One day before Election Day, a huge day for a Talk station, WWDB-FM America’s first Talk station on FM abandoned the format. Sinking ratings caused by the loss of the syndicated Dr. Laura and Rush Limbaugh to upstart 1210 WPHT as well as the many reimaging and refocusing WWDB went through in its final years helped lead to its demise. Around 9:00am the station began stunting with an automated voice counting down to 1. When the station debuted at 5:00, they did so by airing all of the station’s sweepers prior to the first song “Don’t You Forget About Me” from Simple Minds. http://formatchange.com/audio/71.mp3
For most of the 1990’s, 104.5 in Philadelphia has programmed different variations of the Hot AC format under the Star 104.5 name. In the Spring of 1999, rumors were running rampant that they would flip to the Jammin Oldies format that AMFM Inc. was launching in most markets. However, they were beaten to the punch by Greater Media’s WXXM which flipped from Modern AC in May. In November, Star 104.5 finally flipped formats, switching from Hot AC to Rock AC (Female targeted Classic Hits with some currents) under the name “Alice 104-5”. Call Letters were soon changed to WLCE. http://formatchange.com/audio/74.mp3
A 1992 sign-on, WWJZ in suburban Mount Holly, NJ fit a small niche in the Delaware Valley as a locally operated popular standards station. With some tower problems, it was operating well below its allocated 50kw daytime signal, which would’ve been one of the strongest in the area. Disney, among other companies, saw the potential the 640 signal had, even with its weak nighttime signal. Disney, however was looking for a local outlet for its Radio Disney network. Targeting children, the nighttime signal was not as much of a hindrance as it would’ve been for another format. http://formatchange.com/audio/75.mp3
After 40 years of service as Philadelphia’s Classical Music station, frequent ownership changes in the mid-1990’s and developing business trends led to the demise of 95.7 WFLN. Greater Media Broadcasting donated the WFLN music library to Temple University’s 90.1 WRTI. With Q102 leaning Rhythmic, the Modern AC format of Max was thought to fill a niche between Alternative Y100 and WIOQ. However, it took almost 6 months for Max to put together an airstaff and ratings were never able to get much higher than a 2.3 share. In May of 1999, as ratings were beginning to turn the corner after the addition of the Barsky Show in mornings, Greater Media pulled the plug on Max in order to beat AMFM to the punch with Rhythmic Oldies. http://formatchange.com/audio/70.mp3
In late 1996, Jarad Broadcasting sold off WDRE to Radio-One, who specializes in Urban based formats. With knowledge of a change coming, the station decided to go out with a bang. Sweepers promoted the days remaining until the death of ‘DRE, while an anything goes attitude prevailed at the station. On Valentines Day, 1997 WDRE presented Bitterfest, a concert to mark the demise of the station. As the clock prepared to strike midnight, 103.9 played Pearl Jam’s “Alive” while the concert’s crowd chanted “DRE, DRE, DRE”. At midnight the station began a weekend stunt of Old School R&B, until the sign-on of the “New 103.9” Urban format the following Monday. http://formatchange.com/audio/72.mp3
In the early 1990’s CHRs across the country were flipping formats. Baltimore and Washington, D.C. had lost theirs in 1992. In 1993, Philadelphia would lose its. The 106.1 frequency had been CHR for almost a decade under a few monikers: WZGO Z106, WTRK Electric 106, and finally Eagle 106. Smooth Jazz formats were sprouting up across the nation, targeting a more desirable audience to advertisers. After the flip on Friday, March 12th, another station was quick to jump on WEGX’s audience. 100.3 WKSZ, a struggling AC flipped to CHR as Z100 the following Monday, but would later change calls to WPLY “Y100” after a lawsuit from New York’s Z100 fearing audience confusion due to signal overlap. WPLY would have an Adult lean until it flipped to Modern Rock in 1994. Other...
The 103.9 frequency was one of the last remaining voids in the Philadelphia market. With a leased-time format under Fox Broadcasting, WIBF was an untapped goldmine in the world of formatted radio. Enter Jarad Broadcasting, owners of longtime Modern Rocker WDRE in Garden City, New York. Jarad was quickly developing a cluster of Modern Rock stations with the “Underground Network” moniker. Affiliates included stations in Albany, Memphis, Little Rock, and WIBF. Signing-On with Pearl Jam’s “Alive”, 103.9 would simulcast New York’s WDRE until the demise of the network. Around that time, the WDRE call letters were moved to 103.9, which went live and local until its death in 1997. http://formatchange.com/audio/73.mp3
On November 18, 1987, two Philadelphia radio stations changed formats to oldies within minutes of one another: “Hot Hits” 98.1 WCAU-FM became “Oldies 98” WOGL, while Rocker “Q102” WIOQ became “Solid Gold 102”. The battle between the two stations would last for 14 months until WIOQ was sold to EZ Communications. Under new PD Mark Driscoll, the station debuted a Rhythmic CHR format under the resurrected “Q102” moniker that has lasted to this day in various forms. http://formatchange.com/audio/138.mp3