WKXW City of license Trenton, New Jersey Branding New Jersey 101.5 Frequency 101.5 MHz First air date August 27, 1962 Format Talk/Classic Hits/News ERP 15,500 watts HAAT 275 m (902 ft) Class B Facility ID 53458 Transmitter coordinates Owner Townsquare Media Webcast Listen Live Website nj1015.com
WKXW (101.5 FM, "New Jersey 101.5") is a radio station based just outside of Trenton, New Jersey. The station is licensed to serve the Trenton area on 101.5 MHz FM and is also streamed on the station's website. It is owned by Townsquare Media. Its transmitter is located near the Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence Township in Mercer County, New Jersey.
The station went on the air on August 27, 1962, as WBUD-FM and was owned by Dick Hardin. Its call letters subsequently changed to WBJH, which stood for Bill and Joy Hardin, the son and daughter-in-law of the owner. About 1977, the station changed calls to WTRT and called itself "T-101." In 1980, the station became WKXW, under its new owner Fidelity Communications. It was playing an adult contemporary format as "Kix 101 and a half" and later "Kix 101.5" before the change to its current talk format, which came in 1990 when it was sold to Press Communications. The sale to Millennium Radio Group took place in 2001.
Since March 1, 1990, the station has a talk and news format during the week, with oldies music on the weekend (as of mid September 2007, "60s" has been removed from the "60s, 70s, and 80s" week end music programming ID, and nearly all '60s music has been removed from the play list). For a time in the 1990s, music was also played weekday overnights.
The station has, at times, provided a simulcast on various AM and FM stations in the Atlantic City area, beyond the reach of its main transmitter. The most recent simulcast ceased in June 2009 when then-WXKW changed formats to ESPN Sports Radio.
In 2011, California-based Oaktree Capital signed a deal to buy Millennium Radio Group; after taking over, Oaktree transferred the Millenium stations to Townsquare Media.
New Jersey-centric branding
The station has strongly branded its New Jersey-ness, with its announcers frequently self-identifying "New Jersey 101.5" and with its bumper message intoning "Not New York. Not Philadelphia. Proud to be New Jersey!", as well as its branded New Jersey Fast Traffic and New Jersey Instant Weather. The New Jersey-centric nature of the station is emphasized in the traffic reports, in that they refer to traffic direction on bridges and tunnels as "entering New Jersey" or "leaving New Jersey" instead of the more traditional designations of "into the city" or "out of the city". As well, current temperatures of different samples of towns in New Jersey are given after the weather reports.
New Jersey 101.5's ratings success can be attributed to several factors, including:
- Radio stations in New York City and Philadelphia tend to avoid New Jersey issues, news, politics, etc.
- New Jersey has only two commercial network television affiliates, WMGM-TV, Atlantic City and WWOR-TV, Secaucus, both of which are essentially suburban affiliates for the Philadelphia and New York markets respectively
- New Jersey has no other centrally located high power radio station
Millennium Radio News Network
The station is the flagship broadcasting arm of the Millennium Radio News Network as heard on twelve radio stations throughout New Jersey. The network consists of WOBM-FM in Toms River, WOBM-AM in Lakewood, WCHR-FM in southern Ocean County, WJLK-FM in Asbury Park, WADB-AM in Monmouth County, WFPG-FM in South Jersey, WSJO-FM in South Jersey, WPUR-FM in Atlantic City, and WENJ-FM in Atlantic City. Various bureaus throughout the state share stories with the Ewing headquarters. Eric Scott is the current news director.
In 2011, California-based Oaktree Capital has signed a deal to buy Millennium Radio New Jersey. Millennium is the parent company of New Jersey 101.5 and 10 other radio stations, as well as the Millennium Radio News Network.
The station's unique format was created in 1990. It was programmed by Jay Sorensen and Perry Michael Simon, Press Broadcasting chief Bob McAllan, and then-GM John Dziuba. Radio consultant Walter Sabo also had a major part in the station's creation and continues to consult them today. Subsequent program directors include Leigh Jacobs (now at NuVooDoo Media Services) and Eric Johnson.
Sorensen moved to concentrate on on-air duties and later left to do talk shows in Philadelphia and Dallas (and now does weekend on WCBS-FM in New York); Simon (later at KLSX and Y-107 Los Angeles, now a consultant, writer, and editor at AllAccess.com) moved into the PD slot from his corporate position, then left in 1994, replaced as program director by Leigh Jacobs; after Jacobs left, Eric Johnson took over and is the current PD.
Current on-air personalities
- Jim Gearhart - This morning drive show is hosted by deep-voiced populist Jim Gearhart. The show has reverb added and was simulcast on Comcast's CN8 cable television network from 1996 to 2004. The show's web page describes Gearhart as "Watchdog for the people of New Jersey. Jim is a veteran broadcaster that is never afraid to rattle some cages. Whether it's politics, taxes, or SUV's, Jim tells it like it is, desperately attempting to rationalize why New Jersey is in a hand basket and where it's going!" (Weekdays 6am to 10am).
- "Dennis and Judi" - A mid-day show which mixes a variety of topics from serious New Jersey state government and political issues to more mundane, irreverent issues. Hosted by Dennis Malloy (Mele) and Judi Franco, the show first aired from 1997 to 2009. Franco stepped down at that time to devote more time to her family, and Michele Pilenza took over. Pilenza announced her departure from the show for similar reasons in early 2011, and Franco returned on February 21, 2011. Malloy started in radio at the age of 18 at a small station in Hammonton, New Jersey. He is a veteran of numerous radio programs in the Philadelphia radio market. Malloy is an avid striped bass fisherman who talks about fishing, his South Philadelphia Italian-American upbringing, and food, from eating, to cooking, to restaurants. (Weekdays 10am to 2pm).
- "The Deminski and Doyle Show" - Replacement for "The Jersey Guys". The show returned to WKXW on July 5, 2011 after leaving for the Detroit market in 1999. (Weekdays 2pm to 7pm).
- "After Hours with Michelle Jerson" - A lifestyle and relationship talk show. Jerson began her second stint at WKXW as the new host of this show following former-host Michele Pilenza's move to the midday slot. During her first run at the station, Jerson was simply known on-air by her first name, Michelle. (Mondays to Thursdays from 7pm to 11pm).
- "The Late Show with 'Jersey Guy' Ray Rossi" - The former afternoon drive talker hosts a new late night show, beginning July 11, 2011.
- Big Joe Henry - Big Joe Henry is an Oldies music retro disc jockey with reverb, corny jokes and sound effects. Big Joe Henry is a very large man and his motto is "Livin' large and lovin' life." (Fridays 7pm to 11pm).
Supporting personalities include Eric Scott on news (among others), Alan Kasper on weather, Bob Williams, Jill Myra, "Tom Rivers" (aka Matt Ward from 1010 WINS), and Bernie Wagenblast for traffic (among others). Ward's on-air pseudonym is the last vestige of a failed experiment where the station's traffic reporters were given names that suggested New Jersey towns; in Ward's case, "Tom Rivers" is meant to evoke Toms River.
Prominent radio personalities who have worked at the station include:
- Philadelphia radio Hall of Famer Hy Lit and his son Sam Lit, who anchored the air staff in the early 80s
- John and Ken (John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, now at KFI Los Angeles),
- Scott and Casey (Scott Hasick, currently at WMVN/WARH St. Louis, and Casey Bartholemew)
- Brooke and Roberta (Brooke Daniels, Roberta Gale)
- Mary Walter
- Michele Pilenza - Beginning with shows in 2009, Judi Franco stepped down to devote more time to her family, and Michele Pilenza took over the mid-day show with Dennis Malloy. In 2011, Pilenza announced her departure from the show for similar reasons in February 2011, and Franco returned. Occasionally, Pilenza still fills in with Dennis when Judi is out.
- Joe Cioffi - He is no longer on that station when Alan Kasper is out for weather.
Two incarnations of the Jersey Guys, first with Craig Carton and Ray Rossi (in summer 2002) and second (in summer 2007) with Casey Bartholomew and Ray Rossi:
- Craig Carton, the former Jersey Guys co-host now at WFAN in New York
- Casey and Rossi (Casey Bartholomew's second stint with NJ 101.5 lasted from 2007-2011 as a Jersey Guy along with Ray Rossi after Craig Carton's departure in 2007). Ray Rossi is still at the station as the overnight (11 PM - 3 AM, M-Th) host.
- Craig Carton earned controversy in 2005 when the New Jersey Governor Richard Codey physically confronted Carton for disparaging remarks that Carton had made about Codey's wife suffering from postpartum depression, a hormonal disorder that causes women to become moody and irritable. The governor never apologized for this incident and Craig Carton refused to apologize for his comments.
- Carton and Rossi were criticized later in the same year for derogatory remarks in regards to Jun Choi, the 2005 Democratic candidate for Mayor of Edison Township.
- The station offered former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey his own show. The offer was made when McGreevey was in the middle of his divorce trial. McGreevey had said during testimony at the trial that he's "unemployable." McGreevey turned down the station's offer.
- ^ "Oaktree closes on Millennium-NJ, files to transfer stations to Townsquare Media". Radio-Info.com. July 21, 2011. http://www.radio-info.com/news/oaktree-closes-on-millennium-nj-files-to-transfer-stations-to-townsquare-me. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
- ^ New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio
- ^ a b Edelstein, Jeff (December 2, 2008). "Radio icon trades microphone for family life". The Trentonian. http://www.trentonian.com/articles/2008/12/02/news/doc4934e27c93dc7237573838.txt. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
- ^ "McGreevey declines radio job offer". NJ.Com. AP. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/05/mcgreevey_declines_radio_job_o.html.
- WKXW official website
- New Jersey FM Radio History
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WKXW
- Radio-Locator information on WKXW
- Query Arbitron's FM station database for WKXW
Radio stations in the Trenton, New Jersey market By FM frequency By AM frequency By callsign Defunct StationsWNJO 94.5 · WTHK 97.5 Philadelphia Metro Markets: Allentown · Monmouth-Ocean · Reading · Trenton · Wilmington
New Jersey Radio Markets: Atlantic City-Cape May • Middlesex-Somerset-Union • Monmouth-Ocean • Morristown • Sussex • Trenton
Other New Jersey Radio Regions: Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton
News/Talk Radio Stations in the state of New Jersey Stations: See also: adult contemporary, classic hits, college, country, news/talk, NPR, oldies, religious, rock, sports, top 40, urban, and other radio stations in New Jersey Townsquare Media (a division of Oaktree Capital Management) (formerly Regent Communications, and including former Gap Broadcasting Group and Double O Radio) Arkansas Colorado Idaho Illinois Indiana Kentucky Louisiana Michigan Minnesota Montana New Jersey New York OklahomaKLAW · KVRW · KZCD TexasKAFX-FM · KATP · KBZS · KDOK · KEAN-FM · KEYJ-FM · KFGL · KFMX-FM · KFYO · KISX · KIXS · KIXZ · KKCL · KKAM · KKTX-FM · KKYR-FM · KLAQ · KLUB · KMXJ-FM · KNIN-FM · KNUE · KPRF · KPWW · KQBR · KQVT · KROD · KSFA · KSII · KSLI · KTBQ · KTUX · KTYL-FM · KULL · KVLL-FM · KWFS · KWFS-FM · KXSS-FM · KYKS · KYYW · KZII-FM Washington Wyoming * indicates Class A television service; all other stations are radio
**License held by a divestiture trust; sale pending
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