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*After a day's rest back home in Rochester, we headed back out on the
road for the second half of our August travels. This time, south and
east were the directions of choice as we approached the American
Numismatic Association convention in Philadelphia. (Coins were a
strong secondary theme of both trips; the Ottawa destination was
chosen for the Canadian Numismatic Association gathering the weekend
A late start and cloudy weather meant only one stop along the way to
Philly: Hazleton, at the south end of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
After trying and failing to reach the four towers of WILP (1300 West
Hazleton), we made it to the city's east side and WAZL (1490 Hazleton)
just as the sun was setting. Meanwhile, we heard the newest
simulcasts in this most duplicative of all markets: WQFN (100.1 Forest
City) relaying the oldies of WQFM (92.1 Nanticoke); WPZX (105.9 Pocono
Pines), the new relay of rocker WEZX (106.9 Scranton); and WITK (1550
Pittston), now relaying the oldies (and Red Barons baseball) of WICK
(1400 Scranton) and WYCK (1340 Plains). Both Hazleton AMs are also
relays: 1300 rebroadcasts news-talk WILK (980 Wilkes-Barre), and 1490
simulcasts the standards of WEMR (1460 Tunkhannock) and WKJN (1440
We'd seen most everything in and around Philadelphia on previous
trips, so this visit found us enjoying non-radio tourism instead --
but not without a walk past the newly rebuilt Independence Mall home
of WHYY public radio and TV (we also had a chance to watch their
"Delaware Tonight" 5:30 TV newscast aimed at WHYY-TV's nominal city of
license of Wilmington!). We also had a chance to hear the formats
that had changed since our last visit a couple of years ago: Mega's
Spanish tropical on WEMG (900); the return of leased-time ethnic and
religion to WTEL (860) after a brief stint as WWDB(AM); more Mega
Spanish on WSSJ (1310 Camden); the arrival of Radio Disney on
WWJZ (640 Mount Holly NJ); the arrival of Jammin' Oldies on WEJM
(95.7), which we'd last heard as modern AC "Max;" and the modern AC
sounds of "Alice," WLCE (104.5).
After a few pleasantly sunny days in Philadelphia, it was off to the
Jersey Shore for a weekend visit to the Atlantic City-Cape May area.
On the way, we set off to see the stations of Salem and Cumberland
counties, a new territory for us.
First up was the Philadelphia-area Pax TV tower, WPPX (Channel 61) on
the Salem-Gloucester county line. Yep: a station licensed to
Wilmington, Delaware, with studios in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
transmitting from southern New Jersey! (And with no programming local
to any of those three states...)
Salem County's radio offerings were likewise targeted across the
Delaware River: WNNN (1510 Salem) is religious "Faith 1510," with four
short towers behind the studio on route 48; while WJKS (101.7 Canton)
has studios in Wilmington feeding its transmitter on the Jersey side.
Economically-struggling Cumberland County had some interesting radio
to offer: Bridgeton's WSNJ (1240/107.7) looked and sounded like the
archetypal small-town station of decades ago. Both AM and FM transmit
from the tall self-supporting tower where routes 56 and 77 meet,
offering a very local and very live mix of news, community
announcements, very soft AC, baseball games, and promos touting "FM
stereo" -- not to mention a midnight sign-off!
A few miles away, WMIZ (1270) and WVLT (92.1) both serve Vineland from
their studio and transmitter alongside the route 55 highway, with WMIZ
in Spanish and WVLT offering AC in English. Just down route 55 in
Millville, we found WMVB (1440) just as the sun set, with a very
local, very quirky oldies program filling the Saturday night airwaves.
[Millville's other station, WBSS 97.3, has little to do with
Cumberland County; it's a full-time relay of talk-and-oldies WKXW
101.5 Trenton, with local news inserts from a studio in Linwood,
The rain began falling as we approached Atlantic City, and never
stopped the rest of the time we were there, so Sunday's excursions
were conducted quickly and damply, as follows:
Atlantic City has become a very clustered market, making studios very
easy to find. The Citadel cluster operates from the second floor of
what looks like an old motel in Northfield, offering
1450 WFPG (Atlantic City) - news, talk
96.9 WFPG-FM (Atlantic City) - AC
106.3 WKOE (Ocean City) - modern AC "the Shore"
107.3 WPUR (Atlantic City) - country "Cat Country"
Nearby on US 40/322 (Black Horse Pike), Equity Communications has its
95.1 WAYV (Atlantic City) - CHR-pop
100.7 WZXL (Wildwood) - classic rock
Heading into Atlantic City on US 30 (White Horse Pike), we passed
Atlantic City High School along the causeway, home to:
88.9 WAJM (Atlantic City) - student-run CHR
It was automated, but sounding pretty good, all in all.
The only studios in Atlantic City proper belong to two smaller
clusters owned by Margate Communications. On Atlantic Avenue, an
office building is home to:
96.1 WTTH (Margate City) - Urban AC "The Touch"
Out in the Venice neighborhood where Black Horse Pike heads for the
mainland, the old WFPG-TV (Channel 46) tower from the 1950s is now
home to two more Margate Communications outlets:
1340 WMID (Atlantic City) - adult standards
99.3 WZBZ (Pleasantville) - modern AC "The Buzz"
Just across the highway, two more towers carry WFPG AM-FM, WAYV, and
independent WWAC-TV (Channel 53). [There are also two rooftop FMs in
the market: WPUR's antenna sits atop the Trump Taj Mahal, while WTTH
is on a shorter building a few blocks south.]
At the other end of the causeway, in Pleasantville, sits the tower
that carries three of Howard Green's stations:
1400 WOND (Pleasantville) - news/talk
1490 WGYM (Pleasantville) - ESPN sports
103.7 WMGM (Atlantic City) - classic rock "Shark"
We found their studios out on US 9 (New Road) in Linwood, along with
the rest of the group:
98.3 WTKU (Ocean City) - oldies "Kool"
40 WMGM-TV (Wildwood) - NBC
Nearby on New Road is the studio of one of the few stand-alone FMs in
102.7 WJSE (Petersburg) - modern rock "Digital 102.7"
WJSE and WTKU transmit from Strathmere, on one of the barrier islands
along the coast, and we didn't have time to go over for a look.
The pressing order of business, though, was to cross the toll bridge
into Cape May County, heading for the stick that's home to WKOE's
transmitter, and non-co-owned:
1020 WIBG (Ocean City) - religious daytimer
Continuing south on US 9, we turned off twice, first to the west to
catch the transmitter of:
105.5 WGBZ (Cape May Courthouse) - modern AC // WZBZ 99.3
...then to the east, along the NJ 47 causeway to Avalon, to see the
transmitter tower that's home to WMGM-TV and WZXL (100.7).
Also visible behind the trees where 47 and 9 meet is the antenna of:
94.3 WCZT (Avalon) - AC "The Coast"
The rain kept falling as we passed our last few sites. Just outside
Cape May Courthouse was the little building that's home to:
93.1 WBNJ (Wildwood Crest) - "The Touch" // WTTH 96.1
102.3 WSAX (Cape May) - smooth jazz
As we entered Cape May itself, we passed the southernmost transmitter
in New Jersey:
106.7 WJNN (North Cape May) - religious
And after an hour stuck in Cape May traffic, we circled back to the
north and on to the barrier island that is "The Wildwoods," where we
found the transmitter of:
1230 WCMC (Wildwood) - adult standards
and the nearby studios of WCMC/WZXL. One last stop on the causeway
that returned us to the mainland was the transmitter of WCZT's sister
98.7 WWZK (Villas) - rock "K-Rock"