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.
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.
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.
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.
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.