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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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WTTH - 96.1 FM, Margate City
96.1 was originally allocated to Margate City on September 22, 1987 and was granted the WFOU calls on November 13, 1989, followed by WMXL on June 25, 1990.
On September 23, 1991, calls were again changed to WTTH and went on the air on November 19, 1991 with their current Urban AC format.
In September 1994, WTTH started a simulcast on 105.5 FM in Cape May Ct. House.
In February 1999, the simulcast moved over to 93.1 in Wildwood Crest.
The simulcast on 93.1 ended on October 30, 2009 when 93.1 split off into separate programming.
WPOE - 96.7 FM, Elizabeth
WPOE signed on February 12, 1949 and was owned by Robert C. Crane, publisher of the Elizabeth Daily Journal.
The station was incorporated as Radio Elizabeth Inc., with Crane as President.
The first General Manager and Chief Engineer of WPOE was Bill Maron.
The studios, transmitter and tower were located on top of a 10 story office building on East Jersey St., known as the Albender Building.
The station occupied the penthouse above the 10th floor.
The 100 foot tower with an RCA pylon antenna produced an ERP of 1000 watts and covered most of New York City, as well as a great part of NJ.
Sy DeWitt was hired as the first announcer and PD.
Marian Neeson was the office manager and one of the earliest female announcers in the business.
There were also several part-timers to round out the staff.
The FCC required the station to operate a minimum of 6 hours per day, 3 hours before 6pm and three hours after 6pm, however WPOE routinely ran until 11pm each night.
Programming on WPOE consisted mainly of classical music, show albums and pop records; News was presented every hour; Sundays featured live remotes from various churches in the area.
The station also featured a variety of live and transcribed programming, in addition to a number of vocal soloists, instrumental groups and ministerial speakers.
In 1951, Bill Maron left WPOE and Sy DeWitt was promoted to Station Manager and Chief Engineer.
The station also hired several combination announcer-engineers.
WPOE was a successful operation, but wasn't bringing in any money.
FM was too new and there weren't enough local listeners to sustain the station, so the owners pulled the plug on WPOE in 1953.
Vintage WPOE pictures are available by clicking here.
(Thanks to Sy DeWitt for this information)
WFPG - 96.9 FM, Atlantic City
WFPG began broadcasting on 96.9 in September 1962, after being on 98.5 FM, starting in 1948.
Some recollections from Charles "Kent" Frodsham:
WFPG-FM, 96.9, was a premier beautiful music station.
I worked there from 1965 to 1968 as a salesman-announcer. I was hired by General Manager Johnny Struckell.
In those days, the station was located on the world-famous Steel Pier on the Atlantic City boardwalk.
The Summer 1966 Pulse Radio Audience Survey, Atlantic City was the first time an FM station was number one in a daypart - in this case from 9am to noon for WFPG-FM.
That was before the days of FM beautiful music syndicators. Programming was local, live, with announcers playing uninterrrupted 15-minute segments of easy-listening music from vinyl albums 6am to midnight.
Overnights were simulcast with WFPG-AM. That show was called 'The Beachcomber Show.' Music was MOR.
Announcer in 1965 was Dan Bradley, then Dave Lord took over in 1966, and was still there when I left in 1968.
On the AM side, morning man was Bob Richter. Mid-days were still Ed Davis, afternoon drive was Jack Lawyer, News Director was Howard Berger, and news reporter was Alex Stern. Chief engineer was Al Roche.
As I recall Dan Bradley became Traffic and Production coordinator, other announcers were Alan Segal, Dave Hickman, and Larry Carl. Bill Rosenfelt was Sales Manager. Cathy Clark was Johhny Struckell's secretary and became manager upon his death.
I sold advertising during the week, and did the overnight Beachcomber Show on weekends.
In the 1960's, WFPG was known as the "station with the chimes" because during breaks in music, or when the announcers were talking, there were light chimes in the background.
The easy listening format continued into the 1970's and 1980's, as "FM 97," which eventually evolved into Soft AC.
The first indication of this was in August 1989 when they started calling themselves "Lite 96.9"
In October 1995, they started using their current slogan of "Lite Rock 96.9".
The WFPG calls stand for "Worlds Famous PlayGround", a tourism slogan for Atlantic City.
An aircheck from 1983 can be heard here.
(Thanks to Charles Frodsham, Mitch Herring & Dick Taylor for some of this information)
(Thanks to Bryan Vargo for an old WFPG logo)
WENJ - 97.3 FM, Millville
97.3 began on February 2, 1962 as WMVB "Millville-Vineland-Bridgeton."
Programming consisted of a simulcast with WMVB, 1440 AM from 6am to sunset, then originating its own programming from sunset to its 11pm sign-off.
The format was easy listening at this time, also featuring local news each hour and world news on the half-hour.
Sundays would feature religious programming in the morning and "Mostly Music" in the afternoon.
The original owners were Fred Wood (of WIP Philadelphia's "Dawn Patrol" and was GM of 1360 AM in Vineland - at the time WWBZ - before buying WMVB-AM in 1957,) Dorothy Carlson (who also worked at WWBZ,) plus some others.
Ed Bold, of WSNJ fame, also worked part-time at WMVB during this time.
Fred Wood later sold WMVB AM/FM in the late 1960's, after starting a cable TV business.
He also founded WWOC, 94.3 in Avalon in 1976.
In the mid to late 1970's, WMVB featured a easy listening/AC format which eventually evolved into a more mainstream adult contemporary format by 1981.
The station also increased its broadcasting schedule to 24 hours, after previously signing off at midnight each night, except for 1am on Monday mornings.
Skipping ahead to May 1987, WMVB began using the slogan "B-97", which would evolve to "Boss 97" in May 1988.
97.3 changed calls to WBSS on September 16, 1988 to reflect the change.
WBSS was originally a CHR, but started going in the Rhythmic CHR direction in July 1991.
In November 1995, the owners of WKXW "New Jersey 101.5" bought 97.3 and started a simulcast of WKXW.
On March 15, 2002, WBSS dropped the WKXW simulcast and debuted a Modern AC format as "Mix 97.3"
Calls were changed to WIXM on April 3, 2002.
In November 2004, 97.3 went back to the 101.5 WKXW simulcast, because of the debut of similarly-programmed "SoJO 104.9."
On June 26, 2006, 97.3 changed calls to WXKW.
On June 1, 2009, 97.3 broke away from the NJ 101.5 simulcast and became WENJ "97.3 ESPN", featuring local and syndicated sports programming.
(Thanks to Earl Mellor and Glenn Summers for some of this information)
(Thanks to Kris Lane for digging up some old "Boss 97" logos)
(Thanks to Backy Vandermast for the WMVB logo)
WPEN - 97.5 FM, Burlington
97.5 started life, intially on January 19, 1949, then officially on April 19, 1949, as WTOA.
It was owned by the Mercer Broadcasting Company, which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Trenton Times newspaper.
WTOA started out broadcasting from 3pm to 11pm, with an ERP of 14,500 watts.
It's original coverage area reached as far north as Brooklyn NY and as far west as Reading PA.
Some WTOA-era pictures can be found by clicking here.
97.5 became WPST on September 13, 1971.
The WPST calls originally stood for "Passport Stereo Trenton," a slogan of the station at the time.
A picture of WPST's (and sister station WHWH's) remote broadcast truck (circa 1980's) can be seen here.
Bob Alexander was the PD at the time and had recently hired Jim Brewster for part-time announcer duties (and also for WHWH).
After being in the Air Force, Jim returned to WPST in 1973 and eventually became the station's Production Manager.
By this time, David Fuelhart was the GM of the station, and later Howard David.
WPST is known for it's mainstream CHR format, which they've had for many years.
Tom Taylor was the PD who launched the format in the mid 1970's, and did mornings on the station until 1987.
In August 1975, owner Herb Hobler hired Phil Gieger as the General Manager.
Along with Tom Taylor, they revamped the station and coined the phrase, "From The Shore To The Poconos, The Music Is On The FM 97.5 WPST."
They initially established an Adult Rock format, and by the Fall of 1975, the station took off and eventually became the number one station in the market.
Some WPST DJ's over the years included John Mellon (aka Walt Ballard), Ed Johnson, Doug James, John Brown, Eddie Davis, Trish Merelo, Andy Gury, Brian Douglas, Mel Toxic, Jay Sorensen, Dave Hoeffel, Tom Cunningham, Michelle Stevens, Mimi Chen, Eric Johnson, Mark Sheppard, Andre Gardner, Phil Simon, Steve Trevelise, Joel Katz, Rich DeSisto and Scott Lowe.
Caricatures of the WPST DJ's, circa 1977, can be found here.
On February 14, 2005, at 5pm, 97.5 "switched" frequencies and formats with 94.5 WTHK.
In August 2005, 97.5's city of license was changed from Trenton to Burlington.
On November 15, 2006, 97.5 went off the air, as ownership of the station changed from Nassau Broadcasting to Greater Media.
Calls changed to WJJZ on November 16 and the station debuted a Smooth Jazz format.
(WJJZ and Smooth Jazz were associated with Philadelphia and 106.1, until that station changed format in August 2006.)
After some brief stunting, WJJZ dumped smooth jazz and debuted a new Hot AC format as "Now 97.5" on September 8, 2008.
Calls changed to WNUW on September 12.
On October 9, 2009, WNUW dumped the "Now" format and became "97.5 The Fanatic"; simulcasting the ESPN sports format from co-owned 950 WPEN in Philadelphia.
On October 20, 2009, 97.5 changed calls to WPEN-FM.
(Thanks to Bryan Vargo and Lance Venta for digging up some old WPST logos)
(Thanks to Bernie Alan, Jim Brewster, Mimi Chen, Andy Gury, Scott Lowe, John Mellon, Arn Schwartz & Jeff Smith for providing some of this information)
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