|City of license||Syracuse, New York|
|Slogan||"The Beat Of Syracuse"|
|HAAT||37.0 meters (121.4 ft)|
WJPZ-FM is a student run college radio station at Syracuse University in New York. It broadcasts at 89.1 FM at an effective radiated power of 100 watts and can be heard throughout Syracuse, the rest of Onondaga County, and beyond to the north and east. WJPZ programs a Contemporary Hit Radio, Top 40 radio format. Although operated by students, it is an independent organization which is incorporated and licensed by the FCC as WJPZ Radio, Inc and leases studio and transmitter facilities on Syracuse University property.
The station was established in 1973 as an alternative to the Syracuse University-owned FM station, WAER, which at that time programmed a freeform radio format and was operated by students. The call letters were selected for their similarity in sound to those of New York's WABC, at that time the nation's premier Top-40 station. WJPZ first broadcast on a frequency of 1200 kHz in the AM band with 100 milliwatts (1/10 watt) of power which had good coverage of the university campus and nearby residential areas of Syracuse. The station's AM antenna was located atop Day Hall, the same site that WJPZ (FM) currently utilizes. The station's radio format was Top 40 music, and served a dual purpose of providing programming to the student community and giving vocational training in the radio broadcasting field to students at the University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. The station later also broadcast its audio over campus television monitors through the facilities of CitrusTV, then UUTV, as well as a channel on the citywide cable television system with a blank screen. This arrangement continued for some time after WJPZ moved to the FM dial.
In 1983, after operations of WAER were taken over by the university administration and the radio format was changed to jazz and NPR News, the management of WJPZ endeavored to move the station to the FM band, where it could broadcast with more power. At 6:00 p.m. on February 2, 1985, WJPZ began broadcasting at 89.1 FM. At that time, the radio format was Top 40 with a heavy emphasis on imported and domestic dance music. The first "official" song played on the station was a 45 rpm record of "Why" by Bronski Beat. However, several other records were played several days earlier during brief transmitter test broadcasts.
Since that time, the station has experimented with playing different genres of music. The station played "modern rock" for a few years in the 1990s as 89.1 the Pulse, which began in December 1995. During the Pulse period, WJPZ stayed within a Top 40 style of a limited playlist of frequently rotated songs. In 1997, WJPZ reverted to a dance-based CHR radio format and adopted the slogan "The Beat Of Syracuse" about a year after WKTU 103.5 FM became the top-rated station in New York City when it adopted a similar format as "The Beat of New York".
On January 22, 2008, after two days of stunting, WJPZ underwent a shift toward a Rhythmic CHR radio format. Today, the station continues the "Beat of Syracuse" Top-40 format with a slightly rhythmic lean. Despite being a Rhythmic, it does have competition with WWHT, who had debuted with a Rhythmic-leaning Mainstream Top 40 direction in 1996 until it went Rhythmic Top 40 full-time in 2011. However, in October 2012, WWHT has changed formats to a Mainstream Top 40.
Monday through Friday, WJPZ features a tightly-formatted Top-40 playlist with DJs working two- or three-hour shifts. The station's morning show is known as the "Z Morning Zoo," and features a rotating slate of hosts Monday through Friday from 6-10 am. Z89 also features the "Z8 @ 9," a countdown of the eight most-requested songs of the day Monday through Friday at 9:00 pm.
WJPZ features a very active sports department, led by Sports Director Evan Weston. The station presents live play-by-play broadcasts of high school football, Syracuse University Women's Basketball, and Syracuse University Women's Lacrosse, in addition to 14 hours of weekend sports talk.
The "Friday Night Football" broadcast package features one to two high school games of the week, as well as live reports from other games around the Central New York region. This, in addition to its real-time high school football blog at syracuse.com, provides listeners and viewers with the most comprehensive high school football coverage in Central New York.
WJPZ has broadcast Syracuse University Women's basketball since the station's move to the FM dial in 1985. WJPZ currently broadcasts every regular-season and postseason game, home or away. In 2008-2009, WJPZ celebrated the 25th season of Orange Women's Basketball on Z89.
WJPZ has also broadcast Syracuse Women's Lacrosse since 2000. It has been the flagship station for SU women's lacrosse since 2007, meaning it is the team's official broadcaster. WJPZ is the only station to broadcast SU women's lacrosse, and the only media outlet to cover every game, home or away.
In 2008-2009, WJPZ broadcast a select slate of games from the inaugural season of Syracuse Women's Ice Hockey.
In addition to its real-time Friday Night Football blog on syracuse.com, WJPZ also posts game recaps on syracuse.com from every SU women's basketball and women's lacrosse game. It also provides in-game updates and information from all its broadcasts on its Twitter and Facebook, Z89Sports. WJPZ also posts its game highlights from every broadcast on Twitter after every game.
WJPZ's news department produces "89 Second News Updates" which air every morning at 8:00 am and in the afternoon at 5:00 pm. The department also produces two news talk programs. "Orange State" airs every Friday at noon and focuses on news and politics throughout the world and especially in the central New York area. "The Red Carpet Report" is a weekly hour long talk show focusing news in the entertainment industry.
WJPZ has a very active alumni association that meets annually in Syracuse each spring. On February 28, 2009, WJPZ held its 24th annual Birthday Banquet, featuring syndicated morning show host & Z100's longest jock himself, Elvis Duran as its keynote speaker. Its keynote speaker for 2010 was another Z100's longest jock Patrick "Kid Kelly" Phillips from Backtrax USA. In 2011, its keynote speaker was ESPN Fantasy Sports Analyst and WJPZ alum Matthew Berry '92.
Notable alumni include:
- Dan Austin - VP/Director of Sales, Lincoln Financial Media San Diego
- Dave Gorab - VP/Talk Programming, Sirius/XM Radio
- Sam Roberts- Producer, The Opie & Anthony Show, Sirius/XM Radio
- Rich Davis - Host, Sirius/XM Radio - Morning Mash Up
- Ryan Sampson - Host, Sirius/XM Radio - Morning Mash Up
- Steve Donovan - Morning Host, WXLO Worcester, MA
- Danno Wolkoff - Founder, Envision Radio Networks
- Rocco Macri - Co-Founder, PromoSuite
- Chris Bungo - Co-Founder, PromoSuite
- Ed LaComb - President, Digital Sound & Video, Inc.
- Shanti Das - Universal Motown - Executive Vice President of Urban Marketing and Artist Development
- Matt DelSignore - News Anchor, WNEW - Washington DC
- Ian Eagle - CBS Sports Play-By-Play Announcer
- Rob "Rusty" Berrell - General Sales Manager, CBS Radio, Minneapolis
- Craig Carton - Morning Host, WFAN - New York
- Dion Summers - Sirius XM Radio
- Michael Rock - APD/Morning Host, WFHN New Bedford/Providence
- Father Dave Dwyer - Talk Show Host, Sirius XM Radio
- Dan Klass - Actor, Podcasting pioneer, Author
- Mark Zito - Sirius/XM Radio
- Richard Goldner - News Director, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles
- Scott MacFarlane - Investigative Reporter, WRC-TV, Washington DC
- Matt Friedman - Partner, Tanner Friedman Communications - Detroit
- Kevin Rich - Account Manager, On-Air Personality, Citadel Radio, Syracuse, NY
- BB Good - DJ, Radio Disney
- Carl Wiser - Founder, songfacts.com
- Jennifer Nycz - Reporter for the Washington Business Journal
- Dr. Roosevelt "Rick" Wright, Jr. - On-Air Personality, WHEN
- James Leatherman - actor in Mantecoza
- Dana Dieterle - Assistant News Director, KDVR/KWGN-TV - Denver
- Ryan McNaughton - Freelance Play by Play Talent, Sportstime Ohio - Cleveland, OH
- Mike Murphy - Play by Play Voice of the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats
- Phil Schoener - Sports Reporter, WBRE - Scranton
- Eric Stangel - Head Writer/Producer - Late Show with David Letterman
- Sal Capaccio - Sports Talk Host - WGR550 Buffalo, Buffalo Bills Radio Network, and Time Warner Sports Channel
- John Beck - Writer/Producer - "According to Jim"
- Michael Konner - Coordinating Producer - "MLB Network"
- Brian Gewirtz - Head Writer - World Wrestling Entertainment
- Zachary Kineke - Morning producer, WIVB/WNLO-TV Buffalo
- J. Michael Mendel - Film/TV Producer (The Simpsons)
- Jeff Tourial - Director of Communications and New Media, West Coast Conference
- Ryan Johnston - Boston's Sports Hub and WCAP, Lowell
- Paul Loeffler - play-by-play, Fresno State and National Spelling Bee on ABC
- Jeff Rossen - Reporter, NBC news and WNBC, New York
- Jim Chairusmi - Reporter, Wall Street Journal
- Mark Verone - Director, Advertising Operations & Content Management, Gogo, Itasca, IL (Chicago)
- Chris Villani - Play by Play for Harvard Men's Basketball, Sports Talk/Update Anchor at WEEI-Boston
- Alex Vispoli - Play by Play Voice of the Single-A Winston-Salem Dash
- Joel Godett - Play by Play Voice of the Single-A Bradenton Marauders
- Tom Gelehrter - Play by Play for Women's Basketball and Sidelines for Football - University of Cincinnati
- Mike Janela - Guinness Book of World Records Adjudicator
- Chris Glorioso - Reporter, WNBC New York, NY
- Greg Hernandez - co-founder, first sales manager; now FDIC spokesman, Washington, D.C.
- Marc S. Ellenbogen - Chairman, Global Panel; President, The Prague Society for International Cooperation; Syndicated Columnist, UPI
- WJPZ official website
- WJPZ Alumni Association
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WJPZ
- Radio-Locator information on WJPZ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WJPZ