|Broadcast area||Delaware Valley|
|Slogan||"The Greatest Hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s"
"Philadelphia's Greatest Hits"
|Frequency||98.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
98.1 HD-2: All-70s
98.1 HD-3: Talk (WPHT simulcast)
98.1 HD-4: Phillies 24/7
|First air date||1939|
|Format||Commercial; Classic Hits|
|Callsign meaning||"Old GoLd" (spoonerism for "Golden Oldies")|
|Former callsigns||WCAU-FM (1944-1987)|
(CBS Radio East Inc.)
|Sister stations||KYW, WIP-FM, WPHT, WZMP, WXTU
part of CBS Corp. cluster with KYW-TV and WPSG-TV
Listen Live (HD2)
The station has previously been known as Oldies 98 and Oldies 98.1.
The station began experimentally at 42.1 MHz as W3XIR, followed two years later (1941) by W69PH at 46.9 Mc. When the FCC moved the FM band to its present location, it became WCAU-FM at 102.7 and some time later, moved to 95.5, and finally, its present 98.1. WCAU-FM simulcast the MOR format on WCAU (AM) 1210 until 1966, when it, along with other CBS FM stations, presented "The Young Sound" format: an instrumental-oriented type of pseudo-rock music. In the fall of 1969, WCAU-FM replaced "The Young Sound" with an automated oldies format. The format featured the voice of Jim Nettleton and others. Live air personalities were eventually added. The station played the hits from 1955 up to and including some current product.
At the end of 1975, the oldies format was replaced by a disco-oriented format that was eventually called "Fascinatin' Rhythm". As the 1970s came to a close, the music became more diversified with the addition of jazz, pop and R&B. The station experimented briefly with a format called "Mellow Rhythm" at this time, hosted primarily by Dr. Perri Johnson (now a music therapist in Los Angeles).
Program consultant Mike Joseph was brought into WCAU-FM in April 1981 to develop a new format to replace the struggling "Mellow Rhythm." Joseph recommended that the station go Top 40. On September 22, 1981, at Midnight, the new format at WCAU-FM debuted: an all-current-hits, high-energy, jingle-intensive Top 40 sound dubbed "Hot Hits" (a format first used by Joseph at WTIC-FM/Hartford, Connecticut in 1977), using the on-air name "98 Now." WCAU-FM's ratings showed an immediate improvement, and subsequently, FM stations in major markets such as Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco picked up the "Hot Hits" format.
WCAU-FM found a great deal of success with this programming for much of the mid-1980s, although the original "Fusion" jingles were dropped in the summer of 1982 and replaced with a package from JAM to increase appeal to older listeners. Some notable jocks on the station in this period included Paul Barsky, Terry Young and Christy Springfield. CBS soon developed a variation on "Hot Hits" called "Hitradio," and switched all their FM stations except WCBS-FM - including WCAU-FM - to it.
In 1987, WCAU-FM found itself with stiff competition in the CHR format from WEGX, "Eagle 106". CBS decided that their station could be more profitable appealing to an older, more desirable demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds. On November 9, 1987, WCAU-FM flipped to an oldies format as WOGL (which stood for "Old Gold"). On the same day, WIOQ shifted to oldies as well. For the next year, the stations competed for Philadelphia's FM oldies audience, until WIOQ dropped the format early in 1989. Scott Walker, who programmed Hot Hits WCAU-FM, remained Program Director until 2001.
Originally, WOGL was known as "Oldies 98". By 1992, WOGL leaned toward soul oldies. They still played artists such as Elvis, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but in addition, they focused on soul and Philadelphia-only hits. They were about 2/3 R&B and 1/3 rock. The rock songs played were the big hits and anything typically heard on oldies stations. But WOGL got very deep with R&B music, likely because R&B was Philadelphia's dominant genre. They played about 15% 1950s, 15% early 1960s, 55% 1960s, 13% 1970s, and 2% 1980s.
WOGL aired specialty shows such as the "Hot Lunch Special" request show, "The Weeknight Hall Of Fame", "Top 20 Oldies Countdown", "Elvis & Friends", "The Saturday Night Dance Party", "Brunch With The Beatles", and "Street Corner Sunday" (a Doo Wop music program). In 2001, all the specialty shows were purged. The playlist was moved away from soul and Philadelphia-only hits (though a few remained), and moved towards a more traditional playlist as found among other oldies stations. The music was about 70% 1960s, 10% 1950s, 15% 1970s, and 5% 1980s. Scott Walker would leave during this time as well.
By 2002, some of the specialty shows were brought back. "Street Corner Sunday" was a modified version. While it was strictly doo wop in its previous incarnation, the current version is broader playing all types of pre-1964 oldies. More 1970s music was added and even some 1980s tracks were added. In 2003, the name "Oldies 98" was downplayed and the station became known as "Motown Soul Rock & Roll: 98.1 WOGL". At that point, the station cut to one 1950s song per hour and one pre-'64 song per hour. They also were playing a couple of 1980s songs per hour. The rest of the music was roughly 50% mid and late 1960s and 50% 1970s music. In 2004, the playlist was tightened to about half 1960s and half 1970s. Their slogan also changed to "Greatest Hits of The '60s and '70s". In late 2007 and early 2008, more 1980s music was added to rotation, and effective July 6, 2008, WOGL's slogan was changed to "The Greatest Hits of the 60s, 70s and 80's", which is also used on sister station WCBS-FM since it returned to an Oldies/Classic Hits format in July 2007.
Currently, the station uses jingles from JAM Creative Productions, most of which were originally produced in the 1970s and early 1980s for top 40 stations like WABC and WLS. Previously, WOGL has used the "Do It Again" jingle package from JAM, as well as jingles from Tony Griffin Productions, TM Studios, Frank Gari Productions, and Otis Connor.
WOGL's HD radio subchannels
WOGL-HD2 broadcasts a strictly 1970s hits format.
WOGL-HD4 runs an all-Phillies baseball talk channel dubbed "Phillies 24/7".
- "WCAU-FM Shifts to Solid Gold Automated Format", Billboard, October 10, 1970.