Exploring Albany's inglorious past and dubious future

WTRI-FM, yet another “lost” broadcaster.

WTRI-FM was an early Capital District FM broadcaster, owned by the Troy Broadcasting Company and operating from 1948-1952.


William A. Riple, owner of Troy Broadcasting, was General Manager of WTRY Troy from around 1945*. Riple had actually filed a TV application in 1948, just before the FCC froze the granting of new television licenses. It was probably this setback that prompted the creation of the FM station.

The station hit the air at noon with 2.4 kW EPR on January 4, 1948, relaying programming of WTRY 980 AM from a tower in the Helderbergs. Besides covering the entire local area with a strong signal, it was also well-received in neighboring Vermont and Massachusetts. After it left the air, the WTRI callsign was picked up for Albany’s new UHF TV station. The 102.7 allocation was deleted from our area and moved to Vermont.

New York State Digital Library Archives

The video freeze was finally lifted in 1952, and Riple pulled the plug on the FM station, concentrating his efforts on going forward with a TV station licensed to Troy. The result was WTRI, channel 35, which debuted in 1953. The station was sold to Van Curler Broadcasting Corporation, a division of Stanley Warner Corporation, in 1957. WTRI became WAST in 1958, keeping Riple on as General Manager until his retirement in 1967.

*Riple remained head of WTRY until 1956 when it was sold to Tri-Cities Broadcasting.

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