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WMGM-FM (New York City)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CityNew York City
Frequency100.3 MHz
(Loew's, Inc.)
First air date
June 1, 1942 (1942-06-01)
Last air date
February 1955 (1955-02)
Former call signs
  • W63NY (1942–1943)
  • WHNF (1943–1946)
Former frequencies
46.3 MHz (1941–1945)

WMGM-FM was a radio station in New York City, broadcasting at 100.3 MHz. It was owned by Loew's, Inc., a subsidiary of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio alongside radio station WMGM, which was previously WHN. One of New York's earliest FM outlets, WMGM-FM broadcast from 1942 to 1955.


The station began broadcasting June 1, 1942 as W63NY, the fourth FM radio station in New York City. As with all of the first FM call signs, the designation represented the location (New York) and its position on the dial in the FM band of the time, at 46.3 megacycles. The transmitter was located in Palisades Park in New Jersey, opposite Grant's Tomb, and the station broadcast seven hours a day of programs, mixing recorded classical and semi-classical music with WHN's baseball coverage and occasional musical programs from the WHN studios.[1] When the Federal Communications Commission permitted all FM stations to take more typical sets of call signs in 1943, W63NY became WHNF, reflecting its co-ownership with WHN.[2]

The FM broadcasting band was relocated from 42–50 MHz to 88–108 MHz in late 1945. WHNF went off the air on December 1 in order to conduct its move to the new dial position of 100.3 MHz.[3] By this time, the station aired no live musical programs whatsoever.[4] The station was still off air at the start of 1946.[5] Several months later, on April 18, WHNF changed its call letters to WMGM.[6] The new designation, recognizing the ownership of the stations by the studio through Loew's, was then adopted in September 1948 by the AM outlet, at which time WMGM became WMGM-FM.[7] The station spent another month off air in January 1947 to install a new antenna.[8] Few people listened, even among the scant 3 percent of metropolitan area residents who had an FM receiver, as WMGM placed last in a Pulse ratings survey of New York FM listeners with a 2.3 share.[9]

In 1950, the station did have one star in its lineup. Jack Eigen, who later hosted an eponymous television show on the DuMont Television Network, was a disc jockey for WMGM AM and FM, with the midnight to 1 a.m. hour airing exclusively on FM.[10] The show originated from the Copacabana.[11]

WMGM-FM continued to operate until around February 1955, when the station surrendered its license to the FCC. It was evidently a decision the company soon regretted, as in 1958, WMGM Broadcasting Corporation filed for a construction permit for 100.3 MHz.[12] However, a competing applicant was in the way: the Newark Broadcasting Company, owner of WVNJ (620 AM) across the river in Newark, New Jersey. The FCC ruled in 1959 to award the station to Newark, stating that a second Class B FM station for that city was more desirable and equitable than a 14th such service for New York City.[13] This cleared the way for the current 100.3 license, today WHTZ, to begin as WVNJ-FM on June 1, 1961.[14]


  1. ^ Kennedy Jr., T.R. (May 31, 1942). "CURRENT EVENTS IN FM". New York Times. p. X10.
  2. ^ "New Calls Named For FM Stations" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 4, 1943. p. 49. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  3. ^ "WHNF Goes Off Air Tomorrow". New York Times. November 30, 1945. p. 15.
  4. ^ "Petrillo Extending Union AM-FM Band" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 26, 1945. pp. 17, 87. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  5. ^ "New York FM Stations Rapidly Shifting To Assignments In Other Channels" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 14, 1946. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  6. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 22, 1946. p. 93. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  7. ^ "The News of Radio: WHN to Change Name to WMGM When It Moves to New Quarters in September". New York Times. July 20, 1948. p. 42.
  8. ^ Lohman, Sidney (December 29, 1946). "One Thing and Another". New York Times. p. 47.
  9. ^ Gould, Jack (August 5, 1947). "Metropolitan Area Poll Finds 3 Per Cent of Radio Owners Have FM Receivers". New York Times. p. 46.
  10. ^ O'Brian, Jack (May 18, 1950). "Radio Roundup". Cumberland Evening Times. International News Service. p. 25.
  11. ^ Gross, Ben (January 29, 1950). "Looking & Listening". Sunday News. p. 12. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  12. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 9, 1958. p. 106. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  13. ^ "(29 FCC 621) Initial Decision". Federal Communications Commission. October 7, 1959. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  14. ^ "WVNJ-FM" (PDF). Broadcasting Yearbook. 1968. p. B-105 (253). Retrieved July 1, 2020.
This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 08:32
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