Make your own free website on Tripod.com
   88.1 to 89.9 FM Home
History of the NJRM
NJ Radio At-A-Glance
Museum News
FAQs
Contact Us
Links

 

Contents:

bullet

88.1 FM WYGG

bullet

88.1 FM WNJS

bullet

88.1 FM WBEK

bullet

88.1 FM WPFR

bullet

881. FM WNJT

bullet

88.3 FM WVBH

bullet

88.3 FM WBGO

bullet

88.5 FM WNJP

bullet

88.7 FM WNJW

bullet

88.7 FM WRSU

bullet

88.7 FM WXXY

bullet

88.7 FM WPSC

bullet

88.9 FM WAJM

bullet

88.9 FM WMNJ

bullet

88.9 FM WBZC

bullet

88.9 FM WMCX


 

bullet

88.9 FM WOGH

bullet

89.1 FM WWCJ

bullet

89.1 FM WFDU

bullet

89.1 FM WWFM

bullet

89.3 FM WNJB

bullet

89.3 FM WCNJ

bullet

89.3 FM WTRR

bullet

89.5 FM WSJI

bullet

89.5 FM WSOU

bullet

89.7 FM WNJN

bullet

89.7 FM WDVR

bullet

89.7 FM WRDR

bullet

89.7 FM WGLS

bullet

89.7 FM WLCR

bullet

89.9 FM WNJM

bullet

89.9 FM WJPH

This page will attempt to showcase the histories of New Jersey FM Radio stations, past and present. The history pages content is provided by "Pirate" Jim George.  Please feel free to e-mail him with any information you would like to contribute to this page and you will be credited.

Some information also provided by:
 

  • Bruce Elving's FMedia! newsletters, 1986-present
     

  • Dave Hughes' NYRTV website (no longer online)
     

  • Tom "LavPass"

  •  

    WYGG - 88.1 FM, Asbury Park
    After being granted the WYGG calls on February 22, 1991, 88.1 went on the air in June 1993 with an ethnic religious format.

    This station also broadcasts with an illegal relay, also on 88.1, in the Brooklyn NY area.
     



    WNJS - 88.1 FM, Berlin
    88.1 was granted the WNJS calls on May 17, 1991 and went on the air soon afterwards as a simulcast partner with WNJT (see below).


     

     

    WBEK - 88.1 FM, Cherry Hill
    WBEK, owned by the Cherry Hill Twsp. Board Of Ed., went on the air on February 15, 1980 and featured a CHR format.
    However, the FCC later deleted the station in April 1990, probably as a result of the elimination of Class D 10 watt educational stations.

    WPFR - 88.1 FM, Netcong
    88.1, which was owned by Family Stations Inc., was granted the WPFR calls on September 15, 1993.
    However, the station never came on the air and was deleted by the FCC in May 1995.
     
     

    WNJT - 88.1 FM, Trenton
    WNJT is the flagship station for the NJN Radio Network.
    88.1 first went on the air in April 1991 (after being granted the WNJT calls on March 14, 1991) with a very diversified format: rock/jazz/country/urban - you name it.
    It then evolved into an NPR station, carrying their programming as well as other locally-produced shows.
    WNJT also relays WBGO overnights (12am to 6am).
     


    WVBH - 88.3 FM, Beach Haven West
    88.3 was granted the WVBH calls on April 28, 2000.
    On March 4, 2003, WVBH went on the air simulcasting the Contemporary Christian format of WXHL in Christiana DE.
     

    WBGO - 88.3 FM, Newark
      WBGO signed on shortly after World War II, February 7, 1948.
      It was originally an educational station owned by the Board of Education of the City of Newark.
      It originally operated on 91.1 FM, moving to its current 88.3 frequency in the early 1950s.
      WBGO operated only during school days and carried instructional, in-school programming, signing off by 3:30 or 4:30 PM. It identified itself as, "This is the FM station for the schools, WBGO, Newark" and as, "At 88.3 FM, this is WBGO, your school station in Newark."
      The studios and tower were located at Central High School on High Street (now Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard).
    WBGO ran 20,000 watts ERP from that site.
      The tower is still standing, although the antenna has been removed from it.
      In 1978, the city sold WBGO to a nonprofit organization called Greater Newark Public Radio.
      The studios were moved to their present location across from Military Park at 54 Park Place and the transmitter was moved to the top of an office building in downtown Newark.
    The jazz format was introduced when the sale closed (April 1979) and WBGO became an affiliate of National Public Radio.
      WBGO is a key source of jazz programming for NPR.
    The calls, WBGO, originally stood for something else when they were first assigned, but later became the initials for 1978 founder Bob G. Ottenhoff.

    (Thanks to Doug Douglass, Phil Galasso and Scott "Tilde" McCleary for this information)


    WNJP - 88.5 FM, Sussex
    88.5 was granted the WNJP calls on July 30, 1992.
    They finally signed on in August of 1998 as a relay for WNJT (see above).
      WNJW - 88.7 FM, Franklin Lakes
    This station started life as WRRH on February 22, 1963, owned by the Ramapo Board Of Education.
    The station broadcasted in mono with 10 watts and 2 schools shared the same facilities: Ramapo Regional High School in Franklin Lakes (hence the calls of WRRH) and Indian Hills High School in Oakland.
    The Franklin Lakes studio was run by Don Lohse, who also was involved with 1500 AM in Pompton Lakes (see NJ AM Page 7).
    Later, one of the teachers from Ramapo Regional took over: Bud VanGendren.
    The Oakland studio was run by a teacher at Indian Hills: Al Evangelista.
    WRRH's broadcasting times varied.
    The Oakland studio operated originally from 3p-6p on Wednesday and Friday, then later expanded to 3p-11p.
    The Franklin Lakes studio operated from 11a-6p Monday thru Friday, except when Oakland was on.
    The station featured a mix of CHR and rock, plus featured all high school football and baseball games on tape delay.
    In the mid-1980's, a license dispute ensued between WRRH and William Paterson College in Wayne, who had applied for 88.7.
    Since WRRH was a 10 watt Class D station, the FCC didn't look favorably on the operation, especially since they were doing away with issuing Class D licenses at the time.
    Ultimately, the dispute ended in a deadlock; the license was granted to William Paterson, however WRRH's was not revoked.
    William Paterson gained a de facto victory when WPSC (see below) signed on in late 1988, and used their transmitter to overpower WRRH, thus effectively putting an end to the station.
    It lay dormant until February 1993 when Bergen County Community Broadcasting Foundation (headed by Gerard Turro) bought the license, changed the calls to WJUX on May 26, 1993 and started an Adult Standards format.
    He used this station as a stepping stone before transferring the format over to his 103.1 translator in Fort Lee, W276AQ.
    Calls were changed to WNJW on March 24, 1995, but then in May 1996, the station went dark and by January 1998 was listed as deleted by the FCC (they also list the station as being on 88.9, not 88.7, but I assume that to be a mistake.)
    (Some of WRRH's info provided by John Grubb, a former GM/PD/CE of WRRH, and former WRRH staff member, David Zientara)
     


    WRSU - 88.7 FM, New Brunswick
    WRSU-AM went on the air on April 26, 1948 in the basement of a Rutgers dorm on 630 AM as a Carrier Current Station.  The First General Manager and Founder was Charles Brookwell '49.  In the 1950's the station moved to 680 on the AM band, and moved into the attic of 12 College Avenue in New Brunswick.  WRSU was a commercial station with national ads, and was part of the Mutual Radio Network.  We had transmitters in most Rutgers and Douglas Dorms by the 1960s.  One transmitter was needed for each dorm.  The 'antenna' was the AC power line system (hence the term "Carrier Current."  From talking to various Alumni over the years, the 1950s and 1960s format was a current Pop (Top 40ish) format.  WRSU covered all of Rutgers football, and basketball games, and various other sports: Soccer, Baseball, Hockey as time, budget, and personnel allowed.  In the late 60s and early 70s, the WRSU format drifted to a "progressive album" oriented format.  There are a few tapes form the early 1970s to indicate this.  By the mid 70's the progressive/free form format was deeply rooted, and today's programming still reflects that trend.  In 1971, the Rutgers Student Center at 126 College Avenue, New Brunswick was completed, and WRSU moved into new offices designed for a radio station.
    WRSU continues to occupy the same studios today.  Since 1971, all studios have been rebuilt as the equipment aged, and needs changed.  On January 27, 1974, WRSU-FM went on the air at 88.7 Megahertz with 1350 watts ERP.
    Mark Greenberg '75 was the General Manager, and Richard Harvey '74 was the Chief Engineer.  At that time WRSU-FM went north about 20 miles, and south about 30.  Since then, several other 88.7 Megahertz stations went on, effectively diminishing the coverage.  WRSU-AM continued for a short time, as a station with a different schedule, sharing air staff, then became a simulcast operation.
    WRSU-AM ceased operation in 1976.  Currently WRSU-FM is a volunteer (no school credit) non-commercial station licensed for 24 hours a day.  We are always looking for new staff.  Every year we lose about a quarter of the staff, so there is always opportunities to those who want to 'do radio'.  Our format varies...
    Weekends has ethnic programming: Greek, Indian, Israeli, Polish, Hungarian, Irish to mention a few.  Weeknights is 'Community Affairs' with encompass Jazz, Doo Wop, Classical, Talk Shows, Hip Hop, Country, Blues, Local Music, among others.  The majority of the air time is occupied by a mix of Rock/Indie, Punk/Hardcore/Electronic/Urban Hip Hop.
    WRSU-FM continues to cover all Rutgers Football and Men's and Women's Basketball, Home and Away, with our own air staff.  After all Football and Men's Basketball we have a sports call in talk show called "Knightline".
    Knightline debuted in 1974.  Other sports coverage including Baseball, and Soccer is covered on campus, and away for play off games.  Sportscasts are usually done with the Newscasts.  WRSU-FM is a subscriber to AP wire service, and has newscasts at 12 noon and 10 PM weekdays.  WRSU-FM sent staff to both Democratic and Republican National Headquarters for the last presidential election.  Our physical plant consists of 2 Gates Transmitters (Main and Aux), with 3 Radio Studios, a News/Sports Room, a News Production facility, 2 Announce Booths, a Talk Studio/Office, Music Library, and Engineering Room.  (Thanks to Daniel Schleck, WRSU Alumni Chairman, for this information)
     
     

    WXXY - 88.7 FM, Port Republic
    This station, owned by the In His Sign Network (later renamed In His Name Broadcasting,) was granted the WIBF calls on March 22, 2000.
    In March 2003, WIBF began testing with an R&B oldies format.
    In April 2003, WIBF began a simulcast of the Contemporary Christian format of WXHL in Christiana DE.
    Calls were changed to WXXY on May 16, 2003, and soon began programming an "all 80's" format.
     


    WPSC - 88.7 FM, Wayne
    WPSC (William Paterson State College - now a university) was granted their call letters on March 10, 1988 and started broadcasting on November 1, 1988 with a CHR format as "Laser Hits 89 PSC."
    In May 1993, they evolved into alternative, with an emphisis on showcasing local bands.
     
     

    WAJM - 88.9 FM, Atlantic City
    WAJM, broadcasting from Atlantic City High School, debuted in 1997 broadcasting a CHR format.
    88.9 was granted the WAJM calls on November 21, 1994.
     


    WMNJ - 88.9 FM, Madison
    WMNJ, broadcasting from Tolley Hall at Drew University in Madison, first went on the air in 1983.
    Before that, the station started off as a carrier-current AM station in approximately 1976, with the WERD calls.
    Currently, the station features an eclectic "freeform" format.
    (Thanks to former Drew alumnus, Frank Forte, for this information)
     
     


    WBZC - 88.9 FM, Pemberton
    WBZC, from Burlington County College, initially started broadcasting in September 1994 with a part-time (6a-6p) classical format.
    However, on January 24, 1995, they changed to their current mix of AAA and specialty programming.
    89.3 was granted the WBZC calls on March 29, 1993.
    In July 2000, WBZC began broadcasting on 95.1 via the W236AF translator, located on top of the Burlington-Bristol Bridge.
    (Thanks to Mark Fletcher for digging up some WBZC logos)
    (Thanks to Scott "Tilde" McCleary for providing some of this information)

     


    WMCX - 88.9 FM, West Long Branch
    WMCX went on the air May 2, 1974 with 10 watts on 88.1 FM.
    A fire destroyed the station on March 29, 1984, leaving WMCX inoperable until nearly a year later - March 6, 1985.
    On December 4, 1988 WMCX moved to its current position of 88.9 FM, with 1000 watts.
    WMCX features a mix of alternative rock and specialty shows.
    (Thanks to the WMCX website for this information)
     
      WOGH - 88.9 FM, West Orange
    I don't know too much about this station, other than it was owned by the West Orange Board Of Ed. and the station's license was cancelled in 1981.
    If anyone has info on this station, please e-mail me at the address above.
     


    WWCJ - 89.1 FM, Cape May
    WWCJ is one of many stations and translators that simulcast WWFM's classical format from Trenton (see below).
    89.1 was granted the WWCJ calls on January 10, 1997 and went on the air in December 1999.
     
     

    WFDU - 89.1 FM, Teaneck
    WFDU, broadcasting from Fairleigh Dickenson University, first signed on August 30, 1971.
    Their antenna is on the Major Edwin Armstrong tower in Alpine NJ.
    WFDU shares time with WNYU, 89.1, New York (see NYC FM Page 1).
    The station features a mix of country/folk and other specialty programming.
    WFDU was briefly the home of Breath & Breath (aka Bob Belby & Carl Sartori) in 1981.
    Their show can now be heard on WTRR, 89.3 FM in Toms River (see below).
     


    WWFM - 89.1 FM, Trenton
    WWFM, broadcasting from Mercer County Community College, first signed on September 6, 1982 (after being granted their call letters on July 7, 1980) with a mix of classical and jazz programming.
    By 1989, however, they had phased out the jazz in favor of straight classical music.
    They are the flagship station for The Classical Network, a group of stations and translators that are located mostly over Central and Southern New Jesrey and eastern Pennsylvania, that simulcast WWFM's programming.
    WWFM also operates translator stations in Colorado.
     
     

    WNJB - 89.3 FM, Bridgeton
    WNJB, part of the NJN Radio Network, signed on in 1996 simulcasting the programming from WNJT, 88.1 in Trenton (see above).
    89.3 was originally granted the WWUC calls on March 13, 1992, then on April 10, 1992, the calls were changed to WNJB.


    WCNJ - 89.3 FM, Hazlet

    WCNJ 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.
    In 1981, Allan also did mornings and overnights on WJRZ in Manahawkin (see Page 7).
    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.
    Mike Singer was the original engineer for WVRM until around 1982, when Rod Copolla took over.
    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."
    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.
    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. (see Page 3) 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.)
    In April 2002, WCNJ broke away from Eastern Broadcasting Corp., but is still programming the ethnic format, this time with Mercury Broadcasting.
    (Thanks to Allan Brady & Hank Hart for some of this information)
     
     


    WTRR - 89.3 FM, Toms River
    89.3 signed on in November 1999, under the calls of WKZQ.
    89.3 officially became WTRR on March 17, 2000.
    The station, currently broadcasting on a part-time weekend schedule, features a Classic Hits format.
    WTRR is also the home of the very popular Breath & Breath Radio Show.
    Breath & Breath (aka Bob Belby & Carl Sartori) were originally on WFDU back in 1981 (see above).
    Past programming on WTRR included two shows hosted by Karen Hershey: "Talk Of The Town", a current events call-in show that ran in early to mid-2000 and "Legal Talk", a financial show that ran from the end of 2000 to early 2001.
    Other shows past and present include: "The Mighty Sparrow Show" - a musical variety show that showcases the Beatles music, "LiveWire" - a heavy metal show hosted by Cher Savage that ran till the end of 2000, "Frank & Friends" - an adult standards show (with an emphasis on Frank Sinatra) hosted by Ken Ambler which ran through mid-2000 along with a one-shot show in February 2001, "Alan Bay's Ocean Oldies" - an oldies show that ran from December 2000 to January 2002, "The Nancy Dowd Show" - a show focusing on events taking place in Island Heights, and last but not least, London Lou, who hosts a musical variety show on Sunday mornings.
    London Lou also doubles as the announcer for all of WTRR's liners and jingles.
    Program Director Ted Landry hosts the Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and Sunday morning shifts - with staff meteorologist Jim Anderson handling weather duties.
    WTRR, on a summer hiatus since June 23, 2002, returned to the air on September 27, 2002.
    In June 2003, WTRR ceased broadcasting.


    WSJI - 89.5 FM, Cherry Hill
    89.5 was first granted the WEHS calls earlier in 1983, later changing to WEEE on September 5, 1983 and signed on January 7, 1985.
    On November 1, 1995, the calls changed again to WSJI.
    WSJI broadcasts a religious format, with the calls standing for "South Jersey's Inspiration."




    WSOU - 89.5 FM, South Orange
    WSOU, broadcasting from Seton Hall University, is the probably the most popular college station in the country.
    They first signed on April 14, 1948.
    In the late 1950's, WSOU featured various musical genres, including then-current pop music and a classical show.
    The station also featured Seton Hall baseball and basketball play-by-play.
    Some of the DJ's at the time included Bob Wussler (who went on to be president of the CBS-TV network), Pat Parson (who later worked at WCBS-AM, and then started up 98.5 FM - see: Page 7) and Joe Reilly (who had success with The Belvideres, a rock n' roll group he fronted in the late 1950s).
    Later on in the 1980's and 1990's, WSOU broadcast an alternative format during the week and some ethnic block programming on the weekends.
    In late 2001, WSOU was informed by the school board that their current "heavy metal" programming must end by January 2, 2002.
    So, on January 2, WSOU debuted a "modern eclectic rock" format, which encompasses a wide range of music.
    (Thanks to Joe Reilly for some of this information)

     




    WNJN - 89.7 FM, Atlantic City

    WNJN was granted calls on August 23, 1991, but didn't hit the air until May 1997.
    WNJN is part of the NJN Radio Network, simulcasting WNJT (see above).
     

    WDVR - 89.7 FM, Delaware Twsp.
    WDVR first went on the air on February 19, 1990 (after being granted their call letters on May 9, 1988), initially broadcasting 18 hours a day.
    WDVR originally broadcasted in mono, then went stereo a couple of years later.
    The station features a very diversified format, featuring music from Americana and country to blues, jazz and reggae.
    They also feature a number of informational talk shows on a variety of topics.
    (Thanks to the WDVR website & Scott Lowe for some of this information)
     



    WRDR - 89.7 FM, Freehold Twsp.
    89.7 was first granted the WQHF calls on April 19, 1990 then the WRLJ calls on July 31, 1992.
    WRLJ was originally supposed to be a religious station when it hit the air and the calls were to stand for "Rejoice Lord Jesus," however that never came to be.
    In November 1996, WRLJ finally hit the air simulcasting the Oldies format from WCNJ, 89.3 in Hazlet (see Page 2.)
    In January 1997, WRLJ branched out from WCNJ and became a live and local Oldies station as "Oldies 89.7."
    However in July 1997, Sal Anthony, who at the time was PD for both WCNJ and WRLJ, decided to branch out on HIS own, stole most of WRLJ's equipment, forcing them off the air, and started a pirate station on 104.7 FM in Howell in August of that year.
    He was ultimately busted in September.
    Meanwhile, 89.7 was trying to put themselves back toegther.
    On October 24, 1997, the station switched calls to WPDQ and by December, were back on the air, still with the Oldies format, but this time calling themselves "Q-89.7."
    Over the next couple of years, the Oldies format slowly evolved into Classic Hits.
    The station now had a very loyal following and for the 2001 season, became the flagship station for the Lakewood BlueClaws minor league baseball franchise.
    In 2002, a majority of the personalities on WPDQ were dropped and the station pretty much became automated.
    In December 2002, it was announced that WPDQ was sold for $875,000 to Bridgelight Corp. (an entity comprising of Calvary Chapel of Old Bridge and Cornerstone Calvary Chapel of Howell).
    On January 24, 2003, the sale officially closed, however WPDQ continued on as usual, until the following Friday, January 31, 2003, when they went off the air in anticipation of a format change.
    On May 1, 2003, calls changed to WRDR (which were previously used at 104.9 in Egg Harbor City for many years).
    On June 27, 2003, 89.7 returned to the air as "The Bridge", with a religious format.
    (WPDQ "yellow" logo - from my own personal collection)
      WGLS - 89.7 FM, Glassboro
    WGLS, broadcsasting from Rowan Univeristy (formerly Glassboro State College), went on the air in Janaury 1964.
    They currently feature a mix of CHR and rock.
    If anyone has any further information on WGLS, e-mail me at the address above.
     
    WLCR - 89.7 FM, Lawrence Twsp.
    Another one of those mystery stations.
    The only info I have on this is that it signed on April 30, 1976, was owned by the Lawrence Twsp. Board Of Ed. and the license was cancelled in 1984.
    Any additional info? Please e-mail me at the address above.
     
     

    WNJM - 89.9 FM, Manahawkin
    89.9 was granted the WNJM calls on February 9, 1996 and went on the air August 20, 1999 simulcasting WNJT (see Page 1), as part of the NJN Radio Network.
    89.9 actually started programming on June 24, 1999 playing various classical and swing music as a test, with Bob Wick, GM of WYRS 90.7 in Manahawkin (see Page 4,) doing ID's.
     
    WJPH - 89.9 FM, Woodbine
    WJPH went on the air February 16, 1999 (after being granted their call letters on Janaury 8, 1999) with a religious format.
    WJPH stands for "Just Praise Him."
    (Thanks to the WJPH website for this information)
     
     

    Take Me Back To The Top!

       

    Up
    Do you, or anyone you know, work in NJ radio, either now or in the past? Do you want to make a donation?
    Then...is looking for you!  Please contact us!