Atlantic City’s 1450 AM Turns 79 Years Old
79 years ago today, what would become 1450 AM in Atlantic City was a granted its first license to broadcast by the federal government.
The original WPG, at 1100 AM on the radio dial, first hit the air in Atlantic City on January 3rd, 1925, owned by the City of Atlantic City, with studios located in Atlantic City High School. The station immediately became the voice of the World's Play Ground. By the summer of 1929, WPG moved its studios to convention hall (now known as Boardwalk Hall). However, within a decade after the move, WPG was suffering both financial problems and issues with another station on 1100 AM and it left the air for good in 1938.
About a year later, on February 15th, 1939, seeing a need for a radio voice in Atlantic City, a permit was issued by the federal government to build a new radio station at 1500 AM, which was later changed to 1420 AM. On August 9th, 1940, 1420 AM went on the air as WFPG in the World Famous Play Ground with a 100-watt signal with a transmitter and studio located at Virginia Avenue and the Boardwalk (where Hard Rock Hotel and Casino currently sits).
On March 24th, 1941, WFPG moved from 1420 AM to its current dial location of 1450 AM, where it's been ever since.
For a number of decades, WFPG-AM aired a full service format with middle of the road music, which appealed to a large audience. When casino gaming arrived in Atlantic City in the 1970s, 1450 AM changed call letters to WIIN and became "Win 1450." Both the WFPG call letters and the easy listening format returned in the 1980s. As the 1990s progressed, WFPG-AM evolved into a news/talk station and even tried an all-comedy format briefly in 1999. In 2003, the station became South Jersey's very successful ESPN Radio affiliate. On October 22, 2012, 1450 AM returned to a news/talk format with a tip-of-the-hat to WPG, the city's original source of news and information.