|City||Princeton, New Jersey|
|Broadcast area||Central Jersey|
|Frequency||103.3 MHz (HD Radio)|
|Owner||Princeton Broadcasting Service, Inc.|
First air date
|December 6, 1940 (campus AM broadcast)|
November 10, 1955 (FM broadcast)
Call sign meaning
|PRinceton Broadcasting Service (owner)|
|ERP||14,000 watts (analog)|
550 watts (digital)
|HAAT||222 meters (728 ft)|
Public license information
WPRB (103.3 FM) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Princeton, New Jersey. The station is owned by Princeton Broadcasting Service, Inc., and broadcasts a free-form format, including shoegaze, harsh noise music, harsh noise wall, classical, jazz, electronic, folk, metal, world, soul, blues, and rock. Its broadcast tower is shared with WKXW New Jersey 101.5 and is located in Lawrence Township northeast of Trenton at ( ). While the station is non-profit, it is licensed as a commercial radio station.
Almost all of the on-air and management staff consists of Princeton University alumni and students. WPRB uses HD Radio, and broadcasts Indian-formatted "Radio Mirchi" on its HD2 subchannel. One of its disc jockeys, Jon Solomon, has hosted a 24-hour+ Christmas music radiothon every year but one since 1988.
The station was founded as WPRU in 1940 by H. Grant Theis, a Princeton University student at the time. It often is cited as the oldest commercially licensed campus radio station in the United States. In 1955, WPRU got its FM license. It signed on as WPRB, the first college station on the FM dial in the United States, after the WPRU call sign was found to be already in use by a ship. It is considered a pioneer in FM Stereo broadcasting, transmitting a stereo signal beginning in 1964.
WPRB has broadcast on three different FM frequencies in its history: it first was heard on 103.9 MHz; in 1959, it moved to 103.5 MHz; and it moved to its current frequency of 103.3 MHz in 1962. During the 1960s and 70s, it joined with other Ivy League universities to form the "Ivy Network," sharing some programming and resources. It later was an affiliate of the ABC FM Network.
After decades of operation under an advertising-supported business model, in 2006 WPRB switched to a listener-supported model (although it remains a commercially licensed station). In 2009, WPRB went on to acquire a Princeton student magazine, the Nassau Weekly. Nassau Weekly was founded in 1979 by Princeton students including David Remnick, who later became the editor of The New Yorker.
WPRB was the first commercial radio station in the United States to play Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" when it debuted on John Weingart's long-running program "Music You Can't Hear on the Radio."
WPRB is short-spaced to two other class B stations: WKTU 103.5 KTU (licensed to serve Lake Success, New York) and WARM-FM Warm 103.3 (licensed to serve York, Pennsylvania). WPRB and WKTU operate on adjacent channels and the cities they are licensed to serve are only 45 miles apart. The minimum distance between two Class B stations operating on adjacent channels according to current FCC rules is 105 miles. WPRB and WARM-FM operate on the same channel and the cities they are licensed to serve are only 112 miles apart. The minimum distance between two Class B stations operating on the same channel according to current FCC rules is 150 miles, but because WPRB dates back to the early days of FM broadcasting (before many rules had been established) it is grandfathered on its current frequency and power level.
- Crum, Dana (July 14, 2005). "In focus: WPRB radio station". Princeton University. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
- "FCC 335-FM Digital Notification [WPRB]". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. November 4, 2011. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
- "About WPRB". wprb.com. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
- "FM Query Results for WKXW". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
- "FM Query Results for WPRB". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
- Waits, Jennifer (December 20, 2018). "WPRB DJ Jon Solomon Celebrates 30 Years of Christmas Marathons". Radio Survivor. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- W. Raymond Ollwerther (March 18, 2009). "WPRB acquires Nassau Weekly". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 109 (10): 11.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1956 page 205
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1961-1962 page B-105
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1962 page B-115
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-134
- "54 dBu Service Contour for WPRB, 103.3 MHz, Princeton, NJ". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
- "How Far is it Between Princeton, NJ, United States and New York, PA, United States". Free Map Tools. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
- "Minimum distance separation between stations. 47 CFR § 73.207 (b)(1)" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-05-12.
- "How Far is it Between Princeton, NJ, United States and York, PA, United States". Free Map Tools. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- Official website
- WPRB News
- WPRB History
- WPRB Programming Schedule
- The official WPRB blog
- WPRB in the FCC's FM station database
- WPRB on Radio-Locator
- WPRB in Nielsen Audio's FM station database