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WDRE - Philly's Modern Rock
Broadcast area Philadelphia, PA
Frequency 103.9 MHz
First air date November 9, 1992 to February 7, 1997
Format Modern Rock
Owner Jarad Broadcasting
For the radio station in New York City formerly also known as WDRE, see WLIR. For the station with the current callsign of WDRE, see WDRE (FM).

WDRE, known as "Philly's Modern Rock", is a former modern rock station that was broadcast on the 103.9 frequency in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA area. The station helped launch the careers of many famous disc jockeys and local personalities. They include Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison of the Preston and Steve morning show on 93.3 WMMR Philadelphia, Bret Hamilton of WCAU-TV, Marilyn Russell (formerly of Y100, WXPN, WMGK), Jim McGuinn (also known as Rumour Boy), the former Program Director of WPLY Y100 Philadelphia, and Mel 'Toxic' Taylor who went on to WYSP Philadelphia.


WDRE history

WDRE originally started out as 103.9 WIBF-FM Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, which was owned by Fox Broadcasting (not related to the current Fox Broadcasting television network). The station was bought in October of 1992 by Jarad Broadcasting, and on November 9, 1992, WDRE New York started simulcasting its programming with WIBF, and shortly after the simulcast began, WIBF's call letters were changed to WDRE (the same calls as WDRE New York). It was decided however in 1995 that WDRE New York would change its call letters back to WLIR, thus making WDRE Philadelphia an independent local modern rock station.

Veteran Philadelphia DJ; Mel 'Toxic' Taylor (WPST, WIFI), was the first DJ hired for the only 2 local shows, that would be live from Philadelphia each week. Here are some clips from the first moments of WDRE Philly. > Jenkintown studios format flip > Press Conference featuring Joey Ramone:

WDRE's local Modern Rock CD, known as "DREgional Volume 1".

When WDRE Philadelphia became a local radio station, talent was hired from within the city (ie Bret Hamilton, formerly of WIOQ), and outside of the city. While WDRE never became a true mainstream radio station in the Philadelphia radio market, the station gained a cult status in the Philadelphia area, and as a result, events like the station's music festival held in (known as "DREfest") sold out to a crowd of over 25,000 people. However, in December of 1996, Radio One bought WDRE from Jarad Broadcasting, and it was announced that WDRE would be permanently kicked off the air for a Hip Hop/R&B radio station.

Due to the informed notice of the station's flip, the staff at WDRE were able to organize a concert called "Bitterfest", which was to be held at The Electric Factory. The concert featured local acts G Love and the Fun Lovin' Criminals, and was created to celebrate the life of WDRE as a local institution for modern rock. On February 7, 1997, "Bitterfest" was held to a sold out crowd of over 3,000 people, with all of the WDRE staff present at the event. At midnight on February 8, 1997, a lucky (or unlucky) listener was selected to "pull the plug" on WDRE, and from then on, WDRE ceased to exist. Two of the WDRE disc jockeys (Preston Eliot, Bret Hamilton) went to local radio station WPLY Y100 Philadelphia, as did the DRE Program Director, Jim McGuinn and M.D. and Sunday night DJ, Marilyn Russell (as Promotions Director for Y100). Ironically, WPLY was also bought out by Radio One (in 2000), and was later flipped in 2005 to a Hip Hop/R&B format.

Former on-air schedule



  • Mornings - January '96 - September '96 The WDRE Morning Show with Sarah, Spike and Brian/ September '96 - February '97 The WDRE Morning Show with Sarah, Spike and Vinnie
  • Middays - Bret Hamilton
  • Afternoons - Preston Elliot
  • Evenings - John Castino
  • Overnights - Leigh Taylor


  • Sunday Evenings - Marilyn Russell
  • Sunday Overnights - Dan Fein
  • Various Shifts - Brian Robbins
  • Various Shifts - Debbie Mann (formerly of WXPN 88.5 and WRNR 103.1 Annapolis, MD)
  • Various Shifts - Gil Edwards
  • Various Shifts - Rumour Boy (Jim McGuinn)
  • Various Shifts - Chris Martin

External links


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