WBFO to Reach More Listeners, Improve Signal Quality

By Arthur Page

Release Date: May 22, 1998

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- WBFO 88.7 FM, the University at Buffalo's National Public Radio station, is completing a technical upgrade that will strengthen service to current listeners and extend service to a new population of approximately 100,000 people in Erie, Niagara and Genesee counties, as well as Southern Ontario.

A new transmitter and antenna, to be installed within the next few weeks by S&B Communications and Western Antenna and Tower Service, will enable the station to more than double its broadcast power, from 20,000 watts to 50,000 watts ERP. The old transmitter will serve as back-up, resulting in yet another improvement over the existing system whereby a 34-year old, 1,000 watt transmitter serves as back-up, severely limiting service to listeners.

The project is part of a multi-phase plan to improve the quality of WBFO's signal and expand its coverage area. In the past five years, the station has constructed two repeater stations in the Southern Tier (WOLN 91.3 in Olean, and WUBJ 88.1 in Jamestown) and replaced its directional antenna with a nondirectional antenna, thereby upgrading service to the most populous areas of Buffalo.

"The power increase marks a new era for WBFO," said Jennifer Roth, WBFO's General Manager. "We're thrilled that we'll be able at last to provide our listeners with a clear, strong, dependable signal."

Funds for the project were provided by the Cameron Baird Foundation, the Don Davis Endowment Fund and by contributions from listeners.

WBFO 88.7FM, licensed in 1959 to the State University of New York and CPB-qualified since 1970, operates 24 hours daily as a major public service of the University at Buffalo. It broadcasts National Public Radio programming, local news and public affairs, jazz and other music.