||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (August 2010)|
|City of license||Hempstead, New York|
|Broadcast area||Long Island|
|Slogan||Playing The Hits of a Lifetime|
|First air date||July 22, 1947|
|Power||10,000 watts (day)|
|Callsign meaning||We're Hempstead Long Island|
|Affiliations||NBC News Radio|
(Connoisseur Media Licenses, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBZO, WKJY, WWSK|
WHLI was first licensed in 1947 to Paul and Elias Godofsky, the owners of WLIB/New York from 1942 to 1944. WHLI began broadcasting local radio just as the nearby potato fields of Island Trees, Long Island were being replaced by houses in Levittown, New York. Long Island was becoming one of America's most lucrative markets. It was one of the first AM/FM pairs. Its FM sister at 98.3FM actually first went on air a short while before WHLI as WHNY. (98.3FM would assume the WHLI-FM calls on January 1, 1948, later becoming WIOK and today is known as "K-JOY" WKJY).
WHLI began as a 250w non-directional AM station at 1100 and was given permission to raise its power to the current 10 kW two-tower directional signal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1960. It is a "daytimer" and must either reduce power or sign-off at local sunset as it broadcasts on the same frequency as WTAM in Cleveland. The WHLI towers are located next to the Southern State Parkway in Hempstead near the Baldwin Road/Grand Avenue exit. They are a popular landmark as signage touting the WHLI call letters and dial position (1100) have been mounted on the main tower for decades for passing motorists to see. The historic signs were removed temporarily from the WHLI Tower #2 on August 13, 2010 (Friday the 13th) at 11:00AM to allow for minor repairs and upgrades to the transmission facilities. Note the odd occurrence that they were removed at 11:00AM from the towers that broadcast on 1100 kHz on the AM band.
According to the book The Airwaves Of New York', programming on WHLI in 1947 included dinner music from the syndicated program "Candlelight and Silver" and that the station "looked to the local audience for talent and encouraged amateurs and professionals to audition, welcoming everyone from classical musicians to pop singers and comedians."
From the first day, WHLI aimed to an upscale audience. As "The Voice Of Long Island", the station became the dominant local station in Nassau County with a decent signal into Suffolk and Queens counties. By the early 1950s, WHLI's "Commuter's Time" was the top-rated morning show. The rest of the broadcast day was filled with "familiar good music and local news". The station aired concerts from The Long Island Pops and hours of "Music From The Country Club".
In the 1970s, WHLI played popular music as a Top 40 station, but on Saturday January 21, 1979 it changed to Al Ham's then-new "Music Of Your Life" format. WHLI continues as a locally programmed, top-rated station today playing adult standards with national news from NBC, as well as their own news staff.
WHLI's first offices and studios were in a frame house at 245 Baldwin Road, Hempstead, NY. In 1957 the station moved to a two-story facility constructed for them at 384 Clinton Street in Hempstead. (The small street on the north side of the station building was renamed WHLI Way and is still on the map today.) They moved to the third floor of 1055 Franklin Avenue in neighboring Garden City in 1991 and remained there until 2001, when Barnstable consolidated operations for WHLI, WKJY, WBZO & WMJC (now WWSK) into a newly designed and constructed- management, sales, promotions and technical operations center at 234 Airport Plaza, Farmingdale, NY. This consolidation makes it the largest, privately owned, radio broadcast facility in New York.
WHLI and its FM were run by the Godofskys until February 1979, when they were sold to Williams Broadcasting Corporation for $1.5 million. They were sold again in 1984 to Barnstable Broadcasting, this time for $5 million. Effective July 3, 2012, WHLI (along with WBZO, WIGX, and WKJY) was sold to Connoisseur Media, LLC for $23 million.
|Alan Boritz a/k/a Steve King|
|Bob Perry||Created the JACK-FM format in 2000, President of Big Sticks Broadcasting|
|Bob Rapelli (a.k.a. Bob Evans)|
|Dean Anthony||Midday Host/PD from 1981 until his death on October 24, 2003 at the age of 68, formerly of WMCA|
|Eddy Brown||original Music Director, formerly of WQXR & WLIB|
|Frank Brinka||current News Director|
|Fred Darwin||News director 1982-1986|
|Gil David||1987-Spring 1998 afternoons, mornings until Early 2006|
|Jack Spector||1988–1994, Former "king of the hops", WMCA Good Guy whom Dean Anthony hired in 1985. Spector died of a heart attack on March 8, 1994, while on the air at WHLI playing "I'm in the Mood for Love" by Louis Prima & Keely Smith|
|James Faherty||1993-December 1996|
|Jerry Carr||original Program Director|
|Joe Clines||News Director 1989|
|John Lorentz||News Reporter/Newscaster late 1960s|
|John Marino||News/DJ 1994-1996 returning 2007-|
|John Von Soosten||Summer 2002-January 2005, currently program manager of XM Radio's "On Broadway" channel|
|Margie Casale||May 1982-|
|Michael R. Glaser||Engineering Manager / Chief Engineer|
|Paul Richards||current PD|
|Sal Giangrasso||now at Fox News Radio|
|Sean Lynch||Production Manager|
|Steve Warren||1994-July 1995|
|Tom Zwier||news ?-1989|
- "The Voice Of Long Island"
- "Music Of Your Life"
- "Where It's Cool To Listen, Baby!"
- "Standards Of Yesterday & Today"
- "Home Of Your All-Time Favorites"
- "The AM Difference"
- "Playing The Hits Of A Lifetime"
- WHLI official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WHLI
- Radio-Locator Information on WHLI
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WHLI