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Did You Know – What Does WOBM Stand For?

Photo by Justin Louis

Have you ever wondered if the names of radio stations have any meanings? It’s one of those topics that many of us just never stopped to think about. But did you know that a lot of radio stations, us included, actually do have meaning behind their names?

If you’ve lived in this part of the country your whole life, you may have noticed that pretty much all radio stations start with “W”.

The “W” doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but it’s the prefix that the Federal Communications Commission assigned to Eastern US broadcasters since the early 1900s.

But, if you’ve ever gone out west, you’ve probably noticed that most of their radio and TV stations start with “K”. Again, no specific reason, that’s just what the government decided a long time ago.

In general, the dividing line between “W” and “K” is the Mississippi River.

So, putting the prefixes that everyone has aside, a lot of broadcasters have been very purposeful about the other letters in their names.

Sometimes it’s named for a person – our sister station, WJLK was named for J. Lyle Kinmonth, the first publisher of The Asbury Park Press, the station’s original owner.

Sometimes the names of stations are steeped in myth and legend. There are stories about New York’s WPLJ. Some say it’s named after a 1950′s R&B song, some say that has nothing to do with it.

So, that bring us back to the original topic – what does WOBM stand for?

Well, when we were first put on the air in 1968, we were Ocean County’s first radio station. We were designed to cover the middle part of the state and super serve the counties of:

Ocean
Burlington
Monmouth

So, there you go, if you’ve ever wondered why we have the name that we do, now you know! It was a very deliberate name, and one that we’re still proud of today!

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