Kingston Corp and Townsquare was completed.