March 21, 2022 — JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — WJCT Public Media today announced the launch of its “50 Years of Radio That Matters” campaign, celebrating a half-century of local news and music on its flagship radio station — and a half-century of community support.
WJCT FM debuted on April 10, 1972 as “Stereo 90,” broadcasting music, news, and public affairs programming for approximately 18 hours a day. Today, after changing to an all news/talk format in 2020 that has seen the station garner some of the largest audiences in its history, the station operates as WJCT News 89.9. Its programming includes WJCT productions such as the local public affairs call-in program “First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross,” which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2020, and the new health program “What’s Health Got To Do With It,” which debuted last fall. WJCT News 89.9 is also the co-producer of the statewide public affairs program “The Florida Roundup,” and broadcasts other Florida-focused programs such as “Florida Frontiers” and “Capital Report,” in addition to local newcasts throughout the day.
Additionally, the station is Northeast Florida’s local source for the two most popular news magazine programs in the country, “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” from NPR News. Alongside these listener favorites, WJCT News 89.9 carries programs from a range of program producers and distributors, including National Public Radio (NPR), American Public Media, PRX and others.
Financial support provided by listeners is the stations’ largest source of revenue. WJCT Public Media will share highlights from the station’s history across its website, app, broadcasts and social media in the weeks leading up to its golden anniversary, culminating in a one-day pledge drive on Friday, April 8, 2022. The organization seeks to raise $50,000 to support its broadcast operations.
“The media landscape — much like our local community — has changed in ways great and small since we first took to the airwaves,” said David McGowan, President and CEO of WJCT Public Media.
“Today, we reach more people in more neighborhoods of Northeast Florida than ever before. Listeners find us on the air, on their phones and on demand. Though our delivery methods have increased in number, we still hold to the singular vision that fueled our first broadcast: that serving this community matters most.”
WJCT Public Media is currently accepting messages from listeners to share on wjct.org, WJCT News 89.9, Jax PBS, and social media. Supporters can submit their congratulations, an 89.9 FM memory or their favorite “driveway moment” that kept them listening through a story’s end at wjct.org/50.
In celebration of the station’s anniversary, WJCT Public Media has also introduced:
- Voices from the Past, a series of personal messages from the station’s hosts, reporters and producers from across the decades
- A limited-edition line of commemorative merchandise
- A special edition of First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross dedicated to honoring the past and celebrating the future
- An online toolkit that supporters can use to celebrate the station’s anniversary
To learn more about the “50 Years of Radio That Matters” campaign, including opportunities to donate, click here.
WJCT is the community-owned and operated public media organization serving Jacksonville and the First Coast since 1958, using television, radio, digital media, and live events to help community members learn, share, and grow. For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online atwjct.org. Like WJCT on Facebook (facebook.com/wjctjax) and follow WJCT on Twitter (@WJCTJax) and Instagram (@WJCTJax).