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|City||Hempstead, New York|
|Broadcast area||Long Island|
|Branding||1100 & 1370 am WHLI|
|Slogan||Playing The Hits of a Lifetime|
|First air date||July 22, 1947|
|Format||Oldies (simulcasts on WALK)|
|Power||10,000 watts (day)|
|Callsign meaning||We're Hempstead Long Island|
(Connoisseur Media Licenses, LLC)
|Sister stations||WALK, WALK-FM, WBZO, WKJY, WWSK|
WHLI (1100 AM) is a radio station licensed to Hempstead, New York and is owned by Connoisseur Media. The station previously broadcast a standards format. The format was modified gradually from 2009 to 2015 to soft Oldies and today the station offers a diversified oldies format of hits from the 50s through the 80s. The station's studios are located at 234 Airport Plaza Suite 5 in Farmingdale, New York and its transmitter is located off the Southern State Parkway in Hempstead.
WHLI was first licensed in 1947 to Paul and Elias Godofsky, the owners of WLIB in New York City from 1942 to 1944. WHLI began broadcasting local radio just as the nearby potato fields of Island Trees, Long Island were being replaced by houses in Levittown, New York. Long Island was becoming one of America's most lucrative markets. It was one of the first AM/FM pairs. Its FM sister at 98.3FM actually first went on air a short while before WHLI as WHNY. (98.3 FM would assume the WHLI-FM calls on January 1, 1948, later becoming WIOK, and today is known as WKJY).
WHLI began as a 250-watt non-directional AM station at 1100 and was given permission to raise its power to the current 10 kW two-tower directional signal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1960. It is a "daytimer" and must sign-off at local sunset to protect WTAM in Cleveland. The WHLI towers are located next to the Southern State Parkway in Hempstead near the Baldwin Road/Grand Avenue exit. They are a popular landmark as signage touting the WHLI call letters and frequency have been mounted on the main tower for decades for passing motorists to see. The historic signs were removed temporarily from WHLI Tower #2 on Friday, August 13, 2010 at 11:00AM to allow for minor repairs and upgrades to the transmission facilities.
According to the book The Airwaves Of New York', programming on WHLI in 1947 included dinner music from the syndicated program "Candlelight and Silver" and that the station "looked to the local audience for talent and encouraged amateurs and professionals to audition, welcoming everyone from classical musicians to pop singers and comedians."
From the first day, WHLI aimed to an upscale audience. As "The Voice Of Long Island", the station became the dominant local station in Nassau County with a decent signal into Suffolk and Queens counties. By the early 1950s, WHLI's "Commuter's Time" was the top-rated morning show. The rest of the broadcast day was filled with "familiar good music and local news". The station aired concerts from The Long Island Pops and hours of "Music From The Country Club".
In the 1970s, WHLI played popular music as a Top 40 station, but on Saturday, January 21, 1979 it changed to Al Ham's then-new "Music Of Your Life" format. WHLI continues as a locally programmed station today playing adult standards with national news from Westwood One News, as well as their own news staff. The station initially played mostly easy listening vocal artists such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Patti Page, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, and many others. They also mixed in a moderate amount of Big Band music from the 1930s and '40s by artists like Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, among others. They also played a handful of baby boomer pop oldies by artists like Ray Charles, Bobby Vinton, Connie Francis, Pat Boone, Platters, and a few others. The station as Music Of Your Life was more hit-based than WNEW/1130 had been in the 1980s. By the late 1980s more baby boomer pop was being mixed more often by artists like Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley, Beatles, Carpenters, and others. In the early 1990s, a small amount of pre-1965 oldies began to be mixed in. Big Bands were cut back to one an hour. By 2005, the station was more of a soft Oldies format but 1/3 of the music was by standards artists, though big bands were dropped altogether. Several years ago the station modified to more of an Oldies format playing one or two standards an hour at most. Music Of Your Life programming ended in the early 2000s.
WHLI's first offices and studios were in a frame house at 245 Baldwin Road in Hempstead. In 1957 the station moved to a two-story facility constructed for them at 384 Clinton Street in Hempstead. (The small street on the north side of the station building was renamed WHLI Way and is still on the map today.) They moved to the third floor of 1055 Franklin Avenue in neighboring Garden City in 1991 and remained there until 2001, when Barnstable consolidated operations for WHLI, WKJY, WBZO and WMJC (now WWSK) into a newly designed and constructed- management, sales, promotions and technical operations center at 234 Airport Plaza in Farmingdale. This consolidation makes it the largest, privately owned, radio broadcast facility in New York.
September 24, 2014 Overnight: WHLI 1100 & WALK 1370 Simulcast Studio relocated to a new custom-designed studio within the Airport Plaza Broadcast Complex to what was the infamous "Production A" the home of numerous interview programs and a satellite studio for the WBZO morning drive time show.
WHLI and its FM were run by the Godofskys until February 1979, when they were sold to Williams Broadcasting Corporation for $1.5 million. They were sold again in 1984 to Barnstable Broadcasting, this time for $5 million. Effective July 3, 2012, WHLI (along with WBZO, WIGX, and WKJY) was sold to Connoisseur Media, LLC for $23 million.
- Al Fusco
- Alan Boritz a/k/a Steve King
- Alan Stuart
- Bill Crowley
- Bill Houston
- Bill Wise, aka "The Wiseman" current morning drive host and Program Director
- Bob Ieraci — Reporter-editor
- Bob Perry — Created the JACK-FM format in 2000, President of Big Sticks Broadcasting
- Bob Rapelli (a.k.a. Bob Evans)
- Bobby Ryan — 1993-1995
- Bruce Fox
- Chuck Camlic — 1979-1994
- Chuck Johnson
- Dean Anthony — Midday Host/PD from 1981 until his death on October 24, 2003 at the age of 68, formerly of WMCA
- Don Beckwith — 1997-1998
- Doug McQuillan
- Doug Miles — Producer
- Eddy Brown — original Music Director, formerly of WQXR & WLIB
- Frank Brinka — News Director 1997-2014
- Frank Settipani
- Fred Darwin — News director 1982-1986
- Gil David — 1987-Spring 1998 afternoons, mornings until Early 2006, died December 10, 2016
- Gil Fox
- Jack Spector — 1988-1994, Former "king of the hops", WMCA Good Guy whom Dean Anthony hired in 1985. Spector died of a heart attack on March 8, 1994, while on the air at WHLI playing "I'm in the Mood for Love" by Louis Prima & Keely Smith
- Howard Loeb News Director
- James Faherty — 1993-December 1996
- Janell Crispyn — News
- Jerry Carr — original Program Director
- Joe Clines — News Director 1989
- Joe Marzano
- Joe Satta
- John Lorentz — News Reporter/Newscaster late 1960s
- John Marino — News/DJ 1994-1996 returning 2007-
- John von Soosten — Summer 2002-January 2005, Died April 13, 2016
- John Williams — 1995-1998
- Kathy Cunningham
- Kevin Geoffries
- Keith Marchesi
- Ken Martin
- Kevin Curran — Reporter-Editor
- Margie Casale — May 1982-
- Michael R. Glaser — Engineering Manager / Chief Engineer
- Mike Charles — News
- Mike Salvatorelli
- Paul Richards — former PD
- Randy Place—dj and news 1975-1976
- Rick Hunter
- Roger Wayne (Ernest Cafiso) - Music Director
- Rosemary Young
- Sal Giangrasso — 1010 WINS Freelance Anchor
- Sean Lynch — Production Manager
- Scott Robbins
- Steve Dassa
- Steve Warren — 1994-July 1995
- Ted David Staff Anncr 1970-1, 1973-4, 1977–78
- Tom Zwier — news ?-1989
- Wes Richards
- "The Voice Of Long Island"
- "Music Of Your Life"
- "Where It's Cool To Listen, Baby!"
- "Standards Of Yesterday & Today"
- "Home Of Your All-Time Favorites"
- "The AM Difference"
- "Playing The Hits Of A Lifetime"
- "Station Information Profile". Arbitron.
- "Elias Godofsky Dies; Founder Of Station WHLI" (PDF). The Long-Islander. Huntington New York. December 6, 1951. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
- "Announce Staff That Will Supervise The New Radio Stations WHLI and WHNY" (PDF). The Hempstead Sentinel. Hempstead New York. June 26, 1947. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- "John von Soosten, TV Exec and Former NATPE President, Dies at 71". Variety.com. May 6, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.