* Page 8 *
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
WUPC-LP - 102.3 FM, Arrowhead Village
WUPC-LP was the first LPFM to hit the air in New Jersey; it was originally allocated to Arrowhead Village on June 14, 2001.
Calls were granted on August 14, 2002, and began broadcasting on August 18, 2002.
However, soon afterwards, it was determined that the station's transmitter was in the wrong location, and WUPC-LP was taken off the air.
After nearly a year, the station returned to the air on August 13, 2003.
WUPC-LP features a Spanish religious format, and serves the Brick/Lakewood area, with fringe coverage in Toms River.
In June 2013, WUPC changed affiliations to "Radio Adonai".
In June 2014, WUPC switched back to "Radio Alerta."
WGBZ - 102.3 FM, Cape May
102.3 signed on June 3, 1967 with calls of WRIO ("Rio Grande" - original site of the studios and transmitter) and featured a religious format.
It had started out on 101.7 previously.
Owen Hand put the station on the air.
The station's tower was originally in the glide slope for the airport there, which resulted in poor coverage because the tower was short.
On October 21, 1983, calls were changed to WSJL "South Jersey's Lighthouse."
In July 1995, WSJL dropped its long-time religious format and began a simulcast with co-owned 99.3 in Pleasantville (at the time WMID) which had a classic rock format.
Then, in December 1997, 102.3 (along with 99.3) changed formats to Smooth Jazz, resulting in 102.3 changing calls to WJSX on January 1, 1998 (to go along with 99.3's call change to WSAX.)
Then, in March 2000, a confusing set of call letter changes took place, which ultimately affected 3 stations: 102.3, 99.3 in Pleasantville and 105.5 in Cape May Ct. House.
On March 6, 2000, 102.3 was granted the WGBZ calls, then on March 14, 2000, it had the WZBZ calls, in both instances acting as a placeholder while 99.3 and 105.5 changed calls, and in the end, settled on WSAX on March 23, 2000 and continuing the Smooth Jazz format that had been on 99.3.
In July 2001, Smooth Jazz was dropped in favor of simulcasting the Adult Standards format of WMID 1340 AM, and on September 4, 2001, acquired the WMID-FM calls.
On February 15, 2003, calls changed to WAIV and on February 21 began a simulcast with WAYV, 95.1 in Atlantic City.
On August 26, 2013, 102.3 and 105.5 in Cape May Ct. House did a format swap, with the WAYV simulcast going to 105.5 and "Sunny" moving to 102.3.
102.3 became WSNQ on September 1, 2013.
102.3 changed calls to WGBZ on July 7, 2014, and by July 11, was simulcasting the Rhythmic CHR format of "99.3 The Buzz" from Pleasantville.
(Thanks to Lance Venta for digging up an old WSAX logo)
(Thanks to Kris Lane for an old WSJL bumper sticker/logo)
(Thanks to Bob Spain for some of this information)
WSUS - 102.3 FM, Franklin
102.3 first signed on February 28, 1965 as WLVP, with a country and gospel format.
The WLVP calls stood for Louis VanderPlate, the station's founder.
His house and studios were located on top of Hamburg Mountain, where the tower was located.
Jim Post ran WLVP's gospel show in the evenings.
Joe Madas got his start at WLVP, as did Art Bell (of "Coast To Coast AM" fame).
WLVP studio pics can be seen here.
On December 26, 1969, WLVP's tower was destroyed in an ice storm.
Lou temporarily erected a 30 foot tower made out of pipe and operated the station at reduced power through the winter of 1970.
In April 1970, a "used" tower was purchased and erected on the mountain, and is the same tower still in use today.
In 1971, the station was sold for $75,000 to Peter Bardach and became WSUS.
Jay Edwards was the GM, along with such jocks as Chuck O'Brien, Bob O'Brian, Wayne Scott, Jim Preston and George Fuller (who's still at the station today).
The CE was Johnny Fredricks.
WSUS' initial newsman was Dick Bartlett.
The original format was called "Town & Country", featuring Top 40 Pop & Country by day and Top 40 Rock at night.
By 1982, WSUS evolved into a mainstream AC format, with some Hot AC at night.
In the late 1980's, WSUS became a strict Hot AC, before going back to their mainstream AC roots by 1991.
In 1997, Nassau Broadcasting bought the station.
In 2001, Clear Channel acquired WSUS and other stations in the Sussex County market.
The WSUS studio building (from 2001 when they were on Main St. in Franklin) can been seen here.
(Thanks to Mark D, Joe Madas, Ed Montgomery & Wayne Scott Sandifer for providing some of this information)
(Thanks to Bryan Vargo for a WSUS logo)
WWAC - 102.7 FM, Ocean City
102.7, originally allocated to Petersburg on January 18, 1990, was granted the WSKR calls on June 28, 1991 and went on the air in August 1991 as "The Score," a sports/talk station.
The programming was basically a mix of local and syndicated sports shows and for a period of time starting in December 1991, WSKR relayed WIP, 610 AM from Philadelphia from 6am to 6pm.
In August 1994, the sports was dropped in favor of alternative rock as "The Edge," later "Freebird" and then as "Digital 102.7."
Calls were changed to WJSE on November 8, 1994.
On November 8, 1999, WJSE became the first station in New Jersey to carry Howard Stern's syndicated morning show.
In March 2006, WJSE re-imaged itself and became "102.7 The Ace", featuring a more mainstream rock format.
In March 2010, WJSE changed its city of license from Petersburg to Ocean City.
On July 1, 2010, 102.7 changed calls to WWAC - and on July 2, debuted as "Wild 102.7" with a rhythmic CHR format.
On September 19, 2011, 102.7 dropped the "Wild" name and became "AC 102.7."
(Thanks to Bryan Vargo for digging up an old WJSE logo)
WFMO - 103.1 FM, Jersey City
WFMO went on the air in September 1947 and was taken dark in 1951.
Little else is known about the station, except that it remained as a dormant CP until the early 1960's.
(Thanks to Phil Galasso for this information)
WPRB - 103.3 FM, Princeton
WPRB, one of the first college radio stations in the country, was founded in 1940 as WPRU, broadcasting on 640 AM through the heating pipes of a Princeton University dorm.
The broadcasting schedule was broken into two parts originally: 3pm to 6pm, a 2 hour break for supper, and then 8pm to 10pm.
In 1943, the schedule expanded to 2pm to midnight.
During World War II, the station ceased programming, from approximately Summer 1943 to March 1945, then resumed a schedule of 6am to midnight.
On November 10, 1955, the call letters were changed to WPRB and moved to 103.9, becoming the first college FM station in the country, broadcasting with a mere 88 watts.
At this time, WPRB was broadcasting on both 103.9 and 640.
In February 1960, WPRB upgraded their power to 17,000 watts and moved over to 103.5 FM.
In September 1962, WPRB again changed frequencies and moved over to 103.3 FM.
1964 saw the debut of stereo broadcasts on WPRB.
And, in 1973, WPRB became a 24/7 operation.
Going all the way to its beginnings as WPRU, classical music has been a feature on the station.
Nowadays, most, if not all, musical genres are represented.
An aircheck from 1980 and a sign-off recorded on August 13, 2011 can be heard here.
(All of the above was taken from WPRB's website, which has extensive information on its history, including newspaper clippings, interviews and memories from past alumni)
(Thanks to Bryan Vargo for a couple of old WPRB logos)
WMGM - 103.7 FM, Atlantic City
103.7 first signed on June 14, 1961 as WOSJ, later as WMGM.
The 1960's featured an automated Top 40 format.
The 1970's and 1980's featured a rock format as "Rock 104."
Mitch Herring hosted the 7pm to midnight shift in the summer of 1971.
In the late 1980's, WMGM became CHR as "Hot 103.7."
In August 1991, WMGM became "Sunny 103.7," with an adult contemporary format, which evolved into a 70's format by 1995, with "Classic Hits 103.7" being used by February 1997.
In February 2000, WMGM became "103.7 The Shark" with a classic rock format.
On August 17, 2011, WMGM changed its slogan to "103.7 WMGM Rocks" and evolved into a mainstream rock format.
(Thanks to Mitch Herring for some of this information)
(Thanks to Bryan Vargo for providing a WMGM logo)
WNNJ - 103.7 FM, Newton
WNNJ went on the air October 15, 1961.
Initial programming included a mix of Beautiful Music, Jazz and Classical.
Programming also featured news, agricultural reports and live remotes featuring a very popular DJ at the time: Tom Quinn.
Call letters changed to WIXL around 1965.
By 1970, the Jazz and Classical were dropped.
In October 1976, the Beautiful Music was dropped in favor of a "Traditional Country" format, playing songs from 1950 to the then-present, and also mixing in some Bluegrass music as well.
By 1982 and 1983, WIXL became more of a Gold-Based country format, mixing country with some rock crossovers.
Their slogan at the time was "XL-Country."
They also heavily promoted their local news operation as "Your Sussex County/Tri-State Information Authority."
Around 1986/1987, the format was basically Contemporary Country, with some older Country music mixed in.
Calls were changed back to WNNJ on May 27, 1988, with their slogan changing to "Power 103" and instituted a CHR format.
By 1991, WNNJ was starting to evolve into a Hot AC station.
In January 1997, WNNJ became "Classic Hits 103.7" when Nassau Broadcasting bought the station.
In 2001, Clear Channel bought WNNJ and other stations in the Sussex County market.
In January 2004, WNNJ evolved into a "Classic Rock" station.
WNNJ also has an AM counterpart, which the FM simulcast with in its early years.
(Thanks to Mark D, Leo Filon & Ed Montgomery for providing some of this information)
(Thanks to Bryan Vargo for an old WNNJ-FM logo)
WPDI - 103.9 FM, Hazlet
This station, originally on 89.3, has had a long and very strange history.
They signed on May 24, 1979 as WVRM.
WVRM stood for "Vic" Scudery (owner of Airport Plaza and Interstate Electronics in Hazlet), "Ray" (Vic's attorney) and "Mickey" Caruso (aka Steve Liadis).
Allan Brady was one of the first station managers of WVRM, which programmed Top 40 during the week, oldies on the weekends and religious programming on Sundays.
Don Owen (aka Don Zeller) did morning drive as "Don Owen's Country Frolic."
Don was later replaced by Steve Cosgriff (aka Steve Cie), and the show shifted to Top 40 music.
WVRM, at the time, was known as "The Big V."
In 1981, Allan Brady did mornings and overnights on WJRZ in Manahawkin.
Another DJ around that time, Hank Hart, hosted "The Wild Weekend Rock N' Roll Show" Fridays at 6pm, and later hosted a heavy metal show on Tuesdays.
Another highlight was Steve Lewis' "Fantasy Park", which highlighted local talent in a "park-like" atmosphere.
Mike Singer was the original engineer for WVRM until around 1982, when Rod Copolla took over.
WVRM was financially anchored by a "School For DJ's" overnight service, known as Kaleidescope.
Some other shows featured on WVRM included, "Sandy Shep's Moments To Remember", "Mike Singer's Remember When" and "The Friday Night Ghost Train Show."
In 1982, Harry Stridacchio bought WVRM; his son, Michael, along with Debbie Lisk (both age 13 at the time) hosted "The Mike & Debbie Rock Show".
After Debbie left, the show evolved into "Rock Box USA".
WVRM changed calls to WCNJ on March 2, 1987.
Since then, they have had a wide variety of formats ranging from CHR to Classic Rock to Oldies to Spanish.
The Spanish format started in September 1992.
They then went to an alternative rock format in December 1994 and then to oldies in March 1995 as "Solid Gold CNJ."
This is the station where back in 1996 they were doing an Oldies fomat with Sal Anthony as PD.
Sal Anthony helped then-WRLJ, 89.7, Freehold Twsp. get on the air, then about 6 months later, preceeded to steal their equipment and start his own pirate station on 104.7 FM in Howell, under the calls of WZVU.
Another ex-employee of WCNJ, Mike Selvanto, also started his own pirate station on 89.3 FM in Toms River back in September 1998, under the calls WSMR.
(See the Pirate Page for more information on Sal Anthony and Mike Selvanto.)
They illegally moved their studios in 1998 to Red Bank and started up "89.3 CFM," which was a CHR/classic rock hybrid.
In September 1998, Sal Anthony "bought" WCNJ and converted it back to oldies.
In June 1999, WCNJ started up an ethnic, mostly Indian, format programmed by Eastern Broadcasting Corp.
In April 2002, WCNJ broke away from Eastern Broadcasting Corp., but is still programming the ethnic format, this time with Mercury Broadcasting.
On March 2, 2005 (exactly 18 years after 89.3 acquired the WCNJ calls), new calls of WDDM were assigned, to go along with the "Dhoom FM" slogan they began using recently.
On September 2, 2005, 89.3 debuted a religious format via satellite from EWTN and billed itself as "New Jersey's Catholic Radio."
In April 2007, "Dhoom FM" abruptly returned to 89.3.
On April 13, 2011, WDDM went silent to make room for WFJS.
Calls changed to WPDI on April 10, 2012, in anticipation of the station returning to the air on 104.7.
On April 25, 2012, WPDI returned to the air on 104.7, broadcasting as "Radio Asia."
In June 2013, WPDI moved again .. this time to 103.9.
(Thanks to Allan Brady, Stephen Cosgriff, Hank Hart, Steve Lewis & Michael Stridacchio for some of this information)
WRNU - 103.9 FM, Newark
WRNU is run as a Part 15/carrier-current station by Rutgers University (Newark campus).
The station first signed on in 1967.
WRNU is also broadcast over 610 AM.
WXNJ - 103.9 FM, Plainfield
This 1000 watt station went on the air in September 1947 and was located on the 2nd floor of an office/bank building at 111 E. Front St. in downtown Plainfield.
WXNJ was owned by Stavid Engineering (who also built the transmitter) and a local car dealership; Stavid would later be bought out by Lockheed Electronics in 1959.
One of WXNJ's music programs featured Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians.
That program was advertised on a green matchbook cover that is now part of the collection of Henry Behre, founder of the now-defunct WERA.
In 1950, Harold Schutzman (later, Harold Gordon, then Joe Weite) was WXNJ's chief engineer and the program director was Tom Haley; station manager was Jim Flynn.
The station had 2 sponsors.. Klotts, a local florist, and 2 students from Seton Hall bought time and did a disk jockey show in the evenings.
WXNJ went dark sometime in the 1950's and the frequency allocation was deleted by the FCC when the Commission cancelled WXNJ's dormant CP around 1962.
(Thanks to Phil Galasso, Harold Gordon & Harold Schutzman for this information)
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