Infobox Radio Station
name = WNTP
branding = "News Talk 990"
frequency = 990 (kHz)
power = Daytime: 50,000
class = B
facility_id = 52194
webcast = [http://www.streamaudio.com/stations/player/pages/newplayer/index_win.asp?Owner=&public=&headertext=WNTP_AM&Station=WNTP_AM&Mac=No&OptIn=no&Streamtype=&filename= Listen Live]
website = [http://www.wntp.com www.wntp.com]
callsign_meaning = W News Talk Philadelphia
WNTP 990 is a politically conservative
talk radiostation which serves the Philadelphiaarea. It is owned by Salem Communications, along with a number of similar channels in various markets. Some of those whose programs are run by WNTP include Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, Dennis Miller, Michael Savage, Mike Gallagher, and Bill Bennett. Its transmitters are located in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania.
For many years, 990 was known as WIBG (pronounced "Wibbage"), and had great success in the ratings playing Top 40 music in the 1950s and early 1960s with popular hosts including
Joe Niagara, Jerry Blavat, Hy Lit, Bill Wright Sr., and others. The original call letters stood for "I Believe in God" for the station's original religious format when founded in the 1920s by St. Paul's Episcopal Church, though as "Wibbage", the call became best known for, and most associated with, rock 'n' roll programming. It should be noted that WIBG was the lone Top 40 music outlet in Philadelphia (probably the biggest city in the U.S. with only one station in the format) during the early to mid-60s, and scored huge ratings because of this format monopoly.
In September 1966,
WFILmoved to a Top 40 format and before long passed Wibbage (hampered by a poor suburban nighttime signal) in the ratings. WIBG soldiered on as a Top 40 station through most of the first half of the 1970s, although they tried progressive rock for a time early in the decade. At mid-decade the station tried a more adult contemporary approach, with sports talk at night for a time and even two years (1975 and 1976) as the flagship station for Philadelphia Philliesbaseball. In 1977 management decided that the WIBG image was no longer an asset, and the call letters were changed to WZZD.
The station began to call itself "Wizzard 100", and adopted a heavily researched Top 40 format. Listeners did not respond, and the format was changed to disco, which did not fare much better. In 1980 the station was sold to Christian broadcaster Communicom, which began airing contemporary Christian music and Christian teaching and features similar to sister station 970 WWDJ in
Hackensack, New Jersey. But by then, the call letters WIBGhad already been reassigned and the WZZD calls was retained. WZZD played music about half the day and Christian programs and features during the other half of the day.
Communicom got out of the radio business in the mid 1990s and in 1994 WZZD was sold to Salem Media. Under Salem WZZD kept the Christian music and teaching format initially. But by the late 1990s Music was cut back to a couple hours a day. By 2002 WZZD ran nearly all teaching and almost no music at all.
In 2004 WZZD and WFIL's features and programs were merged onto WFIL as WZZD dropped the Christian format in favor of conservative talk and news and changed its call letters to WNTP. Beginning in 2006, WNTP became the flagship station for the
Saint Joseph's UniversityHawks college basketball radio network, and the Salem network occasionally airs Penn State and Drexel University sports broadcasts for a Philadelphia audience.
* [http://www.wntp.com/ NewsTalk 990 WNTP]
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