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Radio Woodstock Celebrates Local Sounds on 100.1 WDST

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Photos courtesy of Radio Woodstock

Since 1980, WDST has been broadcasting an original soundtrack to the delight of its devoted Hudson Valley audience.

“100.1 percent homegrown.” If you’ve ever tuned in to Radio Woodstock, this tagline will sound familiar—and despite four decades of location changes and recent pandemic uncertainty, the station has remained true to its roots by putting music, and their listeners, first.

One of only a handful of independent stations across the state, Radio Woodstock strikes a balance between running an award-winning station and remaining community minded. Across all departments, from marketing to production, the staff of audiophiles works diligently to keep the station locally driven, which includes giving airtime to regional artists and recording ads for area businesses.

WDST

When you tune in to WDST, you can expect to hear an eclectic mix of adult contemporary, indie folk, classic rock, blues, and more. A few of our favorite segments include the weekday Lunch Lounge with Aja, where listeners request songs that fit a daily theme; Record Nights, where albums are played in their entirety; and the late-night shows from new DJs—you never know what tunes you might discover.

Principal Owner and President Gary Chetkof, who acquired the station in 1993, says that WDST runs like public radio. Listeners can become members online through annual donations (they encourage $100.10 to match their FM frequency). The rest of their support is through local advertisers.

At the most unlikely time to do just about anything (2020), Radio Woodstock moved from their longtime spot at the Bearsville Theater to a former Methodist Church in West Hurley. With the end of their lease approaching, Chetkof took advantage of an opportunity to create a permanent home for WDST. “I had wanted to buy that old church for a while,” he says.

WDST church

Newly outfitted with a studio space, stage, office, and state-of-the-art recording equipment, the building can now accommodate the station’s ever-growing programming, including intimate, in-house concerts from local up-and-coming artists appropriately titled the “Steeple Sessions.”

WDST also organizes concerts in larger venues. Past performances featured Death Cab for Cutie, The Wallflowers, and Michael Franti + Spearhead. Up next? The return of Mountain Jam, the popular multi-day music and camping festival that Chetkof and the station have been putting on since 2005. The fete is slated to make a comeback in 2023 at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts—the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

The focus of the station’s events and programming has always been about the music and the community. “I’m a music lover. My decision to buy WDST was to own this station that did things innovatively and uniquely. At the end of the day, it’s really just about entertaining people with great music and being adventurous with the selection, whether it’s on the radio or at a live event,” says Chetkof.

For more information and to listen live from wherever you are, visit radiowoodstock.com.

Related: Wanda Fischer on 40 Years as Host of The Hudson River Sampler

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