wbta https://www.thebatavian.com/ en https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png wbta https://www.thebatavian.com/ Local Matters © 2008-2023 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Sun, 19 May 2024 07:51:55 -0400 https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Sun, 10 Dec 2023 21:59:00 -0500 Salvation Army collects truckloads of gifts for disadvantaged kids at annual toy drive https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/salvation-army-collects-truckloads-of-gifts-for-disadvantaged-kids-at-annual-toy-drive
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Capt. Brad Moore, Salvation Army, Ron Kleinbach, City Fire, Todd Rapp, Salvation Army, Ken Barrett, Nici Johnson, WBTA, Marc Tillery, WBTA, and Ryan Darch, City Fire.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Genesee County residents were once again generous in their giving for the annual WBTA/Ken Barrett Chevrolet Toy Drive on Friday.  The Salvation Army will distribute the gifts to area children.

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Photo by Howard Owens.
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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/salvation-army-collects-truckloads-of-gifts-for-disadvantaged-kids-at-annual-toy-drive#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/salvation-army-collects-truckloads-of-gifts-for-disadvantaged-kids-at-annual-toy-drive Dec 10, 2023, 9:59pm wbta Salvation Army collects truckloads of gifts for disadvantaged kids at annual toy drive Howard Owens <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="wbta toy drive" class="image-style-large" height="533" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-12/wbta-toy-drive-2.jpg?itok=lvLHF-os" width="800"> </div> </div> <figcaption><em>Capt. Brad Moore, Salvation Army, Ron Kleinbach, City Fire, Todd Rapp, Salvation Army, Ken Barrett, Nici Johnson, WBTA, Marc Tillery, WBTA, and Ryan Darch, City Fire.</em><br><em>Photo by Howard Owens.</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>Genesee County residents were once again generous in their giving for the annual WBTA/Ken Barrett Chevrolet Toy Drive on Friday. &nbsp;The Salvation Army will distribute the gifts to area children.</p><figure role="group" class="caption caption-div"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="wbta toy drive" class="image-style-large" height="533" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-12/wbta-toy-drive.jpg?itok=N27ZvLc5" width="800"> </div> </div> <figcaption><em>Photo by Howard Owens.</em></figcaption> </figure>
Salvation Army's annual toy drive happening Friday https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/salvation-armys-annual-toy-drive-happening-friday/637506 Press Release:

The Salvation Army in Batavia would like to announce that our annual toy drive will be this Friday, Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

We are once again partnering with WBTA Radio and Ken Barret Chevrolet Cadilac to collect toys for kids in need right here in Genesee County. 

We will be live on the air all day from Ken Barrett at 229 West Main Street. Bring a new unwrapped toy and stop in for a cup of coffee and a donut. 

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/salvation-armys-annual-toy-drive-happening-friday/637506#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/salvation-armys-annual-toy-drive-happening-friday/637506 Dec 8, 2023, 3:06pm wbta Salvation Army's annual toy drive happening Friday Press Release <p>Press Release:</p><blockquote><p>The Salvation Army in Batavia would like to announce that our annual toy drive will be this Friday, Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.&nbsp;</p><p>We are once again partnering with WBTA Radio and Ken Barret Chevrolet Cadilac to collect toys for kids in need right here</p></blockquote>
Visit the Media Center at the Genesee County Fair https://www.thebatavian.com/staff/visit-the-media-center-at-the-genesee-county-fair/635821
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The Batavian's publisher Howard Owens explains Early Access Pass to a visitor at the Genesee County Fair Media Center. The Batavian is running an eagle drawing contest with prizes of a guitar (17 and under) and a Red Osier gift certificate (18 and older). WBTA is also participating in the Media Center and running a "Voice of Batavia" contest.
Photo by Steve Ognibene.
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https://www.thebatavian.com/staff/visit-the-media-center-at-the-genesee-county-fair/635821#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/staff/visit-the-media-center-at-the-genesee-county-fair/635821 Jul 25, 2023, 12:32pm wbta Visit the Media Center at the Genesee County Fair Staff <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div align-center"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="genesee county fair media center" class="image-style-large" height="533" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-07/a76y8282.jpg?itok=zeB-FejJ" width="800"> </div> </div> <figcaption><em>The Batavian's publisher Howard Owens explains Early Access Pass to a visitor at the Genesee County Fair Media Center. The Batavian is running an eagle drawing contest with prizes of a guitar (17 and under) and a Red Osier gift certificate (18 and older). WBTA is also participating in the Media Center and running a </em></figcaption> </figure>
Photo: When you visit the fair, visit the fair's Media Center https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/photo-when-you-visit-the-fair-visit-the-fairs-media-center/635809
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WBTA's Nici Johnson and Rachel Berardini with The Batavian's Kara Richenberg at the Genesee County Fair Media Center in the Exhibition Hall on the fairgrounds on East Main Street, Batavia. When you stop by, please note that there are contests to enter. WBTA is doing a "Voice of Batavia" contest.  They'll record you doing a station tagline and you will have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Senor Leon's Mexican Restaurant.  The Batavian's potential prizes are a guitar for those 17 and under, and for adults, a $100 Red Osier Landmark Restaurant gift certificate. 
Photo by Howard Owens.
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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/photo-when-you-visit-the-fair-visit-the-fairs-media-center/635809#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/photo-when-you-visit-the-fair-visit-the-fairs-media-center/635809 Jul 24, 2023, 8:19pm wbta Photo: When you visit the fair, visit the fair's Media Center Howard Owens <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div align-center"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="The Batavian WBTA Genesee County Fair Media Center" class="image-style-large" height="574" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-07/img_5959.jpg?itok=ZvC5tOB-" width="800"> </div> </div> <figcaption><em>WBTA's Nici Johnson and Rachel Berardini with The Batavian's Kara Richenberg at the Genesee County Fair Media Center in the Exhibition Hall on the fairgrounds on East Main Street, Batavia. When you stop by, please note that there are contests to enter. WBTA is doing a </em></figcaption> </figure>
Lifelong Batavian takes on ownership of WBTA as one way to 'give back' https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/lifelong-batavian-takes-on-ownership-of-wbta-as-one-way-to-give-back/635536
Jim Ernst at WBTA
New WBTA station owner Jim Ernst celebrates signing the official paperwork Friday after talks began a year ago between him and former station owner Dan Fischer. 
Photo by Howard Owens.

For a 1986 Batavia High School grad who has lived in Batavia all of his life, it seemed only natural that Jim Ernst would celebrate his ownership of the city’s staple radio station Friday with a visit to a downtown bartender challenge and then to a concert at Batavia Downs.

After all, that was a large part of why the 54-year-old Batavia native and versed salesman wanted to take on WBTA’s airwaves: to serve and support the community at large.

“I love the community of Batavia, and I see this as an opportunity to make a difference and give back,” he said late Friday afternoon after signing official paperwork to transfer ownership of WBTA from Dan and Debbie Fischer to Ernst. 

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https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/lifelong-batavian-takes-on-ownership-of-wbta-as-one-way-to-give-back/635536#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/lifelong-batavian-takes-on-ownership-of-wbta-as-one-way-to-give-back/635536 Jun 30, 2023, 7:17pm wbta Lifelong Batavian takes on ownership of WBTA as one way to 'give back' jfbeck_99_272012 <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div align-center"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="Jim Ernst at WBTA" class="image-style-large" height="532" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-06/jim-ernst-wbta-2023.jpg?itok=z_oSto4K" width="800"> </div> </div> <figcaption><em>New WBTA station owner Jim Ernst celebrates signing the official paperwork Friday after talks began a year ago between him and former station owner Dan Fischer.&nbsp;</em><br><em>Photo by Howard Owens.</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>For a 1986 Batavia High School grad who has lived in Batavia all of his life, it seemed only natural that Jim Ernst would celebrate his ownership of the city’s staple radio station Friday with a visit to a downtown bartender challenge and then to a concert at Batavia Downs.</p><p>After all, that was a large part of why the 54-year-old Batavia native and versed salesman wanted to take on WBTA’s airwaves: to serve and support the community at large.</p><p>“I love the community of Batavia, and I see this as an opportunity to make a difference and give back,” he said late Friday afternoon after signing official paperwork to transfer ownership of WBTA from Dan and Debbie Fischer to Ernst.&nbsp;</p>
Siebert steps down as WROTB director, calls Albany action 'a blatant move to take over jobs' https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/siebert-steps-down-as-wrotb-director-calls-albany-action-a-blatant-move-to-take-over-jobs Speaking on WBTA Radio, Siebert issued the following statement:

"I've been told that when the governor signs the budget today, I will be fired by people other than people who appointed me -- the county legislature 29 years ago. Quite frankly, I thought I would be fired or terminated by the board that appointed me but I'm hearing that I will be terminated. All 17 of us will be terminated and there will be new appointments to be made for directors representing Batavia Downs.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/siebert-steps-down-as-wrotb-director-calls-albany-action-a-blatant-move-to-take-over-jobs#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/siebert-steps-down-as-wrotb-director-calls-albany-action-a-blatant-move-to-take-over-jobs May 3, 2023, 2:58pm wbta Siebert steps down as WROTB director, calls Albany action 'a blatant move to take over jobs' mikepett <p>Speaking on WBTA Radio, Siebert issued the following statement:</p><p>"I've been told that when the governor signs the budget today, I will be fired by people other than people who appointed me -- the county legislature 29 years ago. Quite frankly, I thought I would be fired or terminated by the board that appointed me but I'm hearing that I will be terminated. All 17 of us will be terminated and there will be new appointments to be made for directors representing Batavia Downs.</p>
WBTA owner sells station after 53 years, keeps it local https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/wbta-owner-sells-station-after-53-years-keeps-it-local/627807

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After more than 50 years in the news business — covering the gamut from radio DJ and newspaper writer to regional photographer, vice president of broadcasting for five stations, and owner of  the successful WBTA radio station with wife Debrah right here in Batavia — Dan Fischer is ready to call it a day

Paperwork was filed on Feb. 17 and the sale became public on Feb. 21 that WBTA advertising executive Jim Ernst, aka Majic Tones LLC, purchased the station, officially titled HPL Communications, for $425,000.

“I’m 72, I’ve been doing this for 53 years, it’s time,” Fischer said to The Batavian. “I enjoy the business; I truly never worked a day in my life. I had the opportunity to sell locally. Jim is an account executive for us, he’s a local guy who grew up in Batavia, and he’s been with us for eight years.”

WBTA AM radio has been on the air based in Batavia since February 1941, with two FM stations, one each based in Batavia and Le Roy, and all three carry the same program. And programs are streamed around the world, Fischer said, to audiences that can be counted “by the person” versus less accurate totals for other audience types.

The station reaps 25,000 listeners cumulatively during each weekly period, though the numbers can vary, say, on a snow day — and “average listenership just soars,” Fischer said. After all, everyone seems concerned about bad weather days.

As for the new ownership, Ernst is a familiar face around town, and “wishes to keep everything the way it is” right now, Fischer said.

“He’s happy with the way things are,” Fischer said.

Staff will also remain the same at this point, which is five full-time, including President/General Manager Dan Fischer and Vice President/Business Manager Debrah Fischer, and five part-time staff, and about four contract talents for sports play-by-play broadcasts, he said.

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Perhaps more importantly, how did this all come about? “Jim and I have been talking for a year,” Fischer said. “I was not actively seeking a buyer.”

He liked the idea of keeping the station in local hands, and believes that’s been a key to the station’s success. WBTA had one of its best years in 2019, just before COVID and the pandemic hit, he said, and “we suffered, along with many other businesses,” but the workload on media increased even more so by covering pandemic-related news briefings, announcements, vaccine and protocol updates, and infection rates, he said.

“All while advertising revenues lagged,” he said. “That was a challenge. The station has always done well when in local hands … and owners understand that the way to success was serving the public interest.

“WBTA and The Batavian are the only locally owned and operated media. One of the highlights of my tenure has been our partnership with The Batavian,” Fischer said. “Covering local news is an expensive proposition at a time when advertising revenues for all traditional media are shrinking. We have been able, with our partnership with the Batavian, to stay very competitive in this market.”

Likewise, The Batavian’s publisher, Howard Owens, has greatly valued his professional relationship with Fischer, while also appreciating his “journalistic friendship.”

“I first talked to Dan after I became owner of The Batavian in March 2009. He could see the value of what we were doing, and could see the value of a news partnership. That always gave me somebody to talk to, and we could trust each other. His knowledge of Genesee County has been a tremendous asset to The Batavian, and WBTA is a great example of a news organization serving its local community,” Owens said. “I’m looking forward to working with Jim.”

Fischer’s long history with the company — he and business partner Debrah, who will continue in a consultant role after the sale, bought WBTA in 2004 — also includes a lot of journalism roots attached. His first job was as a country music DJ in Utica who also read the news for listeners. The station owner liked the way Fischer read, and “I really enjoyed doing news,” he said.

“It was a more important calling than just announcing the next Johnny Cash song,” Fischer said.

He worked his way up the ranks, moving to Jamestown, where he met the future Mrs. Fischer, and also worked for Buffalo Courier, Erie Times-News, and WIVB, gleaning all sorts of media nuggets for his future career. He eventually moved to Batavia — a brand new place for the native of Cheektowaga — and credits the late Bill Brown, a popular media figure and author about town — for inviting Fischer to Batavia Rotary, where he met several people, and made those much-needed connections as a new business owner.

Part of the local aspect includes WBTA’s status as being a heritage, full-service radio station. It has been around for decades, even before World War II, Fischer said. News stories from its airwaves have been about tragedy — the Attica Prison riot — and victories — high school championship football games. And everything in between.

“I can’t imagine operating a station with just music,” he said.

Many pancake breakfasts and chicken barbecues later, the Fischers had settled into Batavia life, though as residents of Oakfield. Married for 33 years, they plan to continue their love for travel and visiting family. That is, after all legalities have been finalized, which is to happen in 80 to 90 days when a notification will be sent regarding an assignment of licenses, and that gives the parties 10 days to close the deal.

Top Photo: Dan and Debrah Fischer at the time of the station's 75th anniversary. Photo by Howard Owens. Inset photo, Jim Ernst, courtesy WBTA. 

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/wbta-owner-sells-station-after-53-years-keeps-it-local/627807#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/wbta-owner-sells-station-after-53-years-keeps-it-local/627807 Feb 27, 2023, 8:05am wbta WBTA owner sells station after 53 years, keeps it local jfbeck_99_272012 <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/60/2023-02/dandebwbta75.jpeg?itok=ygwyBdsb" width="460" height="307" alt="dandebwbta75.jpeg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>After more than 50 years&nbsp;in the news business — covering the gamut from radio DJ and newspaper writer to regional photographer, vice president of broadcasting for five stations, and owner of&nbsp; the successful WBTA radio station with wife Debrah right here in Batavia — Dan Fischer is ready to call</p>
It will be a merrier Christmas for local kids after toy donations collected at Ken Barrett https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/it-will-be-a-merrier-christmas-for-local-kids-after-toy-donations-collected-at-ken
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City Fire, WBTA, Ken Barrett Chevrolet and Cadillac, along with the Salvation Army, teamed up again for their annual toy drive to benefit families in Genesee County who may not have the financial means to meet all of their kids' Christmas dreams.

Photo: Ryan Whitcombe, Nathan Kinne, Nici Johnson, Ken Barrett, and Todd Rapp. Photo by Howard Owens

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/it-will-be-a-merrier-christmas-for-local-kids-after-toy-donations-collected-at-ken#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/it-will-be-a-merrier-christmas-for-local-kids-after-toy-donations-collected-at-ken Dec 9, 2022, 10:55pm wbta It will be a merrier Christmas for local kids after toy donations collected at Ken Barrett Howard Owens <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/60/2022-11/img_4158toys.jpg?itok=0ImN_Gz6" width="460" height="326" alt="img_4158toys.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>City Fire, WBTA, Ken Barrett Chevrolet and Cadillac, along with the Salvation Army, teamed up again for their annual toy drive to benefit families in Genesee County who may not have the financial means to meet all of their kids' Christmas dreams.</p> <p><em>Photo: Ryan Whitcombe, Nathan Kinne, Nici Johnson, Ken</em></p>
Photos: History Heroes visits Adam Miller, WBTA https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-history-heroes-visits-adam-miller-wbta/613040
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The History Heroes summer program hosted by Holland Land Office Museum and led by Anne Marie Starowitz visited Adam Miller Toy & Bicycle and WBTA today, fitting into this year's theme of "History Rockin’ Around the Clock in the 1950s."

The theme gives the participating children a chance to glimpse into what it was like to live in 1950s America.

Photos by Howard Owens

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-history-heroes-visits-adam-miller-wbta/613040#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-history-heroes-visits-adam-miller-wbta/613040 Jul 29, 2022, 5:28pm wbta Photos: History Heroes visits Adam Miller, WBTA Howard Owens <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/60/2022-07/historyhearos50s2022.jpg?itok=IFa-ZJO-" width="460" height="307" alt="historyhearos50s2022.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>The History Heroes summer program hosted by Holland Land Office Museum and led by Anne Marie Starowitz visited Adam Miller Toy &amp; Bicycle and WBTA today, fitting into this year's theme of "History Rockin’ Around the Clock in the 1950s."</p> <p>The theme gives the participating children a chance to glimpse</p>
ARC client shares experience with WBTA audience during DD Awareness Month https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/arc-client-shares-experience-with-wbta-audience-during-dd-awareness-month/597736 Press release:

Joie shared a little bit of her life, her hopes and dreams on WBTA Radio, Friday morning during an Arc GLOW interview on Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.   She told listeners that shortly after she was born she had a stroke, resulting in a seizure disorder. She has an autism diagnosis and attends Arc GLOW’s Community Prevoc program to help develop work skills.  The Prevoc program introduced Joie to activities including delivering Meals on Wheels and volunteering at a food pantry. 

“I love volunteering at the community food pantry in Oakfield, and would love to open a food pantry of my own someday,” Joie said.

Arc GLOW’s Shelley Falitico shared Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is a time to raise awareness about the inclusion of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in all areas of community life and it’s an opportunity to highlight their contributions.

“Individuals living with disabilities in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties are making contributions to our community across the spectrum,” Shelley said.  “This month may be nationally recognized as DD Awareness month but we at Arc GLOW celebrate daily individuals with disabilities served, families, guardians, friends, providers, staff and all of those who use their talents and continue to push initiatives that help individuals with disabilities create a more inclusive community,” she added.   (Listen to Friday’s full interview, posted on the Arc GLOW Facebook page).

During Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Arc GLOW has kicked off its annual Membership Drive, received proclamations from each of the four GLOW County Legislatures/Boards of Supervisors, and is participating in restaurant and cookie fundraisers across the four counties.  Details can be found on Arc GLOW’s website, www.arcglow.org

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/arc-client-shares-experience-with-wbta-audience-during-dd-awareness-month/597736#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/arc-client-shares-experience-with-wbta-audience-during-dd-awareness-month/597736 Mar 20, 2022, 6:10pm wbta ARC client shares experience with WBTA audience during DD Awareness Month Press Release <p>Press release:</p> <blockquote> <p></p><div class="align-left"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/60/2022-03/joiearc.jpg?itok=JKJFKiH9" width="150" height="171" alt class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> Joie shared a little bit of her life, her hopes and dreams on WBTA Radio, Friday morning during an Arc GLOW interview on <em>Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month</em>.&nbsp; &nbsp;She told listeners that shortly after she was born she had a stroke, resulting in a seizure disorder. She has</blockquote>