WBRK to launch new FM venture, K97.1

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PITTSFIELD — The Berkshires' first radio station is undergoing an evolution to benefit advertisers, keep longtime listeners and gain new ones.

WBRK has launched a new FM station, The Peak, K97.1, according Chip Hodgkins, president of WBRK Inc.

The new signal and format, still a work in progress, is now simulcast on WBRK, 1340 AM, which debuted 81 years ago.

The next few weeks will see the local broadcasters tweak the on-air product as they zero in on the right mix of current and new programming.

"This will be a hybrid of what we know works in the community," Hodgkins told The Eagle. "We'll be adjusting the format to include a more expansive song selection."

He added March 1 is the target date to officially announce details of the revised format he says will make WBRK "the ultimate, locally owned [radio] station in the country."

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WBRK-FM, Star 101.7 is unaffected by the new venture.

WBRK-AM hit the local airwaves in 1938. As did many stations of that era, WBRK offered a variety of live program from studios much larger than the station currently inhabit at 100 North St.

The AM station has been offering an adult contemporary music format, with syndicated and locally produced program and talent. Local newscasts and the CBS radio network augment the programming.

Hodgkins encourages listeners to be patient as he and his staff work on the format.

"If our listeners don't like it, then we'll change it," he said.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6233.


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