The Buck is coming to Wauseon.
Though it’s been transmitting for several weeks, the new radio broadcast at 94.3 FM will settle into a permanent Fulton County home at 16615 County Road F by fall. And it promises to expand local high school sports coverage and other local programming options along the way.
Created by WMTR 96.1 FM owner and operator Max Smith Jr., of the Northwest Ohio Broadcasting Corp., The Buck currently broadcasts from his Archbold location at 303 1/2 N. Defiance St. The first local country radio station, it’s licensed to Wauseon. Pending permits, the station will move into approximately 650-square-feet of on-air and recording studios to be newly constructed about 1 1/2 miles west of the city, likely beginning in summer.
“For a long time I have dreamed of owning a second station in Fulton County,” Smith said. “We wanted to give Wauseon a local radio station. This just dropped in our lap, and we’re very thankful for it.”
Both WMTR and The Buck are distinguished as the four-county area’s only radio stations broadcasting in high definition (HD). The Buck’s digital sound format can be heard at 96.1 HD2.
Smith filed for the radio license over two years ago, then sifted through market research to find that area listeners wanted a country format extending back to the 1990s. But the station will also give the county’s residents what they seem to crave – a full slate of local high school sports coverage.
“One thing we know about people in Fulton County – they like local,” Smith said. “High school sports remains an important part of the local fabric. The new license will allow us to cover more schools in a better way.”
The Buck signed on Feb. 8, and between it and WMTR has already expanded coverage. This Friday, it will cover the Wauseon boys basketball game in Findlay.
“We know who we are,” Smith said. “We’re local people, and so we want to have local coverage. We want to connect with people on a better level. And we wanted to do a better job covering Wauseon. I think we can do a better job with two stations than we could do with one.”
High school sports won’t be the station’s only expanded coverage, he said. The Buck will broadcast live at such events as Wauseon Homecoming and the Delta Chicken Festival.
“You’re going to see us out everywhere. It’s a real solid blend of those things,” Smith said.
One of the last family owned and operated stations remaining in northern Ohio, The Buck will bring in Smith’s son, Drew, to manage the station.
“We’re very thankful for the response so far for the new station,” Smith said. “It has been extremely well-received.”
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.