Equinox Broadcasting started with a construction permit to build a radio station from the ground up. That became WCDW CooL100 FM in Binghamton, put on the air twenty years ago, in March 1995, by George and Barbara Hawras.
Beginning with a small staff, CooL100 (now CooL106.7) quickly gained a loyal listening audience. This allowed Equinox to grow and eventually expand to its current status of eight FM radio stations, with a broadcast reach that spans the entire NY Southern Tier and the Northern Tier of PA, including the Binghamton and Elmira/Corning markets.
Now with more than 30 employees, including many of the area’s best and most seasoned broadcast professionals, Equinox Broadcasting is the only locally owned media group in the Southern Tier with headquarters at 101 Main St. in Johnson City, NY and offices at 734 Chemung St., Horseheads, NY.
The Binghamton stations include: WCDW-FM “CooL 106.7”, WDRE-FM “100.5 TheDrive”, WCDW-HD3 “HOT 92.9”, WCDW-HD4 “Sunny 107.1”, and WCDW-FM HD2 “SolidGold 104.5”.
The Elmira/Corning stations are: WMTT-FM “95 The Met”, WPHD-FM “Cool96”, and WZHD-FM “ Cool97” in Hornell
Equinox's success is partially due to the ability to run a flexible operation that embraces new technology. The Equinox stations are digital, which gives them a crisp, clean sound.
Multiple dial positions are a result of the innovative use of technology by Chief Engineer Kevin Fitzgerald. Re- broadcasting some stations' signal on translators allows Equinox to fill in signal gaps, reach a wider audience, and vary its broadcast formats.
The latest addition to Equinox's technology portfolio is HD 'high-definition' radio, resulting in the most pristine sound quality available today. "Purchasing and installing the new HD equipment has been exciting, challenging, and intense", says Operations Manager, Steve Shimer.
Equinox Broadcasting's stations were the first commercial HD radio stations in the Southern Tier.
Equinox realizes that its true success lies in our involvement with the local community.
Live concerts with 'meet and greets' for our fans, celebrity interviews, daily on-air contests, custom designed advertising to meet the needs of local businesses, and encouraging everyone to "Buy Local" to support our local economy, are some of Equinox's efforts to enrich our area's quality of living.
Support of, participation in, and creation of events is a routine for the dedicated staff at Equinox. Some activities include the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, the local Red Cross Chapter, the American Heart Association, the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, the ever-popular parades , 'Cans & Clams', 'Wingfest', 'The Health & Wellness Fair', 'Pet Expo', themed listener parties, concerts with major musical artists, and much, much more.
"We're in tune with our community; we can serve it on a grass-roots level because we live here, we're part of it" says Barbara Hawras, Owner, VP, and Marketing Director.
An example of the benefit of local ownership came during and devastating flood of 2011. Equinox staff members bravely made it to the station, and then made broadcast history by going live on-air on all of our local frequencies to keep people informed of what was happening, and what to do. Equinox owner George Hawras made the decision to pull all paid programming off the air, and become the live voice of rescuers, town employees, and public information regarding the flood. The relevance of this decision quickly became evident when people began calling the radio station to ask what they should do and where they should go. Equinox Broadcasting's stations became their only information source by allowing FEMA spokepersons, and local government officials to update the current situation. After the emergency abated, cards, phone calls, and emails poured into the Equinox offices to say 'thank you'
"We're now concentrating on improving what we already have and adding staff as needed" says Mr. Hawras, "hopefully without losing the sense of family that's developed among our employees, listeners, and clients."
The goal is to continue to provide high quality music and entertainment for everyone in our broadcasting reach. Equinox Broadcasting thanks you, our loyal listener, for supporting local radio.