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Composite: Northern NJ | August 12, 2006

This is very interesting, in that you’ll hear a good cross-section of AM & FM stations. It begins with the Mark Simone talk show on WABC, and moves through WOR 710, WFAN Sportsradio 66, then onto FM on the left side of the dial (88.1 for you digital junkies). Sometimes I lingered for a short while on one station and others I moved right along.

Recorded in Boonton, NJ (close to the junction of I-287 & I-80), the highlights: 95.5 WPLJ, 101.1 Jack-FM, Z-100 and New Jersey 101.5 (which features a FULL set of 70s-era WABC resings for jingles!)

New Jersey 101.5Z100 WHTZ

WQHT Hot 97SportsRadio 66 WFANNews Talk 77 WABC

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  1. wow! I haven’t lived in New Jersey in almost 10 years so it was nice to hear a little slice of the 2006 dial. I was quite surprised at how badly WOR came in. I Lived out in West NJ toward Easton, PA, and WABC, WOR, and WFAN all came in about equally. I have to say that it would have been nice to hear more of the AM dial because I think there might actually be a few stations in that area that aren’t just talk. Finally, it was really good to hear some NJ101.5. I always liked there weekend music. It’s too bad that you didn’t catch big Joe Henry. He is a pretty good personality. Their weekend music mix leans decidedly more toward the 70s than it used to. One final thing about NJ101.5 is that they are still using the same traffic and weather beds that have been around for at least 20 years. thanks for sharing this recording.

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  2. Some of the signal issues can be explained here. First, this was recorded by connecting a Grundig AM/FM/SW receiver to my laptop via a mini-to-rca audio jack. Thus, computer noise wipes out much of the AM band. Second, you would naturally hear WABC better than WOR due to the antenna location in Lodi, NJ (rather close to Boonton) and electrical wavelength of the antenna itself, which is something like 5/8 wave… virtually unheard of at most AM facilities (I think WLW Cincinnati has the best radiating element length in the nation, but that was made special for the 500,000 watt days of the 1930s)

    Secondly, WOR’s IBOC signal is so bad, the analog audio is partially covered up with digital noise, even in a quiet receiving location. They have never addressed this issue and literally, you have to go there to listen to believe how horrible WOR 710 sounds. It’s just horrendous.

    The computer noise issue is why I didn’t record any more of the AM dial. There was nothing higher than WABC that I could receive without a lot of noise. Computers, folks, are the #1 reason why AM is a dead band for all except the highest powered News Talk stations. In my humble opinion.

    As for the FM side of this, certainly the most interesting portion of this aircheck has to be New Jersey 101.5. Those beds and jingles are so good. They’ve been wise to keep them all these years. Then, of course, there’s WCBS-FM…. er, Jack FM. Not much to talk about there, since there’s basically nothing interesting happening at 101.1. Z-100 sounded good, but frankly, I found current radio in the region to be a bore. Different formats, but basically the same dull and uninteresting imaging and music, with the exception of hispanic and religious stations.

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  3. I was actually struck by how uninteresting Z100 sounds now. maybe I’m just being nostalgic for my younger, more carefree days, but Z100 sounded much more lively and fun 20 years ago than it does now. Steve, I’m telling ya, I wish that you could have heard what the Western NJ dial sounded like back in the 1970s when I was growing up. In that part of the state, we could pick up almost every station from NYC, Philly, and the Lehigh Valley area of PA. The dial, especially going back about 30 years, was very vibrant and interesting. Not so anymore unfortunately.

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