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WUSL, known as "Power 99 FM", is a mainstream urban radio station, owned by Clear Channel Communications and licensed to Philadelphiamarker. 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 Philadelphiamarker.


In 1961 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 Bulletin. The station was cross-promoted with the newspaper and featured an easy listening format. At one point, WPBS was called "Velvet Stereo".

In 1976, the newspaper sold the station to LIN Broadcasting which also owned WFIL 560 at the time. Calls changed to WUSL "US-1" and Program Director Jim Nettleton instituted a Soft Adult Contemporary 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 101.5marker.

On July 3, 1981, the station switched to a "3-in-a-row" country music format as "Continuous Country 99 FM". Two months later, co-owned WFIL-AM 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, 1982. 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 "Philadelphia's Kiss", 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 "Kiss 100" and had already copyrighted the name, and had even started legal action against WUSL.

So, 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 surpassed WDAS-FM in the ratings, and other stations around the country began using the "Power" 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 mainstream approach.

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 Taurus 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 Sanborn, 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. Some of the other personalities in the 1980's were Fred Buggs who left the station in 1986 and went to WRKS Kiss FM in New York Citymarker, 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 night.

Sunday Morning

WUSL has won numerous awards for its news and 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 Live, hosted by longtime news anchor Loraine Ballard Morrill[163818] and later "Empower Half Hour" with Lehronda Upshur[163819]. Morrill and Upshur continue to host shows and broadcast news and traffic on other Clear Channel stations (WDAS , WISX and WIOQ) 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 1.

Awards and honors

The station was one of 10 stations awarded the 2007 Crystal Radio Award for public service awarded by the National Association of Broadcasters. Winners were honored at the Radio Luncheon on April 17, 2007, during the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevadamarker.


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