|Broadcast area||Newton, New Jersey|
First air date
|February 28, 1965(as WLVP)|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
WSUS (102.3 FM) is a Class A radio station serving the Sussex County, New Jersey, area. The station is licensed to Franklin, New Jersey, is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and has an adult contemporary (AC) music format, playing current and recent AC hits mixed in with mostly big hits of the 1980s and 1990s, with an occasional 70s hit. The station is consistently the number one radio station in Sussex County. It has studios in Franklin, and transmitter in Hardyston Township, New Jersey.
It broadcasts the syndicated program Delilah After Dark nightly from 7 PM-12 AM and archived rebroadcasts of Casey Kasem's American Top 40 on Sunday mornings. The station also plays Christmas music during the holiday season.
The station began on February 28, 1965, as WLVP, named for Louis VanderPlatte, the station's founder. The station's studio, transmitter and VanderPlatte's house were atop Hamburg Mountain, overlooking Franklin and Sussex County's central valleys. The station's power was 360 watts, and initially had a country and gospel format.
In 1971, WLVP was sold for $75,000 to Peter Bardach, an advertising executive who lived in New Jersey and worked on Madison Avenue. Bardach changed the station's call letters to WSUS. (Bardach's company was Sussex County Stereo, even though WSUS itself broadcast a mono signal for several years before actually going stereo.) James Normoyle, a veteran disc jockey who used the name Jay Edwards, was hired as Sales Manager in 1972 and later became General Manager and part owner with Bardach. Normoyle eventually became the full owner.
The station had a Top 40/Country hybrid format called "Town & Country". Half the songs played were current Top 40 Hits and half the songs country, including current hits and older songs. In 1975 WSUS changed its night-time format to Top 40/Rock, mixing Top 40 and Rock cuts both old and new. During the day, it continued the Top 40/Country hybrid format.
In 1973 the station moved its studios from the mountaintop to 75 Main Street in Franklin. The transmitter remained, and the power was eventually raised to the current level of 590 watts.
WSUS liners included "All Hit Music" and "Dependable WSUS". The station was also news intensive during the day. Its news is known as "First Report News". WSUS consistently was at or near the top when ratings are measured. Sussex County occasionally was a rated market when WSUS and WNNJ would pay Arbitron to take diaries in Sussex County in order to measure ratings here. This practice only happened once a year until the past 10 years. Now Sussex is rated for Spring and Summer Books. This is known as "Buying the Book". In such a practice, local stations in an area pay in order to get rated for their home county. This practice is increasingly becoming common in rural areas in order to sell ads.
In the winter of 1982 with Top 40 leaning young again and WIXL doing very well with its all-country format, WSUS dropped the daytime Top 40/Country hybrid format during the day and the Top 40/Rock format at night and became an adult contemporary radio station. It was more of a hot AC at night (playing slightly more rock then) but overall it was now AC rather than Top 40. The station became a slightly hotter AC by the late 1980s. The station continued with weekend specialty shows as well.
In 1991, WSUS gradually moved into a regular straight ahead adult contemporary format. In 1997 Jay Edwards sold WSUS to Nassau Broadcasting Partners, and channeled his earnings into a brief career in harness racing. He died in 2002. Early in 1998 Nassau took over the station and revamped the format. The station now became known as "The Best Variety of Soft Rock". It added Delilah, a syndicated love songs show in the 7 p.m.-to-midnight time slot. The station also added better sounding jingles as well. By now, the market was rated twice a year. In all but a few books, WSUS has easily been the number one station in the area. Occasionally now co-owned classic rock station WNNJ was on top.
In the winter of 2001 Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) purchased all the Nassau stations in the Sussex/Warren/Monroe County cluster except for WVPO, WSBG, and AM 960 located in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Clear Channel would get WSUS, WHCY, WNNJ (AM) (now WTOC (AM)), WNNJ (FM), and local marketing agreements for WDLC and WTSX (which would end fall of 2004). WSUS stayed as it was with no changes. In fact, WSUS is the only station that has not since been changed significantly since the sale to Clear Channel. In exchange for these stations, Nassau was paid a good sum of cash plus WEEX and WODE-FM in the Lehigh Valley (which Clear Channel had to sell due to the merger with AM/FM/Chancellor).
WSUS continues to be a high rated station in the region. It concentrates on news, traffic, and weather.
Clear Channel has consolidated the studios of the Sussex and Warren County stations at 45 Ed Mitchell Avenue in Franklin.
12AM-5AM Stacy B (Stacy Bockbrade)
5AM-10AM Steve Andrews
10AM-12PM Robin Rock
12PM-3PM Michelle Taylor
3PM-7PM Steve Allan
7PM-12AM Saturday Night 80's
8AM-12PM Sunday Casey Kasem's American Top 40 reruns from the 1980s
7PM-10PM Sunday Polka Show with Jimmy Sturr
10PM-12AM Sunday Delilah