Open main menu

WJFK (AM)

WJFK (1580 AM; "El Zol Deportes") is a radio station broadcasting a Spanish-language sports talk format. Licensed to the suburb of Morningside, Maryland with studios in Southeast DC in the Navy Yard neighborhood, it serves the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The station is currently owned by Entercom.

WJFK
CityMorningside, Maryland
Broadcast areaWashington, D.C.
BrandingEl Zol Deportes
Frequency1580 kHz
Repeater(s)107.9-2 WLZL-HD2
First air dateMay 1954 (as WPGC)
FormatSpanish-language sports talk
Power50,000 watts (day)
270 watts (night)
ClassB
Facility ID28638
Transmitter coordinates38°52′9″N 76°53′47″W / 38.86917°N 76.89639°W / 38.86917; -76.89639Coordinates: 38°52′9″N 76°53′47″W / 38.86917°N 76.89639°W / 38.86917; -76.89639
Callsign meaningJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy
Former callsignsWPGC (1954–2008)
WHFS (2008–2011)
WNEW (2011–2013)
AffiliationsESPN Deportes Radio
OwnerEntercom
(Entercom License, LLC)
Sister stationsWIAD, WJFK-FM, WLZL, WDCH-FM, WPGC-FM
WebcastListen Live
Websiteelzolradio.radio.com/shows/el-zol-deportes

HistoryEdit

On November 12, 1953, former FCC employee Harry Hayman received a construction permit for a radio station in Morningside operating at 250 watts daytime-only on 1580 kilohertz. The call letters WPGC, representing Prince George's County were issued soon afterwards.

In May 1954, WPGC began as a multi-formatted radio station. Maxwell Evans Richmond purchased the station from Harry Hayman for $10,000 on November 10, 1954.

On April 14, 1955, WPGC was issued a permit to raise power to 10,000 watts. It also moved its offices from Morningside to a facility in Hyattsville, Maryland. It later moved to Southeast, Washington, D.C. in studios formerly used by WBUZ (95.5). In 1958, the station started simulcasting its programming on 95.5, by then renamed WRNC; the station is now WPGC-FM, which it became after WPGC-AM bought 95.5 outright.

On June 28, 1965, the WPGC stations were granted a modification of their licenses to move their studios to Bladensburg while continuing to identify their city of license as Morningside. By then, the station played Top-40 programming with a format similar to WABC and WMCA in New York City and CKLW in Detroit, and was the most popular such station in the Washington area, rivaled only by WEAM (1390; now WZHF). Responding to the black population growth of the Washington area, WPGC began to alternate playing so-called "white" rock records with Motown and soul music.

After Max Richmond died in 1971, his estate received FCC approval on August 7, 1974 to sell the WPGC stations for $5.8 million to First Media Corporation. The transaction was finalized on October 17, 1974.

On April 9, 1979, the FCC granted WPGC a permit to raise power from 10 kilowatts to 50 kilowatts directional.

After 15 years in the Parkway Building in Bladensburg, the station moved to new state-of-the-art studios overlooking the Capital Beltway in Greenbelt in 1980; the station subsequently relocated to studios in Lanham.

WPGC was finally granted nighttime operation in 1986. That October, the station received night power, operating at 270 watts. First Media sold all of its properties for $177 million to Cook Inlet Partners, a group of Alaska Natives, in early 1987.

The station switched to a business talk format in 1988. In 1989, its night power was upgraded to 500 watts directional; the next year, it reverted to 270 watts, though still directional.

Infinity Broadcasting acquired the WPGC stations from Cook Inlet in June 1994 for $60 million. On January 13, 1995, the station returned to music programming as "Flava 1580", with an all hip-hop/go-go format.[1] The format was unsuccessful, and ultimately evolved to gospel in November 1996 as "Heaven 1580".

WPGC dropped the gospel format October 7, 2008 and began simulcasting WPGC-FM. The simulcast ended on November 10, 2008, when the station switched to a talk format. The station also dropped the WPGC call letters after 54 years, taking on the WHFS callsign that CBS had dropped from what is now WJZ-FM a week before.

On December 1, 2011, WHFS changed call letters to WNEW. This came near-simultaneously with the change of 99.1 FM to WNEW-FM.

On October 1, 2012, WNEW changed their format to a hybrid government news/business news/talk format, branded as "1580 Gov. Biz Radio".[2] This format was dropped on January 28, 2013, when the station joined CBS Sports Radio as a full-time affiliate.[3] The station subsequently changed their call sign on January 29 to WJFK, matching call signs with sister station WJFK-FM "106.7 The Fan." [4]

CBS launched an online portal called "Connecting Vets" in June 2017, consisting of news and podcasts oriented toward military veterans. Podcast content was combined with live drive-time news coverage into an Internet stream that also began airing on WJFK on June 5, 2017.[5]

On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom.[6] The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was consummated on the 17th.[7][8]

Despite the move to a talk format, WJFK continued some local sports coverage as an overflow partner for WJFK-FM. The station was nominally an affiliate of the Washington Nationals Radio Network, although coverage was limited to spring training games since WJFK-FM became the team's flagship.[9] WJFK also carried D.C. United, Virginia Tech Hokies men's basketball, and Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball games, which often conflict with WJFK-FM's coverage of the Nationals, Washington Capitals, and Washington Wizards.[10][11][12]

On April 9, 2018, WJFK flipped to a Spanish-language sports talk format as "El Zol Deportes", assuming the branding of its sister station WLZL (107.9 FM) and shifting its HD simulcast to WLZL-HD2. The station became an affiliate of ESPN Deportes Radio along with a local show from 3-5pm hosted by Ray Parker.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1995/RR-1995-01-13.pdf
  2. ^ http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/netgnomes/55706/1580-wnew-washington-to-cover-government-news/
  3. ^ "WNEW-A Ready To Play Ball With CBS Sports". All Access. January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  4. ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/call_hist.pl?Facility_id=28638&Callsign=WJFK
  5. ^ Venta, Lance (6 June 2017). "CBS Radio Launches Military Veteran Platform On 1580 WJFK". RadioInsight.
  6. ^ CBS Radio to Merge with Entercom
  7. ^ "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  9. ^ "Washington Nationals Comprehensive Spring Training Broadcast Schedule 2017 – The Nats Blog". thenatsblog.com.
  10. ^ "2017 D.C. United Broadcast Schedule".
  11. ^ "Television & Radio". www.hokiesports.com.
  12. ^ Allen, Scott (9 September 2015). "106.7 The Fan is the new home of Georgetown men's basketball". Washington Post.
  13. ^ Venta, Lance (9 April 2018). "Entercom Launches El Zol Deportes Washington DC". RadioInsight.

External linksEdit