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WNYM
Broadcast area New York metropolitan area
Branding AM 970 The Apple
Slogan The Talk of New York
Frequency 970 kHz
First air date 1926
Format Conservative Talk
ERP 50,000 watts
Class B
Callsign meaning W New York Metro
Affiliations Fox News Radio
Salem Radio Network
Owner Salem Communications
(Salem Media of New York, LLC)
Webcast Listen Live
Website http://www.am970theapple.com

WNYM, 970 AM, is a radio station licensed to Hackensack, New Jersey and serving the New York metropolitan area. Studios are in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey with co-owned WMCA-570. The station is currently owned by Salem Communications and presents a conservative talk-based format.

Contents

History

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Early years

The station signed on in 1926 as WAAT on 1270, moving to 1070 in 1928, 940 in 1930 and finally to 970 in 1941. They featured a general entertainment format. The station was owned by Frank Bremmer. In 1948, WAAT launched a television station, WATV channel 13. In 1951 the stations were sold to Irving Rosenhaus. WAAT evolved to a music format by the 1950s, similar to what WNEW, WOR, and WCBS were doing at that time. They also signed on a station on 94.7 FM, WAAT-FM.

As a National Telefilm Associates station

National Telefilm Associates would buy the three stations in 1959, and changed their call letters to WNTA-AM-FM-TV. WNTA remained a MOR music station, while WNTA-FM played easy listening and WNTA-TV attempted a general entertainment format. NTA later found that seven commercial television stations could not be supported in the New York market, and sold WNTA-TV to Educational Television for the Metropolitan Area, which converted channel 13 to NET affiliate WNDT (the station is now PBS member staiton WNET).

WNTA-FM began selling time to a Christian non-commercial group, Family Stations, headed by Harold Camping. They ran religion part of the day, continuing to run easy listening at other times. By 1964, they sold the entire broadcast day to Family Stations and shortly afterwards Family bought WNTA-FM outright, converting it to WFME.

Country music years

WNTA was sold to Communications Industries Broadcasting and changed callsigns to WJRZ on March 31, 1962. They kept a MOR format until September 15, 1965, when WJRZ became the first radio station in the New York metro area to play a country music format 24 hours a day. Not long after, the station moved its transmitter site and changed its city of license from Newark to Hackensack. WJRZ carried New York Mets games from 1967 until 1971, with the classic Mets broadcasting crew of Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy, and Ralph Kiner. Station personality Bob Brown hosted the Mets pre- and post-game shows, and built an audience with his genial manner, call-in shows, and "Mets Manager for a Play" contest.

The station had a serious fire that destroyed their studios on October 17, 1970; the station operated out of a prefab building near their transmitter site for a period of time afterward.

Top 40 years

The station was put up for sale in fall of 1970. Around that time, WMCA dropped top 40 for a talk format, leaving WABC as the only Top 40 radio station. It was decided that there was a need for another top 40, station so on May 17, 1971 WJRZ became WWDJ and switched to top 40.

The station was sold to Pacific and Southern Broadcasting on January 6, 1971. It changed its call letters on May 16 of that year, and became WWDJ, known on the air as "97-DJ". The station was hampered by a directional signal that covered Manhattan and parts of New Jersey well but suffered in the rest of the Five Boroughs and was virtually nonexistent on Long Island. Eventually, FM competition from WCBS-FM and adult top 40 station WXLO (now WRKS), and an evolution to adult Top 40 by WNBC (now WFAN), began to eat into WWDJ's ratings.

Becoming a religious station

By 1974, the station was losing money and unable to sell enough advertising, and the studios had been moved to the transmitter site. As a result, WWDJ dropped the top 40 format on April 1, 1974, and switched to a religious format. Because the change took place on April Fool's Day, many listeners thought the switch was some sort of joke. Initially, WWDJ sold blocks of time to outside ministries about 15 hours a day and played music about 8 hours a day. The music they played was traditional Christian music, with the exception of a few hours on Saturdays devoted to a then-new type of music known as contemporary Christian music. Pacific and Southern merged with Combined Broadcasting in 1977, forming Communicom.

CCM years

By the late 1970s the music during the week was a mix of traditional and soft contemporary. By 1981, the music was adult contemporary Christian and evolved to contemporary Christian by 1984. The station still only played music part-time. They continued with the contemporary Christian music/teaching/preaching format throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, with Frank Reed (formerly of WNBC) handling mornings.

In 1993, WWDJ was sold to Salem Communications, owner of WMCA, which ran Christian talk and teaching. Initially, it was thought that WWDJ would move to music full time with specialty Christian music programming on weekends, but this did not happen. By then WWDJ played music from 6 to 9 a.m. and 1 to 9 p.m. weekdays.

Later religious years

In the fall of 1995, the amount of listeners to the contemporary Christian music dropped. The station's other programming expanded, with music only on from 6 to 8 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays. The announcers were laid off and the station revamped the format to a rhythmic Christian music format. This employed contemporary uptempo praise & worship music, gospel music, and light contemporary Christian songs. They positioned themselves as "The Sound Of Praise & Celebration".

This format continued until 2004, when the music was dropped and WWDJ moved to a Christian brokered format. Around this time, WAWZ (99.1) in northern New Jersey dropped all but a few religious shows to play contemporary Christian music 18 hours a day, and Salem picked up many bumped shows; this caused Salem to decide to air programming full time on WWDJ. For about two years, the station billed itself WMCA II all the time, with the WWDJ call letters used only in the hourly station identification.

The station's on-air identity reverted to 970 DJ by 2007, but programming continued to be overflow programs from WMCA, as well as some syndicated mostly-secular personalities, such as Laura Schlessinger and Kevin McCullough. They also broadcast infomercials and church services to 30 minute and 60 minute religious shows. The station also broadcast the New Jersey Devils during the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs.[1]

Becoming a talk station

On July 25, 2008, WWDJ swapped callsigns with a sister station in Boston, Massachusetts and became WTTT. After stunting for several days with an all-Frank Sinatra Frank 97 AM and all-Pat Boone The Booner Nine Hundred Seventy formats, the WTTT call letters were replaced with WNYM on August 6, 2008 and the format changed to conservative talk, along with a Fox News affiliation. The station airs most of the general-market slate of the Salem Radio Network live, including Mike Gallagher, Dennis Miller, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt, along with Laura Schlessinger, Jim Bohannon and John Gibson on tape-delay. Curtis Sliwa joined the station as morning host in December 2009.

In September 2009 it was announced this station would be carrying live broadcasts of Syracuse University athletics [2] In addition, as of October 2009 it airs games that would normally air on 1050 ESPN due to programming conflicts on 1050.

References

External links

Preceded by
1050 WHN
1964–1966
Radio Home of the
New York Mets
1967–1971
(as WJRZ until 1971-05-16 and then WWDJ)
Succeeded by
1050 WHN
1972–1974

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