Eldred now has a country music radio station assigned to the borough, which will also cover and serve other surrounding areas.
Local radio station WBYB 103.9 FM is back on the air, and it has moved its community of license from Kane to Eldred.
The “Big Bob Country” station is owned by Colonial Media and Entertainment.
Jeff Andrulonis of Smethport is the owner of Colonial, based in Olean, N.Y. The company owns eight radio stations, a television station and the Bradford Speedway.
“Our area is finally getting a country station, so I’m really excited about it,” Andrulonis said on Tuesday, the first day the station made its way back on the air.
Previously, 103.9 FM was broadcast from a transmitter in Kane at the old WLMI station location at 29 Fraley St.
Now the station is being broadcast from a transmitter between Smethport and Port Allegany, at the same location that 106.3 FM The Mountain, another Colonial owned station, is transmitted from.
Residents of Kane will still be able to tune into the station. As a result of the move, Kane has lost McKean County’s first commercial radio station, which was started there in 1954 as WADP.
About a year ago, Colonial closed the Kane radio station office at 29 Fraley St. and is trying to sell the building. Even though the Kane office closed, the transmitter there remained operational until Friday. There was a break in the broadcast of 103.9 from then until late afternoon on Tuesday when it began to be broadcast from the new location.
Andrulonis said Colonial received permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move the station out of Kane to Eldred.
Andrulonis acquired the station in 2006. He said he wanted to move the radio station out of Kane because he wasn’t happy with the local economy or government.
“I’m leaving because of the high taxes over there. Kane Borough taxes are now 8.6 times higher than those in Smethport Borough where I live. It’s a direct result of the action that the local government has taken to increase taxes. Businesses are leaving Kane to move somewhere else, they increased 28 percent last year,” Andrulonis said.
Another factor in choosing to move the station was the need to pool advertisers from a larger area to help support the station.
One result of the change is the end of airing Kane and Mount Jewett area church services.
“Unfortunately when we moved out of Kane we weren’t able to do the church services. It’s a shame but there aren’t enough businesses in Kane to support the radio station,” Andrulonis said.
The station will serve not only Eldred but also, Kane, Smethport, Bradford, Coudersport, Port Allegany, Olean, N.Y., and other surrounding areas.