Station Format: Variety / Community Radio
Studio Address: 2116 Merrick Avenue, Suite 2003, Merrick, NY 11566
Broadcast Tower: Freeport, NY
Office Phone: (516) 546-2361
Call-in Hotline: (516) 623-1240
WGBB has been serving Long Island since 1924. We are Long Island’s first radio station and one of the oldest stations in the country. We currently broadcast the Chinese Radio Network weekdays, and a wide variety of programs on weekends.
Block programming is available for local independent producers and show hosts interested in starting their own radio program. We encourage Long Island podcasters and anyone else interested in hosting their own radio show here on WGBB, to contact us for details!
While our studios are located in Merrick, NY, our tower is located in Freeport, NY and broadcasts a 1,000 watt signal 24/7 on 1240AM– covering central Long Island and parts of New Jersey, Connecticut and upstate New York. The daytime coverage map below shows the predicted “groundwave” coverage of WGBB’s signal. At night, changes in the Earth’s ionosphere can greatly extend the coverage of AM radio stations. This is known as skywave propogation which is not shown on this map. So at night, you may be able to hear us from a distance much farther than indicated below.
As of January 19, 2017, WGBB can also be heard on 95.9FM (W240DF-FM), broadcasting at 190 watts:
Celebrating over 90 Years of Quality Broadcasting!
Through all the challenges we have faced over the years, WGBB has always remained your community-minded radio station. Officially Long Island’s first commercial radio station, WGBB was first a local farmer’s Ham/Amateur Station started around December 1919 by Harry H. Carman with the calls “2EL”. Special thanks goes to Bob Winn (W5KNE) for researching the original ham call letters of Harry H. Carman, and for locating the photo below. According to Bob, 2EL was apparently an active ham radio call sign through 1927, but was no longer listed in 1930-31. The original studios were set up in Carman’s father’s garage at 217 Bedell Street across from the transmitter, approximately 200 feet from the tower. From the late 1940’s the studios were at 66 South Grove Street in Freeport. WGBB was at 100 watts and shared frequency with other locals on 1230 for years.
Notables in the 1950’s were Tony James, Jay Nealy and Dave Michaels. Broadcast studios from 1966 thru late 1980’s were from 1240 Broadcast Plaza in Merrick with transmitter located off Atlantic Avenue in Freeport. Dave Vieser was one of the famous “Super-6” jocks there in the Top-40 heyday with Bob “Bullet” Ottone, Gil David (now at WHLI), Don Rosen (now with WRJN/WEZY Racine WI), Al Case (Al also served as the Chief Engineer and set-up the wonderful sound of the station’s famous organ reverb). There was also the famous WGBB “Car-Box Jackpot” (623-1240). In the late 1960’s Susquehanna Broadcasting tried to move the transmitter site north toward Mitchell Field, but engineers convinced them to keep the tower in Freeport because the signal was better near the water. Due to structural problems, the tower was replaced in the mid 1970’s.
Other notables who worked at WGBB in the 1970’s & 80’s include: Juliet Poppa (1010 WINS), Deborah Wetzel (WCBS FM), Bill Whitney, Frank Setapani, Betina Gregory, Larry Kofsky, Howard Liberman, Ed Grilli, Bob Lawrence, Jim Quinn (who later moved onto WPIX as Dennis Quinn), Roy Reynolds (known as Your Boy Roy), John Ryan, Ted David (1969-70 – DJ / also Long Island Network News plus weekends 1986), Gary Lewi (news), Dave Hunter (also news), Steve Andrews (also moved onto WPIX), Gary McFarlane (now known as Chuck Taylor, morning man on B-95.5 WYJB in Albany) and Drew Scott (afternoon News Anchor from 1972 to 73′. Ed Marshall hosted a Sinatra Show on WGBB from 1981-1988.
Flipped to a talk format before spending time as WBAB-AM (the 2nd LI AM with those calls) in the late 1980’s when WGBB simulcast the then co-owned FM. Simulcast with WALK-AM in 1997/1998 during daylight hours as the Sunrise Radio Network (WGBB was often 7 seconds behind WALK-AM because we stayed in delay for our talk programming at night and on the weekends). WGBB is owned by Multicultural, and has been broadcasting in the current format since 2000. The studio was located in West Babylon, NY from 2001 through February 2018, and is currently located in Merrick, NY.