|City of license||Trenton, New Jersey|
|Branding||New Jersey 101.5|
|First air date||August 27, 1962|
|Format||News and talk/Classic Rock|
|HAAT||275 m (902 ft)|
(Townsquare Media Trenton License, LLC)
WKXW (101.5 FM, "New Jersey 101.5") is a radio station based just outside Trenton, New Jersey. The station is licensed to serve the Trenton area on 101.5 MHz FM and is also streamed on the station's website. It is owned by Townsquare Media. Its studios and offices are located in Ewing and its transmitter is located near the Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence Township in Mercer County, New Jersey. Its live internet radio stream can be found at Web Player or SHOUTcast Stream.
The station went on the air on August 27, 1962, as WBUD-FM and was owned by Dick Hardin. Its call letters subsequently changed to WBJH, which stood for Bill and Joy Hardin, the son and daughter-in-law of the owner. About 1977, the station changed calls to WTRT and called itself "The New T-101 FM". In 1980, the station became WKXW, under its new owner Fidelity Communications. It was playing a hot adult contemporary format as "The All New Kix 101 & A 1/2 FM" and later "Kix 101.5". By the late 80s, the station evolved into more of a gold based adult contemporary format. Its weekend Saturday oldies show evolved into an all oldies format from the 50's through early 70s on overnights and weekends before the change to its current weekday talk format, which came in 1990 when it was sold to Press Communications. The sale to Millennium Radio Group took place in 2001.
So, on March 1, 1990 at 5pm, “New Jersey 101.5” became the first full-time FM Talk station in America targeted for a younger audience. Mark Sheppard, who later went to mid-days, kicked off the format playing Bill Haley & The Comets' "Rock Around The Clock".
Since 1990, the station has a talk and news format during the week, with oldies music on the overnights and weekend. Initially, the oldies format was 60's based with a few pre 64 oldies and a 70's oldie or two each hour. By the early to mid 90s, more 70's music was added and by the early 2000s, 80's music from 1980-1982 was added occasionally . Starting in mid 2002, music from 1983-1984 was steadily added. By mid 2003, music from 1985-1986 was moderately increased. By mid 2004, music from 1987-1988 was heavily phased in. By mid 2005, 1989 hits were being played moderately. The pre 64 oldies were gradually reduced in the late 90s and gone by 2000. In the early to mid 2000s, 70's and 80's music was emphasized more and less 60's was heard. In mid September 2007, "60s" was removed from the "60s, 70s, and 80s" week end music programming ID, and nearly all '60s music had been removed from the play list. In May 2012, "60s" was added back to the week end music programming ID, coinciding with a limited but steady increase in "60s" music airplay focusing on select titles by well-known artists. In the mid to late 1990s, music was ended on weekday overnights and now airs strictly on weekends and maybe some holidays.
NJ 101.5 musical airplay by the decades from 1990-current
March 1990-October 1995: 65% 1955-1959 music, 35% 1960-1964 music
October 1995-January 1997: 85% pre 1964 music, 15% 1964-1969 music
January 1997-December 1998: 35% pre 1964 music, 55% 1964-1969 music, 10% 1970-1979 music
January 1999-June 1999: 25% pre 1964 music, 45% 1964-1969 music, 30% 1970-1979 music
July 1999-December 1999: 12.25% pre 1964 music, 25% 1964-1969 music, 62.75% 1970-1979 music
January 2000-December 2001: 35% 1964-1969 music, 60% 1970-1979 music, 5% 1980-1981 music
January 2002-March 2002: 33% 1964-1969 music, 57% 1970-1979 music, 10% 1980-1982 music
April 2002-October 2002: 31% 1964-1969 music, 54% 1970-1979 music, 13% 1980-1984 music
October 2002-January 2004: 29% 1964-1969 music, 51% 1970-1979 music, 20% 1980-1986 music
January 2004-December 2004: 27% 1964-1969 music, 48% 1970-1979 music, 25% 1980-1988 music
January 2005-June 2005: 23% 1964-1969 music, 42% 1970-1979 music, 35% 1980-1988 music
July 2005-December 2005: 15% 1964-1969 music, 30% 1970-1979 music, 55% 1980-1989 music
January 2006-December 2006: 7% 1964-1969 music, 18% 1970-1979 music, 75% 1980-1989 music
January 2007-December 2009: 35% 1970-1979 music, 65% 1980-1989 music
January 2010-present: 11% 1964-1969 music [EDIT ADDED 12/2/15: I somehow doubt they're only playing music from a six-year span.]
The station has, at times, provided a simulcast on various AM and FM stations in the Atlantic City area, beyond the reach of its main transmitter. The most recent simulcast ceased in June 2009 when then-WXKW changed formats to ESPN Sports Radio.
New Jersey-centric branding
The station has strongly branded its New Jersey-ness, with its announcers frequently self-identifying "New Jersey 101.5" and with its bumper message intoning "Not New York. Not Philadelphia. Proud to be New Jersey!", as well as its branded New Jersey Fast Traffic and New Jersey Instant Weather. The New Jersey-centric nature of the station is emphasized in the traffic reports, in that they refer to traffic direction on bridges and tunnels as "entering New Jersey" or "leaving New Jersey" instead of the more traditional designations of "into the city" or "out of the city". As well, current temperatures of different samples of towns in New Jersey are given after the weather reports. Despite the station's branding, the 101.5 signal does not reach the majority of Cape May, Salem and Sussex Counties while the signal's coverage of Atlantic, Bergen & Cumberland Counties is poor at best.
New Jersey 101.5's ratings success[vague] can be attributed to several factors, including:
- Radio stations in New York City and Philadelphia tend to avoid New Jersey issues, news, politics, etc.
- New Jersey has only two English speaking commercial television stations: Secaucus-based WWOR-TV (channel 9) and Wildwood-licensed Soul of the South affiliate WMGM-TV (channel 40). Both of the TV Stations no longer broadcasts newscasts. WMGM-TV covers the outer fringes of the Philadelphia market, while WWOR-TV primarily serves the New York City area. On July 2, 2013, traditional newscasts (which were nominally focused on New Jersey issues) on WWOR were discontinued for an outside produced interview program called Chasing New Jersey. WMGM-TV ended its NBC Affiliation on January 1, 2015 after NBCUniversal decided to end its NBC affiliation with WMGM-TV so that there could only be one NBC affiliate (which is WCAU from Philadelphia) to be shown for Southern New Jersey. Due to the affiliation changes on WMGM-TV, it also ended their newscast, making it the last commercial TV Station with a news department though there is no word whether or not the news department may return. The only remaining TV Network that continues to broadcast newscasts focusing on New Jersey issues is New Jersey Public Broadcaster NJTV.
Townsquare News Network
The station is the flagship broadcasting arm of the Townsquare New Jersey News Network as heard on twelve radio stations throughout the state. The network consists of WOBM-FM in Toms River, WOBM-AM in Lakewood, WCHR-FM in Manahawkin, WJLK-FM in Asbury Park, WADB-AM in Tinton Falls, WFPG-FM in Atlantic City, WSJO-FM in Egg Harbor City, WPUR-FM in Atlantic City, and WENJ in Atlantic City. Various bureaus throughout the state share stories with the Ewing headquarters. Eric Scott is the current news director. Annette Petriccione is the assistant news director. Anchors and reporters include Joe Cutter, Kelly Waldron, David Matthau, Kevin McArdle, Patrick Lavery and Matthew White.
The station's unique format was created in 1990. It was programmed by Jay Sorensen and Perry Michael Simon, Press Broadcasting chief Bob McAllan, and then-GM John Dziuba. Subsequent program directors include Leigh Jacobs (now at NuVooDoo Media Services) and Eric Johnson.
Sorensen moved to concentrate on on-air duties and later left to do talk shows in Philadelphia and Dallas (and now does weekend on WCBS-FM in New York); Simon (later at KLSX and Y-107 Los Angeles, now a consultant, writer, and editor at AllAccess.com) moved into the PD slot from his corporate position, then left in 1994, replaced as program director by Leigh Jacobs; after Jacobs left, Eric Johnson took over and is the current Brand Manager.
Current on-air personalities
- Bill Spadea - been subbing in for Jim Gearhart since September, and officially takes over the show Dec. 1, 2015. (Weekdays 6am to 10am).
- "Dennis and Judi" - A mid-day show which mixes a variety of topics from right-wing New Jersey political issues to more mundane, irreverent issues. Hosted by Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco, the show first aired in 1997 (Weekdays 10am to 2pm).
- "The Deminski and Doyle Show" - The show returned to WKXW on July 5, 2011 after leaving for the Detroit market in 1999. (Weekdays 2pm to 7pm).
- "Steve Trevelise" - Steve Trevelise was a sub for most of 2011; with the dismissal of Michelle Jerson in early 2012, Steve took the 7pm - 11pm spot on Monday-Thursday after doing several fill-ins with increasing frequency just before her departure. His custody of the time slot was said to be temporary while management searched for a suitable host as the relationship show was phased out. However, as of April 9, 2012, he is listed on the website as host for the time slot. You can also find Steve working at CBS Radio's, WIP-FM, 94.1 MHz, and operating Sarcasm Comedy. http://stevetrevelise.com/
- Big Joe Henry - Big Joe Henry is an Oldies music retro disc jockey with reverb, corny jokes and sound effects. Big Joe Henry is a very large man and his motto is "Livin' large and lovin' life." (Fridays 7pm to 11pm).
Supporting personalities include Eric Scott on news (among others), Dan Zarrow on weather, Bob Williams, Jill Myra, "Tom Rivers" (aka Matt Ward from 1010 WINS), and Bernie Wagenblast for traffic (among others). Ward's on-air pseudonym is the last vestige of a failed experiment where the station's traffic reporters were given names that suggested New Jersey towns; in Ward's case, "Tom Rivers" is meant to evoke Toms River.
Notable (see Wikipedia standards) radio personalities who have worked at the station include:
- Philadelphia radio Hall of Famer Hy Lit and his son Sam Lit, who anchored the air staff in the early 80s
- John and Ken (John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, now at KFI Los Angeles),
- Scott and Casey (Scott Hasick, currently at WMVN/WARH St. Louis)
- Tommy G (named to Talkers Magazine Frontier 50)
- Paul "PJ" Cunningham worked on-air at KIX 101 1/2 from 1987-1989. Has been host of The Bender Nation morning show on KBKS-FM in Seattle since 2001.
- Jeff McKay - traffic reporter
Two incarnations of the Jersey Guys, first with Craig Carton and Ray Rossi (in summer 2002) and second (in summer 2007) with Casey Bartholomew and Ray Rossi:
- Craig Carton, the former Jersey Guys, now co-host of Boomer and Carton in the Morning at WFAN in New York and CBS Sports Network
- Casey and Rossi (Casey Bartholomew's second stint with NJ 101.5 lasted from 2007-2011 as a Jersey Guy along with Ray Rossi after Craig Carton's departure in 2007).
- "N.J. 101.5FM studio is renamed after longtime radio personality Jim Gearhart". nj.com. November 2, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- "Oaktree closes on Millennium-NJ, files to transfer stations to Townsquare Media". Radio-Info.com. July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
- "Alan Kasper, New Jersey 101.5 meteorologist, announces retirement". NJ1015.com. NJ101.5. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- Wikipedia:Stand-alone lists#Lists of people
- WKXW official website
- New Jersey FM Radio History
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WKXW
- Radio-Locator information on WKXW
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WKXW