WMMR

This page was last edited on 8 February 2018, at 10:11.

WMMR (93.3 FM, "93.3 WMMR") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The station is owned by the Beasley Broadcast Group, through licensee Beasley Media Group, LLC, and broadcasts an active rock radio format. Studios and offices are located in Bala Cynwyd and the tower used by the station is atop One Liberty Place at (39°57′9.4″N 75°10′5.0″W / 39.952611°N 75.168056°W).[3]

WMMR broadcasts using HD Radio.[2] Its HD2 subchannel plays live rock performances and sessions in WMMR's studios.

WMMR carries Philadelphia Flyers hockey games when its all-sports sister station 97.5 WPEN is airing another sporting event and cannot broadcast the Flyers game. WMMR is the home of Preston and Steve, heard weekday mornings, and midday personality Pierre Robert, heard on WMMR since 1981.

WMMR
WMMR logo
City Philadelphia, PA
Broadcast area Delaware Valley
Branding "93.3 WMMR"
Slogan "Everything that rocks"
Frequency 93.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date April 20, 1942 (as W49PH)[1]
Format Analog/HD1: Active rock
HD2: Live rock
ERP 16,500 watts (analog)
165 watts (digital)[2]
HAAT 264 meters (866 ft)
Class B
Facility ID 25438
Transmitter coordinates 39°57′09.00″N 75°10′05.00″W / 39.9525000°N 75.1680556°W (NAD27)
Callsign meaning MetroMedia Radio
Former callsigns W49PH (1942 – 1943)
WIP-FM (1943 – 1966)
Former frequencies 44.9 MHz (1942 – 1945)
93.9 MHz
97.5 MHz
Affiliations United Stations Radio Networks
Philadelphia Flyers Radio Network
Owner Beasley Broadcast Group
(Beasley Media Group Licenses, LLC)
Sister stations WBEN-FM, WMGK, WPEN, WTEL, WTMR, WWDB
Webcast Listen Live
Listen via iHeart
Website wmmr.com

History

On April 20, 1942, the station signed on with the call sign W49PH, broadcasting at 44.9 MHz[1] on the original 42-50 MHz FM band. Owned by Pennsylvania Broadcasting Corporation, it simulcast the programming of sister station AM 610 WIP. On November 1, 1943, the new FM station was assigned the WIP-FM call letters. The FCC created the current FM band on June 27, 1945.[4] WIP-FM moved to 93.9 MHz, then 97.5 MHz, before finally moving to 93.3 MHz.[5] In the 1950s and 60s, WIP-AM-FM carried a full service format of middle of the road (MOR) music, news, sports and talk.

In July 1966, the station's call sign was changed to WMMR.[6] The call letters reflected the name of the station's owner, MetroMedia Radio. (The WMMR call sign had previously belonged to a student radio station at the University of Minnesota.[1]) The MOR format was still being used, but with different programming than the AM side, although the AM disc jockeys' announcements were used for both stations.

Beginning in 1968, WMMR began adopting a progressive rock format, similar to that of several Metromedia-owned stations including WNEW-FM in New York City. WNEW-FM and WMMR had a close relationship, ran similar promotions, and sometimes featured each other's disc jockeys on the air. WMMS in Cleveland, KMET in Los Angeles and KSAN in San Francisco were also part of the Metromedia chain and also helped pioneer the progressive rock format in the 1960s.

Dave Herman was WMMR's first rock DJ. His show, dubbed The Marconi Experiment, debuted on April 29, 1968.[6] Before Herman's arrival, WMMR ran an "MOR" format featuring programs such as "Sinatra and Company." The Marconi Experiment was very much an experiment for the station, with progressive rock still new to the FM band. The first song played on the show was "Flying" by The Beatles. Over the instrumental song, Herman recited these words: "Arise my heart, and fill your voice with music. For he who shares not dawn with his song, is one of the sons of ever darkness." This was known as "The Incantation" and continued as the regular show opening.

Michael Cuscuna, from the University of Pennsylvania's 88.5 WXPN, replaced Herman in 1970, but was quickly hired away by WABC-FM (now WPLJ) in New York. Michael Tearson, also from WXPN, replaced Cuscuna and remained a mainstay at WMMR for over 20 years. Herman went to 95.5 WABC-FM and then for a couple of decades on 102.7 WNEW-FM, and later on 92.3 WXRK.[7] Tearson later worked at 102.9 WMGK in Philadelphia, from April 2002 until January 2013. He was also heard on Sirius XM's Deep Tracks channel.

Several Philadelphia FM stations tried to compete with WMMR in the late 1960s, including 92.5 WIFI and 105.3 WDAS-FM. Neither station stayed with the rock format for long. In 1970, WIFI switched to a Top 40 format. WDAS-FM changed format around 1971 to reflect its AM counterpart as an urban contemporary station.[8]

Later in the 1970s, two other Philadelphia radio stations became competitors: WYSP (formerly WIBG-FM) and WIOQ. WYSP later became a classic rock outlet while WIOQ is now a Top 40 radio station.

One of WMMR's most influential disc jockeys during the 1970s was Ed Sciaky, who was known for playing and boosting the careers of new artists such as Billy Joel and Yes. Sciaky is credited with introducing Bruce Springsteen to Philadelphia, and decades later, the city remains one of Springsteen's strongest fan bases and the scenes of many of his best-received concerts. WMMR alumni include David Dye, host of the World Cafe on 88.5 WXPN and syndicated on many NPR stations. Another formar WMMR DJ is Nick Spitzer, now a New Orleans resident and host of "American Routes" on NPR. One-time WMMR midday DJ Dick Hungate later switched to 94.1 WYSP, pioneering the classic rock format in Philadelphia. John DeBella, now hosting mornings on co-owned 102.9 WMGK, was the morning drive time DJ for many years, alongside newscaster and sidekick Mark "The Shark" Drucker, who later was a reporter on all-news 1060 KYW. Some WMMR DJs such as Dave Herman and Carol Miller would later go onto longtime careers on New York stations.

In early 2006, WMMR launched its digital HD2 subchannel with the "WMMaRchives" format, airing the station's archive of live and studio performances.[9]

On July 19, 2016, Beasley Media Group announced it would acquire Greater Media and its 21 stations (including WMMR) for $240 million.[10] The FCC approved the sale on October 6, and the sale closed on November 1.[11]

Awards

In 2007, WMMR was nominated for the Radio & Records Magazine Award for "Active Rock Station of the Year" in a top 25 market. Other nominees included WIYY in Baltimore, WAAF in Boston, KBPI in Denver, WRIF in Detroit, and KISW in Seattle.[12] In 2010, the station was honored by the National Association of Broadcasters with the Marconi Award for "Rock Station of the Year."[13] WMMR has also been honored as the Major Market Radio Station of the Year by the rock community "RadioContraband" in both 2011 and 2012.[14] In the late 1980s, WMMR was recognized as one of best rock stations in America by Rolling Stone Magazine. In 2014 WMMR was inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" in the "Heritage Rock Stations" category.

References

  1. ^ a b "The Beginning of FM Broadcasting in Philadelphia". broadcastpioneers.com. 2007. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  2. ^ a b "FCC 335-FM Digital Notification [WMMR]". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. September 19, 2013. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  3. ^ "FM Query Results for WMMR, Federal Communications Commission". Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  4. ^ "In the Matter of Allocation of Frequencies to the Various Class of Non-Governmental Services in the Radio Spectrum from 10 Kilocycles to 30,000,000 Kilocycles (Docket No. 6651)" (PDF). fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. June 27, 1945. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  5. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1950 page 260
  6. ^ a b Boris, Alan (2011). Philadelphia Radio. Charleston, South Carolina: ArcadiaPublishing. p. 101. ISBN 9780738575087.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2007-07-09.
  8. ^ Boris, Alan (2011). Philadelphia Radio. Charleston, South Carolina: ArcadiaPublishing. p. 105. ISBN 9780738575087.
  9. ^ Tucker, Ken (January 19, 2006). "Greater Media, Emmis Unveil HD2 Strategies". Billboard. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  10. ^ Venta, Lance (August 3, 2016). "Beasley Acquires Greater Media". radioinsight. radioINSIGHT. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  11. ^ Venta, Lance (November 1, 2016). "Beasley Closes on Greater Media Purchase; Makes Multiple Staff Moves". radioinsight. radioINSIGHT. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  12. ^ "2007 Industry Achievement Awards". Radio and Records. September 28, 2008. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007.
  13. ^ "2010 Marconi Awards". FMQB. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  14. ^ Radio Contraband.com

External links

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