WPRB (103.3 MHz) is an FM radio station licensed to Princeton, New Jersey, and owned by Princeton Broadcasting Service, Inc. It broadcasts a freeform radio format, including shoegaze, slowcore, noise music, harsh noise wall, plunderphonics, illbient, jazz, electronic, folk, reggae, ska, metal, world, soul, blues, and rock.[4] While the station is non-profit, it is licensed as a commercial radio station. It is funded primarily by listener contributions, raised especially during WPRB's annual spring 10-day Membership Drive. It also derives funding through community underwriting contracts with local businesses. Almost all on-air staff and management are Princeton University alumni and students. WPRB's slogan is "New Jersey's Only Radio Station."

Broadcast areaCentral Jersey
Frequency103.3 MHz (HD Radio)
OwnerPrinceton Broadcasting Service, Inc.
First air date
December 6, 1940; 83 years ago (1940-12-06) (campus AM broadcast)
November 10, 1950; 73 years ago (1950-11-10) (FM broadcast)
Call sign meaning
PRinceton Broadcasting Service (owner)[1]
Technical information[2]
Licensing authority
Facility ID53567
ERP14,000 watts (analog)
550 watts (digital)[3]
HAAT222 meters (728 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
40°16′58.4″N 74°41′9.6″W / 40.282889°N 74.686000°W / 40.282889; -74.686000 (WPRB)
Public license information
WebcastListen live

The transmitter tower is shared with WKXW "New Jersey 101.5."[5] It is located in Lawrence Township northeast of Trenton. WPRB has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 14,000 watts. It broadcasts using HD Radio technology. The HD2 digital subchannel carries Indian programming and Oldies are heard on its HD3 subchannel.

History edit

The station first signed on the air on December 6, 1940; 83 years ago (1940-12-06). Its call sign was WPRU, founded 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.[6] 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.[1] 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;[7] in 1959, it moved to 103.5 MHz;[8] and it moved to its current frequency of 103.3 MHz in 1962.[9] 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.[10]

In 1986, Spin Magazine named WPRB the best commercial college station in the country.[11]

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.[6]

One of its disc jockeys, Jon Solomon, has hosted a 24-hour+ Christmas music radiothon every year but one since 1988.[12]

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."[citation needed]

Broadcast signal edit

WPRB is a full class B signal. Its service contour covers most of Central Jersey and portions of the Philadelphia and New York City radio markets.[13]

WPRB is short-spaced to two other class B stations: WKTU 103.5 KTU (licensed to Lake Success, New York) and WARM-FM Warm 103.3 (licensed to York, Pennsylvania). Since WPRB dates back to the early days of FM broadcasting (before current rules had been adopted) it is grandfathered on its current frequency and power level.

WPRB and WKTU operate on first adjacent channels and the distance between the two stations' transmitters is only 49 miles as determined by Federal Communications Commission rules.[14] The minimum distance between two Class B stations operating on first adjacent channels according to current FCC rules is 105 miles.[15]

WPRB and WARM-FM operate on the same channel and the distance between the two stations' transmitters is only 103 miles.[14] The minimum distance between two Class B stations operating on the same channel according to current rules is 150 miles.[15]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Crum, Dana (July 14, 2005). "In focus: WPRB radio station". Princeton University. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WPRB". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ "FCC 335-FM Digital Notification [WPRB]". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. November 4, 2011. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  4. ^ "About WPRB". wprb.com. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  5. ^ "FM Query Results for WKXW". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  6. ^ a b W. Raymond Ollwerther (March 18, 2009). "WPRB acquires Nassau Weekly". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 109 (10): 11.
  7. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1956 page 205
  8. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1961-1962 page B-105
  9. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1962 page B-115
  10. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-134
  11. ^ Waits, Jennifer (2016-05-25). "Radio Station Field Trip #100 - WPRB at Princeton University". Radio Survivor. Retrieved 2021-06-13.
  12. ^ Waits, Jennifer (December 20, 2018). "WPRB DJ Jon Solomon Celebrates 30 Years of Christmas Marathons". Radio Survivor. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  13. ^ "54 dBu Service Contour for WPRB, 103.3 MHz, Princeton, NJ". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  14. ^ a b "Reference points and distance computations. 47 CFR § 73.208". Retrieved 2021-08-22.
  15. ^ a b "Minimum distance separation between stations. 47 CFR § 73.207 (b)(1)" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-05-12.

External links edit