|Broadcast area||South Florida|
|Slogan||"Miami's Party Station!"|
|Frequency||96.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||June 15, 1985 (as WCJX on 96.3)|
(Earlier station on 96.3 signed on in 1948.)
|Format||Latin-leaning Rhythmic Top 40|
HD2: Reggae "Pirate Radio"
HD3: LGBTQ Talk/EDM (Channel Q)
|ERP||98,000 watts (100,000 watts with beam tilt)|
|HAAT||307 meters (1,007 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||We are POWer 96 FM!|
|Former callsigns||WCJX (1985–1986)|
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WAXY, WKIS, WLYF, WMXJ, WQAM, WSFS|
WPOW (96.5 MHz "Power 96") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Miami, Florida. Owned by Entercom, it broadcasts a Latin-leaning contemporary hit radio (CHR) format. Its studios and offices are on NW 187th Street in Miami Gardens. The transmitter is off NW 207th Street, also in Miami Gardens.
WPOW is a Class C FM station with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 98,000 watts, broadcasting from a tower at 1007 feet (307 m) in height above average terrain (HAAT). It licensed by the FCC to broadcast in the HD Radio (hybrid) format. The HD-2 channel plays reggae music as "Pirate Radio." The HD-3 channel carries Entercom's national Channel Q network, featuring content for LGBTQ+ audiences.
Early years on 96.3
In 1948, WGBS-FM signed on at 96.3 MHz, one channel away from today's 96.5 frequency. It was the FM counterpart of AM 710 WGBS (now WAQI) and mostly simulcast the AM programming. WGBS-FM ran at only 1,500 watts. Both facilities were owned by Storer Communications.
By the early 1960s, WGBS-FM's power was increased to 18,000 watts, to better cover the expanding Miami metropolitan area. In the late 1960s, the power was boosted again, this time to 100,000 watts, the maximum for most FM stations in South Florida. The station could now be easily heard in Fort Lauderdale and even picked up in West Palm Beach.
The station was acquired by Charter Company in 1974. On October 1, 1975, Charter kept the top 40 format but changed the call letters to WMJX, using the moniker "96X." The station briefly switched to an all-disco format in February 1979 (as "Disco 96"), but returned to its prior top 40 format in November 1979.
WMJX's license was revoked by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) due to the station presenting a series of fraudulent contests during the time it was owned by Bartell Broadcasting, under the call sign WMYQ. Even though it did nothing wrong, Charter was required by the FCC to sign off the station on February 15, 1981, due to the previous owner's transgressions.
After a statement by Vice-President and General Manager Bob Allen, WMJX left the airwaves by playing "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles. After the song, the last DJ on 96X, Stuart Elliott, could be heard trying to hold back his tears as he spoke the final words: "96X is WMJX Miami." (The WMJX callsign is now used in Boston for Magic 106.7, which became a sister station of WPOW in December 2017). 96.3 MHz in Miami remained unoccupied for more than four years as Charter slowly went out of business due to a line of bad luck and lawsuits in their various business lines.
On June 15, 1985, 96.3 MHz was reactivated by Wodlinger Broadcasting, initially as a non-stop Top 40 countdown station (The Super 16) under the same 96X name, this time with the call letters WCJX. The Program Director was Jon Holiday, who evolved the station to a CHR/UC a.k.a. CHUrban format.
The station was sold in May 1986 to Beasley-Reed Broadcasting of Miami, a division of the Beasley Broadcast Group. On August 4, 1986 at 7 a.m., Beasley flipped the station to a Dance type CHR format under their new name "Power 96, Miami's fresh new music mix", with a change in call letters to WPOW. It played mostly Dance, Bubblegum Pop, Freestyle, New Jack Swing, Hip-Hop, and a dose of Rock centric type hits that became mass appeal enough to incorporate into the playlist. The first song on Power 96 was "Rumors" by Timex Social Club. Power 96 embraced the regionally blossoming Miami Bass sound as well, mixing it into the playlist. The moniker and nickname "Power 96" was the idea of new owner and General Manager Gregory Reed.
WPOW moved from 96.3 MHz to its present-day 96.5 MHz frequency in 1988. (FCC records show a license to cover circa 1988 for the frequency change). The founding General Manager Greg Reed was originally a part-owner of Beasley-Reed Broadcasting. Later Reed sold his share of the station to Beasley Broadcast Group but remained as Vice President and General Manager. The original programming team was a combination of 2 WHYI-FM's alums, Program Director and Power 96's 1st morning jock Bill Tanner and Music Director Colleen "The Vinyl Queen" Cassidy, alongside KSFM's Music Consultant and the one of founders of the CHUrban phenomenon craze himself Jerry Clifton, who continued to help program Power 96 until CBS Radio acquired the station in 2014.
On October 2, 2014, Beasley Broadcasting announced that it would trade five radio stations in Philadelphia and Miami (including WPOW) to CBS Radio in exchange for 14 stations located in Tampa, Charlotte and Philadelphia. The swap was completed on December 1, 2014.
After the ownership change, WPOW began shifting to a more Mainstream Top 40/CHR direction with an increasing amount of Pop product, resulting in Mediabase moving the station to its top 40/CHR panel in November 2015. The station continued to report to Nielsen BDS' Rhythmic Chart until it was moved to the mainstream top 40/CHR panel[clarification needed] in June 2016.
On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom, bringing WPOW and scores of other CBS radio stations under Entercom control. The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was consummated on the 17th.
WPOW is mindful of serving a diverse audience of Hispanics, whites and African-Americans. It has included a number of Spanish-language songs in its playlist, including Ivy Queen's 2003 hit "Quiero Bailar" (I Want To Dance), which became the first all Spanish-language song to reach #1 on a Rhythmic Top 40 station.
- <iframe name="HDRadioStations-miami_florida" scrolling="no" src="https://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?latitude=25.7616798&longitude=-80.1917902 HD Radio Guide for Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1950 page 112
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1968 page B-37
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1972 page B-44
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1988 page B-61
- CBS And Beasley Swap Philadelphia/Miami For Charlotte/Tampa from Radio Insight (October 2, 2014)
- Venta, Lance (December 1, 2014). "CBS Beasley Deal Closes". RadioInsight. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- "Mediabase Panel Changes" from All Access (November 16, 2015)
- CBS Radio to Merge with Entercom
- "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- "Ivy Queen se lanza a conquistar el mercado inglés". Caracol Radio (in Spanish). Caracol S.A. 2003-11-11. Archived from the original on 2013-05-27. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
- Power 96's website
- HD-Dash2's website
- Radio Locator web site
- South Florida Radio History web site
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WPOW
- Radio-Locator information on WPOW
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WPOW