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|City||Pompton Lakes, New Jersey|
Northern New Jersey,|
New York City metro area
|First air date||September 14, 1964 (as WKER)|
|Last air date||December 14, 2017|
|Power||1,000 watts day only|
|Callsign meaning||W Great HiTs|
|Former callsigns||WKER (1964–1993)|
|Owner||Borough of Pompton Lakes|
On September 14, 1964, WGHT signed on as WKER, call letters for the founder, Bob Kerr. WKER served as a test market station for radio stations like 77-WABC in the 1960s. The station initially ran a contemporary MOR format that evolved to a full-service adult contemporary format. The station was strictly a daytimer signing on at dawn and signing off at dusk. In early 1993, Bob Kerr's estate sold the radio station to John Silliman, formerly an on-air personality at various other radio stations over the years. Upon taking ownership, Silliman applied for a call sign change to WGHT (which stands for "Great Hits"). This application was accepted by the FCC on August 6, 1993.
WGHT broadcast an oldies-classic hits music format playing a deep and wide variety of music from 1952 to about 2000. Recent WGHT personnel included midday air personality as well as general manager Silliman and program director Jimmy Howes. Howes was also WGHT's chief engineer and operations manager. WGHT's News Director was award-winning reporter and newscaster Mike Forte. The station had a cult following in terms of and a professional staff.[according to whom?] The station won quite a few awards for their programming. Eventually WGHT had from the FCC a pre-sunrise authorization to sign on at 6:00 a.m. even during the months the sun rose after and a post-sunset authorization for 6:00 p.m. during the months sunset happened earlier. In the last year WGHT would still sign off at 6:00 p.m. even in the summer months when the station could remain on the air as late as 8:30 p.m.
As with many AM radio stations, selling advertising was becoming difficult. Getting a low-power FM translator was looked into but ultimately rejected by ownership. Also, options such as brokering the station various times of the day were looked at and it was determined that if the station could not be live and local with the programming local people are used to it would be better to just close the station down. In June, it was announced that WGHT would close late in the summer or in the fall. On September 22, 2017, Mariana Broadcasting filed an application with the FCC for consent to transfer ownership of WGHT as part of a donation to the Borough of Pompton Lakes. Pompton Lakes does not plan on operating the station and is looking for a partner to run it. On December 15, 2017, ownership was transferred and the station went silent. Silliman conducted the signoff.
Awards and honors
The station has been an NAB Marconi Radio Award finalist and an NAB Crystal Radio Award finalist more than a dozen times, and has received Associated Press News Awards. WGHT's local sports department has won dozens of awards for their local high school sports coverage and broadcasts. WGHT's news department has been honored with awards from the Associated Press and the New Jersey Broadcasters Association. In 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017. The WGHT Morning Show with Jimmy Howes and Greta Latona has been honored with dozens of awards from the Garden State Journalists Association for their celebrity interviews and on-air contests.
WGHT Radio has a long history of being a launching-pad for syndicated and New York City radio talent, including Fox Sports personality Kevin Burkhardt, singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman and WABC's Noam Laden and Deborah Valentine. On-air personalities included The WGHT Morning Show with Jimmy Howes and Greta LaTona, the mid-morning show host was Greta Leshchyshyn-Latona, afternoon drive host Art Rooney (former Uncle Floyd Show regular), and mid-day host John Silliman.
- "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
- WGHT/Pompton Lakes Files Papers To Donate Station To City (Retrieved 26 September 2016 from All Access Music Group)
- Mariana Broadcasting application for consent to assignment of broadcast station construction permit or license (Retrieved 26 September 2006 from FCC website.)
- Agnish, Jai (14 December 2017). "Pompton Lakes radio station WGHT going dark after 53 years". The Record. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
- WGHT Signs-Off
- "2010 Awards Competition". Garden State Journalists Association. Archived from the original on September 18, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2010.