WBJC was originally on 88.1 MHz and broadcast with 250 watts effective radiated power. When it first went on the air in 1952, it was operated by students of Baltimore Junior College, which shared the campus of a Baltimore high school, known as Baltimore City College. The antenna was on the top of the school's tallest section and covered the City of Baltimore. Generally speaking the station operated a flexible schedule as it was largely dependent on student volunteers. Generally the station signed off at 5 PM, but sports events often extended the broadcast day and led to weekend operation. In 1953 or 1954, the Adult Education Department of the Baltimore Board of Education began the so-called "Evening Programs" from 7 to 11PM, seven days, which consisted of classical music and occasionally dramatic plays, using a volunteer staff of adults and music lovers, who produced the programs and published a monthly program guide.
Early FM radios often would not tune down to as low as 88.1 MHz, so Clarence DeHaven, who oversaw operation of the station, in addition to his teaching and administrative duties, asked the FCC to allow a change of WBJC's frequency to one which was adjacent to the frequencies used by commercial broadcasters. This coincided with the Junior College's move to its own campus on Reisterstown Rd. For many years the station occupied a wood frame house on the campus, with studios on the second floor. The "Evening Staff" volunteer program ended in the mid-1960s. Matt Edwards, a classical music commentator on New York's WNCN and WQXR for many years, started as an Evening Staff volunteer at WBJC while in his teens. The "Evening Staff" programs added to the variety of classical music that could be heard in Baltimore. WBAL-FM, WCBM-FM, and WITH-FM were full-time classical music stations in the 50s and 60s, plus WFMM carried classical music at night.
The station broadcasts a 24 hours-a-day schedule of classical music and arts information programming. The station studios and office is located in northwest Baltimore, Maryland and the antenna is near the junction of I-695 and Reisterstown Road. The station's 50,000 watt signal reaches more than 180,000 listeners weekly across Maryland, Washington, DC and portions of the surrounding states. Reception can sometimes be a problem, though; especially south and west of DC. The station's website offers advice on how to improve reception.
WBJC produces several popular programs hosted by respected artist Jonathan PalevskyPast Masters showcases notable performances from the past. Face the Music has a panel of local musical experts listening and offering critiques of new recordings. Vocalise focuses on vocal music (the station usually does not play vocal music on a daily basis). WBJC Operafest presents classic opera recordings in their entirety. Toccata focuses on keyboard music. Music in Maryland features locally performed concerts. Late night/early morning broadcasts are provided by Classical 24.
WBJC's major competition in the classical music market is WETA/90.9, from Arlington, Virginia. This is also a non-commercial station broadcasting in the Washington, DC area.