Liberal Talk Radio Wiki
Frequency 1600AM (kHz)
City New York, New York
Branding New York's Progressive Talk
Owner Access.1 Communications
Power 25,000 watts (day)
5000 watts (night)
Airdate August 26, 1926
Format launch
Format dropped
Sister stations
Webcast link

WWRL (1600AM) was a news/talk-formatted radio station licensed to New York, New York. The station is owned by Access.1 Communications. It changed to Spanish language programming on Jan. 1, 2014.

Previous progressive talk programming[]

Since September 1, 2006, WWRL had served as the flagship station for Air America Radio, replacing WLIB. WWRL also airs other syndicated talk shows, such as The Ed Schultz Show (which Access.1 owns a stake in), Al Sharpton, Alan Colmes and Phil Hendrie


Prior to its affiliation with Air America, WWRL was a diversified radio station primarily serving the African American community. The station also aired some progressive talk shows weekdays, with Caribbean music on Saturdays and overnights. On Sundays they aired Gospel music and religious programming. WWRL also carries live play-by-play of the New York Liberty of the WNBA. On August 2, 2006, WWRL announced its affiliation with Air America.

WWRL in the 1960s was an R & B radio station focusing on popular music aimed at the young black community. They played a blend of Motown, Stax and Memphis soul, and early James Brown-styled funk. Their most famous disc jockey was Frankie Crocker. In the 1970s WWRL stressed Philadelphia soul and other 1970s soul artists. The station was owned during this period by Sonderling Broadcasting. In 1979 Sonderling merged with Viacom.

In 1980 Viacom would buy 106.7 WRVR (now WLTW). In 1981 WWRL was donated to the United Negro College Fund. The Fund then sold the station to Unity Broadcasting later in 1981. The station planned to affiliate with a new sports talk radio network in 1982 but the network never got on the air. Also that year WWRL began playing Gospel music in the evenings as well as airing religious features, and expanded Gospel programming on Sundays. In Fall 1982 WWRL shifted to a full-time Gospel music format along with sermons from local black churches. WWRL stayed with this format until 1997.

The New Order song "Confusion" begins with a sample of someone saying "W, W, W-R-L," which is widely thought to be a reference to WWRL. The track was co-produced by Arthur Baker, who lived in New York City at the time and was likely familiar with the station.

In April 1997 they dropped Gospel programming except for Sunday. They flipped to playing R & B oldies from the 1960s to the 1980s. The format change was not successful. They added some talk shows by 1999. By 2001 they had evolved towards their current format. Although the station was recently able to increase daytime power to 25,000 watts (it's still 5,000 watts at night) -- after purchasing the frequencies of WLNG in Sag Harbor, New York, WQQW in Waterbury, Connecticut, and WERA in Plainfield, New Jersey. WWRL does not achieve any substantial ratings, and has not since their gospel days.

By 1999, WWRL began mixing in paid programming during the week. By 2001, the station evolved into a diversified station selling blocks of time to various interests. Their programming included gospel music and preaching on Sundays, some Caribbean Music, talk shows, infomercials, and other programs. In September of 2006, WWRL became an affiliate of Air America, a liberal talk radio network.

Also, WWRL was sold to Access.1 Communications Corporation in 2006. Access.1 is a 24-hour African American owned and operated radio broadcasting company. Access.1 Communications Corp. also owns and operates 7 AM and FM stations in Shreveport, LA; another 7 in Tyler-Longview-Marshall, Texas; another 6 FM and AM stations in Atlantic City, NJ and an NBC TV affiliate (WMGM-TV 40) in Atlantic City. While being African American owned, the stations program a wide variety of formats, many of which are not targeted to the black community.


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Source: Arbitron

Previous WWRL logo

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