. The 94.7 FM frequency signed on in 1947 as WAAT-FM, and was owned by the Bremer Broadcasting Company along with sister station WAAT (970 AM, now WNYM). The following year Bremer launched a television station, WATV on channel 13, New Jersey's first TV outlet, transmitting from the WAAT-FM tower. In 1957 the three stations were sold by Bremer to National Telefilm Associates, who changed the operation's call letters to WNTA-FM. During this period the station had diversified programming such as jazz, classical music, and easy listening music.
National Telefilm split up its holdings in 1961, with WNTA-TV (now WNET) being sold to a New York City-based nonprofit educational group, and the WNTA radio stations going to Communications Industries Broadcasting.The new owners changed the calls to WJRZ-FM and initially retained the station's previous format, but in 1963 began leasing airtime to Family Radio, a Christian broadcaster based in Oakland, California.In 1964 the station was renamed WFME, and in March 1966 Family Radio purchased 94.7 FM outright and began airing its religious programming around-the-clock.
WFME's local programming consisted of community announcements, weekend public affairs, and weather and traffic inserts during Family Radio's Rise and Rejoice morning show. WFME originated a portion of the network's overnight program Nightwatch, hosted by station manager/chief engineer Charlie Menut. The rest of the station's schedule originated from Family Radio headquarters in Oakland.
WFME's programming was also heard on two translator stations: W213AC (90.5 FM) in Hyde Park, New York; and W247AE (97.3 FM) in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. As a result of WFME's license status change (see below), the translators could no longer legally rebroadcast WFME's broadcast signal; as a result, both translator stations are now carrying a different Family Radio station with a similar feed as of February 2012.
Sale to Cumulus Media
On January 6, 2012, Family Radio applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to change the license of WFME from noncommercial to commercial. This move followed the sales by Family Radio of stations in the Philadelphia (WKDN-FM, now WKVP) and Washington-Baltimore (WFSI, now WLZL) markets, and quickly prompted conjecture from radio industry monitors that WFME would be sold next. The application was approved on February 7, 2012.
The sale rumors were confirmed on October 16, 2012, when Family Radio announced that it would sell WFME to Atlanta-based Cumulus Media; the originally undisclosed price was later confirmed to be $40 million. In addition, Family Radio acquired Cumulus' WDVY (106.3 FM) in Mount Kisco, New York. The FCC approved the sale/station trade January 4, 2013, making 94.7 FM a sister station to Cumulus' two existing New York market stations, WABC and WPLJ. Four days later, on January 8, 2013, Cumulus completed the purchase of WFME. Family Radio programming on 94.7 FM ended on January 11, 2013; prior to signing off of the frequency, station manager Charlie Menut stated that the network's programming would be transferred to 106.3 FM, which became the new WFME on January 15, and that efforts to acquire an AM frequency that would cover the New York City area were being made. (Family Radio would later announce its acquisition of WQEW (AM 1560), the former East Coast flagship of Radio Disney, which is set to end terrestrial distribution.)
"Nash FM" Launch
On January 11, 2013, under Cumulus's new ownership, 94.7 FM began a simulcast of WPLJ, which broadcasts a hot adult contemporary format. The frequency's call sign was changed three days later to WRXP, a call sign previously used on the 101.9 FM facility in New York City under two different owners and two different stints as an alternative rock station. The WPLJ simulcast ended on January 18 in favor of stunting with a self-described "Wheel of Formats."
The stunting continued until January 21, when WRXP adopted a new country music format branded as Nash FM 94.7.The first song on "Nash FM" was "How Country Feels" by Randy Houser. The move gave the New York City area its first full-time country station since 2002, when the "Y-107" simulcast of four suburban stations at 107.1 FM–located in Briarcliff Manor and Hampton Bays, New York, and Belvidere and Long Branch, New Jersey–cancelled the format. The last station to carry country full-time within the market was WYNY (103.5 FM), which became rhythmic adult contemporary WKTU in 1996. To coincide with the "Nash" launch, Cumulus Media swapped the WNSH call sign from its station in Cambridge, Minnesota (the present-day WRXP) on January 29, 2013.
The launch of "Nash FM" in the New York radio market was the first step in Cumulus establishing "Nash" (the name alludes to the city of Nashville, the center of the American country music industry) as a nationally-recognizable brand for country music-related content. During 2013, Cumulus would apply the "Nash" brand (or its "Powered by Nash" tagline) to 17 other Cumulus-owned country-formatted stations, as well as its syndicated country programming (including American Country Countdown), their related online properties, concert events (such as the "Nash Bash" series of concerts held in New York in February 2013), and print with the October launch of Nash Magazine. Now applied to 34 Cumulus country stations other than WNSH, Cumulus' future plans for "Nash" include applying the brand to all of Cumulus' country stations and national country content (once the company's acquisition of Westwood One closes), licensing the brand to non-Cumulus stations, additional live events, and television and digital content.
Current local talent on WNSH includes Kelly Ford (Weekdays 10AM-3PM) and Jesse Addy (Weekdays 3PM-7PM), both of whom joined "Nash FM" right after the format's debut. A morning show (6AM-10AM) was added to the station's lineup on June 20, 2013; titled America's Morning Show, the program originates before a live audience in Nashville and is hosted by Blair Garner, who hosted the Premiere Networks-syndicated After Midnite until July 2013, along with co-hosts and musicians Terri Clark and Chuck Wicks. America's Morning Show was heard exclusively on WNSH, but soon became syndicated nationally.
WNSH is currently ranked #19 in the Arbitron ratings for New York City, receiving 2.2% of total market audience. The audience of WNSH is primarily listeners from New Jersey and Long Island, as well as other suburbs of New York.
On November 3, 2014, 104.7 WELJ in Montauk dropped its Hot AC format for a simulcast of WNSH to cover listeners on Eastern Long Island where WNSH's 94.7 signal is difficult to hear.
Beginning in March 2015, WNSH (along with some other Nash FM stations) began adding an occasional non-country pop song to its rotation.