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|Broadcast area||Delaware Valley|
|Slogan||The Greatest Hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s
Philadelphia's Greatest Hits
Philadelphia's Christmas Classic Station (Nov.-Dec.)
|Frequency||98.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||February 1938 (as W3XIR)|
|Format||Analog/HD1: Classic Hits
Christmas music (Nov.-Dec.)
HD2: '70s music
HD3: Talk (WPHT simulcast)
HD4: Phillies 24/7
|ERP||9,600 watts (analog)
459 watts (digital)
|HAAT||338 meters (1,109 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||"Old GoLd" (spoonerism for "Golden Oldies")|
|Former callsigns||W3XIR (1938-1941)
|Former frequencies||42.14 MHz (1938-1941)
46.9 MHz (1941-1945)
(sale to Entercom pending)
(CBS Radio East Inc.)
|Sister stations||KYW, WIP-FM, WPHT, WTDY-FM, WXTU
(Part of CBS Corp. cluster with KYW-TV and WPSG-TV)
Listen Live (HD2)
WOGL (98.1 FM, "98.1 WOGL") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The station is owned by CBS Radio and broadcasts a classic hits format. The broadcast tower used by the station is located in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia at ( ), while studios are on Market Street in Center City.
WOGL uses HD Radio, and broadcasts a '70s music format on its HD2 subchannel. The talk radio programming of sister station WPHT is simulcast on its HD3 subchannel, while the programming on its HD4 subchannel is all Philadelphia Phillies baseball.
Each year from mid-November to December 25, the station switches its analog/HD1 programming to an all-Christmas music format.
The station signed on for the first time in February 1938 with the experimental call sign W3XIR as an Apex (high frequency wideband AM) station operating at 42.14 MHz with 100 watts. WCAU Broadcasting Company owned the station. On November 2, 1941, the station, having converted to frequency modulation (FM), began regular broadcasts using the W69PH call sign at 46.9 MHz on the original 42-50 MHz FM broadcast band, which had been created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on May 20, 1940. On November 1, 1943, the station was assigned the WCAU-FM call sign. After the FCC created the current FM band on June 27, 1945, the station moved to 95.5 MHz, then 102.7 MHz, before finally moving to 98.1 MHz.
WCAU-FM simulcast the MOR music and personality format on 1210 WCAU until 1966. Along with other CBS FM stations, WCAU-FM began airing "The Young Sound," a prerecorded format of instrumental easy listening songs based on contemporary hits.
In the fall of 1970, WCAU-FM replaced "The Young Sound" with an automated oldies format. For prerecorded announcements, the station used the voice of Jim Nettleton, a disc jockey on top-rated WABC in New York City. Live air personalities were eventually heard, with Nettleton moving from New York to host middays. 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 disco music, a hot trend at the time. As disco cooled, the station called its format "Fascinatin' Rhythm." When 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." Joseph first put Hot Hits on the air in 1977 at WTIC-FM in Hartford, Connecticut, with a significant increase in ratings. Joseph called the station "98 Now." WCAU-FM's ratings showed an immediate improvement, and subsequently, FM stations in major markets such as Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore 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 DJs on the station in this period included Paul Barsky, Terry Young and Christy Springfield. CBS Radio soon developed a variation on "Hot Hits" called "Hitradio," and switched WCAU-FM and all co-owned FM stations to it, except WCBS-FM in New York City, which continued with its oldies format.
In 1987, WCAU-FM found itself with stiff competition in the CHR format from WEGX, "Eagle 106". CBS decided that the station could be more profitable appealing to an older, more desirable demographic of 25-to 54-year-olds. On November 9, 1987, at 7 p.m., WCAU-FM returned to the oldies format as WOGL (which stood for "Old Gold"). Eleven hours later, however, 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 as Program Director.
Originally, WOGL was known as "Oldies 98". By 1992, WOGL incorporated more soul oldies. The station still played artists such as Elvis, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but in addition, it focused on soul, including Philadelphia-only hits. The mix was about 2/3 R&B and 1/3 rock. The rock songs played were the big hits typically heard on oldies stations. But WOGL also capitalized on Philadelphia's love of R&B. WOGL played about 15% 1950s, 15% early 1960s, 55% mid-to-late 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 left the station in 2001.
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, but it was updated to play 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. It also played 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 when 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 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.
- "Globetrotting Via Shortwave" (PDF). Radio Index (118): 9. April 1, 1938. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
- "FCC 335-FM Digital Notification [WOGL]". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. April 26, 2011. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
- "FM Query Results for WOGL". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
- "The Beginning of FM Broadcasting in Philadelphia". broadcastpioneers.com. 2007. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
- Boris, Alan (2011). Images of America: Philadelphia Radio. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia. p. 88. ISBN 9780738575087.
- Frost, Gary (2010). Early FM Radio: Incremental Technology in Twentieth-Century America. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 134. ISBN 9780801894404.
- "In the Matter of Allocation of Frequencies to the Various Class of Non-Governmental Services in the Radio Spectrum from 10 Kilocycles to 30,000,000 Kilocycles (Docket No. 6651)" (PDF). fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. June 27, 1945. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
- "WCAU-FM Shifts to Solid Gold Automated Format", Billboard, October 10, 1970.