|Broadcast area||Johnstown, Pennsylvania|
|Slogan||Today's Hit Music|
|First air date||1949 (as WARD-FM)|
|Format||Top 40 (CHR)|
|Callsign meaning||Johnstown HoT|
|Former callsigns||WARD-FM, WFMM-FM, WFMM, WGLU, WQKK, WRKW, WYOT|
|Owner||Forever Broadcasting, LLC|
WJHT (92.1 FM, "Hot 92") is a radio station licensed to serve Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The station is owned by Forever Broadcasting, LLC. It airs a Top 40 (CHR) music format. This station was assigned the WJHT call letters by the Federal Communications Commission on July 13, 2006.
This station first signed on August 16, 1948, as WARD-FM, sister to WARD at AM 1490, and WARD-TV. As FM radio was still burgeoning and not very popular, it served as a simulcast outlet of its AM sister. This arrangement continued until the stations were sold in 1971 to the Jonel Construction Company (dba Cover Broadcasting). Shortly afterwards, the call letters for the AM station and the TV station were changed to WJNL, and the new owners were granted a construction permit to move WARD-FM to 96.5, which allowed a power increase to 50,000 watts. For this to happen, WARD-FM at 92.1 had to be closed with a dark license until a new owner could be found, as licensees at that time were forbidden to own more than a single AM and a single FM in one market. WJNL-FM 96.5 then signed on the air in 1973, and 92.1 went silent in 1972.
The license for 92.1 was acquired in 1973 by Community Broadcasters, which signed the station back on in September of the following year under the call letters WAAT, and under a religion-based format. The station's facilities moved from Franklin Street to Locust Street in Johnstown. W. Ronald Smith served as the company's president. This incarnation of the station lasted less than two years.
WAAT was sold August 23, 1976 to William C. Bland, owner of the Bland Group, which also owned WNCC in Barnesboro, about a half hour north of Johnstown. The call letters were switched to WFMM and the studios moved to 634 Main Street, and an easy listening format was adopted. Ownership would change again by the end of the decade.
WFMM was sold again on August 29, 1980 to Conemaugh Communications Corporation, a local company headed by Fred Glosser, whose family owned the Gee Bee discount department store chain. The studios were moved to 516 Main Street, and the call letters were switched to WGLU, with the format moving from easy listening to album rock. The station began to call itself "Glu 92", increased its power and embarked on a heavy advertising campaign. Towards the mid-80's, WGLU started including more Top 40 tracks in its music rotation.
In August 1987, WGLU was sold to PAC Media, a company headed by Warren S. Diggins. One month later, the rock format was abandoned. Targeting younger listeners, WGLU became "Power 92", keeping the same call letters for the newly created Top 40 format.
Changes since 2000
On July 31, 2000, WGLU and sister station WQWK licensed out of Ebensburg, PA swapped frequencies. WQWK prior to this flip was an active rock station programmed out of State College, PA known as "QWK Rock". WQWK became "92.1 The Rock" and WGLU adjusted its name to include the entire frequency "Power 99.1" however still kept the heritage calls.
In November 2000, Dame Broadcasting of Mechanicsburg, PA acquired WSRA Central City, PA and WYSN Somerset, PA. WSRA soon stunted a format change with all-Christmas music through the new year. In January 2001 the call letters were traded for WCCL and the AC to Christmas format was switched for Oldies. WYSN continued with News/Talk as their format through the transition.
In March 2005, Dame Broadcasting sold all four properties to 2510 Associates out of Pittsburgh, PA. Changes quickly occurred for "Power 99.1" the following Monday morning (three business days after the sale closed) they went on the air as "Hot 99" with the same air staff and format. WPRR in Altoona, PA "Hot 100" at the time began a simulcast of the "Hot Morning Show" with Jonathan Reed & Amy Wright from "Hot 99" each morning from 5:30am to 9am. Both stations shortly after the sale gave up their calls for new call letters to fit the HOT moniker, WYOT, Johnstown & WWOT, Altoona. The WPRR call letters were salvaged for a sister 2510 Associate station.
Within a few months WYOT "Hot 99" & WQWK "The Rock" were sold from 2510 Associates to Forever Broadcasting, Inc. WQWK forfeited its call letters and moniker "92.1 The Rock" to become WRKW "Rocky 92". After being under the rein of Forever Broadcasting for a few months WYOT and WRKW flipped frequencies yet again to become "Rocky 99" and "Hot 92" respectively. Within a few more months of that change WYOT "Hot 92" would go through another call letter switch, acquiring new calls from former Top 40 sister station in State College, PA (that was taken off the air "Hot 103"). WJHT became the new call sign for "Hot 92". In the coming months WWOT lost a few employees and decided to extend the simulcast from just morning drive to cover most of the day, 5am to 6pm and most weekend shifts. This prompted the station to re-image itself as "Hot 92 & Hot 100". Nights remained separate shows hosted by Chad Bennett on WJHT and Rob Z on WWOT.
In March 2008, Mitch Edwards, program director of WJHT for eight years and a staple to the station for more than a decade, left for sister station WFGI "Froggy 95" as co-host of the Morning Splash with Niki Wild. This move also encouraged Forever Broadcasting to make WJHT and WWOT a complete simulcast. Eliminating the dual night show split to being broadcast from the WJHT studio with Bennett as the host and replacing Edwards vacant position with Forever Broadcasting Altoona employee Paige Foxx.
Hot 92 and Hot 100 end their simulcast
The station went through a variety of DJ and programming changes until they split their simulcast in September 2014. Altoona DJs stayed on Hot 100 and Johnstown DJs stayed on Hot 92. The stations became two separate stations again. Streaming is also available online for both stations. Both stations utilize Westwood One Hot AC Local for most of their daily programming.
The WJHT Callsign
At one time, the WJHT callsign was used in Bayonne, New Jersey, and in State College, Pennsylvania, under two radio frequencies, the first under 107.9 under the moniker Hot 107.9 and the second under 103.1 under the moniker Hot 103.1.
- "Call Sign History". Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Archived from the original on March 1, 2010.
- "WARD-FM in Johnstown Has Official Dedication" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 23, 1948. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- Brenckle, Lara (2005-03-04). "Radio stations face major changes in State College, Pa., area". Centre Daily Times.
- "WJHT". FCC Old Callsign Search.