|City of license||New York City|
|Broadcast area||New York metropolitan area|
|First air date||1930|
|Callsign meaning||W Z RoCk
(former satellite network)
|Owner||Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, Inc
(MRB Licensee, LLC)
WZRC, on 1480 kHz, known on-air as (AM 1480 simplified Chinese: 中文广播电台; traditional Chinese: 中文廣播電臺; pinyin: Zhōng Wén Guǎng Bò Diàn Tái; Jyutping: Zung1 Man4 Gwong2 Bo3 Din6 Toi4), is a radio station owned by Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, Inc. and serves the New York City area by running Cantonese programs. It is one of two Cantonese radio stations serving in the metro area, the other is Chung Wah Chinese Broadcasting Company.
The Formation and The Popes
This station started out as WHOM and was founded in 1930 by the New Jersey Broadcasting Corp. The call letters stood for owner Harry O'Melia. In the 1940s the station aired ethnic brokered programming and was owned by Generoso Pope. The Popes had a media empire, including: The National Enquirer, Il Progresso Italo-Americano, Il Bollettino della Sera, Il Corriere d'America, and the Philadelphia daily L'Opinione. Pope used his influence through his media empire to secure the vote of the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry S. Truman.
1960 – 1982
In 1960 it evolved to mostly Spanish. In 1975 the station was sold to SJR communications along with WHOM-FM. WHOM-FM would become AC WKTU (then years later disco then rock WXRK, talk as WFNY-FM, and later rock again turned Top 40 WXRK again). WHOM AM was renamed WJIT (Radio Jit) and went from diversified Spanish to Spanish contemporary music. In the late '70s WJIT was the leading salsa and merengue station on the New York dial. The format changed to Spanish Adult Contemporary and the station was sold, along with WKTU 92.3, to Infinity Broadcasting in 1982.
1982 – 1998
Infinity in 1989 decided that with a new Spanish station on 97.9 that it should move 1480 WJIT (by then known as talk station 1480 Radio America) to an English format. So it shut down the Spanish format that spring and made the station WZRC. It took a heavy metal based satellite rock format and named the station "Z Rock". The call letters WZRC, were originally used in Chicago by the flagship station for the network, "Z-Rock 106.7 FM" from 1986-1987.
In December 1992 WZRC shortly switched to classic country through a satellite delivered service. But that February WZRC switched to a Korean brokered programming. Infinity continued to own the radio station until after its merger with CBS. At that point it owned 92.3 WXRK, 101.1 WCBS-FM, 102.7 WNEW-FM, 660 WFAN, 880 WCBS, 1010 WINS, and 1480 WZRC. While it was not required to sell WZRC it opted to anyhow and sold the station in 1998 to Multicultural Media.
Multicultural kept the Korean format but after a few years, in 2002, switched to Chinese and now in Cantonese (to complement Multicultural's Sinocast network broadcast locally on 92.3 FM subcarrier).
- WZRC AM1480 official website
- AM1480 radio program schedule
- AM1480 live audio streaming
- Multicultural Broadcasting Radio Company
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WZRC
- Radio-Locator Information on WZRC
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WZRC
- What it was like to intern at WZRC in 1991