City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Broadcast area Delaware Valley
Branding WHYY 91 FM or 91 FM
Slogan "Radio That's Worth Your Time"
Frequency 90.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
Repeater(s) see below
First air date December 14, 1954 (1954-12-14)
Format Public affairs/News/Talk
HD2: Arts & Info Service
ERP 13,500 watts
HAAT 280 meters
Class B
Facility ID 72336
Transmitter coordinates 40°2′30″N 75°14′24″W / 40.04167°N 75.24000°W / 40.04167; -75.24000 (WHYY-FM) (NAD27)
Callsign meaning Wider Horizons for You and Yours
Former callsigns WUHY (1963–1983)
Affiliations NPR
Public Radio International
American Public Media
Owner WHYY, Inc.
Sister stations WHYY-TV
Webcast Listen Live
Website whyy.org/91FM

WHYY-FM (90.9 FM; "91 FM") is the flagship National Public Radio station serving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley. Its broadcast tower is located in the city's Roxborough neighborhood at (40°02′30.9″N 75°14′21.9″W / 40.041917°N 75.239417°W / 40.041917; -75.239417),[1] while its studios are located on Independence Mall in Center City, Philadelphia.


WHYY signed on for the first time on December 14, 1954. It was the first station in Philadelphia devoted solely to education. After sister television station WHYY-TV moved to the Channel 12 license from Wilmington, Delaware in 1963, FCC regulations forced the radio station to change its calls to WUHY. It regained its original calls in 1983.

The station was a charter member of NPR in 1970, and was one of the 90 stations that carried the initial broadcast of All Things Considered.

Programs produced

Entrance to the WHYY building on 6th Street, across from Independence Mall and the National Constitution Center

Format change

Until a 1990 format change, WHYY served the region as a non-commercial station with a format that featured jazz, folk, and classical music, with the latter predominating. The management decision to establish a talk-radio format departed from the pattern established by most public radio affiliates nationwide. Its implementation resulted in sustained protests from the station's traditional listening audience who were formerly WHYY's major contributors.

CEO controversy

Controversy erupted in the summer of 2007 when station CEO Bill Marrazzo was cited by the watchdog group Charity Navigator as the highest paid CEO in all of public broadcasting.

Popular Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Karen Heller called for a boycott of WHYY in an August 2007 column and in September 2007 an anonymous group of WHYY employees sent an open letter to Marrazzo, the Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia magazine, accusing him of "a serious lack of understanding when it comes to creating ... a healthy workplace" and assailing his salary as "excessive and inappropriate." The five-page letter concluded with a call for Marrazzo to resign.[3][4]

New Jersey expansion and controversy

Dorrance Hamilton Media Commons, part of the WHYY building near Franklin Square

On June 6, 2011, the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority agreed to sell five FM stations in southern New Jersey to WHYY. The purchase was made through an anonymous one-million dollar grant and a non-cash agreement that included scholarships for students and teachers. The five stations were previously the southern portion of New Jersey Network's statewide radio service.[5]

The transaction was announced by Governor Chris Christie, as part of his long-term goal to end State-subsidized public broadcasting. The Governor's critics maintained that scrapping New Jersey Network effectively ended all non-commercial statewide news coverage. It was also noted that the sale eliminated a source of legislative oversight frequently critical of the Christie administration.

WHYY assumed control of the stations through a management agreement on July 1, 2011, pending Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval for the acquisition. At that point, the stations began to simulcast WHYY-FM programming.[6] The five stations are:

Call sign Frequency City of license Facility ID ERP/Power
m (ft)
Class Transmitter coordinates
WNJS-FM 88.1 FM Berlin, New Jersey 48486 80 vert, 1 horiz 287 m (942 ft) A 39°43′41.0″N 74°50′39.0″W / 39.728056°N 74.844167°W / 39.728056; -74.844167 (WNJS-FM) (NAD27)
WNJB-FM 89.3 FM Bridgeton, New Jersey 48934 2500 vert, 1 horiz 67 m (220 ft) A 39°27′35.0″N 75°09′28.0″W / 39.459722°N 75.157778°W / 39.459722; -75.157778 (WNJB-FM) (NAD27)
WNJN-FM 89.7 FM Atlantic City, New Jersey 48483 6000 vert, 25 horiz 84 m (276 ft) A 39°27′40.0″N 74°41′6.0″W / 39.461111°N 74.685000°W / 39.461111; -74.685000 (WNJN-FM) (NAD27)
WNJM 89.9 FM Manahawkin, New Jersey 48460 250 vert, 1 horiz 69.5 m (228 ft) A 39°41′53.0″N 74°14′6.0″W / 39.698056°N 74.235000°W / 39.698056; -74.235000 (WNJM) (NAD27)
WNJZ 90.3 FM Cape May Court House, New Jersey 48464 6000 72 m (236 ft) A 39°06′18.0″N 74°48′6.0″W / 39.105000°N 74.801667°W / 39.105000; -74.801667 (WNJZ) (NAD27)

The stations all operate at relatively modest power due to the crowded state of the FM dial in the northeastern United States. However, their combined footprint gives WHYY-FM listeners coverage from Berks County to the Jersey Shore.[7]

See also


  1. "FM Query Results for WHYY, Federal Communications Commission". Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  2. "About 'Fresh Air'". npr.org. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  3. "Letter to the CEO". Philadelphia City Paper. 2007-09-05. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
  4. Volk, Steve (2007-10-05). "Dead Air". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  5. "Press release: "WHYY-FM TO EXPAND COVERAGE IN NEW JERSEY AS PART OF AGREEMENT TO TAKE OVER FIVE NJN STATIONS."" (PDF). WHYY, Inc. June 30, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  6. "WHYY Philadelphia Expands New Jersey Coverage, NJN Is Kaput". Atlantic City Central. July 1, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  7. "Coverage Area". whyy.org. Retrieved 2016-05-11.

External links

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