‘Listener and Local-Business Supported’: The New Indie Formula?


WOODSTOCK, N.Y. — With the song “Brand New Day” from The Mavericks slowly fading into the intro of Mark Knopfler’s 2000 post-Dire Straits solo single “What It Is,” an independently owned 3kw Class A Adult Alternative with studios and offices in the most famous music town in North America couldn’t have made a more appropriate musical segue.

That’s because owner Gary Chetkof, Program Director Jimmy Buff, and longtime General Manager Richard Fusco are helping to lead this radio station, CHET-5 Broadcasting’s WDST-FM 100.1 “Radio Woodstock”, into a whole new revenue model — one that has more in common with a noncommercial station than a facility reliant on advertisers to keep the lights on.

Faced with diminished national buys, fierce competition from such publicly traded large broadcasters as Townsquare Media and iHeartMedia, and a listener pool with a strong appetite for Sirius XM, Fusco — under the guidance of CHET-5 owner Gary Chetkof — went to listeners for help.

The result? More music, less spots, and a closer link to a highly loyal audience that WDST hopes will bring its advertisers even greater ROI.

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