WBFO Completes Work on Chautauqua Repeater Station

By Arthur Page

Release Date: May 8, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- WBFO 88.7 FM, the National Public Radio affiliate operated by the University at Buffalo, has completed a project to expand and improve the signal of WUBJ 88.1 FM, its repeater station serving residents of Jamestown and Chautauqua County.

The project involved moving the WUBJ transmitter to a more central location -- from Gerry to a tower at Ellery Center owned by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office -- and increasing its power approximately seven-fold.

The signal now reaches a potential audience of 90,000 in Mayville, Chautauqua, Cassadaga, Sinclairville, Brocton and Panama in New York and Sugar Grove and other areas in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The signal strength has improved throughout the present service area in and around Jamestown, with improvements particularly noticeable around Chautauqua Lake. There will be a greatly improved signal in the area along Lake Erie from Westfield to Fredonia, which will receive a secondary area signal for the first time.

Support for the project was provided by the Gebbie, Sheldon, Johnson and Hultquist foundations. Support from the Carnahan-Jackson Foundation and the Baird Foundation will help promote the new service and enhance Chautauqua County programming produced for broadcast on WBFO, WUBJ and WBFO's other Southern Tier repeater station, WOLN 91.3 FM in Olean. WOLN and WUBJ completely and simultaneously "repeat" WBFO's broadcasting service.

Jennifer Roth, WBFO general manager, noted that the "spirit of Chautauqua -- the encouragement expressed and support contributed by our listener-friends in the Southern Tier, and also by those who are looking forward to hearing us for the first time" -- kept spirits at the station high during the long signal-improvement project.

In addition to funding from the Baird and Carnahan-Jackson foundations, an anonymous donor has pledged $50,000 over five years to help the station develop programming from the Chautauqua Institution.