WTBQ President Frank Truatt presented with Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation

| 07 Nov 2017 | 06:26

— Radio station owner Frank Truatt credited Town of Warwick Historian Dr. Richard Hull with virtually saving WTBQ from extinction
On Thursday evening, Oct. 26, Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Hull presented Truatt and his staffers at WTBQ (AM 1110/FM 93.5) with a Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation for outstanding contributions as an independent community broadcasting station.
In his introductory remarks, Hull explained that without Truatt's risky purchase in 1994, we probably would not have a local radio station to serve us today.
'A building block of democracy'"And community radio stations," he said, "are key building blocks of our democracy and with their diminution we risk weakening our freedom of speech and our sense of grassroots community identity."
Although WTBQ, one of the very few remaining independently owned community-oriented radio stations in New York State, had received many awards, this was the first time that the owner and president of the company was recognized.
"Under his enduring leadership and vision," said Hull, "this 'little station that could' has helped to raise funds to preserve historic buildings, to pass referenda to save farmland, to give recognition to non-profit organizations seeking to provide food and clothing to those in need and to alert his listeners to important cultural, historical, political, and business concerns and issues."
Reminded of Ed Klein and his visionIn accepting his award, Truatt gave a brief history of how 23 years ago, because of his love of radio, he risked his lifetime savings to purchase a daytime AM radio station in a building that did not meet the needs of a modern radio studio and that had been off the air for over a year.
"Twenty three years later and a lot of sacrifice and hard work," he said, "has proven to me that I made the right choice."
Truatt credited Ed Klein, who founded WTBQ in 1969, for his vision of a community radio station.
Expanded programmingToday WTBQ broadcasts day and night with a full seven-day schedule and with increased signal strength, an audience well beyond Warwick and even beyond Orange County.
Truatt added that for the future, the station continues to search for new talent, expanding its music library and programming.
"And," he said, " I couldn't imagine doing anything else, except maybe driving the Dale Earnhardt No. 3 race car."
- Roger Gavan