|Broadcast area||Delaware Valley|
|Frequency||90.9 MHz (HD Radio)|
Public Radio Exchange
American Public Media
First air date
|December 14, 1954|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|Wider Horizons for You and Yours|
|HAAT||280 meters (920 ft)|
|Repeater(s)||See § New Jersey expansion and controversy|
Public license information
WHYY-FM (90.9 FM, "91 FM") is a public FM radio station licensed to serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its broadcast tower is located in the city's Roxborough neighborhood at ( ) while its studios and offices are located on Independence Mall in Center City, Philadelphia. The station, owned by WHYY, Inc., is a charter member of National Public Radio (NPR) and contributes several programs to the national network.
WHYY signed on the air on December 14, 1954, owned by the Metropolitan Philadelphia Educational Radio and Television Corporation. It was the first educational station in Philadelphia. The transmitter, originally located at 17th and Sansom Streets in Philadelphia, was donated by Westinghouse Broadcasting. In 1957, it added a sister television station, WHYY-TV on channel 35.
In 1963, WHYY-TV moved from channel 35 in Philadelphia to the stronger channel 12 in Wilmington, Delaware. At the time, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations did not allow co-owned television and radio stations to share the same base callsign if they were licensed in different markets. Philadelphia and Wilmington, then as now, are separate radio markets (though 90.9, like most major Philadelphia stations, has long claimed Wilmington as part of its primary coverage area), though they have long been a single television market. As a result, the radio station was forced to change its call sign to WUHY. 90.9 FM regained its original call sign in 1983 after the FCC eased this restriction.
When NPR was formed in 1970, the station became a charter member and was one of the 90 stations that carried the initial broadcast of All Things Considered.
- NPR: Fresh Air with Terry Gross, a Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. 5.3 million people listen to the broadcast on 640 National Public Radio stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network. The program originated in 1975 as a local show before going national in 1987.
- Radio Times With Marty Moss-Coane, a daily hour-long program that tackles a wide range of issues.
- You Bet Your Garden (1998-2018), an organic gardening call-in talk show hosted by Mike McGrath. Moved to WLVT.
- Voices in the Family with Dr. Dan Gottlieb, psychologist and family therapist, along with guest experts, opens the line to callers to discuss issues that affect individuals and society, with special focus on family issues. Its executive producer is Maiken Scott, WHYY's Behavioral Health Reporter.
- The Pulse is a show that focuses on stories at the heart of health, science and innovation in the Philadelphia region. The show is hosted by WHYY's Behavioral Health Reporter Maiken Scott and distributed on the Public Radio Exchange.
Until 1990, WHYY served the region as a non-commercial station with a format that featured mostly classical music with some jazz and folk music. The management decision to establish a news/talk radio format was a departure from the classical music that most public radio stations were programming. The format switch resulted in protests from many of the station's listening audience who were among WHYY's major contributors. Temple University's WRTI (90.1 FM) began programming classical music during the day to serve the displaced listeners.
In an August 2007 article, popular Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Karen Heller called for a boycott of WHYY. And in September 2007 an anonymous group of WHYY employees sent an open letter to Marrazzo, the Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia magazine, accusing him of "a serious lack of understanding when it comes to creating ... a healthy workplace" and assailing his salary as "excessive and inappropriate." The five-page letter concluded with a call for Marrazzo to resign.
New Jersey expansion and controversy
On June 6, 2011, the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority agreed to sell five FM stations in Southern New Jersey to WHYY. The purchase was made through an anonymous one-million dollar grant and a non-cash agreement that included scholarships for students and teachers. The five stations were previously the southern portion of the New Jersey Network's statewide radio service.
The transaction was announced by Governor Chris Christie, as part of his long-term goal to end state-subsidized public broadcasting. The governor's critics maintained that scrapping New Jersey Network effectively ended all non-commercial statewide news coverage. It was also noted that the sale eliminated a source of legislative oversight frequently critical of the Christie administration.
WHYY assumed control of the stations through a management agreement on July 1, 2011, pending FCC approval for the acquisition. At that point, the stations began to simulcast WHYY-FM programming. The five stations are:
|Call sign||Frequency||City of license||Facility ID||ERP
|WNJB-FM||89.3 FM||Bridgeton, New Jersey||48934||2,500 vert, 1 horiz||67 meters (220 ft)||A|
|WNJM||89.9 FM||Manahawkin, New Jersey||48460||250 vert, 1 horiz||69.5 meters (228 ft)||A|
|WNJN-FM||89.7 FM||Atlantic City, New Jersey||48483||6,000 vert, 25 horiz||84 meters (276 ft)||A|
|WNJS-FM||88.1 FM||Berlin, New Jersey||48486||80 vert, 1 horiz||287 meters (942 ft)||A|
|WNJZ||90.3 FM||Cape May Court House, New Jersey||48464||6,000||72 meters (236 ft)||A|
The stations all operate at relatively low power due to the crowded state of the noncommercial end of the FM dial in the northeastern United States. They primarily served areas of southern New Jersey not covered by the main WHYY-FM signal, which itself operates at a relatively modest 13,500 watts. However, their combined footprint extends WHYY-FM's coverage from Berks County to the Jersey Shore.
- "FM Query Results for WHYY". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1958 page A-357
- "History". WHYY. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
- "About 'Fresh Air'". npr.org. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
- "Letter to the CEO". Philadelphia City Paper. 2007-09-05. Archived from the original on 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- Volk, Steve (2007-10-05). "Dead Air". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
- "WHYY-FM TO EXPAND COVERAGE IN NEW JERSEY AS PART OF AGREEMENT TO TAKE OVER FIVE NJN STATIONS" (PDF) (Press release). WHYY, Inc. June 30, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
- "WHYY Philadelphia Expands New Jersey Coverage, NJN Is Kaput". Atlantic City Central. July 1, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- "Coverage Area". whyy.org. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
- Official website
- WHYY in the FCC FM station database
- WHYY on Radio-Locator
- WHYY in Nielsen Audio's FM station database
- WNJB-FM in the FCC FM station database
- WNJB-FM on Radio-Locator
- WNJB-FM in Nielsen Audio's FM station database
- WNJM in the FCC FM station database
- WNJM on Radio-Locator
- WNJM in Nielsen Audio's FM station database
- WNJN-FM in the FCC FM station database
- WNJN-FM on Radio-Locator
- WNJN-FM in Nielsen Audio's FM station database
- WNJS-FM in the FCC FM station database
- WNJS-FM on Radio-Locator
- WNJS-FM in Nielsen Audio's FM station database
- WNJZ in the FCC FM station database
- WNJZ on Radio-Locator
- WNJZ in Nielsen Audio's FM station database