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)
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
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
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
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
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
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
In 1981, Allan also did mornings and overnights on WJRZ in Manahawkin (see
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
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
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
(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
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
Program Director Ted Landry hosts the Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and
Sunday morning shifts - with staff meteorologist Jim Anderson handling
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
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:
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
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
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
(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
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
Over the next couple of years, the Oldies format slowly evolved into Classic
The station now had a very loyal following and for the 2001 season, became
the flagship station for the Lakewood BlueClaws minor league baseball
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
(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
|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
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
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)
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