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Peekskill Residents Dial In To New Public Radio Station

Alan Chartock is the President and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, which started airing in Peekskill last month.
Alan Chartock is the President and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, which started airing in Peekskill last month. Photo Credit: Contributed

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Alan Chartock is unafraid to express his opinion. Starting last month, Peekskill residents joined several other nearby communities in being able to hear the thoughts of the president and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio.

WAMC, a public radio network based in Albany, came on the air in Peekskill at 95.9 FM in April. The station, which is part of National Public Radio, also broadcasts in Mount Kisco (88.9 FM) and Brewster (88.5 FM). There are also outlets Middletown, Kingston and Stamford, Conn. Its primary broadcast areas are Southern Vermont, Westchester, Massachusetts and upper Northwest Connecticut.

Much of the content is centered on discussion on news and current events. Chartock, 73, has been the CEO of the radio station since 1981 and still looks forward to his daily dive into relevant topics.

“I love it,’’ Chartock said. “It’s why I get up in the morning. I like getting into trouble. We’ve had some major differences with some politicians and people get on me from time to time. I’m used to that. What I never quite have gotten used to is when people get nasty.”

One of the main appeals of public radio for Chartock is to invite the dialogue of the community. He encourages people to voice their comments on the radio’s programs.

“People learn to participate and know what’s going on,’’ Chartock said. “Not just one side, but all sides. There’s always spirited debate. I think that’s one thing that makes public radio so appealing.”

Member-supported WAMC broadcasts news, informational and cultural programming. It also broadcasts the Metropolitan Opera, along with jazz and bluegrass music. Chartock frequently has one-on-one interviews with state politicians.

Chartock said plans for a radio station in Peekskill have been in the plans for several years and the addition of the station in Peekskill expands WAMC’s reach to northern Westchester. The Mount Kisco station can be heard in the central part of the county.

“This is a natural progression,’’ Chartock said. “It can be tricky with radio stations because we have to apply for a license. Sometimes it comes through, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Chartock was a professor at SUNY New Paltz, is a Professor Emeritus of communications, at the State University of New York. Since retiring as a teacher, he devotes a lot more time to radio. He hosts the weekly Capitol Connection public radio program, and writes a syndicated column on politics which appears in newspapers throughout New York State.

WAMC draws on public support to remain on the air. Its next fundraising drive begins June 1. Past fundraising drives have raised $1 million in as few as three days. Readers can contribute through a donation form. Click here to access the form.

To learn more about WAMC, visit its website .

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