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