WUSL, known as
"Power 99 FM", is a
mainstream urban radio station, owned by
Communications and licensed to
Philadelphia. WUSL broadcasts from a class B signal with an
effective radiated power of
27,000 watts (27 kilowatts ) on the 98.9
megahertz frequency from a tower located
in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia.
the 98.9 frequency was signed on as
WPBS "Philadelphia's Bulletin Station"
under common ownership with the city's largest daily newspaper at
the time, The Evening
. The station was cross-promoted with the newspaper and
featured an easy listening
one point, WPBS was called "Velvet Stereo"
, the newspaper sold the station to
which also owned
560 at the time. Calls changed to
and Program Director Jim
Nettleton instituted a Soft
format mixed with standards
which had crossed over to the
1960s/1970's pop charts (i.e Engelbert Humperdinck, Barbra
Streisand, etc.). The morning man at this time was Jim
Gearhart, who is now on NJ
On July 3
station switched to a "3-in-a-row" country
format as "Continuous Country 99 FM". Two months later,
switched to a more personality
and information-leaning country station. Realizing that they were
splitting their own audience, WUSL signed off the country format in
the early hours of October 9
. The last country song played was "Get Into
Reggae, Cowboy" by The Bellamy Brothers.
The next day, at 6AM, the station became Urban Contemporary
as "Kiss 99"
(copying New York's WRKS "Kiss FM"
The station even applied for new calls WPKS
, however the owners of 100.3 in
Media PA, WKSZ
(see below), who at the time hadn't
put their station on the air yet, said they were signing on as
and had already copyrighted the name, and had
even started legal action against WUSL.
backed off, dropped the "Kiss"
name and was simply "99 FM"
for a few weeks, until they
began using the name "Power 99FM"
. Within months, they had
ratings, and other stations around the country began using the
brandname. WUSL continues to be the dominant Urban
leader in Philadelphia today. In 1995, when WDAS came under common
ownership, WUSL relinquished its urban format to the current
One of the most famous programs to ever air on WUSL is the
Carter & Sanborn Morning Show
, which was
cohosted by both a Black (Brian Carter) and White (Dave Sanborn)
personality. The show featured a cast of off-beat characters, all
voiced by Sanborn, including wise-cracking horoscope
reader Horace, the
and fall down drunk blues
singer Lunchmeat Mumford
. Horace became such a
popular character that many listeners had mini urban legends
circulating that he was a
relative or friend from school or the neighborhood, not realizing
he was Sanborn. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the show was
a main draw in Philadelphia among younger members of both
demographics. Bill Simpson, who would later host a nighttime show
on both incarnations of Smooth Jazz WJJZ
(once at 106.1
and again at 97.5
), used the
alias Dave Sanborn on the show, which often created confusion with
the well-known jazz saxophonist David
, especially among those who were not regular listeners.
The show was briefly revived in 2005 on WDAS, after that station
dropped Tom Joyner
from its schedule.
the other personalities in the 1980's were Fred Buggs who left the
station in 1986 and went to WRKS Kiss FM in
City, Jo Jo Davis, Mike Jackson,(not to be confused with
singer Michael Jackson) B.J in the
morning before Carter & Sanborn started, Barbara Summers, and
Don Juan Banks who is still with the station today.
WUSL was the home of the controversial Star and Buc Wild
Morning Show from late
2005 to May 2006. Today it is home of Miss Jones- Jonesy in the
morning & The Hot Boyz with Mikey Dredd and Uncle O at
WUSL has won numerous awards for its news
public affairs programming, a hallmark of which was their Sunday
morning programming. From its inception as Power 99, Sunday morning
was dedicated to two public affairs shows: Sunday Morning
, hosted by longtime news
anchor Loraine Ballard Morrill
and later "Empower Half Hour" with
. Morrill and Upshur continue to host shows
and broadcast news and traffic on other Clear Channel stations
) and programming changes have forced public
affairs shows from Power 99 to those other stations.
Don Juan Banks hosts the Sunday Morning Gospel Show. He plays urban
gospel for 1 hour every Sunday morning. He also has the "Word of
the Day", a few verses from the Bible every week. Also, he has a
"Get Your Praise On" segment where people shout-out their church
and pastor. The Sunday Morning show used to be from 7AM-12N until
just recently. Now it's from 7AM-8AM, cut from 5 hrs to just
Awards and honors
The station was one of 10 stations awarded the 2007 Crystal Radio Award
service awarded by the National Association of
. Winners were honored at the Radio Luncheon on
April 17, 2007, during the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.