N.B.: This profile has not been updated in several years, and may contain significant inaccuracies.
WDCZ broadcasts with 5000 Watts day, 2500 Watts night, from a six-tower array some 12 miles west of Rochester. WDCZ's day pattern throws a broad lobe to the east, while the night pattern is a very narrow beam aimed due east, protecting co-channel stations in Philadelphia, Montreal, and Winnipeg.
WDCZ's origins go back to 1947, when WRNY made its debut as a 250 watt daytimer on 680 kHz, one of three Rochester radio stations to sign on just after war's end. WRNY spent several seasons as the flagship station for Rochester Red Wings baseball, adding WRNY-FM on 97.7 (later 97.9) in part to carry night games. WRNY-FM left the air in 1955. WRNY was also an applicant for television in Rochester. After losing the battle for channel 10, WRNY was granted a construction permit for WRNY-TV 27 in 1953. It was never built.
In 1957, WRNY became WRVM, "Rochester's Voice of Music," and for a time experimented with a top-40 format.
In 1965, WRVM changed calls to WNYR (the original WRNY having been taken by a station in Rome, NY) and became Rochester's first country music station. The addition a year later of WNYR-FM on 101.3 helped overcome the obstacles of daytime-only operation on a channel shared with Toronto's CFTR, just across the lake---WNYR even boasted of being ``Clear Channel 680'', even though it was someone else's clear channel.
The country music rolled on, and in the summer of 1979 it expanded to 24 hours a day on a new frequency. In exchange for vacating the 680 frequency to allow CFTR to raise power and move its transmitter site to the south shore of Lake Ontario, WNYR was granted permission by Canada to move to a Canadian clear channel, 990 kHz. The move began on July 2, 1979, when WNYR's usual sunset sign-off on 680 was followed by sign-on on 990. WNYR returned to 680 during the day on July 3 and July 4, and then switched to 990 for good on the night of July 4. The old 680 antenna on Colfax Street on Rochester's west side remained standing for more than a decade afterward.
On 990, WNYR remained a country-music powerhouse for several more years, surviving one FM competitor, but finally falling to another, WBEE-FM (92.5), in 1987. Abandoning country, WNYR became an adult standards station, changing calls the next year to WEZO (just abandoned by its sister station on 101.3 FM). Also in 1988, Malrite sold 990 to Atlantic Ventures of Boston.
In 1990, Atlantic Ventures changed 990's calls to WRMM, and the station began simulcasting "Warm 101.3," sister WRMM-FM, with the exception of a brief period when 990's evening hours were filled by programming from the now-defunct North East Satellite Entertainment network.
Atlantic Ventures merged with two other broadcasters in 1993 to create American Radio Systems, and 990 promptly began simulcasting its new ARS sister station WCMF-FM (96.5), under the new WCMF(AM) calls. In 1994, 990 broke from the simulcast to go all-sports, including Rochester Red Wings play-by-play. The sports era ended in late 1996, when 990 returned to the FM simulcast while ARS prepared to sell the station. The initial plan was to donate 990 to St. John Fisher College, but when Crawford Broadcasting stepped forward to offer $600,000 for the station, ARS was a willing seller.
On July 23, 1997, WCMF(AM) left the air forever, and two days later, Crawford reactivated the station as religious WDCZ(AM), simulcasting its WDCZ-FM (102.7) Webster.
As part of a chain-wide format conversion at Crawford AM stations (including KLZ Denver and KAAM Dallas), WDCZ(AM) switched to adult standards on December 6, 1999, becoming "Legends 990," WLGZ.