This station, owned by WWN Educational Radio Corp. and run by Bill Clanton Jr. (who worked at WJRZ in Manahawkin previously, along with his father, Bill Clanton Sr. was an engineer for the station,) was granted the WBNJ calls on October 23, 2007.
It was originally allocated to Barnegat on May 2, 2000.
WBNJ "officially" signed on June 1, 2010 and features an Adult Standards format.
WBNJ began transmitter tests on May 24, 2010 and featured songs such as Frank Sinatra's "The Best Is Yet To Come", Frank & Nancy Sinatra's "Something Stupid" and Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'".
WBGD, originally broadcasting from Brick High School, went on the air in June 1975.
In September 1981, WBGD moved to Brick Memorial High School.
The WBGD calls stand for "Brick Green Dragons", which was Brick High School's mascot.
They were once a very active station, featuring a mix of CHR and alternative music.
Here's some more insight from former DJ, Eric Braun:
I was on WBGD from 1978-1982, my years in Brick High School.
Those years are when the station really prospered.
The station was the brainstorm of it's founder, Mr. Robert Boesch, the faculty adviser who was an electronics teacher in the school and held a first class FCC license.
Under his leadership, the station went from a 10 watt transmitter to a little over 100 watts, which obviously gave us a greater coverage area...
The station hours were from 6AM to 10PM M-F and 8 AM to 10PM on Saturdays and was off the air on Sundays.
We had a great deal of independence and trust on those after school hours.
We also did play by play of various school sporting events, most notably the football games.
Each "DJ" had to use their own records; we had two turntables and in 1981 graduated to having two "cart" machines.
When the high schools split and Brick Memorial was born, the two schools shared the station.
Brick Memorial had its own studio but went through a phone line to the transmitter site and antenna located at the old high school.
At the time, a high school having a station that was actually on the airwaves was very uncommon.
There were two of us who moved on to professional radio as a result of our experience at WBGD.
I was a paid news stringer for WOBM and was on staff there while in my Junior & Senior year and until I left to join the Marine Corps after graduation.
I also interned at WHLW & WADB before seeking the professional paid job at WOBM.
The other person to make it to the professional ring was Paul Viggiano, who graduated in 1985.
Paul was in his freshman year while I was in my senior year.
Paul went on to work as a DJ for WJRZ & WJLK with his air name as "Paulie V."
In the late 1980's/early 1990's time frame, WBGD's broadcast day was 7am to 4:30pm Monday thru Friday, while school was in session.
By the late 1990's, however, the station was on very sporadically.
In December 2003, WBGD returned to the air after a long hiatus, initially playing nothing but a Peter Cetera CD on repeat.
By February 2004, pre-recorded shows by the students were being mixed in.
By late 2006, WBGD was on the air 24/7.
WBGD then went silent in early July 2007.
Information concerning their down time has been tough to determine, however it is believed that the school board does not have money in their budget to fix WBGD's transmitter and other broadcast equipment.
In April 2008, the FCC inquired via letter if they were still on the air.
It is not known how WBGD responded to the letter, but the station is still listed as being "licensed" by the FCC, even though 3 years have passed since their last broadcast.
On August 26, 2010, WBGD officially turned in their license, citing roof repairs that damaged the radio station's wiring and being financially unable to do additional repairs.
Newspaper articles on WBGD can be seen (here).
(Thanks to Eric Braun for some of this information)
WOBM, went on the air March 1, 1968 - in the middle of a snowstorm!
The first song played on WOBM was Paul Mauriat's, "Love Is Blue".
The original staff in 1968 included Gene Slater (Program Director) and Danny Heileman (General Manager).
One of the owners of the station was Ed Levy (brother of Bob Levy).
In 1970, the lineup was: Dick Gunton (6am-10a), Gary Cubberly (10a-3p), Bob Emmett (3p-8p) & Steve Paul (8p-1a).
The station signed off at 1am for the first couple of years.
One of the original DJ's at WOBM, Bill Schaefer, was featured in just about every time slot during his two years at the station.
He started doing mid-days, then was switched to evenings (8pm to midnight) hosting the "Music For Dreamers" show, then went to afternoon drive, and finally, handled morning drive duties.
Some of the personalities at WOBM in the early 1970's included Dick Allen (7pm-12mid), Bob Marek (afternoons), Dick Gunton (5am-9am), Gary Cubberly (9am-2pm), Rick McDonough (2pm-6pm), Greg Kozier (6pm-10:30pm) and Mike Lennen (10:30pm-5am).
Jay Sorensen was one of the weekenders.
Joe Merry was the news director, assisted by Art Sarnoski, Roger Tees and Phil Hubbard.
Paul Most was the GM.
In the late 60's/early 70's, Ray Norman hosted a Saturday night show, called "Getting Sentimental", which featured music of the 1930's & 1940's.
Ralph Hahn started out as a part-time news anchor/reporter in 1972-1973.
He later re-joined the station in 1980 as a full-time news anchor/reporter, political editor & assignment editor, and then again in 2004-2005 as a morning news anchor.
In 1981, 92.7 gained an AM counterpart.
Ken Pauli (previously at WERA in Plainfield and WRDR in Egg Harbor City) handled news duties for a time in the 1980's.
Another prominent personality was Rick St. James, who also had a few stints at the station.
Rick started in overnights in 1983, eventually moved to mid-days, and later became the PD in the mid-1980's, and the Chief Engineer in the early 1990's.
After leaving WOBM for a time, he came back in 1997 to do the evening shift, before leaving again in 1998 to focus on his engineering career.
WOBM has always featured an adult contemporary format, which was once mixed in with news updates at the top and bottom of the hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
However, in 1996, that all changed when Nassau Broadcasting took over operations and drastically cut the news department.
In June 1996, WOBM started using the slogan "Ocean 92.7", later changing it to "Soft Rock 92.7" in September 1997.
One person who has stayed with the station from the beginning is Bob Levy, who has been hosting "Topic A" on Sunday mornings since 1979.
He has also been a DJ and was once GM of WOBM.
Another long-time fixture at WOBM is Sports Director, Kevin Williams.
Kevin and "Steve Paul" Garsh (who also doubled as a Sales Manager for the station) hosted the morning show from the mid/late 1980's to 1996.
The first hour of their show (5am-6am) was titled, "Coffee With Kevin & Steve", basically a talk segment about current and local events.
When Nassau took over in 1996, Kevin & Steve were replaced with Shawn Michaels (who was doing mornings on WADB in Pt. Pleasant) and Lisa Leonard.
Lisa left in 2003 and was replaced with Jen Ursillo (who was on WRAT).
In 2004, Sue Moll replaced Jen.
Lisa later rejoined the station, doing mid-days.
The WOBM calls stand for "Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth."
In January 2013, WOBM-FM moved their studios to 8 Robbins St. in downtown Toms River (the former Ocean County Observer newspaper building), after spending nearly 45 years at a building on Rt. 9 in Bayville.
Newspaper articles and pictures about WOBM can be seen (here).
(Thanks to Ray Blunt, Stephen Paul Garsh, Ralph Hahn, Rich Holdsworth, Mike Lennen, Roy Nilsen, Ken Pauli & Bill Schaefer for some of this information)
(Thanks to Steve Biro for an old "FM Stereo" WOBM sticker/logo)
By the mid-1940's, leaders of the Asbury Park Press realized that the days of the newspaper "extra" were coming to a close.
In the years to come, newsboys would still spill out of the Press' headquarters on Mattison Ave. in Asbury Park hawking special, hot-off-the-presses editions, but when big news broke, the public would likely hear about it first on radio or television.
And so, during World War II, the Press resolved to get into the radio business.
In early correspondence between the Press and the Federal Communications Commission, the new "frequency modulation" or FM station the company proposed to build is referred to as WDJT.
By the time construction of the station began in November 1946, however, the call letters had changed to WJLK, a tribute to the Press' pioneering publisher, the late J. Lyle Kinmouth, who had died the previous year.
Before the station was ready, the FCC made one more change, switching WJLK's location on the FM radio dial from 104.7 to 94.3 megacycles.
The station's primary studio was located on the fifth floor of the Press' headquarters, occupying space that was originally intended to be Kinmouth's penthouse apartment.
It also had a bureau in the Press newsroom on the second floor.
The new leaders of the Press, Wayne D. McMurray and Ernest W. Lass, joined Kinmouth's widow, Mabel, in WJLK's studios to celebrate the station's first broadcast on November 20, 1947.
November 20 was also J. Lyle Kinmouth's birthday.
You can hear this broadcast (here).
Frequency modulation represented the wave of the future.
Promising static-free reception, it was the radio equivalent of color TV.
But it wasn't until World War II that military engineers perfected the technology, and by 1947, there were only an estimated 75 FM stations nationwide, according to Press accounts.
WJLK was the first FM station the FCC had licensed in New Jersey, and the initial audience was small because standard radios couldn't pick up the signals.
A Press survey in 1947 estimated that only 1440 families in Ocean and Monmouth counties had FM sets.
But the Press, which spun off a new company to run the station - Press Broadcasting Co. - was thinking long-term.
WJLK was advertised as the "Radio Voice Of The Asbury Park Press," and it didn't take long before the station demonstrated how well it could complement the newspaper's role in the community.
The station kept listeners informed during a blizzard that struck the Shore in December 1947.
And two months after WJLK went on the air, the station broadcast an appeal from Hazard Hospital (now Monmouth Medical Center) in Long Branch for a particular type of blood that a child from Union Beach needed.
"Within an hour after your broadcast, we had about 40 donors and are very pleased to state that our patient is doing splendidly," B.F. Hazard, the hospital's superintendent, wrote in a letter to the station.
But it was the deadly derailment of a Shore-bound commuter train in Woodbridge on February 6, 1951, that solidified WJLK's credentials as a vital news source.
It was through the station's live bulletins from the scene of the disaster that Shore residents first learned of the accident, which killed 85 people and injured hundreds.
At the time, the station didn't broadcast 24 hours a day.
Its hours were 6:30am to midnight Monday through Saturday, and 8am to midnight on Sunday.
But that day the station broke from its regular schedule to keep its anxious listeners informed.
"The station stayed on the air that night until everyone was accounted for," says Robert E. McAllen of Wall.
He was an on-air personality at the station in the early 1970's and later became president of Press Broadcasting.
Although the number of FM listeners rose steadily, WJLK wasn't commercially successful in its first years, which prompted the Press in 1950 to purchase WCAP, an AM station based in Asbury Park.
The station, which was renamed WJLK-AM, previously was owned by the Charms candy company.
Located at 1310 on the AM dial, it became the Press' primary station, with its programming rebroadcast by the FM station.
WJLK was primarily a news and talk radio station for the first 30 or so years of its existance.
There were 15-minute newscasts at the top of the hour, with a briefer news update on the half-hour.
The station often tried to draft Press reporters for on-air news reports, with mixed results.
"WJLK tried to get most reporters who went out on major stories to take a tape recorder with them and/or phone in (from the scene)," recalls former Senior Managing Editor Raymond F. Tuers, who was a reporter in the 60's and early 70's.
"I got pretty good at it because I was sort of a ham," he says, "but most reporters hated it and tried to duck it."
In between newscasts, WJLK offered a dizzying array of programming.
There was a bird-watching show, a gardening show, jazz, folk, pop and classical musical programs, old-time dramas including "Flash Gordon," and birth and death announcements, among other diverse, homespun offerings.
"It was all over the place," says McAllen, who grew up listening to WJLK on a crystal radio set.
By far the most popular program was Dick Lewis' morning show, "The Alarm Clock Club."
Lewis joined the station shortly after it went on the air, and he continued as a personality there until 1986.
"Probably there was no more beloved person at the Jersey Shore than Dick Lewis," McAllen says.
At the height of its popularity, "The Alarm Clock Club" had a 30 percent share of the radio audience in the Monmouth and Ocean market, McAllen says.
In 1954, Jim Williams worked under Dick Lewis and station manager Everett Rudloff, along with announcer Art Finger.
Jim went on to California and has continued his radio career to this day.
By the mid 1970's, specialized FM stations were dominating the radio market, and it became apparent to McAllen and others that WJLK needed an overhaul.
"They were trying to be all things to all people and ended up being nothing to anybody," he recalls.
McAllen devised a new strategy, emphasizing adult contempoary music, and he was put in charge of the station.
Lewis remained a morning fixture, although his show was renamed, "NewsMorning".
The new format, which debuted in 1975, proved commercially successful.
But the limited range of the stations - WJLK-AM operated at 2500 watts and WJLK-FM at 3000 watts - did not fit with Press Broadcasting's long-term expansion plans.
The format evolved into a mix of MOR and adult contemporary, with some block programming at night featuring talk, Top 40 or oldies music.
In 1976, WJLK became a full-blown CHR.
Also in 1976, WJLK received national recognition for participating in the concert that gained Asbury Park and The Stone Pony nightclub national prominence.
WJLK was part of a national radio network that broadcast a live performance by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes celebrating the release of their first album on Epic-CBS Records.
The concert also featured Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons, Max Weinberg, Steve Van Zandt, Ronnie Spector, and soul singer Lee Dorsey.
Skipping ahead to 1986, WJLK was still doing CHR using the slogan "94.3 JLK-FM," and by August 1987 had become "K-94".
Some DJ's during this time included Tim Downs (mornings), Pat Gillen (mid-days), Mike Abrams (afternoons), Amy Wright (evenings) and Dave Ullman (overnights); weekends featured Ed Healy and Gary Guida (who eventually became PD in the early 1990's).
In 1989, the company sold WJLK-AM/FM to the Devlin and Ferrari Broadcasting Co. of New York for $12.5 million.
The FCC ordered the sale in exchange for allowing Press Broadcasting to purchase two more powerful stations, WKXW-FM and WBUD-AM, both based in Ewing, for $12.1 million.
In August 1989, "K-94" was dropped and returned to the adult contemporary format by November 1989.
In March 1993, WJLK began a simulcast with 98.5 in Ocean Acres and began using the slogan "Soft Rock WJLK."
In May 1997, the simulcast was dropped at which point, WJLK went in a Modern AC/Hot AC direction and became "94.3 The Point."
Newspaper articles on WJLK can be seen (here).
(Thanks to Mark Fletcher for digging up some old WJLK logos and for providing some info for the profile)
(A majority of this profile is courtesy of Shannon Mullen, Press staff writer, from an article written for the Asbury Park Press' 125th anniversary)
(Thanks to Lee Mrowicki for the 1976 concert information)
(Thanks to Ed Healy & Jim Williams for some of this information)
(Thanks to Mike Abrams for the 1947 aircheck)
WODD was started in approximately September 1989 by Pat Irwin who went by the on-air name of "Pirate Pat."
He had been an engineer for WJRZ in Manahawkin, who unsuccessfully had tried to get an on-air shift at the station.
So, WODD was born.
WODD started off broadcasting on 92.3 FM, right over (then-WXRK) K-Rock's signal.
The station broadcasted in mono every Saturday night starting at 7:30pm, and was on for about 4 to 5 hours at a time.
WODD's format was a mix of classic and alternative rock, however the main focus of the station was it's "colorful" commentary on local, national (and sometimes personal) issues.
Music featured on WODD included such artists as Pink Floyd, Yes, Neil Young, the Doors and many others.
My involvement with WODD began in March 1990, when I first became aware of the station.
I actively contributed to WODD, such as making up a logo and expanding Pat's musical library by sending him tapes, and as a result, I got to know Pat on a personal level.
Between 1989 and early 1991, WODD had a changing roster of "personalities" that made up the staff.
"Pirate Pat's" first co-host was "E.B. Gumby", followed soon thereafter by "E.C. Joe".
During "E.C. Joe's" reign as co-host, the "East Coast Rocker Update" was a main feature on WODD.
Later on in 1990, "Mad Mike" became the new co-host.
In early 1991, Sandy, John and Kenny or "Kenhead" as he was called, were featured on the station.
After a brief hiatus in mid-1991, WODD switched frequencies in September 1991 to 93.1 FM, overtaking (ironically enough) WPAT-FM.
The station switched frequencies again in January 1992 to 95.3 FM.
95.3 provided the best coverage area, since the station was now on an "open" frequency.
WODD's 60 watts covered all of Toms River, parts of Beachwood, Pine Beach, Ocean Gate, Bayville, and east to Seaside Heights and as far north as Lakewood (depending on weather conditions).
By this time, Pat had put together a "staff" for the station, and was attempting to sound more "professional".
His new co-host was George and working behind the scenes was George's girlfriend Darcy, Jimmy and his girlfriend, Linda and who could forget "Jenn From Jupiter." ?
However, it all came to an end on June 6, 1992, when Pat had transmitter trouble that was beyond fixing.
After WODD, Pat moved to Merced CA in August 1992, to persue a new job career.
About a year later, Michelle, who was on the WODD staff, moved in with him.
Pat stayed in California through early 1994, then I lost track of him between 1994 and 1998.
Sometime in early 1999, I found out that Pat had moved back to Toms River, with his wife (Michelle) and two children.
However, now with family responsibilities, Pat had no intention of resurrecting WODD.
On October 29, 2001, Pat announced on the Garden State Radio message board that WODD may be returning to the air!
In December 2001, Pat announced a website for WODD, as well as an online webstream via ShoutCast.
However, in 2003, Pat abandoned the project altogether.
In December 2003, Pat relocated to the Houston TX area - but, left Michelle behind - as they were getting divorced.
In late 2008, Pat moved back to NJ and started his own website design business.
On March 17, 2015, Pat passed away suddenly, at the young age of 46.
He will be sorely missed.
RIP Pat ...
Airchecks of WODD can be heard (here).
95.9 went on the air October 4, 1968 as WADB with an MOR/easy listening format.
The WADB calls stood for Adament & Dorothy Brown, the owners of the station.
Between 1976 and 1978, Pete Tauriello (now at Shadow Traffic) was host of WADB's morning show.
In the mid-1990's, Shawn Michaels (now at WOBM) was the morning show host.
A video tour of the WADB studios from 1989 can be seen (here).
Newspaper articles and pictures from WADB can be seen (here).
The easy listening/soft AC format would last until Labor Day weekend 1996 when New Jersey Broadcast Partners bought 95.9 and it became WRAT with a rock format.
Stunting before the format change featured the song "Rat In The Kitchen" by reggae group UB40.
95.9 was officially granted the WRAT calls on September 13, 1996.
In 2001, WRAT was sold to Greater Media.
It should be noted that WRAT has kept its core air staff intact since it's debut in 1996 - Carl Craft (mornings; also WRAT's PD), "Rockin'" Robyn Lane (mid-days), Jimmy Steal (afternoons), Steve Hook (nights) and "Uncle Leo" Greenwood (overnights; who is actually the only hold-out DJ still with the station from the WADB days).
Newspaper articles on WRAT can be seen (here).
(Thanks to Steve Biro for an old WADB sticker/logo)
(Thanks to Pete Tauriello for some of this information)
98.5 was granted the WQNJ calls on February 7, 1990; it was originally allocated to Ocean Acres on April 30, 1987.
Even before this station hit the air, it had extensive coverage in the local newspapers, because it was to be the first commercial station to go on the air in Ocean County since WJRZ signed on in 1976.
98.5 was originally owned by Seaira, Inc., a local company that was headed by Pat Parson, a former WCBS-AM news anchor from 1970 to 1990 and a former alumnus of WERA in Plainfield.
Pat originally planned 98.5 to be a live and local Smooth Jazz station, using the slogan "Cloud Nine," with an original sign-on date of Spring 1991.
However, that sign-on date changed many times, due mostly because of antenna clearances that had to be taken care of prior to signing on.
Newspaper articles on WQNJ can be seen (here).
In late 1992, with Seaira not having enough financial backing to sign on themselves with a local format, 98.5 entered into an agreement with D&K Broadcasting (the owners of WJLK at the time.)
On February 11, 1993, WQNJ began on-air testing and on March 10, 1993, officially signed on with a simulcast of WJLK.
It was pretty much a 100% simulcast, with the exception of local commercial cut-ins and on weekday mornings at 6, 7, 8 and 9am, Pat Parson would do a 5 minute newscast.
This basic format lasted until 1996 when it was announced that Nassau Broadcasting had purchased the station (and others in the Jersey Shore area.)
Pat Parson's newscasts were soon dropped - but the simulcast continued on until Memorial Day weekend in 1997 when 98.5 broke away from WJLK and branched out on its own as "B-98.5 - The Jersey Shore's Hit Music Station."
The first song played on "B-98.5" was the Spice Girls "Wannabe".
On July 11, 1997, the calls were changed to WBBO.
Newspaper articles on WBBO can be seen (here).
In 2002, Nassau sold WBBO (along with WOBM and WJLK) to Millennium Radio Group.
In April 2003, it was announced that Millennium was selling WBBO to Press Communications, who ironically enough, was the original applicant for 98.5 in the late 1980's.
In August 2004, Press officially took over WBBO.
On February 18, 2005, 98.5 started simulcasting sister station WHTG "G-106.3" from Eatontown.
On July 5, 2006, 98.5 changed calls to WKOE as part of a switch with new move-in 106.5 in Bass River Twsp.
On July 24, 2006, after "stunting" with playing The Eagles "New Kid In Town" over and over for 12 hours, 98.5 debuted as "K-98.5: Jersey Shore Kountry" and new call letters of WKMK.
First song played was Alan Jackson's "She's Gone Country."
In February 2009, 98.5 was renamed "Thunder 98.5".
On September 15, 2010, "Thunder" moved to 106.3 & 106.5 (replacing "Hit 106"), and "B-98.5" was re-born.
First song played on the "new" B-98.5 was the same one they played 13 years earlier: "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls.
Call letters changed to WHTG on September 16, 2010.
On December 8, 2010, 98.5 went back to the WBBO calls.
99.7 was originally granted the WTUC calls on October 26, 1992; it was originally allocated to Tuckerton on January 17, 1990.
On September 5, 1997, calls were changed to WBHX.
However, because of various antenna problems, 99.7 did not come to life until nearly 2 years later.
On May 7, 1999, WBHX signed on for the first time conducting on-air tests.
These on-air tests would continue sporadically until August 10, 1999, when they finally signed on full-time.
WBHX's classic rock format focused mainly on the obscure, rather than with the usual hits, featuring lots of album cuts and live tracks.
For the most part, the station was automated, however weekday mornings featured "Radio Rohn" (aka Ron Stekeur, WBHX's GM.)
In the beginning, Ron did his show solo, but a few months later, local model/spokesperson Tara Kelly joined him.
Tara stayed with the show for a little while, then was eventually replaced by another Tara - Tara Thornton.
Tara left the show in mid-2001 and then once again, Ron did the morning show solo.
In August 2000, Mike Jarmus joined the airstaff for afternoons, with his "Woodstock Lunch" midday show.
Saturday mornings featured Lisa Koz.
WBHX also featured some specialty shows on the weekends, such as "The Dead At Midnight" - a Grateful Dead show Saturday nights at midnight hosted by Ron, "Blues Delux" - a syndicated show featuring the latest blues music, and most notably, "The Dr. Demento Show" - no explanation needed.
Newspaper articles on WBHX can be seen (here).
On July 22, 2002, WBHX was sold to Press Communications for $2.75 million.
On October 2, 2002, "Radio Rohn" did his last morning show, ending with Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust".
On October 4, 2002, Press began stunting with songs featuring "breeze" or "wind" themes, along with wind sound effects in between the songs.
WBHX then became "99.7 The Breeze" and featured mainly Soft AC songs from the 60's and 70's.
Starting November 4, 2002, mornings were hosted by Captain Jack (formerly with WHTG-AM and WJRZ, among others) along with co-host Donna Rose doing news, while other shifts were voicetracked via satellite.
On June 30, 2003, 99.7 began a simulcast with the "107.1 The Breeze" station in Long Branch.
In April 2004, veteran radio personality Tim Downs replaced Captain Jack for mornings (with Jack segueing to afternoons.)
In March 2005, veteran personality Al Brooks (from WOBM fame) joined for news, replacing Donna Rose.
In early 2006, Mike Fitzgerald (of WCBS-FM fame) replaced Tim Downs for mornings.
After downplaying the "Breeze" name for a couple of weeks, the station became simply, "107.1 FM: A Music Radio Station", with more of a Hot AC presentation and de-emphasizing 99.7, except for the top of the hour, on April 19, 2013.
On July 1, 2014, 107.1 was renamed "Fun 107.1", with again no mention of 99.7, except for the top of the hour.
On November 1, 2015, 99.7 broke off from the 107.1 simulcast and became "The Island 99.7", playing, initially, all Christmas music.
On December 26, 2015, 99.7 evolved into a classic hits format, focusing mainly on the 1960's & 1970's.