About WRTI

About WRTI

Mission

  • The mission of WRTI public radio is to broadcast the very best classical music and jazz recordings, and produce innovative, entertaining, and informative content that enriches the daily lives of our audience and the cultural life of Philadelphia and the tri-state region.

Overview

  • Over 340,000 listeners tune to WRTI each week on the radio, and an ever-growing number of people listen online via our two 24-hour web streams or on Internet radio. The station has 14 frequencies. View our coverage map here.
  • WRTI is a member-supported, public radio station with over 17,000 active members. Active members of WRTI have made financial contributions to the station in the last 12 months. Our annual operating budget is $4 million.
  • Over 75% of our operating budget comes from community support, including members and sponsors - both corporate and cultural sponsors. The remaining 25% is received through grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Temple University.
  • Our broadcast signal in Pennsylvania extends west to Harrisburg and north to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. We reach listeners as far south as Dover, DE and at the shore in Atlantic City.

History

  • WRTI was founded in 1948 as a campus-limited AM radio station at Temple University. The station was originally intended to be a student laboratory, and its call letters - RTI - stand for "Radio Technical Institute."
  • In 1953, WRTI became a licensed FM radio station operating at 10 watts from Temple University's main campus in Philadelphia.
  • WRTI adopted an all-jazz format in 1969.
  • In 1989, WRTI's antenna was relocated to a higher tower in Roxborough at increased power which resulted in WRTI operating as a 50 kW class B facility.
  • Starting in the late '80s, WRTI began an expansion program that is still in progress. Since then, repeater stations WJAZ, WRTQ, WRTX, WRTL, WRTJ, and WRTY, along with six translators, have been constructed, all of which extend coverage of the network into central and northeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Although the network includes multiple stations and translators, it is often referred to colloquially as WRTI, the network's flagship station.
  • In 1997, WRTI split its programming format to include classical music during the day and jazz at night after Philadelphia's classical music radio station, WFLN, was sold. Since these two musical art forms joined forces, WRTI has seen its ratings and audience share rise dramatically. The station has become one of the top-rated public radio stations in the area and in the nation.