Original allocation (Ship Bottom): November 18, 1974.
Original construction permit granted: January 2, 1976.
The WJRZ call letters were assigned on March 1, 1976.
WJRZ signed on July 4, 1976 with a CHR/Hot AC format.
First song played was "More More More" by the Andrea True Connection.
WJRZ's city of license changed to Manahawkin in 1978.
Some early slogans WJRZ used were "Stereo 100" and "FM 100" - later using "Power 100."
WJRZ's "theme song" from 1976 is available (here).
Some vintage WJRZ jingles can be heard (here) from 1978, (here) from the early/mid 80's and (here) from 1987.
Some people that have been with WJRZ over the years included Lance DeBock, Brent McNally, Allan Brady, Greg Kozier, "Captain Jack" Aponte, Jay Sorensen, Bob Sorrentino, Charles Magill, Jay Lurie, Tom Rivers, Mike Moran, Steve Biro, Dave Packer, "Spaceman Scott", Dave Lavender, Russ Monroe, Walter Hughes, Bill Mead, Cosmo Rose and Tripp Rogers.
Ralph Hahn started at WJRZ in 1976 when the station first signed on, as a part-time news anchor, later becoming a full-timer & morning show co-host from 1983 to 1986, again from 1990 to 1993 as a full-time news anchor, and yet again in 2006, doing news and co-hosting mornings.
The CHR/Hot AC format continued until November 1991, when WJRZ began experimenting with a classic hits/oldies format.
However, they eventually reverted back to their Hot AC format by mid-1992.
In 1991, WJRZ attempted to start up an AM station.
Some personalties in the mid-1990's included Jim "Kelly" (aka Jim "Ryan"), Rich Kaminski, Gary Guida, Dan Turi, "Charlie Maxx" and Adam "Johnson" (morning news anchor).
In December 1998, WJRZ dropped Hot AC in favor of country as "Jersey Shore Country."
The country format had a mixed reaction from area listeners.
In early 2000, WJRZ was bought by New Jersey Broadcast Partners (owners of WRAT, WDHA, etc.) and in June 2000, fliped to oldies as "Oldies 100."
In 2002, ownership changed to Greater Media.
Click (here) to hear an aircheck from Vinnie Lewis, who did mornings at the time, from August 7, 2002.
In early 2005, Jay Sorensen returned to the air staff of WJRZ; Jay was one of the original DJ's when the station signed on in 1976.
In mid-2006, the "Oldies" name was dropped, in favor of "The Greatest Hits Of The 60's & 70's."
In November 2007, WJRZ began broadcasting in HD.
In early 2008, "Jersey's Greatest Hits" replaced "The Greatest Hits Of The 60's & 70's."
On December 26, 2009 (after previously playing Christmas music since early November), WJRZ switched back to a Hot AC format as "Magic 100.1".
First song played on "Magic 100.1": Bon Jovi's "Who Says You Can't Go Home", a veiled reference to their return to the Hot AC format after nearly 12 years.
After experiencing low ratings since debuting "Magic 100.1", WJRZ switched back to "classic hits" at 6am on April 22, 2013, playing "Here Comes The Sun" by The Beatles as the first song.
Last song played on "Magic": "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift.
Newspaper articles and pictures about WJRZ can be seen (here).
(Thanks to Ralph Hahn, Adam J. Holland, Joe Knox, "Charlie Maxx", Tripp Rogers & Bob Sorrentino for some of this information)
(Thanks to Steve Biro for the WJRZ "Stereo 100" sticker/logo)
(Thanks to Bill Clanton Jr. for the WJRZ jingles)
** WUPC-LP - 102.3 FM, Arrowhead Village **
Original allocation: June 14, 2001.
102.3 was the first LPFM to hit the air in New Jersey.
The WUPC-LP 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 featured 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."
In December 2017, 102.3, which had been silent for some time, came back on the air as "Mix 102.3", featuring a smooth jazz/soft AC format.
In January 2018, the format switched to country, still branded as "Mix 102.3."
By April 2018, the format had, once again, shifted back to smooth jazz/soft AC.
In July 2019, WUPC-LP went silent.
On April 5, 2020, WUPC-LP went back on the air with its previous smooth jazz/soft AC format.
** WXDP-LP - 102.3 FM, Hazlet **
This station, owned by "Hazler" Hispanic Community Radio, was granted an LPFM CP on August 23, 2016.
They were (erroneously) granted the KQNJ-LP calls on September 15, 2016.
On September 23, 2016, the calls were taken back.
On March 26, 2019, 102.3 was officially granted calls WXDP-LP.
On July 2, 2019, WXDP-LP filed a "license to cover" and is presumed to be on the air with a Spanish religious format.
** WCNM - 103.9 FM, Hazlet **
This station, originally on 89.3, has had a long and very strange history.
The construction permit was granted on October 31, 1978; original allocation to Hazlet: May 13, 1977.
Original call letters of WVRM were assigned on January 15, 1979.
The station signed on May 24, 1979.
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 the first program and operations director of WVRM.
The fledgling station had recently gone on the air with a mixed country, adult contemporary format.
Brady brought about an oldies/rock'n'roll format that was an overnight success.
Enlisting the aid of three locally talented broadcast enthusiasts, Gerald “Rod” Coppola, Mike "Singer" Senkeleski, and Steve "Cie" Cosgriff, the foursome produced four daily weekday anchor radio shows which occupied the air time from 6 AM till 8 PM; brokered programming filled in the remaining broadcast schedule.
Brady produced some memorable radio style advertisements, that were the for-runner of NPR-type sponsorship commercials but is probably most remembered for the jingles he produced for a local butcher shop that was a big sponsor for the station, The Meat Doctor.
His catchy recording of Dave Seville's (My Friend) The Witch Doctor with the replacement words "My Friend The Meat Doctor" highlighted Brady's musical creativity.
Don Zeller (aka Don Owen) originally 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." and later as "The Bayshore's Best Rock."
In 1981, Allan Brady did mornings and overnights on WJRZ in Manahawkin (see above).
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 format with Sal Anthony as PD.
Sal Anthony helped then-WRLJ, 89.7, Freehold Twsp. get on the air, then about 6 months later, proceeded 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.
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 still programmed 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 in Freehold.
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.
In September 2015, 103.9 was sold to Cantico Nuevo Ministry Inc. and is currently broadcasting a Spanish Contemporary Christian format.
Call letters changed to WCNM on May 1, 2019.
(Thanks to Allan Brady, Steve "Cie" Cosgriff, Hank Hart, Steve Lewis & Michael Stridacchio for some of this information)
** WRAN/The Jersey Shore Shuffle - 104.1 FM, Toms River **
In April 2009, a pirate emerged on the air on 104.1.
The station was called "WRAN", which was taken from a long-defunct AM station in Dover (Morris County) NJ.
The station featured a mix of 60's to 80's music, interspersed with old WRAN jingles from the original station, plus some edited WJRZ jingles, as well.
The station was mostly on the air weekends, but also ran sporadically during the week.
A female did the liners for the station - someone I had heard before, but couldn't quite place.
On April 21, 2009, "WRAN" began featuring weather forecasts, using heavily edited WJRZ weather bed music, under the name, "Jersey ShoreCast."
They also used what sounded like voice-altering to read the forecast - either using sped-up or slowed-down voices.
However, soon afterwards, the station disappeared from 104.1 ... only to be resurrected on 91.9 on May 2, 2009, under the name, "The Jersey Shore Shuffle".
The same female did the liners for this station, as well.
Some examples include: "From Brick to South Toms River, we're the station with the best music...", "Driving down the parkway or Rt. 37, thanks for taking us along...", etc.
The station also used generic shouts, such as "All Hits!", "All Night Party!" - and also used generic shouts for some holidays like Easter, Independence Day, etc.
The music format was essentially the same, although, it eventually evolved into a "60's to today" format.
The signal on 91.9 was considerably weaker than when it was on 104.1, as I was picking up more static over the signal at my location.
However, this too, was short-lived, as the station disappeared from 91.9 on May 17, 2009 - but then re-debuted on 104.1 on May 23, 2009.
In July 2009, "The Jersey Shore Shuffle" started an online stream.
The online stream originally was as sporatic as 104.1, but then it eventually was on all the time.
When 104.1 and the online stream are on at the same time, both have the same programming.
Around the time the online stream started, however, the signal on 104.1 was cut back a bit.
I was still able to pick it up at my location, but there was lots of static over it.
The original signal covered most of Toms River, mostly out to the west, beyond the hospital.
The strongest area was around the Hooper Ave. vicinity.
The station also had an AIM instant messenger screen name listed on the online stream page for the station, "JerzShoreShuffle", but was never able to get any response when I tried to start a conversation.
In December 2010, it was announced that "The Jersey Shore Shuffle" now operates an AM station at 1710, although I never heard it.
In early 2014, the online stream became very sporatic, even re-broadcasting for a time the Indian music station "Radio Zindagi".
After that, it seemed the station went on hiatus for a couple of months.
The stream returned in May 2014 and was re-named "The Central Jersey Shuffle", and advertised itself as being on 1640 AM.
Soon afterwards, the name of the stream changed again, this time to "The Jersey Shuffle - 1640AM".
I later learned that the station had relocated to Manville NJ when it started broadcasting on 1640.
In October 2014, The Jersey Shuffle advertised a phone number (484-800-1640) on their stream page, which was a Philadelphia exchange.
In mid 2015, the stream ceased broadcasting, and hasn't been heard from since.
** WJUI-LP - 104.7 FM, Ramtown **
104.7 was allocated to Ramtown on January 24, 2014 during the new crop of LPFM applications.
The station is owned by the American Center For Civil Justice, Religious Liberty & Tolerance, based in Lakewood.
104.7 was granted the WJUI-LP calls on April 22, 2015.
WJUI-LP went on the air on December 23, 2016 with a Jewish religious format.
105.7 has had a long history, without ever being on the air!
105.7 was first allocated to Manahawkin on January 17, 1990.
With such a prime open frequency, a total of 12 different broadcasting companies were initially vying for it.
Among them were Seaira Inc. (who eventually got 98.5 in Ocean Acres), Great Scott Broadcasting (who at the time owned WTTM and WCHR in Trenton), Jersey Shore Broadcasting (owners of WJRZ), Press Broadcasting (owners of WKXW in Trenton) and Southern Ocean Broadcasting, a company that was owned by Joan Beth Knox-Hansen - the sister of Joseph Knox, who owned WJRZ.
Other lesser known companies that were involved were Jersey Devil Broadcasting, Atlantic Radio Communications, LD Broadcasting, John Senior Broadcasting, Coastal Broadcasting System, Sage Broadcasting and Great American Broadcasting.
This list eventually got narrowed down to Jersey Shore Broadcasting and Press Broadcasting around 1992.
The original intent was to have WJRZ move from 100.1 to 105.7, and have Press Broadcasting take over the vacated 100.1 spot.
However, the matter was taken to the courts, with neither Jersey Shore nor Press winning the case.
In the interim, a holding company, Manahawkin Communications Corp., was securing the frequency.
In 1997, when Nassau Broadcasting bought Jersey Shore-area stations WOBM, WJLK and WQNJ, they entered into an LMA with the unbuilt 105.7.
One of the first things they did with 105.7 was grant it its first set of call letters, which were WAQB, on May 16, 1997.
On December 19, 1997, calls were changed to WNJO, as a placeholder until Nassau switched 94.5 in Trenton to oldies.
When the switch occurred, 105.7 was given 94.5's old calls of WCHR on March 26, 1998.
During the call letter changes, 105.7 was also undergoing a bunch of power upgrades going from 4100 watts to 6300 watts.
In the summer of 1999, 105.7 looked like they were finally going to hit the air.
Billboards across most of the major highways in Ocean County announced that "Bruce Is Coming..." and featured a logo of a hawk playing a guitar.
Even a website was started briefly announcing the coming of "105.7 The Hawk," a classic rock station.
However, 105.7 hit a snag right before they were to sign on, when Nassau went ahead and upgraded the station's transmitter, without getting an OK from the FCC.
The result was that the transmitter was taken down and 105.7 continued its off-air status.
105.7 was then being sought after by Millennium Radio Group, who recently bought the same stations that Nassau originally purchased, and has an option-to-buy for 105.7 for $13 million.
On March 14, 2002, 105.7 signed on (still under Nassau's control) and temporarily simulcasted WBBO 98.5, Ocean Acres.
On April 15, 2002, 105.7 dropped the 98.5 simulcast and debuted itself as "105.7 The Hawk: Where Classic Rock Lives."
First song played was "Born In The USA" by Bruce Springsteen.
In July 2003, Millennium took control of the station.