WMPH History - The Past, up to the PresentWMPH (91.7 FM, Super 91.7) is Delaware's first high school radio station, located in Wilmington, Delaware. The Brandywine School District Board of Education owns the license granted by the FCC. The call letters WMPH stand for Mount Pleasant High School and offered several program formats over the years including Top 40, progressive rock, dance and now classic rock, R&B, pop, local and alternative music. WMPH signed off the air on June 11, 2010 and has since been totally renovated. It came back on-air at full power on June 3, 2011 with a classic rock, alt-rock, R&B, pop, jazz and community-based format.
WMPH has been broadcasting at 91.7 FM since 1969. The station was founded by a group of Mt. Pleasant High School students including Ron Krauss (John Ronald Kraus, 1956-2006). At that time, the faculty advisor was Ron Webster. In the 1970s it was known as "The Non-Commercial Rock Station."
WMPH began broadcasting with 1.52 watts effective radiated power (ERP) from a tower atop the school. In 1975 the station increased its output to 28.2 watts ERP. WMPH reaches over a half million potential listeners in Wilmington Delaware and surrounding communities. Located at Mount Pleasant High School and part of the Brandywine School District, WMPH currently broadcasts at 100 watts ERP and serves as part of the Broadcast Engineering and Communications Program of Mount Pleasant High School.
WMPH was known as "The Non-Commercial Rock Station" during its heyday in the 70's with a Top 40 and Progressive Rock format. The station was entirely operated by Mount Pleasant High School students -- many who went on to successful careers in the radio broadcast industry. Original studios were in the basement of the high school.The station kept broadcasting hours before the school day with announcers such as "The Dutchman" Guy VanderLek and "Big Al" Ingalls. After the school day the station would sign back on at 3 PM with more student announcers including Joy VanderLek (who went on to be an air talent at Connecticut Radio Network), Bruce Weiner, Steve Streiker, David Mackenzie, Steve Balick, Leigh Jacobs, and Mike Schwartz (to name a very few). Well known Broadway actor John Dossett was an announcer (1972-1976) while he attended Mount Pleasant.
The station went off the air for a period of years after student interest waned and the Mount Pleasant School District was reorganized due to Federal Court action to enact a desegregation plan during the 80's. During 1993, the station restarted operations and moved to new studios in the space formerly occupied by the Mt. Pleasant School District on the first level of the Mt. Pleasant High School building at the intersection of Washington Street Extension and Marsh Road in the Brandywine Hundred area of Wilmington, Delaware.WMPH shares the 91.7 frequency locally with Drexel University's WKDU to its Northwest, West Chester University's WCUR to its North, and WRTI, Dover to its South.During the last 40 years the station had been a training ground for many aspiring broadcasters. Alumni include WSTW's Mike Rossi and Clear Channel Radio executive Leigh Jacobs.For a time, WMPH was one of two non-commercial stations owned by school districts in the United States that programmed a continuous Dance music format, KNHC/Seattle, Washington is the other. The new WMPH includes a wider array of programming including classic/progressive rock, album adult alternative, jazz, and various student and school district functions including interviews, sports, and band/choral concert events.
On June 11, 2010, the school district announced the station was "going silent" and in summer 2010 management of the studio was assumed by the BSD Information Systems Department. A refit and upgrade of the studios and equipment commenced at that time.WMPH returned to the airwaves on June 3, 2011 under the direction and management of 25-year radio veteran Paul Wishengrad (aka Paul Lewis, formerly of B101.1 and WJBR), and BSD Information Systems Director, Pat Bush.WMPH plays a variety of music, including alternative, urban, classic pop/rock, R&B, jazz, funk and local artists.Thanks for listening!
Last Modified on May 2, 2017