WXPK (107.1 FM) – better known as 107.1 The Peak – is an American adult album alternative music formatted radio station in White Plains, New York. The station is owned by Pamal Broadcasting, and transmits from a tower in the Westchester County Correctional Facility with an effective radiated power of 1,900 watts.
On April 8, 1960, WRNW got its start at 454 Main Street in Mount Kisco playing a mixture of light classical and easy listening music, and it went stereo in 1964. Founder and broadcast engineer Richard Burden was instrumental in the development FM stereo broadcasting. By 1967, the station had moved to the second floor at 78 Lexington Avenue, and in June of that year, program director Don Bayley adopted an album rock format making WRNW one of the very first FM stations in the New York City area to play rock music. (New York's WOR-FM went rock in 1966, but was hampered by an AFTRA strike; WNEW-FM started their "Progressive Rock" format in October, 1967.) In 1969, the station was sold to Lake Champlain Broadcasting Company, which shared owners with 105.9 WHBI in Newark. WRNW then played big band music during the day and sold block time from 10pm – 2am weekdays and all day weekends to clients shared with WHBI. According to WRNW's founder, the letters "RNW" stood for "Radio of Northern Westchester."
In 1971, WRNW changed to an easy listening format, and then to Top 40. In 1972, the station transitioned to a progressive rock format. On Monday, July 9, 1973, WRNW inaugurated transmissions from its new Briarcliff Manor studio on the second floor of a small house at 55 Woodside Avenue. The new transmitter was in Irvington, blanketing White Plains, Yonkers and lower Westchester. It was there, in 1976 that Howard Stern obtained his first paying radio job as a DJ and program director. Meg Griffin, later of WNEW-FM, WPIX, WXRK, WFUV, and Sirius Satellite Radio, was also music director of the station during the mid-70s. Ted Utz also began his professional career at the station in 1976 and went on to program and manage pioneering stations like WMMR in Philadelphia and WNEW FM. Earle Bailey (WLIR, WNEW-FM, WMMR Philadelphia, Sirius XM Radio's Deep Tracks) manned a shift at the station during the progressive rock era as did Doug Berman, now producer of National Public Radio programs Car Talk and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!.
In 1982, the station moved to an adult contemporary (AC) format, first known as Magic 107. It soon adopted the WZFM call letters and became known on-air as Z-107. The AC format was in place until 1991.
WZFM was perhaps best known as the home of "The Saturday Night Special," a freewheeling five-hour request 'n' contest good time oldies/comedy series which, over a nine-year run, became the station's highest-rated program. Co-hosts Gary Theroux and Kerin McCue also developed spinoff specials which were syndicated to other outlets, such as "The Halloween Spooktacular" and the 12-hour "Christmas Through The Years." A three CD adaptation of the latter was released by Reader's Digest Records and ultimately sold over six million box sets. "The Saturday Night Special" remained on the air through a call letter change to WXPS The Express until the station was sold to new owners.
In the early 90s, the new owners flipped the station to an alternative rock format as Today's Rock: X-107 with the WRGX call letters. On December 7, 1996, the station became part of the Big City Radio trimulcast (and eventual quadcast) with other 107.1 stations on Long Island, in northern New Jersey and, later, the Allentown/Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania area. WRGX and the other two multicast stations switched formats to country as Y-107. WRGX became known as WWXY, and later adopted the call letters of former New York City country station WYNY.
On May 9, 2002, after a day of stunting with construction noises, the quadcast adopted a Tropical music format branded Rumba 107. The format was ill-suited to the quadcast suburban signals, and at the end of the year, Big City Radio filed for bankruptcy and sold the quadcast to Nassau Broadcasting. Nassau broke up the quadcast, leasing WYNY to Pamal Broadcasting under a Local marketing agreement (LMA).
On April 3, 2003, at 3 p.m., 107.1 flipped to a simulcast of WSPK in Poughkeepsie, cobranded as "K104 and K107". The first song under the simulcast was "Ignition" by R. Kelly. In 2004, Pamal ended the WSPK simulcast and debuted the adult album rock format WXPK has today as The Peak. Pamal completed the purchase of WXPK from Nassau at the end of 2004.
The Peak adopted the moniker “World Class Rock for New York’s Backyard” in April 2004. Staffed by veteran broadcasters from New York City and around the country, The Peak is the only commercial Triple A radio station in the New York City area. The Program Director is Chris Herrmann (WHJY, Providence; WCSX, Detroit; WBOS, Boston) who doubles as the midday host. "The Morning Peak" is the morning drive show, and is currently hosted by Chris "Coach" Rodriguez. Previously the morning slot was hosted by Caroline Corley (Sirius Satellite Radio; WLIR, Garden City; WYNY, New York.) until her death on November 25, 2013. Longtime New York radio personality Jimmy Fink (WHFS, Bethesda; WXRK, New York; WPLJ, New York) is the afternoon host. Weekends are branded as "The Weekend Peak". Current weekend lineup includes veteran broadcasters Pam Landry, Bruce Figler, and Dina Dessner. The Peak dedicates minimal airtime to syndicated programming; The Bluesmobile (hosted by Elwood Blues) airs 8-9pm on Sunday, and "Anything Anything" (hosted by Rich Russo) airs 9-10pm on Sunday.
The "Peak Performance Series" brings artists to what the station calls "the world’s most intimate performance venue," the Acme Recording and Mastering studio in Mamaroneck, New York. Select members of the station's listener rewards program, The Peak Listener Advisory Board, are invited to attend. The sessions are recorded and played back on the air. The resulting tracks are exclusive to The Peak and are generally not available for purchase or download, although the station has released compilation albums.
Like format leaders KBCO in Denver, Colorado and KFOG in San Francisco, The Peak airs a locally produced "10 at 10" weekdays at 10 am and 10 pm. The program features 10 songs from a single year peppered with snippets of popular movies, television shows, and commercials from that year. In 2006, the editors of Westchester Magazine named "The Peak’s 10 at 10 hosted by Rob Arrow" the Best Local Radio Show. In the annual "Best of Westchester" 2007 issue, readers voted The Peak best radio station. In 2008, Jimmy Fink was named "Best Radio Personality" by the readers of Westchester Magazine. In 2011, Caroline Corley was named "Best Radio Personality" by the readers of Westchester Magazine. Corley repeated as "Best Radio Broadcaster" winner again in 2014, a posthumous tribute to her legacy.
Anything Anything with Rich Russo airs on Sunday Nights.