|Broadcast area||South Central Pennsylvania|
|Slogan||Lancaster's #1 Hit Music Station|
|First air date||January 1948|
|Format||Top 40 (CHR)|
|HAAT||152 meters (499 feet)|
|Callsign meaning||W LAN caster|
(Clear Channel Broadcasting Licenses, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WLAN (AM)|
WLAN-FM (96.9 FM, "FM 97 WLAN") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The station is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and licensed to Clear Channel Broadcasting Licenses, Inc. WLAN-FM broadcasts a contemporary hit radio music format. The signal covers South Central Pennsylvania and can be heard in neighboring communities such as York, Harrisburg, Reading and Lebanon. Studios are located on Crown Avenue in Lancaster and the transmitter and broadcast tower are located near Prospect Road in West Hempfield Township, Lancaster County.
The station first went on the air in January 1948 as a companion to WLAN. The stations were originally owned by The Altdoerffer Family of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In its early years, WLAN-FM simulcast the programming of its AM sister station. By the 1970s, WLAN-FM was airing a separate Album-oriented rock format and was an affiliate of the ABC Radio FM Network.
In the early 1990s FM 97 had begun to lose both audience and revenue share to several competing radio stations in the Lancaster, York and Harrisburg radio markets. New GM/VP Chuck Lontine, with the help of Scott Shannon (then the program director of WPLJ in New York City), created "The New Sound of FM 97 WLAN". This sound was a hybrid radio format of Hot AC, Top 40 and some Classic Rock. By avoiding hip hop and softer music, Lontine created a "listener delta strategy" between the popular WROZ (The Rose), which was Soft Adult contemporary music and harder edged stations in the market playing Urban/Hip Hop and Album Rock. The results were favorable primarily with women between the ages of 25-34. Within a year, the station was ranked number one in the market by the Arbitron Ratings Company.
To further insure the station's success, Lontine reconfigured the station's transmission and audio facility with the help of technical and studio engineers Frank Grunstein and Frank Fody.
The original air staff of the "New Sound" was Cadillac Jack as Operations Manager and Morning Show Hosts Patty Ford from Eagle 106/Philadelphia (now WISX) and Mark Cruz from X104 Fresno, California (KFBT). Today, Cadillac Jack is the afternoon drive host on WOGL in Philadelphia and Patty Ford is a national voice over artist in Boston. Chuck Lontine became a media investment banker and is the managing director of Marconi Media Ventues in Denver.