Those of us at WDAS didn’t have to be envious of WMMR very long. Most of us ended up on the staff at WMMR in the 70’s. Ed Sciaky, Michael Tearson, Steve Matorano and myself made the rock station a nationally respected giant. WMMR was largely responsible for breaking so many artists like Bruce Springsteen, Yes, Genesis, David Bowie, and Billy Joel. The latter was able to get a record contract thanks to the WMMR live radio broadcast. WMMR was the station that took chances on new artists that they believed in. The WMMR live radio broadcasts, under the leadership of Dennis Wilen the music director, became the most talked about programming in the industry. Billboard Magazine even ran a front page story about it.
The success of THE RADIO STATION (as it became known) led to new competition in the 70’s. The end of the decade showed a reduction in the ratings, but WMMR never abandoned their rock format.
Instead in the 80’s new life was breathed into 93.3 when John DeBella came to town and created “The Morning Zoo”. It took the town by storm and WMMR’s ratings were higher than ever before. Soon they were the only rock station in town by crushing the competition.
Since then WMMR has never wavered when many other rock stations decided to change formats in the 90’s and into the new century. The remained the highest rated rock station in the country and the only one that has maintained a rock format all these years.
To celebrate, on September 22 they had a huge birthday party at the Fillmore in Philadelphia. All of the current and former employees were invited to attend. There was a lot of hand shaking, hugging, glass clinking and even some tears as all of us came together. Some former DJs came from as far as California to join the party.
During the course of the party, videos of days gone by were shown on a big screen and a few former DJs like Carol Miller, Mark Goodman, Lyn Kratz and John DeBella spoke to the crowd from the stage. Current PD and DJ Bam Bam acted as hosts for the party. A great deal of fun and memories were created. Below are some photos.
L to R Lyn Kratz the diva of the night at WMMR for 16 years, T. Morgan former PD and afternoon 2-6 host and Alfredo Santos production director and part time on the air
Mark Goodman who started out as an intern at WMMR in the 70’s.
Denny Somach former WMMR jock who became an author and nationally syndicated programmer.
Bill Vitka standing by the stage was the news director in the 70’s. His 6 PM news cast became a legend in town. He now works for Fox News.
Pierre Robert on one of the videos
Just known as Anita, this former WMMR jock dated Warren Zevon while he lived in Philly.
Ray Koob was a mainstay at WMMR during the 80’s.
Bill Weston is the current PD. He planned and organized the event.
Carol Miller who now works in NYC was on WMMR during the 70’s.
L to R Vitka, Maggy Sterner on air during the 70’s and Mark Goodman
Rodney Dangerfield visiting WMMR.
Vitka and Roy Perry former DJ talking.
Ed Sciaky on the screen.
Roy Perry, Anita and Steve Lush.
DeBella talking in the background and Steve Lush in the foreground.