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This page will attempt to showcase the histories of New Jersey FM Radio stations,
past and present.
Please feel free to e-mail me with any information you would like to contribute to this page and
you will be credited.
Some information provided by:
Bruce Elving's FMedia! newsletters, 1986-present
Dave Hughes' NYRTV website (no longer online)
Jeff Miller's History Of American Broadcasting website
Do you, or anyone you know, work in NJ radio, either now or in the past?
is looking for you!
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WHCY - 106.3 FM, Blairstown
106.3 went on the air as WFMV on October 21, 1973, broadcasting from an old railroad station.
It started as an Oldies/AC station as "Sold Gold 'FMV - The Tri-State Gold Mine" and "Golden FMV FM".
The original morning jock was Fred Messick (later "Chucky B" Betteyman), Steve Crocker was the news director, and Rod Wolfe was PD.
Sy Marsh handled weekends, as well as recording a majority of the automation tapes that the station ran.
Stu Engelke was the original engineer, later replaced by Steve Boyer.
Kurt Gebauer was VP/General Manager of WFMV from January 1977 to the end of 1979.
Kurt (as "Scotty O'Connor") was previously at WCRV.
Some DJ's during this period included Bill "Cosmic Trucker" Chamberlain, Geoffrey Kevin Dahl, Alan David Stein, Russ "Long" Caron, Wayne Scott Sandifer, Rod Baumann, Mark Austin, Ron Kaplan, "Bad Billy" James, Steve Altermus, Tony Dee, Candy Longo, George Fuller and Bob O'Brien.
Tommy John was the PD.
In 1979, WFMV became a Hot AC station, and by 1980, had gone Top 40.
In 1981, they became more of a Rock station.
Ron Bailey hosted a Saturday night show in the winter of 1984.
WFMV studio pictures (circa 1984) can be seen here.
In the Spring of 1985, they went back to Hot AC.
They evolved into mainsteam AC by 1987 and a Gold-Based AC by 1989.
In April 1990, they dropped AC and became "Classic Hits 106", emphasizing 1970's Oldies, mixed with some 60's, 80's, some current material, and a few pre-1964 Oldies.
In the Fall of 1991, they started to focus more on 50's and 60's music, with some 70's and one 80's song an hour.
On October 25, 1992, 106.3 became "Hot Country 106.3" with new call letters of WHCY becoming official on November 15.
The format was initially via satellite with live mornings, afternoons and some weekend shifts.
By 1994, it became completely live & local.
In March 1996, Nassau Broadcasting bought the station and eventually began instituting some voicetracked and automated shifts.
The country format remained until Augsut 25, 2000, when 106.3 switched to CHR as "Max 106.3."
In 2001, WHCY was sold to Clear Channel, along with the Sussex County stations that Nassau owned.
In 2004, Max 106.3 evolved into a Hot AC station.
(Thanks to Lance Venta for digging up an old WHCY logo)
(Thanks to Ron Bailey, Steve Cannon, Mark D, Kurt Gebauer, Kevin O'Keefe, Sy Marsh & Wayne Scott Sandifer for providing some of this information)
(Thanks to Kurt Gebauer for an old WFMV logo)
WKMK - 106.3 FM, Eatontown
WHTG went on the air on October 11, 1961, originally on 105.5 FM.
This was in addition to their AM counterpart.
Because of interference issues with WDHA, the station moved to 106.3 in 1965, displacing Red Bank station WFHA, which had forfeited its license in late 1963 (see below).
WHTG stood for owners Harold & Theo Gade.
In it's early days, WHTG simulcasted the Adult Standards format from its AM station.
Then in 1982, the format shifted to an adult contemporary format.
By 1983, the adult conemporary was dropped in order to debut an alternative rock format, with the emphasis on showcasing local and unsigned bands.
The station was now called "FM 106.3" and had a very loyal following.
Probably the most famous DJ from this era of the station was Matt Pinfield, who later went on to MTV.
In 1984, Kevin Dunn did mornings, before being promoted to PD for WHTG-AM, where he stayed until 1986.
On November 14, 2000, the format was tweaked a bit when Press Communications (previous owners of WKXW) bought the station and made it more advertiser-friendly, as "G-106.3."
On February 18, 2005, WHTG started simulcasting on its sister station, 98.5 in Ocean County.
On January 19, 2009, 106.3 switched to a Top 40 format as "Hit 106."
On September 15, 2010, 106.3 & 106.5 (see below) switched to "Thunder 106" (previously on 98.5 as "Thunder 98.5").
Call letters changed to WKMK on September 16, 2010.
(Thanks to Donald Blesse, Doug Douglass, Kevin Dunn, Ed Montgomery & Rich Robinson for some of this information)
(Some info also taken from the WHTG-AM profile in "The Airwaves Of New York" book)
WJSE - 106.3 FM, North Cape May
This station was originally on 106.7 and allocated to North Cape May on July 27, 1988, was granted the WIFB calls and then the WUFB calls on July 30, 1992.
On April 1, 1993, calls were again changed to WJNN and went on the air with a news/talk format as "Jersey News Now."
In January 1995, the news/talk programming continued during the week, but on weekends classical and folk music was featured.
Then, in July 1995, WJNN started religious programming as "Joy 106.7" and later as simply "The Journey."
In June 2001, the religious programming was dropped and the format went to alternative as WDOX (calls becoming effective on June 8, 2001.)
WDOX was originally on 93.1 in Wildwood Crest until 1998.
In April 2005, 106.7 evolved into a Top 40/Alternative hybrid, with call letters of WSJQ, which were officially granted on April 14.
On August 7, 2008, 106.7 changed call letters to WKOE.
On September 19, 2008, 106.7 debuted a country format as "Coast Country."
On April 1, 2010, the country was dropped, in favor of Classic Hits as WFNE "Fun 106.7".
In December 2011, WFNE moved to 106.3.
On June 11, 2012, calls changed to WJSE; the calls were formerly used on 102.7 in Petersburg/Ocean City until 2010.
On August 31, 2012, 106.3 switched to Alternative, matching the previous use of the WJSE calls.
(Thanks to Kris Lane for providing an "old" WDOX sticker and a "new" Q107 logo)
WFHA - 106.3 FM, Red Bank
WFHA stood for owner, Frank Hamilton Accorsi.
The station was located on a building on Broad St. in Red Bank, in the block near Front St.
The antenna was on a short mast on the top of one of the buildings - couldn't have been more than 50 feet high.
Frank was a real one-man band, and in the pre-automation days, he would sell advertising during the day and then sign the station on around 3 or 4pm and be the DJ until 11pm or so.
If he was running behind, the station didn't go on the air.
By 1963, WFHA forfeited its license - and eventually was replaced by WHTG (see above).
(Thanks to Donald Blesse & Ed Montgomery for some of this information)
WTHJ - 106.5 FM, Bass River Twsp.
This station went on the air on October 1, 1972 as WSLT on 106.3, licensed to Ocean City.
According to the 1975 FM Atlas, WSLT was doing an MOR-type format.
The "Broadcasting Yearbooks" of 1976 and 1980 also listed WSLT as having a "beautiful music" format.
In October 1989, WSLT switched to a classical music format.
Then, in September 1992, classical was dropped in favor of country, with calls changing on September 28, 1992 to WKOE.
Phil Galasso, who most of us know as a frequent contributor on the Garden State Radio Board, started up a group at the time called the "Friends Of WSLT Classical Music Radio," in order to put classical music back on the dial in South Jersey.
The group was somewhat successful, as WWOC 94.3 in Avalon tried classical for about a year.
Then in June 1998, the country format was moved over to new sign-on WZZP (later WPUR) in Atlantic City and 106.3 became Modern AC as "106.3 The Shore."
On March 15, 2002, WKOE started to simulcast the Modern AC format of 97.3 in Vineland.
Shortly thereafter, the station "stunted" with a loop of, among other things, "One-Oh-Sex-3".
Then, on April 1, 2002, WKOE debuted themselves as a CHR station as "Hot 106.3: Today's Top 40".
Just days after its debut as a CHR station, 106.3 re-imaged themselves on April 4, 2002 as a Dance CHR station as "The Beat Of South Jersey."
On February 1, 2003, WKOE started simulcasting WKXW "New Jersey 101.5".
In November 2004, Press Communications took over operations of 106.3, and on November 10, switched to a simulcast of their popular "The Breeze" format from Monmouth-Ocean county.
In January 2006, 106.3's COL (city of license) changed from Ocean City to "Bass River Twsp.", in anticipation of the station changing frequencies to 106.5.
After testing for a couple of days, WKOE switched to 106.5 on June 22, 2006, featuring a simulcast of WHTG 106.3 in Eatontown (see above).
Calls changed to WBBO on July 5, 2006 as part of a switch with 98.5 in Ocean Acres.
On September 15, 2010, 106.5 & 106.3 (see above) switched to "Thunder 106" (previously on 98.5 as "Thunder 98.5").
First song played on "Thunder 106": "Country Done Come To Town" by John Rich.
On December 8, 2010, 106.5 switched calls to WTHJ.
(Thanks to Lance Venta for digging up an old country WKOE logo)
(Thanks to "John1" for some of this information)
(Thanks to Mike Ferriola for the WSLT logo)
WKVP - 106.9 FM, Camden
106.9 went on the air June 1, 1966 as an MOR station, co-owned with WTMR 800 AM, by Tommy Roberts Sr.
In June 1968, 106.9 began broadcasting the religious programming from Family Radio in California.
In December 2011, 106.9 was sold to Merlin Media for $22.5 million.
106.9 is expected to debut an all-news format, similar to Merlin's WEMP, 101.9 in New York.
On April 16, 2012 at midnight, Family Radio programming abruptly ended, and after a half hour of dead air, began stunting with REM's "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" (a reference to Family Radio's Harold Camping, who failed with his prediction of the world ending on 2 different dates in 2011, hence the station being sold in the first place).
106.9 is now "All Sean Hannity, All The Time", which is expected to evolve into a news/talk format, featuring Rush Limbaugh and others.
Calls changed to WWIQ, also on April 16.
On May 7, 2012, 106.9 officially debuted as "IQ 106.9".
On November 4, 2013, 106.9 became an affiliate of "K-Love", a contemporary Christian format via satellite from California, as ownership changed to Educational Media Foundation.
Calls changed to WKVP on November 5, which were previously on 89.5 in Cherry Hill.
(Thanks to Kevin Fennessy for some of this information)
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