WIAD

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WIAD
WIAD The Drive Logo.jpg
CityBethesda, Maryland[1]
Broadcast areaWashington metropolitan area
Branding94.7 The Drive
SloganDC's Greatest Hits
Frequency94.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date1951 (as WBCG-FM at 106.3)
FormatFM/HD1: Classic hits
HD2: LGBTQ Talk/Dance "Channel Q"
HD3: Sports (WJFK-FM simulcast)
ERP20,500 watts (analog)
979 watts (digital)[2]
HAAT235 meters (771 ft)
ClassB
Facility ID9619
Transmitter coordinates38°57′50″N 77°06′18″W / 38.964°N 77.105°W / 38.964; -77.105Coordinates: 38°57′50″N 77°06′18″W / 38.964°N 77.105°W / 38.964; -77.105
Callsign meaningthe airport code for Washington Dulles International Airport
Former callsignsWBCG-FM (1951)
WUST-FM (1951–1960)
WJMD (1960–1982)
WLTT (1982–1993)
WARW (1993–2007)
WTGB-FM (2007–2009)[3]
Former frequencies106.3 MHz (1951–1960)[3]
OwnerEntercom
(Entercom License, LLC)
Sister stationsWJFK, WJFK-FM, WLZL, WDCH-FM, WPGC-FM
WebcastListen Live
Listen Live (HD2)
Website947thedrive.radio.com
wearechannelq.radio.com (HD2)

WIAD (94.7 FM, "94.7 The Drive") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Bethesda, Maryland.[1] The station is owned by Entercom through licensee Entercom License, LLC, and broadcasts a classic hits format branded as "94.7 The Drive".

WIAD broadcasts using HD Radio, using its HD2 subchannel to air "Channel Q," Entercom's Talk/EDM service for the LGBTQ community, while the sports programming of sister station WJFK-FM is simulcast on its HD3 subchannel.

History[edit]

The station originally aired a beautiful music format with the call sign WJMD. The WJMD call letters formed the initials of the previous owners, the Diener brothers (Walter, Jack, Mickey and Dan).[4]

WJMD evolved into a soft adult contemporary music format with a change of call sign to WLTT in March 1982. Under this format, the station was branded as "W-Lite". The format would last for the next 11 years.[5]

WLTT dropped the soft adult contemporary music format on November 19, 1993, in favor of a classic rock music format branded as "The Arrow".[6] A change of call letters followed to WARW to complement the change in branding to "The Arrow". WARW was also billed on-air as "We Always Rock Washington."

94.7 The Globe/Classic Rock 94.7[edit]

On February 2, 2007, an adult album alternative (also known as "triple A") music format was adopted with the branding "The Globe".[7][8][9] The new "Globe" format also featured "green" segments between songs or before and after commercials with environmental information. These segments are called "The Green Scene". The station's call letters changed to WTGB on February 15. The airstaff remained the same as WARW's, but some spots were flipped. Weasel moved from nights to mornings, displacing the Stevens & Medley morning team. Mark Stevens, who was part of Stevens & Medley, moved to nights and was eventually replaced by Albie Dee, who would later move to mornings, replacing Weasel, in November 2008, two months after WTGB flipped back to their prior classic rock format. Jerry Hoyt would then take over evenings. The February 2007 shift to Triple-A left rival classic hits station WBIG-FM as the capital's only analog station broadcasting some form of classic rock. The Globe's HD2 subchannel, then known as "The Jam", began broadcasting a mixture of classic rock.

The call sign appeared similar to Georgetown University's radio station, WGTB. Long time Washington radio listeners remember that station from the 1970s as a champion of the alternative rock of its time. WTGB's former DJs, Don "Cerphe" Colwell and Jonathan "Weasel" Gilbert (he left the station October, 2008), have each been involved with Washington radio for nearly 40 years, including stints for both at WHFS. When the station flipped formats, Cerphe left the air April, 2009.[10]

On August 10, 2008, WTGB dropped the triple A format and began returning to a classic rock format.[11][12] Three weeks after the change, music director and midday personality Schelby Sweeney quit the station, and was replaced by Marci Wiser, formerly of New York City sister station WXRK.[13] The "Globe" name (but not the "World Class Rock" slogan) stayed, and WTGB-HD2 flipped to a triple A format. The format change was likely because of low ratings; the station stayed in the bottom seven for its entire life as a triple A outlet.[14][15] On September 1, 2008, WTGB began using the branding 'Classic Rock 94.7 The Globe' on air. On February 14, 2009, however, the station's name would change to simply 'Classic Rock 94.7', like it was for some time while the station was still WARW.[16] A new logo and website followed on March 9, 2009.

94.7 Fresh FM[edit]

First logo of "Fresh FM", 2009-2014
Second and last logo of Fresh FM, 2014-2018

CBS Radio announced on March 30, 2009 that 94.7 FM would be switching to an adult contemporary format at Noon on April 6, 2009 as "94.7 Fresh FM".[17][18][19] It was said to have the same branding as sister stations WWFS in New York and WCFS-FM in Chicago. CBS aimed to have the new station compete with Clear Channel's Adult Contemporary WASH-FM, as well as Citadel's Hot Adult Contemporary WRQX (which has since been sold to Cumulus Media and shifted to Top 40, but would shift back to Hot AC in November 2015).[20] The rivalry with WASH-FM was hinted at in various promotion spots using the tagline "None of that WASHed up old stuff, just Fresh new music."

On December 16, 2009, WTGB became WIAD, becoming the only Fresh FM station not using "FS" on the calls. KEZK-FM in St. Louis, Missouri followed suit the following year.

In September 2010, Zapoleon Media Strategies consultant Steve Davis was hired as Program Director. Davis eliminated the voice tracking of talent from outside the market and brought in a staff of live talent that included Tommy McFly from competitor WRQX. The original live lineup included Davis in mornings, market veteran Kristie McIntyre in midday and McFly in afternoons. This lineup remained in place for six months until McFly moved to mornings to create "The Tommy Show" with noted DC blogger Kelly Collis and former WMAL morning producer Jen Richer. Darik Kristofer from WSTR in Atlanta was brought in to replace McFly in afternoons and Taylor Shay came on board from WIHT to do nights, and was switched to the weekday midday shift (she has since left the station).

Musically, the station evolved into Hot AC and was, at one time, considered one of the best in the country in the format. Ratings significantly improved with "Fresh" having the highest ratings in the frequency's history. WIAD quickly became consistently within the Top 5 in the station's target demos.

On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom.[21] The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and the merger was consummated on the November 17.[22][23]

94.7 The Drive[edit]

On October 2, 2018, Entercom fired the entire airstaff except for afternoon drive host Darik Kristofer who stayed to help with the transition.[24][25] The following day, Entercom announced via a webinar that the station would flip to classic hits as "94.7 The Drive, DC's Greatest Hits".[26] The change took place at 5 p.m. that day. The format will focus on rock, pop, and R&B hits from the 1980s, while also extending into the 1970s and 1990s.[27] In a press release, Entercom said that the Washington metropolitan area was the only major market without a classic hits radio station, and Entercom wanted to capitalize on that opportunity.[28]

HD Radio[edit]

On June 10, 2009, the station switched the format on its HD2 subchannel from adult album alternative to progressive rock, branded as "HFS2". WHFS was a rock station that broadcast from November 11, 1961 to January 12, 2005 on various frequencies in the Washington area. The call sign is now on an AM station.

On August 1, 2011, "HFS2" was dropped from WIAD-HD2 and moved to WWMX-HD2. However, the next day, "HFS2" was switched back to WIAD-HD2. However, "HFS2" was dropped again on December 30, 2011 and replaced with a simulcast of WNEW-FM. After WNEW-FM changed formats in December 2015, WIAD-HD2 flipped to a classic hits format as "Classic 94.7." In June 2019, WIAD-HD2 flipped to "Channel Q", an LGBTQ-oriented talk/dance music format based in Los Angeles.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "WIAD: FM Broadcast Station Authorization". Federal Communications Commission. March 27, 2013.
  2. ^ "FCC 335-FM Digital Notification [WIAD]". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. March 5, 2013. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  3. ^ a b "FCC History Card for WIAD".
  4. ^ http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?596734-WJMD-SOFT-AC-before-WLTT-Found-audio-clip
  5. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1985/05/03/wltt-fm-in-the-news/01563ee6-8e80-4a9d-9a53-456990651095/
  6. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1993/RR-1993-11-26.pdf
  7. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/11/AR2007021101230.html
  8. ^ http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?495977-WARW-FM-Renamed-94-7-quot-The-Globe-quot
  9. ^ http://classicrockfm.blogspot.com/2007/02/first-listen-947-globe.html
  10. ^ Farhi, Paul (April 4, 2009). "Legendary Classic Rock DJ Cerphe Signs Off as WTGB Switches Formats". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ http://www.dcrtv.com/mediaw2y.html
  12. ^ http://www.city-data.com/forum/washington-dc/408294-what-has-happened-wtgb-94-7-a.html
  13. ^ Radio and Records, August 29, 2008: "'Globe' Gets Wiser for MD/Middays: CBS Radio classic rock WTGB (the Globe 94.7)/Washington has recruited Marci Wiser as MD/middays. She is replacing Schelby Sweeney, who is leaving the station." [1]
  14. ^ Washington DC Radio ratings
  15. ^ Radio & Records: Washington DC Radio ratings
  16. ^ "94.7 Changes Format; Fights Climate Change". The DCist. February 5, 2007. Archived from the original on August 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  17. ^ https://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/839/94-7-wtgb-washington-to-become-947-fresh-fm/
  18. ^ http://www.cbscorporation.com/2009/03/fresh-new-sounding-adult-contemporary-station-launches-in-washington-d-c-on-monday-april-6/
  19. ^ http://formatchange.com/94-7-the-globe-becomes-fresh-fm/
  20. ^ http://www.radioandrecords.com/RRWebsite20/members/ShowHeadline.aspx?FormatId=0&ContentID=48175
  21. ^ CBS Radio to Merge with Entercom
  22. ^ "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  23. ^ Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  24. ^ Beaujon, Andrew (October 2, 2018). "The "Tommy Show" Is Over at 94.7 Fresh FM". Washingtonian.
  25. ^ "94.7 The Drive To Drive Into Washington - RadioInsight". RadioInsight. 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  26. ^ "Entercom to Launch 94.7 The Drive in Washington D.C. - Entercom Communications". Entercom Communications. 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  27. ^ "Classic Hits In DC". Radio Ink. Streamline Publishing, Inc. October 3, 2018.
  28. ^ "Entercom to Launch 94.7 The Drive in Washington D.C." (press release). Entercom Communications. October 4, 2018.

External links[edit]