July 28, 2011

Philly's Former Heritage Black Radio Station is Set to Become Third... or Fourth... Spanish Language Station

Who can keep up with the number of Spanish stations in Philadelphia?

In 2007, Black owned New York based radio corporation, Inner City Broadcasting, from their perspective, made a terrific financial deal, by selling Black radio station 1340 WHAT for $5 million to Marconi Broadcasting. As of today the former station once billed as "The Voice of the African American Community" is now about to embark onto its fifth format change since the sale.

The previous formats included an alternative rock and hip-hop music amalgamation called 'Skin Radio'; followed by various standards format. Now it seems that when all else fails, Marconi turns to a Spanish language format to recoup some of their investment even though the Spanish population only comprises 8% of the population. They are now set to sell the station for an asking pricing of $850,000.

Philly's other former heritage AM station 1480 WDAS, now owned by Clear Channel converted to a Spanish station in 2007 after the format failed on one of their FM signals.

The Spanish format is slated to take place on August 1st. Many of the personalities on the old 1340 WHAT are now heard on 900 AM WURD, one of the few African American talk stations in the country.

Shout outs go to the few AM stations that can truly be called "Black Radio" stations and who continue to serve the African American community throughout their history like WVON Chicago, WOL Washington, WAOK Atlanta, and WDIA Memphis.
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