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The History of the Mighty 1500

 

Before 1964, Bob Kerr had been an executive at NBC, and a record promoter. The KERRadio Album Digest reported record activity and played a notable part in what songs made the Top 40. KERRadio Music Programming was a feature syndicated to over 250 radio stations across the U.S. and Canada.

 

In October of 1964, Kerr and his wife, recording artist Joan Brooks decided to create a broadcast outlet of their own, which would give them an outlet to directly test and break records. KERRadio, WKER, was born.
 
(The Music and Program Guide published by Kerr).

 

The format was Top 40, along with some middle of the road and focused heavily on local news. Tom Niven of WCHA in Chambersberg, PA came to New Jersey and became a booming success at WKER.

 

After Bob Kerr died, WKER was run by Tom Niven and Lee Novak, and the familiar hometown format continued until 1993.

 

In 1993, KERRadio was sold to Mariana Broadcasting and became WGHT. Under the new ownership, "The Mighty 1500" became "Gold Hits 1500."

(A billboard for the
"The Mighty 1500"
circa 1970).

 

From the left: Gary Edwards, Larry Fox, Jim Hunt, Lee Novak, Tom Niven, Mayor John Sterling, Ray Sterling of the COC, and WKER President Bob Kerr. October 9, 1969.

 

Today, the station is known as "North Jersey 1500 GHT" and has become the station GM John Silliman hoped for. The music is focused on Top 40 spanning 1955 to about 1985, with heavy emphasis on local talk, news, sports, and community service.
Tom Niven is still with the station serving as Operations Manager and Chief Engineer, and can still be heard on a few promos.
(Thousands of hit records were played on this 16-inch turntable. Two of these turntables remained in service until the station was renovated in 1993.)