WJFK (AM)

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WJFK
City Morningside, Maryland
Broadcast area Washington, D.C.
Branding ConnectingVets.com
Slogan Connecting Veterans Every Day
Frequency 1580 kHz
Repeater(s) 95.5-3 WPGC-FM-HD3
106.7-2 WJFK-FM-HD2
First air date May 1954 (as WPGC)
Format Talk
Power 50,000 watts (day)
270 watts (night)
Class B
Facility ID 28638
Transmitter coordinates 38°52′9″N 76°53′47″W / 38.86917°N 76.89639°W / 38.86917; -76.89639
Callsign meaning John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Former callsigns WPGC (1954-2008)
WHFS (2008-2011)
WNEW (2011-2013)
Owner Entercom
(CBS Radio WPGC(AM), LLC)
Sister stations WIAD, WJFK-FM, WLZL, WDCH-FM, WPGC-FM
Webcast Listen Live
Website connectingvets.com

WJFK (1580 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a talk radio format. Licensed to the suburb of Morningside, Maryland with studios in Southeast DC in the Navy Yard neighborhood, it serves the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The station is currently owned by Entercom.

History

On November 12, 1953, former FCC employee Harry Hayman received a construction permit for a radio station in Morningside operating at 250 watts daytime-only on 1580 kilohertz. The call letters WPGC, representing Prince George's County were issued soon afterwards.

In May 1954, WPGC began as a multi-formatted radio station. Maxwell Evans Richmond purchased the station from Harry Hayman for $10,000 on November 10, 1954.

On April 14, 1955, WPGC was issued a permit to raise power to 10,000 watts. It also moved its offices from Morningside to a facility in Hyattsville, Maryland. It later moved to Southeast, Washington, D.C. in studios formerly used by WBUZ (95.5). In 1958, the station started simulcasting its programming on 95.5, by then renamed WRNC; the station is now WPGC-FM, which it became after WPGC-AM bought 95.5 outright.

On June 28, 1965, the WPGC stations were granted a modification of their licenses to move their studios to Bladensburg while continuing to identify their city of license as Morningside. By then, the station played Top-40 programming with a format similar to WABC and WMCA in New York City and CKLW in Detroit, and was the most popular such station in the Washington area, rivaled only by WEAM (1390; now WZHF). Responding to the black population growth of the Washington area, WPGC began to alternate playing so-called "white" rock records with Motown and soul music.

After Max Richmond died in 1971, his estate received FCC approval on August 7, 1974 to sell the WPGC stations for $5.8 million to First Media Corporation. The transaction was finalized on October 17, 1974.

On April 9, 1979, the FCC granted WPGC a permit to raise power from 10 kilowatts to 50 kilowatts directional.

After 15 years in the Parkway Building in Bladensburg, the station moved to new state-of-the-art studios overlooking the Capital Beltway in Greenbelt in 1980; the station subsequently relocated to studios in Lanham.

WPGC was finally granted nighttime operation in 1986. That October, the station received night power, operating at 270 watts. First Media sold all of its properties for $177 million to Cook Inlet Partners, a group of Alaska Natives, in early 1987.

The station switched to a business talk format in 1988. In 1989, its night power was upgraded to 500 watts directional; the next year, it reverted to 270 watts, though still directional.

Infinity Broadcasting acquired the WPGC stations from Cook Inlet in June 1994 for $60 million. On January 13, 1995, the station returned to music programming as "Flava 1580", with an all hip-hop/go-go format.[1] The format was unsuccessful, and ultimately evolved to gospel in November 1996 as "Heaven 1580".

WPGC dropped the gospel format October 7, 2008 and began simulcasting WPGC-FM. The simulcast ended on November 10, 2008, when the station switched to a talk format. The station also dropped the WPGC call letters after 54 years, taking on the WHFS callsign that CBS had dropped from what is now WJZ-FM a week before.

On December 1, 2011, WHFS changed their call letters to WNEW as a placeholder move in preparation for those call letters to be installed on the FM dial in a lateral swap. (The WHFS callsign was then warehoused on West Palm Beach, Florida sister station WUUB, which previously held the WNEW calls after CBS moved them there in 2007 after the former New York FM station of the same name changed formats and calls before being moved to former sister stations WSJT and WQYK (AM) in Tampa, Florida in 2011 (both of which are now owned by Beasley Broadcast Group).)

On October 1, 2012, WNEW changed their format to a hybrid government news/business news/talk format, branded as "1580 Gov. Biz Radio".[2] This format was dropped on January 28, 2013, when the station joined CBS Sports Radio as a full-time affiliate.[3] The station subsequently changed their call sign on January 29 to WJFK, matching call signs with sister station WJFK-FM "106.7 The Fan." [4] CBS Radio uses WJFK's signal to broadcast Washington Nationals games that the team's AM flagship, WFED, is unable to air due to conflicts.

On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom.[5] The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was consummated on the 17th.[6][7]

CBS launched an online portal called "Connecting Vets" in June 2017, consisting of news and podcasts oriented toward military veterans. Podcast content is combined with live drive-time news coverage into an Internet stream that also began airing on WJFK on June 5, 2017.[8]

Programming

Most programming on WNEW was syndicated, including Doug Stephan, Dennis Miller and Lou Dobbs. Locally-produced brokered talk shows air throughout the course of the late morning and early afternoon.

Initially, the station also carried Michael Smerconish (whose program originates from sister station WPHT),The Glenn Beck Program (whose host was at one time a WPGC DJ), The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, which Westwood One replaced with Fred Thompson several months after the format's launch, and The Dr. Laura Program.

Previous logos

WPGCAM.JPG WHFS-AM 2008.PNG WJFK CBSSportsRadio1580 logo.png

References

  1. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1995/RR-1995-01-13.pdf
  2. ^ http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/netgnomes/55706/1580-wnew-washington-to-cover-government-news/
  3. ^ "WNEW-A Ready To Play Ball With CBS Sports". All Access. January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/call_hist.pl?Facility_id=28638&Callsign=WJFK
  5. ^ CBS Radio to Merge with Entercom
  6. ^ "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
  7. ^ Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
  8. ^ Venta, Lance (6 June 2017). "CBS Radio Launches Military Veteran Platform On 1580 WJFK". RadioInsight. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Query the FCC's AM station database for WJFK
  • Radio-Locator Information on WJFK
  • Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WJFK
  • WPGC tribute site
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