WPPZ-FM

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WPPZ-FM
WPPZFM.png
City Pennsauken, New Jersey
Broadcast area Greater Philadelphia (Delaware Valley)
Branding Praise 107.9
Slogan Philadelphia's Inspiration Station
Frequency 107.9 MHz
First air date 1946 (as 98.9 WSNJ-FM Bridgeton NJ)
February 25, 2005 (as WRNB Pennsauken NJ)
Format Urban Gospel
ERP 780 watts
HAAT 276 meters (906 ft)
Class A
Facility ID 12211
Transmitter coordinates 39°57′09″N 75°10′05″W / 39.95250°N 75.16806°W / 39.95250; -75.16806
Callsign meaning W Philadelphia PraiZe ("praise")
Former callsigns WSNJ-FM (1946-2004)
WPPZ (2004-2005)
WRNB (2005-2011)
WPHI-FM (2011-2016)
Former frequencies 98.9 MHz (1950s)
107.7 MHz (1960s-2000)
Owner Urban One
(Radio One Licenses, LLC)
Sister stations WPHI-FM, WRNB
Webcast Listen Live
Website praisephilly.com

WPPZ-FM (107.9 MHz) is a commercial radio station owned by Urban One, that airs an urban gospel format. The station is licensed to Pennsauken, New Jersey and serves the Philadelphia radio market. It has studios located in Bala Cynwyd and broadcasts from a transmitter spire on top of One Liberty Place in Center City Philadelphia.

History[edit]

In 1946, the station signed on at 98.9 MHz as WSNJ-FM in Bridgeton, New Jersey, a farming community about 35 miles south of Philadelphia.[1] It was owned by Eastern States Broadcasting Company. At first it simulcast its AM sister station, 1240 WSNJ. But in the early 1960s, it became an affiliate of the WQXR Classical Network, based in New York City.

In the 1960s, WSNJ-FM's frequency moved to 107.7 MHz and the station resumed simulcasting the middle of the road format of popular music and news on 1240 WSNJ. In 1971, WSNJ-AM-FM were sold to Cohanzick Broadcasting, which held the license until the station's move to the Philadelphia suburbs.[2]

In the early 2000s, the station's frequency and city of license were changed to allow it to move into the more lucrative Philadelphia market. To clear space on the FM band for the new operation, high school station WHHS was moved from 107.9 to 99.9 MHz and a Philadelphia translator of classical station WWFM was taken off the air. During transmitter testing, 107.9 used the call letters WPPZ and broadcast gospel music; owner Radio One eventually gave that call sign and format a permanent home in the market on 103.9 FM. (Before WRNB went on the air in 2004, the call letters were used for a Radio One-owned sister station in Dayton, Ohio, now called WROU-FM.) The new permanent Urban AC format as WRNB went on the air on February 4, 2005. Radio One paid $35 million for the "move-in" FM station, which was now able to attract Philadelphia listeners and advertisers.[3]

On September 1, 2011, Radio One moved WRNB's programming to 100.3, and the Urban Contemporary format of WPHI-FM (which moved away from rhythmic contemporary earlier that year) moved to the weaker signal 107.9 FM as "Hot 107.9" (after stunting that weekend as "Michael Vick Radio" and "Rickey Smiley Radio") on September 4 at 5 p.m.. The first song on "Hot" was Hot In Herre by Nelly.[4][5]

On November 6, 2014, at 7 p.m., WPHI dropped the "Hot" format and became the fourth classic hip-hop station in the United States (following KNRJ in Phoenix, KDAY/KDEY in Los Angeles and sister station KROI in Houston) as "Boom 107.9".[6] The last song on "Hot" was I Like It by Sevyn Streeter, while the first song on "Boom" was 99 Problems by Jay-Z.

On September 27, 2016, at Midnight, WPHI and WPPZ swapped formats and call letters, with "Boom" moving to 103.9 FM, and "Praise" moving to 107.9 FM. (With the change, WPHI's classic hip hop format shifted to urban contemporary, returning the format to the 103.9 frequency for the first time since 2002 and marking the fourth attempt by Radio One to compete against long dominant WUSL.)[7]

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