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WPLY 100.3 (Y100) – Philadelphia – 1/12/97 – Lucy St. James

Y100 WPLY Philadelphia 100.3 Matt Cord Leanne Curtis Lee Ann Preston Elliot Steve Morrison Bret Hamilton Electra

Alternative Rock Radio in Philadelphia has always flowed differently than the majority of the country.

Thanks to the lack of a mainstream CHR for much of the 90’s and a very strong Howard Stern powered Active Rocker in 94 WYSP, Y100 had a broader demographic mix than most. Evolving from Hot AC in 1995, Y100 would not rise in popularity until crosstown 103.9 WDRE was sold to Radio-One and flipped to Urban in early 1997.

Y100 did have deficiencies in its signal especially in the northern suburbs due to being on the same frequency as Z100 New York which kept ratings low. The launch of Modern ACMax 95.7” in September 1997 didn’t help nor did “Q102” finally filling the Mainstream CHR void. Y100 itself would be sold to Radio-One in December 1999 but would remain Alternative until 2005 due to its strong in-demo numbers and billing. It would meet its demise when morning hosts Preston & Steve left for crosstown 93.3 WMMR where they would quickly become the top music morning show in town following Howard Stern’s departure. Alternative Rock would not return to Philadelphia until 2007 when Clear Channel filled the void with “Radio 104.5” WRFF, which kept Y100’s female friendly approach to quickly become a Top 10 stalwart in the market.

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  1. I had heard that Y100 was forced off the air when they stood up for Preston & Steve…after Preston & Steve did a segment/skit where they made fun of some low-life scumbag who, pretty much, committed suicide, when hiding & running from the cops, plummeted down the side of the building. He was staying at his girlfriend’s/laywer’s apt, in Center City, when this took place & that segment, performed by Preston & Steve, had to do with how they were a match made in `Heaven`…

    The family of said scumbag cried foul & money stepped in & shut Y100 down after Y100 refused to fire Preston & Steve, using the excuse that Philly was the only major radio market that didn’t have a jazz radio station. That jazz format, for 100.3, was dead within five years anyway; they flipped again & became a member of the, more, and highly overrated, `urban` format…

    • A couple false things in here.

      Y100 flipped because it was the only non-Urban format in Radio-One’s portfolio. Preston & Steve’s contract had expired and they had jumped to 93.3 WMMR leaving the station without its most successful show. After a failed attempt at bringing in Opie & Anthony to do mornings, Radio-One decided to move the Urban format then on 103.9 WPHI to the 100.3 signal. It NEVER went to Jazz (that would be Classic Rock “97.5 The Hawk” WTHK that resurrected the WJJZ format and call letters in 2006 after it moved into the Philadelphia market from Trenton)


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