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WRFF
WRFF-FM.png
City of license Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Broadcast area Greater Philadelphia (Delaware Valley)
Slogan Radio 104.5
Frequency 104.5 MHz
(also on HD Radio)
HD-2: eRockster
First air date 1965
Format Modern Rock
ERP 11,500 watts
HAAT 308 meters
Class B
Facility ID 53969
Callsign meaning Radio FiladelFia (play on the word Philadelphia)
Owner Clear Channel Communications
Sister stations WDAS-FM, WIOQ, WISX, WUBA, WUSL
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.radio1045.com

WRFF is a modern rock FM radio station located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, better known as "Radio 104.5".

Until May 16, 2007, the station offered a Spanish Language format emphasizing Tropical Music, known as "Rumba 104.5". Upon the format change, the Spanish format moved to an AM frequency.

The station has had Adult Contemporary formats over the previous years as well as several sets of call letters.

Contents

History

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Early Stations

104.5 FM first signed on in February 1965 as WRCP-FM simulcasting WRCP-AM. Both stations offered MOR formats. The stations were owned by Associated Communications. After just under 2 years, the stations switched to Country Music formats. The format flipped in 1977.

WSNI, first time

104.5 FM broke away from WRCP in 1977 and became WSNI. WSNI initially had a soft country/easy listening hybrid format before evolving to instrumental based easy listening.

On January 1, 1980 WSNI became known as Sunny 104.5, a name which was reused later on in the station's history. Sunny 104.5 dumped easy listening in favor of an Adult Contemporary format playing the Top 40 hits of the 1960s, Top 40/Adult contemporary crossovers of the 1970s, and the Adult Contemporary hits of the 1980s up to and including current product.

6 years later, the stations were sold to Pyramid Broadcasting. The AM sister station, which still had the WRCP call letters, was eventually sold also and got new call letters.

WYXR

On December 10, 1990, 104.5's call was changed from WSNI to WYXR and the format switched to Hot AC. The new station was known as "Star 104.5".

In a group deal WYXR became owned by Evergreen by 1993. The station experimented and leaned CHR in 1996, but it still remained known as Star 104.5. The station quietly evolved back to Hot AC in 1997 playing more rhythmic cuts than most Hot AC stations. In 1997 WYXR became owned by Chancellor as a result of a merger.

In April 1999 Chancellor (known by then as AM/FM) decided to switch the station to a Jammin' Oldies format. This was not successful, though, because a station owned by Greater Media beat them to it. As a result the Hot AC format was kept a while longer. The hot AC format lasted until November 18, 1999. WYXR went off the air at 12 noon with Madonna's "Who's That Girl". 3 hours of a heartbeat sound effect followed.

WLCE

At 3PM on November 18, 1999, The Cars "Let's Go" began to play. The station was now known as "Alice 104.5," and the calls became WLCE. The new format was a Gold based Adult Rock AC, playing "rockin" hits of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Initially only a couple of current songs were played but by 2001 the station was playing a large number. By 2001, the station evolved to more of a rock based Hot AC format. In 2001, as a result of a merger, WLCE came under the ownership of Clear Channel Communications. The WLCE call sign has now moved to the Springfield, Illinois market.

WSNI, second time/Oldies Version

On July 31, 2002, after a 24-hour loop of The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," 104.5 flipped to Soft AC, reverting back to the "Sunny 104.5" name with a plan to compete for some of B101's listeners.

This incarnation of WSNI is locally famous for completely abandoning the format as early as the first week in November to play continuous Christmas music until December 26. The idea was very successful and starting the very next year, B101--which in years past played only 36 hours of continuous Christmas music--copied it and has done it every year since.

Sunny was a low-budget station and nearly all the air personalities were voicetracked, meaning the "DJ banter" heard between songs had been recorded in advance in a whole other part of the country and was being played from a hard drive just like the music. The low operating costs helped the station be successful even with only middling ratings. Sunny 104.5 continued for just over 4 years.

At 12 noon EDT on Thursday, August 10, 2006, Sunny's sister station Smooth Jazz WJJZ 106.1 was switched to a Rhythmic AC format, and began identifying itself as "Philly's 106.1." At the same time, Clear Channel dumped Sunny's Soft AC format and started shadowcasting the new station at 106.1. (Shadowcasting is when two stations are playing the same songs at the same times.) The last song heard on Sunny 104.5 was "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" by Elton John. This was followed by a short pause and slow fade in of "Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas. There was a short announcement from a female ("This feels like my own radio station") and an awkward segue into "Get Ready For This" by 2 Unlimited, then Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'".

As for the lucrative all-Christmas format Sunny brought to Philadelphia, B101 had it all to themselves. Without having to worry about beating the competition to the punch, they tend to wait until the afternoon before Thanksgiving Day before making the switch. In 2007, during Arbitron's "holiday period," the lack of competition provided B101 enormous rating success. So in 2008, three other stations joined in, giving Philadelphia four all-Christmas stations and forcing B101 to share.

In early January 2007, the WSNI call letters went to the former WOQL-FM in Keene, NH.

In 2009, Sunny 104.5 returned to the air on WILT 104.5 in Wilmington, NC.

WUBA

On August 23, 2006, after 13 days of shadowcasting Philly 106.1, 104.5 FM became a Spanish language radio station known as "Rumba 104.5". This format was launched at 12 p.m. EDT on August 23, 2006. This was the first--and probably, for a very long time, the last--Spanish language station on FM in Philadelphia. They had a format focusing on Tropical and Dance Music, very similar to that of La Mega 97.9 WSKQ in New York City.

Radio 104.5

On May 16, 2007 Clear Channel flipped 104.5 to "Radio 104.5" blasting onto the airwaves with "Do You Remember Rock-N-Roll Radio?" by The Ramones.

On May 23rd, at midnight, 104.5 started identifying itself as "WRFF" (Radio One O Four - Five).

The Radio 104.5 presentation centers heavily on modern rock music from the 1990s, as well as featuring selected songs from the mid 1970's through the end of the 1980s, as well as current product. Overall, the station comes across as "lighter" than typical Modern Rock radio stations. Most of the songs played on Radio 104.5 were titles that crossed over to Top 40 formats, and they reach outside of the Alternative format to play acts like Green Day, The Fray, The All American Rejects, Blues Traveler, and others. This type of presentation is highly similar to those at several other Clear Channel operations, but it was implemented at this radio station first.

So far, the station is more successful than the city's previous alternative rock station, Y100 in the ratings.

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