* Page 11 *
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!
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4
Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8
Page 9 | Page 10 | Page 11
WWYY - 107.1 FM, Belvidere
The allocation for 107.1 opened on May 15, 1991, after WEZX in Scranton PA moved from 107.1 to 106.9.
107.1 was granted the WRNJ calls on April 9, 1992 and went on the air with a country format as "Country 107" on October 15, 1992.
A WRNJ "Country 107" cap can be seen here.
WRNJ also had an AM counterpart on 1000 AM, later moving to 1510.
On April 28, 1998, WRNJ became part of the multicast of stations broadcasting the country format of "Y107," based out of Briarcliff Manor NY, and changed calls to WWYY on May 29, 1998.
The station was officially bought by Big City Radio in August 1998 for $5.4 million.
On May 7, 2002, Big City dropped the Country format on all its simulcast stations in the area and debuted a Spanish CHR format as "Rumba 107.1".
In late 2002, Big City Radio went bankrupt and sold all of their radio properties.
This particular 107.1 station was bought by Nassau Broadcasting and studios were moved in with Nassau's other properties in Stroudsburg PA.
On April 7, 2003, WWYY became an Adult Contemporary station as "Lite 107".
In early 2007, WWYY became a Classic Rock station as "107 The Bone."
On October 31, 2014, WWYY switched to alternative as "Spin Radio."
(Thanks to Bryan Vargo for sending in the "Rumba 107.1" logo and the WRNJ logos)
WWZY - 107.1 FM, Long Branch
107.1's origins go back to 1947 when it was licensed to Asbury Park as WCAP "City of Asbury Park."
107.1, in its current form, went on the air on June 1, 1960, initially with a jazz format, with calls of WRLB "Radio Long Branch."
WRLB had the opportunity to increase to 50,000 watts when they signed on, but turned down the chance, feeling that it wouldn't make much of a difference.
Back in those days, FM had an uncertain future and wasn't a top priority for most station owners.
In 1969, Charlie Roberts became the first radio personality to play rock on a commercial FM station in New Jersey, when he debuted a program on WRLB called "Subway," which featured Top 40/Hot 100 songs, with selected album cuts.
A photo of the group Vanilla Fudge in the WRLB studio for the "Subway" show can be seen here.
In 1975, WRLB was doing a mix of MOR and adult contemporary music.
Later on, it became a mix of MOR and brokered ethinic programming.
(The former WRLB building and tower can be seen by clicking here.)
Calls were changed to WWUU in the late 1970's.
Between 1979 and 1981, Dean Ceran handled the 10 to midnight slot (the two previous hosts in that slot were Rocky Zugarri and Steve Trevalese.)
On April 12, 1982, calls changed again to WMJY.
WMJY was, ironically enough, called "Y107" and featured a CHR format that went head-to-head with WJLK.
Lots of up and coming DJ's were involved at this time including "Hollywood" Hamilton (who went on to WHTZ "Z100",) his brother Tony "Wild Child" Hamilton (who went on to WBBM in Chicago,) Bo Richards (who went on to WAGO in Chicago,) and later on, the station featured Don Tandler (who went on to "NJ 101.5" and later "The Breeze") using the on-air name of "Don Tanner" and Paul Roberts (who previously worked at WDRC in Hartford.)
Other DJ's were Douglas B. Pritchett, Phil Brittan and "Shady Dan" (real name: Dan Schade), who by day was a bus driver for Murphy Bus Service, a large NJ bus contractor.
During this time, the station was owned by Mammoth Broadcasting, the principals of which were Jonathan and Elizabeth Hoffman.
Elizabeth also served as GM for a time.
The PD was Kned Xeader.
The format then eventually evolved into AOR by 1986.
Some WWUU & WMJY airchecks can be heard here.
The Hoffmans were divorcing, so Carl Deprospo (who worked at a car dealership) became GM and Ian "Case" (Punnett) was the new PD and also did AM drive.
Some personalities at this time included Matt Ward (now of Shadow Traffic fame), Doug Doyle with news (now at WBGO; previously at WOBM), Shady Dan (now at WRAT), John Ford (now with Walter Sabo Media), Ziggy (now on WCBS-FM) and later in the period, Lauren Pressley, who covered overnights and morning sports and continued on during the "Oldies 107.1" period for mid-days.
Others were Dave Mackey, "TJ The DJ" Brustowicz (who went on to become PD at WHTG for a while), news reporter Rhonda Schaffler (now on CNN), production director Chris Cavallaro - who hosted the Beatles Sunday Brunch (Chris is currently the Director of Broadcast Engineering at Monmouth University), Tom Lipke - who hosted a blues show, Will "Willobee" Carlin, Bob Marx, Mike "The Mudman" Alan, Bobbi Stewart, Vic Porcelli (who went on to KTRS in St. Louis), Linda Jordan, Thom "The Brique" Morrera (who was also moonlighting as the PA announcer for the New York Rangers at the time), Garrick Hart, Mike Cassady (who hosted the Psychedelic Sunday show) and "Jon Michaels" (aka Dave Servini, who did overnights and was Promotions Director - and later moved on to WYNY; prior to that, he was Promotions Assistant to Jack Quigley at WMMR in Philadelphia.)
Dan Finn (now a regional VP for Greater Media) was on the sales staff, and eventually rose to sales manager.
In the 1986-1987 time period, John Ford was the PD and also hosted the morning show with Matt Ward as "The Rock & Roll Awakening."
In May 1989, they switched to adult contemporary and switched calls to WZVU on June 28, 1989, as "Seaview 107."
This was under new ownership by K&K Broadcasting (Jerry Koeppel and Don Kelly).
The airstaff included Tom Beale (mornings, with Fran Harris handling news), Jeff Rafter (mid-days & WZVU's MD; now PD at WJRZ & WMGQ) and (the late) Cosmo Rose (afternoons).
The PD was Geoff Kelly (son of Don Kelly).
In February 1992, the format shifted to a satellite oldies format, but by October 1993, WZVU was a live and local operation as "Oldies 107.1."
Some Program Directors at this time included Jeff Clark, Bob Steele - and later, "Big Joe" Henry.
Weekenders included "Robin Banks" (aka Chris Van Zant - now at "Thunder 98.5") and Marc Lee (later at WJRZ.)
Mornings featured "Rocky D", then Steve Smith - and then John McGary and Judi Franco.
Evenings were handled by "boss jock" Rick St. James.
Some airchecks of Rick St. James: 1993 and 1994.
The station manager was Jim Davis.
Lots of DJ's on "Oldies 107.1" are still active now, such as "Big Joe" Henry (now on WKXW), "Jersey Judi" Franco (a WKXW alumnus), "Captain Jack" Aponte (who went on to WJRZ, WHTG-AM and WBHX & "Thunder 98.5/106.3") and Tripp Rogers (who went on to WNJO and WPHY).
In December 1996, Big City Radio (owners of what was to be "Y107" in Briarcliff Manor NY) bought WZVU and began a multicast of their country format.
A newspaper article on the switch can be seen here.
"Big Joe" Henry was the last DJ on the air at "Oldies 107.1" the day of the switch.
Calls were changed to WWZY on June 13, 1997 when the sale became finalized.
The initial lineup included PD Darrin Smith, MD Taylor Brien, Bob Kane and Amy Paige, along with Larry Bear and "Skip Church" on Sunday mornings.
Later on, other personalities joined the station including Alan Ross, Adrienne Austen, Eric James, Ray Rossi, Jim Kerr, Karen Stewart, J. Cruze, "Cousin Vinny", Dennis Falcone and Brian Brittain.
On May 7, 2002 at 5pm, Big City dropped the Country format on all its simulcast stations and debuted a Spanish CHR format as "Rumba 107.1".
Last song played was Garth Brooks', "The Dance."
In late 2002, Big City Radio went bankrupt and sold all of its radio properties.
In April 2003, Nassau Broadcasting acquired 107.1 and took it off the air in anticipation of moving the transmitter back to its original location in downtown Long Branch.
On April 14, 2003, it was announced that Nassau had "spun-off" 107.1 to Press Communications for $20 million.
On May 14, 2003, 107.1 came back on the air as "107.1 The Breeze", a soft adult contemporary format, similar to Press' "99.7 The Breeze" in Tuckerton.
On June 30, 2003, 107.1 began a simulcast with "99.7 The Breeze", with Captain Jack doing mornings, along with Donna Rose handling news.
In April 2004, veteran radio personality Tim Downs replaced Captain Jack for mornings.
Scott Edwards, an evening personality on The Breeze, was also on 107.1 during its "Seaview 107" and "Oldies 107.1" incarnations in a similar capacity.
In March 2005, veteran personality Al Brooks (from WOBM fame) joined for news, replacing Donna Rose.
In early 2006, Mike Fitzgerald (of WCBS-FM fame) replaced Tim Downs for mornings.
After downplaying the "Breeze" name for a couple of weeks, 107.1 became simply "107.1 FM: A Music Radio Station", with more of a Hot AC presentation, on April 19, 2013.
On July 1, 2014, 107.1 was renamed "Fun 107.1"
(Thanks to Chris Cavallaro, Dean Ceran, Scott Edwards, Dave Mackey, John McGary, "Jon Michaels", Vic Porcelli, Lauren Pressley, Charlie Roberts, Rich Robinson, Rick St. James, Marty Siegel, Arthur Vergara & Kned Xeader for some of this information)
(Thanks to Mark Fletcher for digging up an old WZVU logo)
(Thanks to Bryan Vargo for sending in the "Rumba 107.1" logo)
(Thanks to Richard Salerno for the Rick St. James airchecks)
WWDX - 107.1 FM, Paterson
This 1000 watt station signed on in December 1947 and was owned by the Passaic Herald-News.
The station's transmitter was located on top of Garrett Mountain in West Paterson, with the studio located in downtown Paterson.
It went dark in 1953, but lingered on the FCC's records as a dormant CP until the early 1960's.
The frequency allocation was later deleted.
(Thanks to Phil Galasso for some of this information)
WPUR - 107.3 FM, Atlantic City
107.3 was originally allocated to Atlantic City on August 26, 1987, granted the WZZP calls on March 17, 1997 and went on the air in February 1998, with what has to be one of the strangest sign-ons in recent memory.
On February 28, 1998, WZZP signed on with a test broadcast featuring 20 songs, a mix of classic rock, oldies and newer songs.
This test broadcast was erratic, mostly heard on weekends, through March 17, 1998.
Then on April 9 and 10, 1998, WZZP broadcast a mix of country songs.
And then later on April 10 and going into April 11, we were inundated with hearing the song "Tubthumping" by the group Chumbawumpa over and over.
April 12 to April 14 brought another stunt, this time all classic rock songs, as "ZZ-107."
From April 14 to April 17, CHR was featured, with ID's only saying "107.3."
This was expanded upon from April 17 to April 25, when more CHR songs were added to the playlist and ID's were now "ZZ-107 The Zipper."
Then, on April 25, 1998, "Fun 107" debuted with a Rhythmic CHR format, which most people thought was going to be the final format, but was just another long drawn-out stunt that ultimately lasted for a little over 2 months, when on June 29, 1998, the real format finally debuted: "Cat Country 107.3".
The calls officially changed to WPUR on July 20, 1998.
Interestingly enough, during the time the "Fun 107" stunt was on the air, it garnered a 2.0 in the Spring 1998 Arbitrons!
WSNJ - 107.7 FM, Bridgeton
WSNJ, originally on 98.9 FM, first signed on in March 1948 and has stood the test of time, continuing to be a live and local operation, with its mix of Adult Standards, Talk and other specialty programming, along with its AM counterpart.
WSNJ has the distinction of being the first fully licensed FM station in New Jersey.
The original owners of WSNJ were Paul Alger and Russell Henderson.
In the early days, WSNJ was on the air from 3p to 9p (later till midnight) relaying the classical music programs from WQXR in New York via what was known as the "QXR Network".
Around 1962, WSNJ swapped frequencies with WPBS in Philadelphia (now WUSL) and went to its current position of 107.7 FM, for the sum of $20,000.
In 1971, Ed Bold and his wife, Katherine "Kay" Bold, bought the station and continued it's full-service format.
Some long-running shows on WSNJ include "The Country Store," a swap-and-shop call-in show, "The Bystander," the "Off The Cuff" interview show with Paul Hunsberger and a polka show hosted by "Polka Pete."
In September 2001, it was announced that the station was to be sold for $20 million to a buyer in South Carolina.
The people behind this were Ed Seeger and Andrew Guest of American Media Services in Charleston.
One of their specialties is "developmental engineering" - in other words, "move-ins."
They formed a company called New Jersey Broadcast Associates, supposedly to acquire the station's assets from Ed Bold.
However, the ultimate goal was to move the FM allocation closer to Philadelphia, increase its value, put it up for sale to the highest bidder, and make a tidy profit.
The agreement of sale to Mr. Bold required him to file to change WSNJ-FM's city of license to Elmer NJ.
This would not have required the transmitter to be moved from Bridgeton, nor would it have changed the coverage area.
The only reason it was filed was to open a rulemaking docket, so that on the final day for counter-proposals, AMS could file an "alternative" proposal to move to Pennsauken and not have to risk any objections.
However, the FCC viewed this as much differently than the initial Elmer proposal and kept the docket open several more weeks.
Haverford (PA) High School, the licensee of WHHS, did file an opposition, which was overruled.
The FCC's justification for allowing the move was that Pennsauken was a larger community than Elmer, and that the grandfathered short-spacings of the former 107.7 Class B allocation would be eliminated, as there was a location near Palmyra NJ where the facility could theoretically operate as a fully spaced Class A facility on 107.9.
Bridgeton would also retain WSNJ-AM as its remaining local service.
However, there were no suitable existing towers at this "theoretical location", so an application was filed to co-locate in Camden with WKDN, slightly short-spaced to WFSI, 107.9 in Annapolis MD.
Once the CP was obtained (still in the name of Cohansick Broadcasting, Ed Bold's company), AMS put it up for sale.
Several parties expressed interest, but Radio One submitted a high bid of $35 million in December 2003.
(Meanwhile, on March 4, 2003, Ed Bold passed away at the age of 82.)
On February 2, 2004 at 6:30pm, the end of an era occurred.
With the sale to Radio One finalized, WSNJ-FM left the air for good.
It's "localized" format continues on it's AM counterpart, which was sold to Quinn Broadcasting for $550,000.
Only on the February 2004 closing date did NJBA take legal possession of the WSNJ-FM license, and it was immediately passed on to Radio One.
Ed Bold's estate was paid $20 million and AMS took the remaining millions as profit, after legal expenses and taxes were paid.
Some airchecks from WSNJ are available here.
(Thanks to Mark Humphrey & Jack Moore for some of this information)
WRWL-LP - 107.7 FM, Galloway
This station, owned by Word Of Life Christian Fellowship, was granted an LPFM CP on December 9, 2014.
The WRWL-LP calls were assigned on May 21, 2015.
WRRC - 107.7 FM, Lawrenceville
This station went on the air on November 1, 1962 as a carrier current station on 640 AM, with calls of WRCR.
The station was started by a student named Ira Kinder.
The faculty advisor's name was Gordon Graves.
He was in charge of the Audio/Video Department of what was then-named, Rider College.
Sometime in 1965, the station changed call letters to WWRC.
A commercial station somewhere on the East Coast wanted the WRCR calls.
The newly named WWRC received some equipment from the commercial station for giving up its letters.
The studios and offices of the growing student-run station were moved to the basement of Hill Dormitory.
There was a main studio, an auxillary production studio and record library and two offices; one, a general office at the entrance way to the station and another for the station's General Manager.
The station was in what was called the "dungeon."
WWRC had a Top 40 format at the time.
While the college did not have a broadcast major, a number of staffers did some commercial radio as a career.
The station was very popular with the students and at one time, the marketing department did a survey that showed 80% of the students who lived on campus listened to the station during the period in the late 1960's, along with favorite commercial entities like WFIL, WABC, WIBG and the new "underground" station WMMR.
A number of DJ's went into commercial radio.
Pat Foley spent some time at Trenton's WTTM as a DJ;
he eventually became a teacher.
Dan Dworkin, known as "Double D", spent about 8 years in the business after Rider, as General Manager of the then-WSLT in Ocean City NJ.
Mike Diamond, now an editor for the Atlantic City Press, did play-by-play of Rider basketball on WBUD and WBJH in Trenton.
Paul Most spent a number of years as GM of WOBM-FM in Toms River.
Arn Schwartz did news and sports at WTNJ, spent some time on Armed Forces Radio as a DJ and was GM at WTTM in Trenton.
He also spent 4 years at WPST in promotions.
Rick Pienciak was the news director and now is an editor for the New York Daily News.
Rich Berkstein DJ'd at WEEX in Easton PA and WAEB in Allentown PA.
From 1966 to 1973, WWRC held a radio marathon each spring to raise money for the cure of Multiple Sclerosis.
Chuck Leonard of WABC and Long John Wade of WFIL did promos for the station and helped advise the students.
In 1971, the station moved to larger quarters in the new Student Center on campus.
All new equipment was purchased and there were three larger studios.
The communications department began using the studios for some of its classes.
Calls were changed to WRRC in February 1984, and moved to 88.5 FM.
The station moved to it's current 107.7 position in March 1992.
In recent years, the station featured a mix of mainstream and alternative rock music.
WRRC now features classic hits - and oldies on the weekends - as "107.7 The Bronc."
(Thanks to Tom Lawler, Arn Schwartz & the WRRC website for some of this information)
(Thanks to Tom Lawler for the "Bronc" logo)
WPOV-LP - 107.7 FM, Vineland
WPOV-LP went on the air in March 2007 on 99.9 FM; it was originally allocated to Vineland on June 14, 2001.
The station is owned by Calvary Chapel Of Vineland and features a religious format.
WPOV-LP moved to 107.7 in February 2011.
WMDI-LP - 107.9 FM, Lakewood
This station, owned by the American Institute For Jewish Education, was granted a CP in March 2003; it was originally allocated to Lakewood on June 12, 2001.
The WMDI-LP calls were assigned on May 12, 2003.
The station, serving the Lakewood area, was first noted on the air in August 2003.
WPHI - 107.9 FM, Pennsauken
This station is the result of an allocation change regarding the old WSNJ on 107.7 in Bridgeton (see above).
The WPPZ calls were granted on October 25, 2004.
After various on-air tests during November 2004, 107.9 debuted on December 1 as "WRNB" with an Urban AC format.
The calls officially became WRNB on December 8, 2004.
On September 1, 2011, 107.9 moved their programming & call letters to 100.3 in Media PA, with a new format pending on 107.9.
On September 8, 2011 at 5pm, 107.9 became "Hot 107.9" with an urban format.
On November 6, 2014 at 7pm, 107.9 became "Boom" with a classic hip-hop/R&B format.
WWPH - 107.9 FM, Princeton Junction
WWPH, broadcasting from West Windsor Plainsboro High School, first went on the air in November 1975.
The station features a mix of CHR and rock music.
WSRX-LP - 107.9 FM, Vernon
107.9 in Vernon was one of the first LPFM's to be granted in the FCC's 2nd LPFM filing window, held in October and November of 2013.
The station, owned by Skylands Radio Cooperative, was granted a CP on January 24, 2014.
Thw WSRX-LP calls were assigned on May 2, 2014.
WOLD-LP - 107.9 FM, Woodbridge
SRN Communications, headed by Shawn R. Newman, was granted an LPFM CP for 107.9 in Woodbridge on April 4, 2014.
The WOLD-LP calls were assigned on August 12, 2014.
On November 12, 2014, WOLD-LP went on the air featuring "classic hits".
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4
Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8
Page 9 | Page 10 | Page 11
Radio-History.com Home Page
Also visit our "sister" sites: PirateJim.com | LPFMDatabase.com