Infobox Radio Station
name = WMMR
April 20, 1942 April 29, 1968(current format)
frequency = 93.3 (MHz) HD Radio 93.3 HD-2 for Live Rock
erp = 16,500
haat = 264
branding = "Means More Rock"
class = B
facility_id = 25438
webcast = [http://gmppodcast.com/stream/WMMR/ Listen Live]
website = [http://www.wmmr.com/ www.wmmr.com]
callsign_meaning = W MetroMedia Radio W Means More Rock
WMMR is a rock
radio stationin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, broadcasting at 93.3 MHz FM. The station is owned by Greater Media.
Philadelphia's radio market is ranked the seventh largest in the United States by
Arbitron's ranking system, and WMMR was the leading rock format station in the market, with a market share of 4.9, in August 2008. [cite web| url=http://stationratings.com/ratings.asp?market=7 | title=StationRatings.com - Allentown/Bethlehem, PA | accessdate=2008-09-22 ]
Rolling Stone" magazine, in its annual ranking of best rock music stations, consistently ranks WMMR among the top such stations in the nation and several times as the best such station.fact|date=September 2008
WMMR's transmitter is located atop
One Liberty Place, the second tallest skyscraper in Philadelphia.
WMMR tag line
WMMR's tag line, which appears on station advertising and is mentioned periodically by station DJs, is: "93.3 WMMR: Everything That Rocks" and, sometimes, "Philly's First Rock Station", or "MMR Rocks". In the past they have used: "WMMR, the home of rock and roll." as well as "MMR Means More Rock!" They used to go by the slogan "The Big Murmur in the Heartbeat of Philadelphia.". In the 1970s, during its early years as a free form "progressive rock" station the dominant slogan was simply "At 93 point 3 FM, You're listening to WMMR, Philadelphia...The Radio Station." Vintage station IDs with "The Radio Station" slogan can still be heard from time to time on WMMR. This series, along with the overnight hours of programmed music known as "OPUS" (2 a.m. - 6 a.m.), was produced by then Production Director, Paul Messing.
The station changed its
call lettersto WMMR sometime around 1966; they signified the station's owner, MetroMedia Radio. The WMMR call sign had previously belonged to a student radio station at the University of Minnesota. [http://www.mndaily.com/archive/archives/1953/01151953.pdf] The MOR format was still being used, but with different programming than the AM side, although the AM disc jockeys' announcements were used for both stations.
Beginning in 1968 WMMR began adopting a progressive rock radio format, similar to that of several
Metromedia-owned stations including New York's WNEW-FM(these two stations had a close relationship, ran the similar promotions, and sometimes featured each other's disc jockeys on the air) and Cleveland's WMMS. KMET in Los Angeles and KSAN in San Francisco were also part of the Metromedia chain and followed similar paths in the 1960s.
Dave Herman was WMMR's first rock DJ. His show dubbed "The Marconi Experiment" debuted on
April 29, 1968. Before Herman's arrival WMMR ran an automated "beautiful music" format during the day featuring programs like Sinatra and Company. The Marconi Experiment was very much an experiment for the station, one that succeeded. The first song played on the show was "Flying" by The Beatlesover the intro of which Herman recited these words: "Arise my heart, and fill your voice with music. For he who shares not dawn with his song, is one of the sons of ever darkness". This was known as the incantation and continued as the regular show open for "The Marconi Experiment" on WMMR.
One of WMMR's most influential disc jockey during the 1970s was
Ed Sciaky, who was known for playing and boosting the careers of new artists such as Billy Joeland Yes. Most of all he introduced Bruce Springsteento Philadelphia, and decades later the city remains one of Springsteen's strongest fan bases and the scenes of many of his best-received concerts. Other alumni include two National Public Radiohosts: David Dye, still a local radio personality and host of the syndicated World Cafe, and Nick Spitzer, now a New Orleansresident and host of American Routes. John Debellawas the morning drive disc jockey of most note, while some WMMR jocks such as Dave Herman and Carol Miller would later became more famous on New York stations. Late 1970s morning and midday personality Dick Hungate would in 1981 create and implement the nation's first classic rockformat at WYSP, another Philadelphia station.
Most notable in WMMR's current lineup is midday (10 a.m.-3p.m.) host
Pierre Robert(pronounced 'row-bear'), one of the nation's most influential rock disc jockeys. In November 2006 Robert celebrated his 25th anniversary at the station. He has held the midday airshift for about 20 of those years, starting his stint at WMMR with a brief stay on the overnight shift and spending March 1993 through June 1996 as host of the morning show.
A breakthrough station
Throughout its existence, WMMR has broadcast live rock music shows and interviewed leading rock music stars. In addition to the role it played in expanding the mainstream audience of
Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joeland Yes, the station has helped elevate many other leading rock bands. It was one of the first East Coast stations to play acts such as Grateful Dead, U2, and Van Halen. The station also has featured local, Philadelphia-area rock music acts, such as The Hootersand George Thorogood, helping promote them to national status within the music industry. The station also has heavily promoted the grunge rockband Pearl Jam; at 10pm every night during the week it plays a set of Pearl Jam songs in what the station calls "The Ten Club." While Pearl Jam is known as a Seattle band, WMMR was one of the stations that gave it broad, East Coast exposure and played a role in the band's breakthrough popularity. It is a very popular WMMR segment among listeners.
The station also is closely associated with Grateful Dead. Routinely, before playing a Grateful Dead song, WMMR disc jockeys will say: "God Bless the Grateful Dead," a station saying that has endured over two decades. Most major rock bands and musicians have recorded tag lines for the station, including
Mick Jaggerand others. Springsteen once recorded a version of his song " Growin' Up", intermixing the lyrics "Growin' up in Philadelphia" and referencing WMMR in the song.
As with most rock radio stations, over time WMMR morphed into an
album-oriented rockformat, and in the early 1990s leaned towards classic rock. WMMR's current format is simply called Rock. A blend of energetic classic rock and up-tempo current rock. Though more oriented toward the heavier end of the music spectrum today than in its earlier days, WMMR remains true to its heritage, playing new and old music, exposing local music, broadcasting with live, local personalities 24 hours a day and staying heavily involved in the community. As of today, WMMR is an active rockstation since January 2007.
WMMR holds annual events and concerts, including:
*Preston and Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger - Started in
1998, Preston and Stevebrought the event with them from Y100 when they made the move to WMMR. Preston and Steve spend a week living in a RV broadcasting their show and collecting food and money for [http://www.philabundance.org/index.asp Philabundance] , a hunger relief organization serving the Delaware Valley.
*MMRBQ - Annual concert started in
2007to kick off the summer concert series at the Susquehanna Bank Center(formerly known as The Tweeter Center). Inaugural 2007 show featured Velvet Revolver, Evanescence, and Buckcherryamong others. The 2008 show, which served as the station's 40th birthday party, featured a reformed Stone Temple Pilots, Staind, Everclear, The Hooters, Ashes Divide, Airbourne, and Jealousy Curve.
*MMRBQII - Annual concert started following MMRBQ to close out the summer concert series at the
Susquehanna Bank Center(formerly known as The Tweeter Center). Inaugural 2007 show featured Three Days Grace, Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Collective Soul, Live and Silvertide
*Local Shots Live - Hosted by Jaxon on Tuesday nights at Doc Watson's Pub in
Philadelphiato showcase local bands. Previously known as Thursday Night Rock Show and Tuesday Night Rock Show at Grape Street
*MMR's Mini Masters - The first ever Mini Masters was held in 2007 at Philly's
Electric Factory. A huge mini golf course was set up on the floor of the building and the winning golfer was awarded a new Mini Cooper with $2,500.
Because the Philadelphia marketplace is the seventh largest in total population in the U.S., and also because the city and its suburbs comprise one of the largest and most passionate rock music regions in the nation, WMMR has typically reported exceptional ratings in its core demographic audience, but several other successful rock and contemporary rap stations also thrive in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas, including:
The Philadelphia rock radio landscape changed drastically in the year 2005, when most of the stations that competed with WMMR for listeners changed formats. One of WMMR's primary competitors was
WYSP, which broadcasts at 94.1 MHz FM. WYSP played slightly more heavy metal musicthan WMMR, while WMMR prominently featured leading rock, grunge acoustic and heavy metal. In the Philadelphia region, listeners most commonly identify with one or the other station and there has historically been little over-lap.
This has been even more true since 2006, with the departure of
Howard Sternfrom WYSP. WYSP then changed to the hot talk-based Free FMformat by parent company CBS Radio, making it less of a head-to-head competitor with WMMR. This made WYSP an all-talk station during the week, although the station still played rock on the weekends. Though the stations still tended to attract from the same demographic, WYSP's format meant it could no longer properly be considered a competitor of WMMR. WYSP dropped it's talk format and became a rock music station yet again. Still, at some times, especially during the evening and weekend listening hours, there was a sense of competition. WYSP, for instance features its "Mandatory Metallica" broadcast each weekday evening at 10:00 p.m., while WMMR has countered with its "Ten Club" broadcast at the same time, which is a Pearl Jamset, with listeners at that hour forced to choose between a series of popular grunge musicsongs on WMMR and a series of heavy metal musicsongs on WYSP by two very popular rock bands.
North of Philadelphia, in Bucks County, Montgomery County, and the
Lehigh Valley, WMMR competes somewhat with WZZO, an Allentown, Pennsylvania-based hard rock station with a very strong local following. WZZO broadcasts at 95.1 MHz FM and its Nielsen ratings in the young adult and mid-adult ages are commonly the best in the Lehigh Valley. fact|date=September 2008
WPHI: 100.3 The Beat
WPLY, known as Y100, was another competitor to WMMR, but it too disappeared in 2005 when it was replaced at the 100.3 frequency with
WPHI. The Preston and SteveShow which occupied the morning drive slot at Y100, and Matt Cord who was the afternoon drive host, joined WMMR when WPLY changed call letters and flipped to an urban format. Rumors of that format flip had circulated for several years in the radio industry. When Preston and Steve announced they were leaving WPLY to do mornings at WMMR, the long rumored format changed soon followed. Matt Cord was picked up by MMR for the 7 p.m. to Midnight slot, replacing Dee Snyder, former Twisted Sister front man turned DJ. After only 11 months of doing the shift via digital ISDN lines from his home in Long Island, New York, Snyder vacated the shift. In a long, on-air goodbye to his listeners Dee said that the show was interfering with his family time.
WMMR's new direct competitor is new
alternative rockstation, WRFF, Radio 104.5, and is a competitor for new music.
WMMR competes with
WBBO"G-Rock" on the Eastern Edge of the market such as NE Philly and Lower Bucks County, and in the Ocean County area in New Jersey. The station broadcasts on 106.5 FM. G Rock has an Alternative rockformat, which is very similar to that of Radio 104.5 WRFF. WBBOalso broadcasts on 106.3 FM WHTG north of Ocean County, which makes them a competitor in North Jersey as well.
WMGK, WCHR-FM(known on the air as 105.7 The Hawk), is a Classic Rock station that competes with WMMR on the Eastern edge of the market, such as Lower Bucks County and North East Philadelphia, as well as the Ocean County area in New Jersey. WCHR-FMtends to dig deeper, and heavier than WMGK, making WCHR-FMa competitor to WMGKas well.
The station also competes in the Philadelphia marketplace with sister station
WMGK, which broadcasts at 102.9 MHz FM. WMGK plays classic rock, though its listening demographic tends to be older than that of WMMR and WYSP.
In 2007, the station was nominated for the Radio & Records magazine "
Active Rockstation of the year in a top 25 market award" . Other nominees included WIYYin Baltimore, WAAF in Boston, KBPIin Denver, WRIFin Detroit, and KISWin Seattle. cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=2007 Industry Achievement Awards | date=Sept 28, 2008 | publisher= | url =http://www.radioandrecords.com/Conventions/con2007/awards/rockFinal.asp | work =Radio and Records]
* [http://www.wmmr.com/ WMMR Website]
* [http://gmppodcast.com/stream/WMMR/ Listen live to WMMR's streaming audio broadcast] .
* [http://www.prestonandsteve.com Preston & Steve Website (WMMR morning DJs)] .
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