WHP History

It’s hard to believe that WHP Talk Radio 580 has been on the air for over 90 years now. You tune in the station day in and day out for the latest news, traffic, and weather, but do you know the story behind the station? 

Our station wasn’t always at 580 AM, nor was it always called WHP. The staff at WHP 580, including our Chief Engineer Tim Portzline, and our News Director, Bill Mead, have been working over the past year to discover the history and timeline of Central PA’s most influential radio station. 

On a cold winter day in 1925, a small radio station, known then as WHBG signed on at 1300AM, with a tiny 20 watt transmitter (as compared to today’s massive 5,000 watts). It’s goal was simple– to deliver entertaining and informative programming to people living in the Harrisburg area. The station was first owned by Skane Electrical Service, however, it was then sold in early 1927 to Mack’s Battery Service, who changed the name to WMBS, moved its location to Lemoyne, and changed it’s position on the dial to 1280AM. 

The WHP name was crowned to the station in 1929, when the Harrisburg Telegraph Newspaper took over the station, and moved it’s dial position to 1430AM. The station later moved to 1460 AM (now our sister sports station, 1460 The Ticket), and eventually moved to its well known frequency of 580 AM in 1951. 

For a long time, WHP 580’s programming featured a wide variety of music. In 1964, the station first placed emphasis on its talk lineup. 

Today, WHP continues the tradition of excellence that was started more than 80 years ago. With compelling talk programs, informative news, traffic, and weather reports; and a strong commitment to our community, we’re proud continue serving Central Pennsylvania. 

A Note: this article is not intended to be a complete history of the station. Our staff is discovering new things about the station every day. Of course, if you’ve lived in the Harrisburg area for quite some time, and know something we don’t, please drop us a line! 

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