|City of license||Wilmington, Delaware|
|Frequency||99.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1956|
|Callsign meaning||John Brian Rendfrey (founder)|
|Owner||Beasley Broadcast Group
(WAEC Limited License Partnership)
WJBR-FM (99.5 FM) is a Wilmington, Delaware-based Adult Contemporary music formatted radio station. Although the station is broadcast from Wilmington, the signal is strong enough to be a competitive station in the Philadelphia radio market as it is Philadelphia's only radio station to have a similar format to rival WBEB.
WJBR plays a variety of 80s, 90s and Today. In February 2007, Beasley Broadcast Group completed its acquisition of the station from NextMedia for a reported $42 million. Its transmitter is located in Wilmington, very close to the Pennsylvania state line.
WJBR-FM signed on the air in 1956, broadcasting a classical & light music format. The phrase "Just Beautiful Radio" was used on the air. The format eventually evolved into 24 hours of beautiful music and the station used as a nickname "JBR 100"....also announced frequency as "99 and a half". WJBR-FM 99.5 was founded by a father and son team of John Brian Rendfrey, Sr. and John Brian Rendfrey, Jr. It was John, Jr. who had the history in broadcasting, music and theology; he hosted a local TV dance program (before American Bandstand), was a recording pianist in the late 1940s, and taught at a local Catholic high school after being thrown out of St. Mary's Seminary for extreme ribaldry and other obnoxious behavior. John Sr. began the radio station because John Jr. was a strong believer in the future of FM.
The station operated with only five employees for the first few years. John Sr. did some selling while Jr. operated as General Manager and announcer, Program Director and voiced many of the commercials. The other employees were booth announcers (Del Parks, Ed Hunt, Al Barclay [Bressler] et al. who also played the music.
The first offices, studios, and transmitter site for WJBR-FM were on Ebright Road in North Wilmington. The tower is located at the highest elevation in the state, approximately 400 feet above sea level. The tower itself rises 317 feet further. Offices and studio were moved to Philadelphia Pike in Claymont, in 1993, although the transmitter and tower remained at Ebright Road. In 2000, the studio and offices simply moved further along Philadelphia Pike and now reside in Bellefonte.
By 1985 Beautiful Music was a fading format and new owners, CRB Broadcasting, believed the Adult Contemporary format would produce the audience makeup needed to maximize profit potential. They created "Bright 99.5", which was renamed "Mix 99.5" approximately three years later. The "Mix" handle was phased out in 1993 and the station went back to identifying itself simply by the call letters.
WJBR-FM has also been a pioneer technically, recognized as one of the first to broadcast a 24-hour stereo format in the late 1950s, and the first station to broadcast an all Compact Disc format in the late 1980s.
The official mascot for the station is J. Bear.
Delaware's Christmas Music Station
For many years WJBR has been known as "Delaware's Christmas Station". The station switches to an all-Christmas format generally around Thanksgiving.
On November 19, 2012 at 10:00AM WJBR switched over to its all Christmas format. The radio station started the Christmas season with "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid. Usually WJBR and B101 (Philadelphia's WBEB) switch on the same day. There has always been a clear competition between the two rival stations.
WJBR announced on November 21, 2013 that their all Christmas format will begin on November 22, 2013 at noon. The radio station started the 2013 Christmas season with "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" by Bing Crosby. WBEB started their Christmas music November 21, 2013 at 3pm and WJBR made this announced on their Facebook right after.
Weekend air talent include: Jim Stoddard, Joe Vietri, Donna Cavender, Shane Murray
Former air staff: Brian Demay, Lisa Norris, Dave Cruise, Jill Quale, Paul Lewis, Michael Waite, Ken Pauli, Greg Purcell, Doug Weldon, Allan Michaels, Drewe Phinny, Dave Banks, Joe Bonadonna, Bob Carmen(Charger), Joe Robinson, Ann Cates, Yolanda Santiago, Steve Rakoczy, Bill Kaye, Howard Gessner, Joe Cutter
Former news staff: Ted Boyda, Valerie Mack, Clint Dantinne
- WJBR official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WJBR
- Radio-Locator information on WJBR
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WJBR