WRNJ (1510 AM) is a radio station in Hackettstown, New Jersey broadcasting an adult contemporary format. The station is owned locally by WRNJ Radio, Inc. and features programing from ABC News Radio.
|City||Hackettstown, New Jersey|
|Slogan||Northwest Jersey's Own|
|Translator(s)||92.7 W224AS (Washington)|
104.7 W284AQ (Hackettstown)
105.7 W289CR (Glen Gardner)
|First air date||August 26, 1976|
|Power||2,000 watts day|
1,100 watts critical hours
230 watts night
|Callsign meaning||W Radio North Jersey|
(originally W Radio New Jersey)
|Former frequencies||1000 kHz (1976-1996)|
|Affiliations||ABC News Radio|
|Owner||WRNJ Radio, Inc. (Larry Tighe and Norman Worth)|
WRNJ plays mostly adult contemporary music. The library includes hits from the 1980s to the present.
The station offers a news-intensive format featuring national news from ABC News Radio at the top of every hour. Live local news airs after the report from ABC News on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. News Director Joyce Estey, who has been at the station since March 1998, anchors the mornings and Tom O'Halloren anchors afternoons and evenings.
The station's news operation received widespread-praise from the region and several awards for their coverage in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. While the power was out, staff slept overnight at the station to keep providing updates to listeners.
WRNJ also broadcasts on the following FM translators:
|City of license||ERP
|Class||Transmitter coordinates||FCC info|
|W224AS||92.7||Washington, New Jersey||150||D||FCC|
|W284AQ||104.7||Hackettstown, New Jersey||250||D||FCC|
|W289CR||105.7||Glen Gardner, New Jersey||218||D||FCC|
The radio station can also be heard on the station's website and the TuneIn app.
Original 1510 Morris County licenseEdit
The original station, known as WRAN (studio and transmitter in Randolph Township) had an unusual signal day and night. During the day the station transmitted 10,000 watts. This was a very directional signal resembling an hourglass. The station reached about 10 miles east and west but about 70 miles north and south. About 15 miles north of the transmitter point the station had about a 30-mile reach each way. About 35 miles north, the station had about a 50-mile reach each way. So some places 50 miles away WRAN had a better signal than some points only 10 miles away. At night the station only put out 500 watts and reached about 10 miles all around.
The original station, WRAN, began operation on 1510 on August 19, 1964. They employed a full service contemporary music format. By the 1970s, the station employed a hybrid format of adult contemporary, Top 40, and oldies. Musically the format resembled the early '70s WOR-FM or the late '70s WCBS-FM. They even called themselves "Solid Gold WRAN" at one point. They were locally owned until 1980 when Sillerman and Morrow Broadcasting (owned by Cousin Brucie Morrow) purchased it, along with several other AM and FM radio stations in the New York City metropolitan area.
WRAN was upgraded with new equipment and the music was adjusted. But the solid gold Top 40/AC/Oldies hybrid format continued. Sillerman and Morrow sold WRAN along with their other stations to Bell Broadcasting in 1982. In 1984 WRAN was sold to Saddle River Holdings. The station was profitable under Cousin Brucie, but once he was no longer associated with WRAN, many advertisers pulled their spots. WRAN continued on with an adult contemporary format until the spring of 1987. At that point the station switched to an oldies format using satellite programming most of the time. The station at that point became WMHQ. Saddle River Holdings eventually put WMHQ up for sale in 1988, but no one was interested in the station. As a result, they would shut down WMHQ and turn the license over to the FCC. A website  devoted to the history of the Dover station, which includes jingles, photos, and memorabilia, was created by a former employee.
AM 1000 licenseEdit
WRNJ began operation on AM 1000 on August 26, 1976. They were a daytime only station with no pre-sunrise or post-sunset authorization, except for local emergencies. WRNJ employed a full service adult contemporary format with a strong emphasis on local and national news. They also had a lot of local shows pertaining to the community. Larry Tighe originally owned the radio station.
For many years WRNJ was not profitable. By the early 1980s, there were rumors that the station may even go dark. At that point, Norman Worth, who was the only person selling a substantial amount of advertising, became sales manager. Months later the station began turning a profit. After a couple years the station became extremely profitable and was sold out in most dayparts. By the late 1980s, Worth became part owner of the station and took over as General Manager and eventually as Chief Operating Officer.
In 1992, Worth was awarded an FM license on 107.1 FM. That station became WRNJ-FM and employed a country music format. In 1996, WRNJ was granted a 24-hour license on 1510 kHz. They then would sell AM 1000 to Westinghouse, freeing them to boost the power of their New York City AM station WINS. That year WRNJ moved from AM 1000 to 1510. They kept the Adult Contemporary format initially. They also began operation from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
In 1997, it was determined that their current towers could not transmit the correct nighttime patterns. WRNJ reverted to daytime-only operation on AM 1510. The current music also was phased out and the station evolved to more of an oldies format. By 1998, they were known as "Oldies 1510 WRNJ". The station still continued to be very profitable despite the fact they were daytime only. At the same time, they sold their FM station 107.1 to Big City Radio. WRNJ-FM became WWYY and joined the Country Music Y 107 triplecast making that station a Quadcast. That Quadcast became a Spanish format in 2002. In 2003 those stations were sold to Nassau and Nassau broke up the quadcast selling three of these stations to other owners. They kept 107.1 WWYY and today that station remains licensed to Belvidere, but broadcasts from Stroudsburg. That station employed an Adult Contemporary format as "Lite 107" until on May 3, 2007 when the format moved to 93.5 WSBG Stroudsburg, PA. WWYY is now known as "Spin Radio 107.1" with an alternative rock format targeting the Lehigh Valley.
In 1999, Oldies 1510 WRNJ would finally begin 24-hour-a-day operations. They added satellite oldies programming for much of the day. But they retained their morning shows, specialty shows, local news, and local talk shows. In 2004, WRNJ dropped the satellite programming. They continue to employ a full-service format that plays adult contemporary but talk shows have become more of a focus on the station.
The sale of WRNJ-FM in 1998 excluded the FM translators on 92.7 in Washington Boro, NJ and on 104.7 in Hackettstown. WRNJ's owners retained these. They continued simulcasting 107.1 until 2002 when they began simulcasting a non-commercial FM station. The FCC did not permit low-power FM stations to simulcast AM stations. This changed in 2007 of at which time WRNJ's signal began to be simulcast on FM 92.7 and FM 104.7. In 2009, the oldies format evolved to more of a classic hits format focusing on the '70s and '80s hits. In 2014, the station evolved into more of an adult contemporary format, with the slogan "Today's Hits and Yesterday's Favorites," playing music mostly from the '80s, '90s, and 2000s, but still some music from the '60s and '70s.
Notable air personalitiesEdit
- Russ Long (Present)
- Bernie Wagenblast (Present)
- Deirdre Bryant, ABC News Radio
- Kevin Scholla
- Rick Adams (News) Now At KTWO-TV In Wyoming
- Jim West
- Ken Griffin
- Bill Summers
- Jeff Grant
- David Kendall (1984 - 1986 at WRNJ-1000)
- Vince Santarelli - Morning Man 1983 - 1985
- Jeff Yablon (The Computer Answer Guy) 1995-2000
- Larry Daniels - Morning Man 1981-1983
- Harlin Jeffries - Sports Director 2004-2012
- Jay Edwards - 2013-Present