Courtesy of Big Apple Airchecks…
There’s not that many people who remember this AM-Top 40-styled FM hit music station. However, some may look back fondly at the station which has been Country 92.5 WXTU since August 1, 1983.
92.5 in Philadelphia started out as W57PH. The first incarnation of this station was on the old FM band, at 45.7 MHZ. The first broadcast date of this station was October 5, 1942. The station was owned by Westinghouse along with sister station KYW. After FM radio was moved to it’s present 88.1-107.9 band, the station moved to its present 92.5 position and obtained the KYW-FM call letters. Then, inexplicably, the station simply signed off the air on August 18, 1958.
With that background, we move forward to 1958. The station re-launched, this time with the familiar WIFI call letters. The format was “Middle of the Road”, or, just MOR. By the end of the 1960s, however, WIFI had become a Progressive Rock station. Then in 1970, WIFI cycled through a few different formats before settling on an AM-Radio style Top 40 format. WIFI 92 was born!
In the beginning of all this, there were very few FM radios and obviously few listeners. By the time WIFI 92 went Top 40, the audience was bubbling up. And, unlike most large Radio markets in 1970, there was not a lot of competition in the Top 40 format in Philadelphia. So, WIFI 92 did get its share of listeners. Probably more than other markets due to early format entrenchment.
The station remained Top 40 until 1981. By that time, a couple of things happened. First, 98.1 WCAU-FM had launched its “Hot Hits” format with Consultant Mike Joseph at the helm. This had the effect of siphening off much of WIFI 92’s audience. So, the station went AC, and got buried in a market with no less than three other AC stations already going. AC didn’t work, and by early 1983 it was time for something different. WIFI flipped to AOR and branded the station “I92” When ratings didn’t come up, probably due to the entrenched WMMR and WYSP, stations which had been doing the format for some time, management pulled the plug. 92.5 flipped to Country on August 1, 1983 and changed call letters to WXTU. The rest, as they say, is history.
To be fair and honest about it, much of the credit for the station history goes to phillyradioarchives.com, where I did some station research. Just search for WXTU on the site and it will come right up.
On this scope, you’ll hear Joe Mitchell, Bob Hamilton and Beau Weaver. Now, this is not the same Beauregard Rodreguez Weaver of 93/KHJ fame… if it were, his voice and on air banter would have changed. Still, there’s just enough similarity between the two to make your head turn … a bit. Bob Hamilton – If I recall correctly, he went on to East Longmeadow, Mass., and WAQY “Wacky 102” around 1980. Same voice I remember hearing. Listen for yourself while we look for a WAQY tape from 1980.
This aircheck flies by pretty quickly. Its very tightly scoped by your webmaster, and with just ONE shotgun jingle, they get in and out of commercial breaks in a flash. This runs 20 minutes even without the music and it will take your breath away. One has to wonder, if WIFI had kept up this breathless pace and never turned from the Top 40 format as the 80s progressed, might they have endured to this day? When you think of it, WIFI’s main competitor at the end was WCAU-FM. And that station was only around for a few years before the Oldies came along… and WOGL is still here!
Have a nice listen..
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6 thoughts on “Composite: 92.5 WIFI Philadelphia | January 24, 1977”
Thanks for posting this. Growing up in Central NJ, I can tell you that WIFI 92 definitely was popular with the high school kids in my area by the late 70s. I agree with you, if they had stuck by this format, they probably could have held their own against WCAU FM, but they gave up too quickly. Btw, one of your favorite jocks, Al bandiero, worked at WIFI at one point.
Awesome aircheck! BTW, The calls on 92.5 became WXTU in August 1983, but it didn’t become Country 92 until March 1984. It was CHR/Urban 92X when the calls went from WIFI to WXTU. I posted the Call letter change on You Tube at: //youtu.be/LjbXqB7C7iw
Al is still the very best, several tiers above the other jocks. I still have an aircheck of him from July 5, 1976, “$547.92 cents in the super cash stash!”, “Woooooo, I feel good!”, “If you live in the pretzel”. It was such a contrast, listen to Al from 8-midnight & then listen to Beau, what a contrast!!
WXTU went to an urban format first, THEN went to its present country format.
Was it common for one dj back then to play thr same song more than once?
They did and still.do. Most Top 40 stations play their top 5 songs frequently as every 70 to 100 minutes.