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103.5 the Shark - WZSK

WZSK (103.5 The Shark) – Ocean City, MD – 7/26/97

“Making the world safe to party with a shark…” — 103.5 the Shark was just an unusual station all-around. The music mix was entertaining, but too unfocused — at the beginning of the aircheck, it sounded like a dance format, while it was closer to Mainstream CHR towards the end.  It featured many different types of jingles that seemed suited for multiple formats — including some with “robotic” sound effects that would have been a better fit in the early to mid 80’s.  And some of the jingles/sweepers would play several times in the middle of songs (I’ve left examples of this intact.)

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13 Comments

  1. I liked this. Too bad it didn’t last much longer as the station changed format shortly afterward. Bellamy Beach, FWIW, is part of the Ocean City, MD market.

    The jingles were from Thompson Creative’s “Fresh Jams” and “Technoconnectors” packages.

    Robyn

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  2. Did 103.5 The Shark have a logo? What did 103.5 The Shark’s logo look like if there was one!? If there is a logo of 103.5 The Shark please post on here or send me one Please!

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  3. Robyn – thanks as always for the info. I’ve changed the city/state to Ocean City, MD.

    Dominick – my understanding is that the station did not even have a Web site during its brief run with this format, so it’s unlikely that a logo was ever made available online. The only realistic chance of finding a logo would be to locate someone affiliated with the station, or (perhaps even more difficult to track down) a listener who might have something like a bumper sticker or t-shirt.

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  4. What Broadcasting Company owned WZSK 103.5 THE SHARK? Or was it Great Scott Broadcasting that owned WZSK 103.5 THE SHARK? I know now that Great Scott Broadcasting owns this 103.5 and is now WJKI 103.5 FM with a similcast of a sister station that is Classic Rock! Before the Classic Rock similcast was WJYN JANE Modern Hits, Delmarva’s Hit Music, WJNE Alternative/Modern Rock, then LITE ROCK with a ABC’s Hits and Yesterday’s Favorites satilite run format, and briefly SUNNY!

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  5. The Shark sounded like it was an amazing station! I disagree with the comment about (too) 80’s style station ids for the robotic voice. I liked that too. Is it really a crime to try and be different? Good for them for trying extra hard not to be another “cookie cutter” radio station!!!! I wish someone would restore the name and format as a Dance/pop rock CHR format.

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  6. Oh and, I also appreciate the live DJ! I wish he were in studio instead of on location, or that they could have both, and both be live!

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  7. oh, gosh!
    this sounds like a great, out-flipped station! just love it.

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  8. I remember vacationing in Ocean City one weekend in the Summer of 1996. It was 103.5 The Shark that did two things I remember:

    1) The Friday afternoon traffic report played ALL weekend.
    2) This CHR station introduced me to the music of acid-jazz group Vibraphonic! I was on my way out of town on Monday morning, sometime in the 7am hour, hearing them play (for no particular reason) Vibraphonic’s “Can’t Get Enough” — //www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ooXAt_aEyo

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  9. Please if anyone has a WZSK FM 103.5 The Shark logo, or t-shirt post it on here!!

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  10. Just to clarify, WZSK became WJYN from ’97 til ’00, then to WJNE from ’00 til ’04, and is now currently WKJI. It was originally WJTI from ’93 til ’95, where it became WZSK.

    //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WJKI

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  11. Hello All!..I was the Creator and Designer of the Shark, Top to bottom.I appreciate that anyone remembers….To the comment on automation…it did have some issues, but we were in the very forefront of automationat the time and the music delivery music system was a large 300 cd jukebox(that really had challenges) …at the time the cost of computer memory for a station music library was really cost prohibitive. However the station got great press from Radio & Records at the time for what we were doing….we were also an R&R reporting station…and written up in Billboard magazine the studio we built was so cool (Including a live feed CD-R recorder in studio). For all the comments about being unfocused….to the contrary….we were extremely focused on two things….”The Party’s Always On”….and being a “real Top 40 station” and that meant not splintering off into a niche but rather representing the Top music of the day from multiple formats…just like a real Top 40 Station should…now maybe you get the rest…for the comment on Vibraphonic…..It was Top 5 on the Jazz charts at the time if I remember that correctly 🙂 It was a blast doing the station….your right about the multiple jingle packages ( your just jealous I had three separate jingle packages to match up with whatever we were playing)…I really could go on and on… like the story behind bringing Inner Circle In when Bad Boys was a Monster hit…..or how we got off to a horrible start because the Chief Engineer never sent in the final paperwork to the FCC…so the target start date which was tied to a massive Billboard campaign…never happened….ohhhhh ..the Billboards went up on that target date , but the Chief informed us that day we couldn’t Broadcast!….So, no radio station on air for weeks on end…we were up and running
    but not allowed to broadcast…..nothing like driving in to work everyday seeing multiple billboards along the way announcing Listen to the New Shark…and static when someone punches in…
    Then the owners of the station would not pay to strike the billboards with a banner that said coming soon….I’ll leave it there…We had a great audience, and I had the pleasure to work with and in some cases develop radio talent. that to this day flourish in Major Market Radio/TV !
    Best Regards,
    Jack Da Wack

    Former Operations Director Great Scott Broadcasting
    Former Program Director WZSK 103.5 The Shark

    I’ve got gobs of air checks from the station if you are interested in hearing more….

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    • Jack,

      I’d love to hear any airchecks you may still have! I was living on the edge of Dewey when you launched the station. I remember listening to it delivering Grotto Pizza all over town! Great times and great memories!

      Thanks

      Ryan Foxx

      Reply
  12. oh yeah…Robyn is right all three packages came from Thompson Creative..good ear!

    Reply

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