|Broadcast area||Scranton, Pennsylvania|
|Branding||Northeast PA's ESPN Radio|
|Translator(s)||100.5 W263AL (Scranton)|
|Repeater(s)||100.1 WEJL-FM (Forest City)|
|First air date||November 29, 1922|
|Power||2,000 watts (day)
32 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||W Edward J. Lynett
(The Scranton Times late publisher)
|Former callsigns||WRAY (1922)
(The Scranton Times, L.P.)
WEJL is a radio station broadcasting in Scranton, Pennsylvania on the AM dial at 630 kHz. Its programming is simulcast on WBAX in Wilkes-Barre, at 1240 kHz and WEJL-FM in Forest City at 100.1 MHz. The stations, known on-air as Northeast PA's ESPN Radio, broadcast sports talk programming from ESPN Radio, as well as Philadelphia Phillies baseball, Philadelphia Eagles football, Notre Dame football and Villanova Wildcats basketball. They are owned by Times-Shamrock Communications, publishers of Scranton's daily newspaper, The Times-Tribune.
E. J. Lynett, publisher of The Scranton Times (now The Times-Tribune), believed radio was a natural business for a newspaper. In November 1922, he bought WRAY, that had signed on a few days earlier (November 29) and changed the calls to WQAN. The Times thus became the first American newspaper to own and operate a radio station.
WQAN/WGBI moved to 880 kHz by 1930. The year 1941 brought a nationwide frequency reassignment period and the two stations had to change their frequency sharing arrangements to 910 kHz. The 21-year frequency sharing arrangement between WQAN and WGBI came to an end in 1948 when the Lynett family built a tower atop the Times Building in downtown Scranton for the new WQAN-FM at 92.3 MHz and moved the AM station to the new frequency of 630 AM from the same tower, where it remains today. WQAN-FM's calls were changed in the early 1950s to WEJL-FM, in honor of family patriarch E.J. Lynett In 1955, WEJL-FM had gone silent, and the AM station took the call letters of the FM and became WEJL. Originally a 500-watt daytime-only operation, it has since boosted its power to 2,000 watts.
For decades, WEJL was a full-service radio station. Its news updates 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm, along with mine working schedules, were an institution in Scranton. It adopted its current sports radio format in the 1990s. Gradually, most locally-produced programming was phased out; the station now serves mostly as a "pass-through" for automated programming from ESPN Radio.
In 1994, the Lynetts bought WBAX in Wilkes-Barre to fill in the gaps in WEJL's signal. Although WEJL's daytime signal decently covers Wilkes-Barre, much of the southern part of the market (for instance, Hazleton) gets only a grade B signal due to the area's rugged terrain. At night, it must power down to 32 watts, effectively limiting its nighttime coverage to Lackawanna County.
In 2008, the stations applied for special temporary authority to rebroadcast on FM translators W241AZ (96.1 Dunmore) and W241BB (96.1 Wilkes-Barre). In 2010, Times-Shamrock bought WQFN in Forest City, changed its calls to WQFM and turned it into a full-power satellite of WEJL. In April 2012 W263AL in Avoca at 100.5 began rebroadcasting WEJL and at the same time W241AZ in Dunmore switched to Clarks Summit and began rebroadcasting WFUZ through WEZX-HD2. In July 2013 WQFM changed its call sign to WEJL-FM.
- A Chronology of AM Radio Broadcasting (1900-1960)
- Fybush, Scott (2007-01-19). "A selection from a decade of visits to tower and studio sites in the Northeast and beyond". NorthEast Radio Watch.
- Times-Tribune history page
- U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1925
- U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1927
- U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1930
- U. S. AM Stations as of 1942
- A selection from a decade of visits to tower and studio sites in the Northeast and beyond
- Fybush, Scott (2008-03-03). "This Week's Bloodbath: Citadel". NorthEast Radio Watch.
AM station data
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WEJL
- Radio-Locator Information on WEJL
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WEJL
FM station data
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WEJL
- Radio-Locator information on WEJL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WEJL