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A Brief History


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Dedicated in memory of Jim Collins



 

 

A Brief History Timeline

WPGC / Schenectady, NY?!

Before the FCC had even been created by the Broadcasting Act of 1934, the Federal Radio Commision assigns the call letters, 'W-P-G-C' to New York State Troopers who begin experimenting with radios in patrol cars on September 21, 1933.

Originally operating at 5,000 watts day / 1,000 watts night at 1534 kilocycles from Schenectady, NY, the station changes frequency in 1936 to 1658 kilocycles just beyond the AM dial to prevent criminals from listening in on Police activity!

By 1949, the FCC decides to move Police communications to the VHF band in the portion of the audio spectrum that had been previously assigned to TV Channel 1. Simultaneously, it also dictates a change in the call sign allotment from a four letter designation to a three letter - three number identification such as KWH-937. This change frees up the 'W-P-G-C' call letters and many others for Standard (AM) commercial station use.


In the Beginning, There Was a Bus.
And It Was Good.....

Actually, two busses. In what surely must have been a sign from the radio gods with respect to the onset of FM, WPGC-FM's lineage pre-dates that of WPGC-AM by a good six years or so. 96.7 WBUZ-FM was granted a Construction Permit by the FCC on 10/01/47 to the Chesapeake Broadcasting Company and went on air for the first time on January 18, 1948. As a stand-alone FM in an era of almost non-existent FM receivers, its hodge-podge of local programming could not be supported by advertising revenue.


The Washington, Marlboro & Annapolis Bus Company (owners of the Chesapeake Broadcasting Co. and one of the bus lines which were absorbed with the creation of Metrobus in 1973) had no option but to pipe music into their fleet of busses interspersed with periodic commercials for the same advertisers seen on bus interior advertisements.


The practice at the time was to significantly raise the volume of the commercials relative to the background music between them, leading to widespread complaints amongst riders of the line. A court case ensued, which ruled passengers could not be forced to listen to commercials on municipal bus lines.


AM: No Static at All

Corresponding to this period, on November 12th, 1953, Washington electronics engineer and former FCC employee, Harry Hayman received a Construction Permit to build and operate a new Morningside, Maryland AM broadcasting station. The FCC assigned 250 watt daytime only operation to the station on 1580 kilocycles (though power was raised to 1,000 watts within a year). Actual first day of broadcast was April 24th, 1954. Its limited signal was felt adequate for the new sub-development of Morningside, MD which existed as housing for civilian employees at Andrews Air Force Base, just 2.8 miles away.


Harry was no businessman and soon sold half his interest in the station to
Maxwell Richmond who became the General Manager when Harry sold the rest of his interest to him a year after signing on the station. Richmond realized the severe restrictions in terms of coverage area spelled disaster in attracting enough advertisers to warrant the station's existence and immediately applied for an increase in power.


Posing a problem was the fact that 1580 was a Canadian Class 1 channel, necessitating the use of a directional pattern. This was further compounded with potential interference problems when a new sign on at 1570 occurred in Towson, MD, west of Baltimore. The resolution was an increase in power to 10,000 watts with a highly directional, east-west pattern, three tower array that could be received from Warrenton, VA to Annapolis, MD.


WPGC-AM had been built on a wooded area of a farm. Construction of two additional towers would have meant large areas of trees would have had to be removed. When studies showed the ground conductivity below the top soil was poor owing to the rocky composition, the station began a search for a new tower location that soon led to a piece of property where
WBUZ-FM's tower was located. They negotiated a deal whereby WPGC-AM's three new sticks were to be located adjacent to WBUZ-FM's tower, thus beginning a chain of events over a period of several years that would culminate with WPGC, Inc.'s purchase of WBUZ-FM.


FM: No Nothing at All

With the prospect of no revenue at all after the court's ruling, WBUZ-FM went dark temporarily and was more than happy to lease space to WPGC. A former announcer at WPGC approached the Chesapeake Broadcasting Co. about doing a similar format as WPGC (a mix of standards, rock and country) at WBUZ-FM. This resulted in the call letters changing to WRNC-FM on March 30th, 1956. The format was short-lived and the station went dark again soon afterwards.


Located in a field on a farm away from the heart of the population on the edge of
Morningside with access to the station limited to a dirt road, WPGC struck another deal to lease out the now available studio space until recently used by WRNC. The FCC granted WPGC a waiver to allow the station to broadcast outside the city limits, yet still identify itself as being in Morningside, despite the fact the studios were now actually located above the WM&A bus repair facility in Coral Hills, MD, literally across the street from the DC line.


Darkness at the Edge of Night:
Tune over now to 95.5 megacycles

By this time, WPGC's dilemma was not so much coverage area, but hours of broadcast. In short daylight months, the station had to sign off before many people even made it home from work. In December for example, sign-off occurred as early as 4:45pm, severely curtailing advertising revenue during the all-important holiday season.

WPGC even petitioned the FCC to remain on the air after dark during December but the Commission turned down the request owing to the shared Canadian frequency. The Chesapeake Broadcasting Co. on the other hand was keenly interested in divesting itself of a white elephant a transit company had no use for.


Thus, on November 20, 1956, the FCC sanctioned the sale of WRNC-FM and all its assets to WPGC, Inc. for the sum of $10,000 and five dollars for the station license. The FM remained dark while transmitter upgrades were implemented, the antenna was relocated to the side of one of the three AM towers and the original FM tower was dismantled. On March 5th, 1958 the call letters were changed to WPGC-FM.


Though the FM duplicated the AM's programming 100% during the day, it continued broadcasting till 12 midnight (it would not go 24 hours until August, 1968 and not go Stereo until as late as 1972). With the arrival in 1959 of new
General Manager, Bob Howard, the FM briefly experimented with programming of its own after dark, featuring the big bands of the '40's which had largely vanished from the airwaves altogether by then.


This short-lived foray was extinguished with the arrival of new
Program Director, Dean Griffith #1 from WGH, Norfolk (who would go on to WMCA, New York as Dean Anthony in 1964). His arrival coincided with the station's shift from a mixture of tunes from standards and Rock & Roll artists to 100% Rock in 1960 as 'The New Sound of WPGC'.


WPGC routinely conditioned its teen audience to 'tune over now' to the FM upon AM sign-off at sunset, often teasing major contesting on the AM moments before the prize was awarded on the FM and the AM had left the airwaves. Giveaways of portable FM radios were common place at the time.

Coming Soon: Tower Down!


Vandals use a pick-up truck to sheer the guy wires of one of the towers in 1956.


Coming Soon:
WPGC AM & FM / Washington?!

The attempt to move the studios & offices to the Raleigh Hotel in the District in 1958.


Coming Soon:
'Mr. Soundoff' -The Arrival of
General Manager, Bob Howard

A larger-than-life, multiple personality showman prominent in WPGC's rise to the top.


Coming Soon: Payola Probe!

A disgruntled former WPGC Disc Jockey testifies before Congress on Payola and outside influences on the station playlist in 1960.


Coming Soon:
Competitive Concerns

WWDC & WEAM provide stiff competition in the early '60's.


Coming Soon: Station Takeover!

'Barefoot' Larry Justice locks himself in the control room and plays the same song over & over in 1963 until he gets a raise.


Coming Soon:
The Boy Next Door
- The Arrival of Harv Moore

WPGC's best remembered, longest lasting morning man, Music & Program Director.


Coming Soon: Beatlemania!!!!

Fab Four frenzy at the DC Coliseum in February, 1964.


Coming Soon: The End of the Line
- Eviction by the Bus Company

The WM&A Bus Line evicts WPGC from the former WBUZ-FM studios & offices.


Coming Soon: The Bladensburg
Space Needle and Its New Home

FCC objections to the move much further away from Morningside in 1965.


Coming Soon:
Escaping Colloquialism

WPGC's mid-'60's transition from being a Maryland station to a defacto Washington station under Program Director, 'Cousin' Warren Duffy.


Coming Soon: The Missing 'W'

'PGC's most memorable station promotional contest in 1966. And 1972. And 1983….


Coming Soon: Magic Carpet Ride

Something's in the air in 1968 with Good Guy DJ, Davy Jones and it has a strange smell.


Coming Soon: I'm 'Bob Raleigh' Too!

Too many 'Bob Raleighs' for one market, let alone one station in 1970.


Coming Soon:
The Death of Max Richmond

The Richmond estate decides to sell its assets in 1971, but not to Mr. Soundoff.


Coming Soon: Stereo!!

Two (Two) channels for the price of one to combat WRC and AM attrition in 1972.


Coming Soon:
Advent of the Marriotts

Bottomless pockets break the DC record in 1974 for any local station previously sold.


Coming Soon: Lottery Legalistics

Paid consideration to play a client contest in 1975 results in a hefty penalty for 4 stations including WPGC.


Coming Soon:
The Great Strike That Struck Out

WPGC personalities walk off the job in May, 1977 only to lose them permanently.

'70's Dominance: The Coming
of Age of a True Radio Legend

As time wore on, the teenagers of the '60's that drove the station became the young adults of the '70's who willingly migrated over to WPGC-FM in all other dayparts. The widespread appeal of the station by the mid '70's was atypically broad, ranging from a new, second set of '70's teens (consultant Rob Balon's aptly coined, 'Brady Boomers') to dedicated loyal adult listeners who had by then listened to the station upwards of 15 years.


AM competitors such as WEAM and WRC (and potentially, WGMS-AM, if RKO succeeded in dropping Classical on AM and gone Top 40 had it not been for confused listeners thinking it was WGMS-FM that was dropping Classical and which led to such outrage that plans for the AM were shelved) fought the good fight but slowly succumbed to FM dominance. WRC's move to NBC's News & Information Service (NIS) in 1975 led many to believe its programming would shift over to FM, only to be surprised when WRC-FM instead became Disco 93, WKYS.


1974 had seen WPGC-FM's numbers surpass WPGC-AM's for the first time, despite the 100% simulcast in daylight hours. The handwriting was on the wall; by 1976, FM listenership as a whole surpassed AM listenership as a whole for the first time, making DC the first FM dominant market in the country, due in no small part to WPGC. Cume audience growth was such that by the end of the decade, WPGC was challenging market leader, WMAL and its staid MOR format for overall supremacy. In the Spring, 1979 ratings period, WMAL toppled too.

The Battle for FM Supremacy:
ABC buys an audience, for a while…

ABC which had acquired WMAL - AM & FM earlier from the Washington Star spun off its FM, taking it in an album rock direction by the late '70's, in an attempt to recreate the success of other similarly formatted sister stations such as WPLJ in New York. WMAL-FM became WRQX ('Rocks') but found limited traction in the album battle with long time champ, WWDC-FM, DC-101.


With WMAL-AM's crown in permanent jeopardy, management made the decision to sacrifice their FM to protect the AM, in much the same way similar circumstances in New York had led 15 years earlier to the advent of WOR-FM so as to protect WOR-AM's top spot overall (which had been placed in question by the Top 40 war between WABC and WMCA).


Scott Shannon arrived at WPGC on March 26, 1979, just days before ABC detonated the album rock format of WRQX and debuted
Q107 in April of that year. A then-unheard of quarter million dollar TV campaign to launch the station literally bought its audience. Teens fickle as they are, went over in droves to sample the new station. The WPGC - Q107 war began with a fierceness not often seen, each station attempting to out-do the other in every possible way.


Shannon inherited a wildly popular morning show with
Elliott & Woodside. Despite a loss of younger demos, its adult listeners, far more set in their listening habits fortified the station in the interim. Problem was, WPGC was hemorrhaging teens at night. Something had to be done to bring them back. Shannon's single-most important move was to bring in Don Geronimo to fortify nights. Though it took a while to do so, the station righted itself and narrowly overtook Q107. This despite the high profile defection of Elliott & Woodside to Q107 for a then record setting salary beyond even that commanded by Harden & Weaver at WMAL!


Shannon's departure in 1981 was memorable to say the least. He and assistant
Program Director, Steve Kingston (whom Shannon had bought in from WYRE in Annapolis) were talking in the control room while Shannon happened to be on the air. The topic was ironically, Geronimo (who doubled as the station's Music Director and some questionable music decisions he had made). Not wanting someone to walk in on their conversation, Shannon turned the mic on so that the on-air light in the hallway would be on and no one would enter. Shannon thought he had placed the mic in the Audition channel so that nothing he said would go out over the air.

In fact, he had inadvertently placed it in the Program channel, thereby broadcasting it to the world for all to be heard when he dropped the F-bomb.
Compounding this error, attempts were then made to erase the offending portion of the broadcast from the station's logger tapes which recorded everything on the station, 24/7.
Kingston quickly became the new PD, a position he held until his departure late in the Summer of '82 precipitated by the change in format.


Aiding in the rebounding process for WPGC was ironically, the arrival of Howard Stern at DC-101 in 1981. Large ratings for him in the mornings translated to increased ratings for the station in other dayparts. ABC management, willing to try anything to regain the lead over WPGC sought to replicate many of the formatics associated with album rock and launched the ill-fated 'Q-Phase 2' campaign on
Q107.


Jingles were eliminated; DJ's no longer talked over song intros; contesting was curtailed.
Q107 became too hip for its own good and no longer sounded like a Top 40 station should. WPGC meanwhile kept chugging along, full speed ahead and maintained its lead. By the time ABC management realized they'd made the wrong decision, it was too late - the damage had been done.


Beginning of the End: Death of the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs

Far more damage however was yet to come in the battle of the Top 40 titans. In 1982, First Media Corporation (owned by members of the Marriott family but not the Marriott Corporation itself) and which had purchased WPGC in 1974 for a then record-shattering 6 million dollars, made their own calculation that if not for those pesky teenagers at night, even more adults would listen to the station.


While it's true in the Top 40 war with
Q107 that WPGC had succeeded in siphoning off some additional adult audience from other stations (notably WASH-FM), nothing could change the fact that adult usage of radio in general falls dramatically with the advent of prime-time network TV in the evening. The tragic decision to change the format of WPGC to Adult Contemporary after 30 years as a Top 40 monster can in retrospect, only be regarded as the biggest blunder in Washington radio history, resulting in ratings carnage not even imaginable at the time.


During the Fall 1982 ratings period, WPGC's cume audience fell from 630,000 to just over 300,000, a mind-shattering 50% plummet. The music library had been emasculated to the point that new music, once a hallmark on the station, was relegated to insignificance with new material only added after
Q107 (and seemingly every other station in town) had added it.

The bland AC format was never accepted by the station's former legion of listeners who now had defaulted to Q107. Q's dominance continued until 1984 when Doubleday blew up the album rock format on WAVA and launched a worthy competitor. Not surprisingly, most of the former WPGC personalities would up on either of those stations, some on both.


Insult was added to injury when the call letters were changed from WPGC to WCLY on January 25, 1985. The pathetic format and it's equally insipid name, 'Classy 95' led many to ridicule it as 'Trashy 95' and became an embarrassment in the Washington radio community as well as the industry.

Eager to cut their losses, First Media Corporation sold all its radio properties to minority-owned, Cook Inlet Partners in 1987, who promptly brought back the legendary call letters with a heavily leaning Urban/CHR format, later selling the station to CBS Radio who owns it to this day.


Epilogue:
From the 'Morning Side' of Things….

The AM had been granted a Construction Permit to go 50,000 watts, daytime only in 1985. The following year, it also received a nighttime authorization at 270 watts, barely strong enough to be heard outside of Morningside.

A parade of formats on the AM included periods as Business Talk, Hip-Hop and Gospel. Today, 1580 is the home of right wing nut cases such as Glenn Beck (who ironically worked overnights as a DJ at WPGC during its Adult Contemporary period in 1983) as WHFS-AM. The rest is radio history.

Metrobus still operates the former WM&A bus repair facility at 4421 Southern Ave. in SE, DC while the passenger facility that WBUZ-FM originally sat atop is also still in use - today it is the Southern Ave. Metrorail station on the Green line.

As for the Parkway Building, home of the 'Bladensburg Space Needle', it was torn down in 2004 and is now a vacant lot with barely a trace of its once former greatness. And somewhere in Rock & Roll Radio Heaven, 'Mr. Soundoff' can still be heard saying, 'Your response is welcome!'




 

Prologue

In July 1922, Leslie L. Altman starts the Bradbury Heights Bus Line to Washington with 2 buses. Its garage & offices were located at 1510 Southern Avenue in SE, DC. In 1926 it incorporates as the Washington, Marlboro and Annapolis (WM&A) Motor Lines, Inc.

In an unrelated development, New State Troopers began experimenting with radios in patrol cars so officers can quickly pursue criminals fleeing from the scene by automobile.

On September 21, 1933, Trooper station 'W-P-G-C' begins broadcasts on 1534 kilocycles at 5,000 watts day / 1,000 watts night in Schenectady, NY.

By 1936, the frequency changes to 1658 kilocycles so as to prevent criminals from monitoring Police communications!

On December 6, 1941, the WM&A bus line opens its new garage & office building at 4421 Southern Ave, SE, DC





1947

The Federal Communications Commission grants a construction permit on 10/01/47 for a new FM station to the Chesapeake Broadcasting Company, Inc. to build and operate a station on 96.7 megacycles at Bradbury Heights, Maryland, "just over the District of Columbia line".

Furniture dealer, Arthur Baldwin Curtis was President of Cheasapeake Broadcasting which selected and was granted WBUZ-FM as call letters for the 1KW station. By the end of the year, the station was authorized to use 420 watts Effective Radiated Power.

WBUZ-FM's transmitter and 255 foot tower were located at Bradbury Heights while studios & offices were installed in the WM&A passenger terminal 1510 Southern Ave. in SE, DC.




1948

The independent station originally announced a target date of Christmas, 1947 but delays caused by the failure of some equipment to arrive postponed WBUZ-FM's airdate to January 18th.

Treasurer & General Manager of WBUZ-FM was Leslie L. Altman, President of the WM&A Bus Line. Al K. Porter was Vice President & Commercial Manager of the new station, "the first all Gates-equipped station in the Washington, DC area".

Operating hours were from 7:00AM until 12 midnight daily. In late 1948, Leslie L. Altman was named President of the Chesapeake Broadcasting Co. while continuing as WBUZ-FM's General Manager.




1949

By early 1949, WBUZ-FM was 'transitcasting', programming recorded music into buses of the WM&A line. Another 'transitcaster in the DC area was WWDC-FM. Read a related story on 'transitcasting' here.

Meanwhile, the FCC reassigns all Police communications the VHF band in the portion of the broadcast spectrum previously occupied by TV Channel 1.

Concurrently, by FCC directive, Police communication stations abandon the four call letter format and adopt a three letter - three number nomenclature, such as KWH-467. Hence, the call letters, 'W-P-G-C' become available for use by commercial Standard (AM) stations.




1950

The Chesapeake Broadcasting Co. is reorgnized in 1950. For a consideration of $1,300, 22.24% interest is acquired from A.C. Connelly by President & General Manager, Leslie L. Altman. The FCC sanctioned this transfer on August 14th, 1950.




1951

In June, 1951, the 'transitcasting' concept, in vogue over a number of independently operated FM stations across the United States, was attacked by the Transit Riders Association, and found unconstitutional by a Federal Appeals Court. The Chesapeake Broadcasting Company continues piping in WBUZ-FM into the Washington, Marlboro & Annapolis busses while the case was appealed.

The WBUZ-FM transmitter tower in Bradbury Heights is felled by vandals on October 13th, 1951. At the time, the WM&A Bus Line is the target of a labor dispute with its drivers. The station later returns to the air with 50 watts using a temporary antenna until a new tower can be erected and full power restored.




1952

The U.S. Supreme Court overturns a lower court and rules in favor of 'transitcasting' but the damage is done as the tide of public opinion has turned against riders of municipal transportation being forced to hear music and commercials against their will.




1953

WWDC stops 'transitcasting' (but now simulcasts WWDC-AM) in May 1953. But out of sheer economic necessity, WBUZ-FM with no sister AM station to fall back on, continues to broadcast to a total of 35 buses (out of a fleet of 90) of the WM&A line.

WBUZ-FM raises power to 6.3KW that same month and its city of license is changed to Oakland, Maryland. Then on June 8th, 1953, the FCC grants a permit to the station to raise power from 6.3KW to 18KW.

Meanwhile, on November 12th, 1953, Washington electronics engineer and former FCC employee, Harry Hayman receives a construction permit to build and operate a new Morningside, Maryland AM broadcasting station. The FCC assigns 250 watt daytime only operation to the station on 1580 kilocycles. Estimated construction cost $9,420; first year operating costs $28,140; anticipated first year advertising revenue $31,200. The call letters WPGC, representing Prince Georges County are issued late in the year.




1954

The tower for WPGC-AM is erected in April and broadcasts begin on April 24th, 1954 from Morningside on a hill on the farm of Duval B. Evans on Walters Lane. Harry Hayman is President & General Manager of the new independent station which airs 'Hillbilly Music' for 25% of its broadcast day, including the show, 'Corn Shuckin' Time' hosted by Wade Holmes. On September 15th, 1954, WPGC - AM's power is increased to 1,000 watts (250 watts Critical Hours).

Within 6 months of its on air debut, Maxwell Richmond, purchases WPGC-AM from Harry Hayman for $10,000 on November 10th, 1954.

Also that year, WBUZ-FM, its 'transitcasting' days now behind it, changes frequency from 96.7 to 95.5 megacycles and power is reduced to 16.5KW to avoid interference with WTOP-FM from a new transmitter & tower site at 6369 Walker Mill Road in Oakland, MD, a few miles from Bradbury Heights.




1955

WBUZ-FM's President Leslie L. Altman names Leslie Smith as the new General Manager. Former WPGC-AM Chief Engineer, Gene Winters is named General Manager of WPGC-AM that same year so that Max Richmond could devote more time to his advertising agency in Philadelphia as well as to WPGC's sister station in Boston, WMEX.

On April 14th, 1955 a modification of WPGC-AM's permit to raise power to 10,000 watts daytime only and install a directional antenna system was granted. Late in the year WPGC-AM opens new offices and studios at 4421 Southern Ave., SE, DC above the WM&A Bus Line repair facility, in the studios formerly used by WBUZ-FM (which has since moved it's studios to the transmitter site).




1956

On March 30th, 1956, WBUZ-FM changes its call letters to WRNC-FM. (The WBUZ calls were later used by a station in Fredonia, NY on 1570 but today are used by an Active Rock FM station in Nashville). Late in the year, WRNC-FM is purchased from the Chesapeake Broadcasting Company by WPGC, Inc. $5.00 is paid for the station license and $10,000 for its equipment and tower. FCC approval takes place on November 20th, 1956. The purchase is made to add nightime programming to WPGC-AM's daytime only operation.

At this time, WPGC-AM owner Max Richmond becomes President of WRNC-FM and names Gene Winters, General Manager of WPGC-AM as General Manager of WRNC-FM too. WRNC begins duplicating WPGC-AM's daytime programming immediately.




1958

WRNC-FM changes call letters to WPGC-FM in mid-March 1958. (Today the WRNC calls are assigned to an AM Country station not presently on the air in suburban Atlanta). Power on the FM is reduced to 15.7KW while the power increase authorized for the AM in 1955 to 10,000 watts (Daytime only) is implemented. The FM temporarily goes silent as new studios in preparation for a new format are constructed at the transmitter site. General Manager, Gene Winters does the morning show.




1959

In February 1959, the FM returns to the air from new studios at the transmitter site at 6369 Walker Mill Road in Oakland, MD, playing Big Band music. Robert Howard joins the station early in the year as its new General Manager. On July 2nd, 1959, the FCC authorizes the station to mount the FM antenna on the north (280 foot) tower of the AM's array. The morning show is done by 'Gentleman Jim' Granger. Stan Major is the Program Director.

By this time, the Washington, Marlboro & Annapolis Bus Line is sold to an employee group and founder Leslie L. Altman retires to Florida.




1960

The FM drops its Big Band format and resumes simulcasting 100% with the AM during daytime hours which has since gone 100% Rock & Roll as 'The New Sound of WPGC' under new Program Director, Dean Griffith #1 (Dean Anthony) from WGH, Norfolk (who takes his last name from the Washington Senator's Griffith Park).

On Air line up:

Pat McCoy (mornings)

Stan Major (news)

Jerry Kearns (middays)

Dean Griffith #1 (Dean Anthony) (Program Director & afternoons)

Eliot Paul (nights till AM sign-off)

'F. Dudley Dudley' (roving reporter, actually General Manager, Bob Howard)

Jingles in use: PAMS Series 6 & 9

On air Positioner: 'Coloradio'.




1961

Jerry G joins the station for mornings when Pat McCoy departs. David B. Simmons inherits news duties when Stan Major departs. Larry 'Barefoot' Justice takes over middays when Jerry Kearns leaves.

On Air line up:

Jerry G (mornings)

David B. Simmons (news)

Larry 'Barefoot' Justice (middays)

Dean Griffith #1 (Dean Anthony) (Program Director & afternoons)

Don 'Pee Wee' Reese
(nights till AM sign-off)





1962

'MacNamara' joins the station for morning news when David B. Simmons leaves. On Monday, August 6th, 1962, Larry 'Barefoot' Justice allegedly locks himself in the air studio and plays the same novelty record over & over until he gets a raise. 

On Air line up:

Jerry G (mornings)

'MacNamara' (news)

Larry 'Barefoot' Justice (middays)

Dean Griffith #1 (Dean Anthony) (Program Director & afternoons)

Don 'Pee Wee' Reese
(nights till AM sign-off)





1963

Harv Moore joins the station initially doing nights till AM sign-off, then moves to mornings in November, just days before the JFK assassination. In the aftermath of the tragedy, the station suspends regular programming through the funeral.  Bob Raleigh #1 (Rolle Ferreira) joins the station for middays with the departure of Larry 'Barefoot Justice'. Bob Howard rises to Vice President & General Manager.

On Air line up:

Harv Moore (mornings)

MacNamara (news)

Bob Raleigh #1 (Rolle Ferreira) (middays)

Dean Griffith #1 (Dean Anthony) (Program Director & afternoons)

Don 'Pee Wee' Reese
(nights till AM sign-off)





1964

On January 27th, 1964, the FM is granted FCC authorization to change its city of license from Oakland to Morningside. The FM begins expanded broadcasts in the evening beyond the AM sign-off time.

Beatlemania hits the Nation's Capitol as Harv Moore and Dean Griffith #1 (Dean Anthony) introduce the Four Lovable Lads from Liverpool at the DC Coliseum. Harv & Bobby Poe co-write their 'Interview  with the Fab Four' record only to have Capitol Records get a cease & desist order barring further air play of the novelty cut-in song.

Dean Griffith #1 (Dean Anthony) leaves for WMCA, New York in November.  Paul Carmen is hired as the 'new' Dean Griffith. Harv Moore takes on acting Program Director duties. Former morning man Jerry G goes on tour with The Beatles as a roving reporter. 'Marvelous Marv' Brooks joins the station for nights when Don 'Pee Wee' Reese leaves, then moves to middays when Bob Raleigh #1 (Rolle Ferreira) goes to WWDC.

The station is now broadcasting on the FM till midnight every night.

On Air line up:

Harv Moore
(PD / mornings)

MacNamara (news)

'Marvelous Marv' Brooks (middays)

Dean Griffith #2
(Paul Carmen)
(afternoons)

Jingles in use: PAMS,
'The Jet Set'.

#1 song on
year end countdown: 
'I Want To Hold Your Hand' - Beatles



1965

On June 28th, 1965, the stations are granted a modification of their licenses to move studios to Bladensburg, MD (outside the city limits of Morningside but are allowed to continue to identify themselves as being in Morningside). New offices & studios are located in the Parkway Building adjacent to the Baltimore Washington Parkway, 5801 Annapolis Road, Landover Heights (adjacent to Baldensburg), occupying the third floor of a multi story office building which opens late in the year. Hank Burdick joins the station for afternoons when Paul Carmen leaves. He becomes the third 'Dean Griffith'.

On Air line up:

Harv Moore (PD / mornings)

MacNamara (news)

'Marvelous Marv' Brooks (middays)

Dean Griffith #3
(Hank Burdick)
(afternoons)

#1 song on year end countdown:
'Satisfaction' - Rolling Stones




1966

WM&A Bus Line founder, Chesapeake Broadcasting Co. President and original WBUZ-FM General Manager, Leslie L. Altman dies in Florida.

'Cousin Warren' Duffy is hired as the station's new Program Director. 'Marvelous Marv' Brooks moves from middays to morning news when MacNamara leaves the station. Bob Peyton #1 (Bob Allen) (who takes his name from TV's 'Peyton Place') is hired for middays. 'Tiger Bob' Raleigh #2 (Bill Miller) is hired for nights. 

On Air line up:

Harv Moore (mornings)

Marv Brooks (news / production)

Bob Peyton #1 (Bob Allen) (middays) 

'Cousin Warren' Duffy
(PD & afternoons)

'Tiger Bob' Raleigh #2 (Bill Miller) (nights)

Jingles in use: Spot Production's 'Funtastic' 'Thatman', based on the Bat-mania phenomena nationwide. 

#1 song on year end countdown:
'California Dreamin' - Mamas & Papas. 

On Air contesting: Good Guy DJ Derby, Good Guy Swimming Derby,
Bat-Contest.
 



1967

'Tiger Bob' Raleigh #2 (Bill Miller) moves to morning news when Marv Brooks leaves the station. 'JA the DJ', Jack Alix is hired from WEAM for nights.

On Air line up:

Harv Moore (mornings)

'Tiger Bob' Raleigh #2 (Bill Miller) (news / production)

Bob Peyton #1 (Bob Allen)  middays

'Cousin Warren' Duffy
(PD & afternoons)

'JA the DJ', Jack Alix (nights) 

#1 song on year end countdown:
'The Letter' - Box Tops.

On air contesting: Balloon Buster,
Good Guy DJ Derby. 

Major promotions: Hide The Picnic. The first instance of the 'Missing W' contest airs as The Riddler steals the 'W' from WPGC, ultimately to be found by a winning listener as the 'W' in the 'Welcome to Virginia' sign at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge on the Beltway.




1968

Charlie Scheu is named the station's new Program Director when 'Cousin' Warren Duffy leaves the station. Bob Peyton #2 (Bob Burian) replaces Bob Peyton #1 (Bob Allen). Davy Jones from WBZ, Boston replaces the exiting Jack Alix for nights in May.

The FM is granted a construction permit to raise power to 50KW on August 6, 1968. Coinciding with this, the FM begins its first 24 hour broadcasts, also in August. An 'underground' show, the 'Magic Carpet Ride' airs Friday nights in the Fall at 11PM.

On Air line up:

Harv Moore (mornings)

Bob' Raleigh #5 (Bill Miller)
(news / production)

Bob Peyton #2 (middays)

Charlie Shue (PD & afternoons)

Davy Jones (nights)





1969

Dave McKay is hired for middays replacing Bob Peyton #2. 'Gentleman Jim' Madison #3 (Dave Moore) is hired for late nights while 'Amos & Andy', 'Famous Amos' (Rolf Rykken) & 'Handy Andy' Andrews (another name with local reference to Andrews AFB) split up the overnight shift. 

The raise in power for the FM to 50KW authorized in 1968 is implemented, utilizing two transmitters in parallel.

On Air line up:

Harv Moore (mornings)

Bob' Raleigh #5 (Bill Miller) (news / production)

Dave McKay (middays)

Charlie Shue (PD & afternoons)

Davy Jones (nights)

'Famous Amos''Handy Andy' Andrews  (overnights)

Jingles in use: PAMS 'Grid'.

#1 song on year end countdown:
'Get Back' - Beatles.




1970

Bob Raleigh #6 - 'Junior' (Robert Dewitt Raleigh) begins middays replacing Dave McKay, under the pretense of being the son of Bob Raleigh #5 (Bill Miller)'Big' Wilson is named Program Director when Charlie Shue moves into sales. New syndicated show,  'American Top 40' with Casey Kasem debuts on July 4th with WPGC being one of the original seven stations nationwide to carry the show. A special year end feature, 'The Rock & Roll Generation', produced by 'Big' Wilson, Bob Raleigh #5 (Bill Miller) & Davy Jones airs for the first time.

On Air line up:

Harv Moore (mornings)

Bob' Raleigh #5 (Bill Miller) (news / production)

Bob Raleigh #6 - 'Junior'
(Robert Dewitt Raleigh) (middays)

'Big' Wilson
(PD & afternoons)

Davy Jones (nights)

'Gentleman Jim' Madison#3 (Dave Moore) (late nights)

'Famous Amos'
/ 'Handy Andy' Andrews (overnights)

#1 song on year end countdown:
'American Woman' - Guess Who.





1971

Tom Allen joins the station for nights when Davy Jones leaves for WMAL-FM. Later in the year he moves to middays when Bob Raleigh #6 - 'Junior'
(Robert Dewitt Raleigh)
leaves.  'Columbus' discovers DC and begins nights while Alexander Goodfellow & Todd Reynolds now split up the overnight shift.
WPGC, Inc. President, Maxwell Richmond dies at an unknown age.

On Air line up:

Harv Moore (mornings)

Bob' Raleigh #6 (Bill Miller)
(news / production)

Tom Allen middays)

'Big' Wilson (PD & afternoons)

'Columbus' (nights)

Alexander Goodfellow / Todd Reynolds (overnights)

On air Positioner: 'All Hit Music'. 

#1 song on year end countdown:
'Joy To The World'
- Three Dog Night.


1972

The FM goes ((Stereo))!! Harv Moore is again named Program Director when 'Big' Wilson leaves.  'Columbus' moves to middays when Tom Allen leaves to become Program Director for sister station WMEX, Boston.  Part timer Jim Collins (who had previously been known on the air as 'Mark West') is promoted to afternoons. Johnny Jones joins the station from WAMS in Wilmington, Delaware for nights while Chris Curtis is hired for late nights and Bryan Lawrence for overnights. 

On Air line up:

Harv Moore
(PD & mornings)

Bob' Raleigh #5 (Bill Miller) (news / production)

'Columbus' (middays)

Jim Collins (afternoons)

Johnny Jones (nights)

Chris Curtis (late nights)

Bryan Lawrence (overnights)

#1 song on
year end countdown:
'Brandy' - Looking Glass. 

Major promotions: The Missing 'W' (again, this time stolen by 'Dr. Strangeletter' and found on the 'Welcome to historic Olde Georgetown sign).



1973

Dan Steele is hired for evenings when Johnny Jones departs for 13Q in Pittsburgh, and Dino Del Gallo makes his first appearance in late nights.   Bryan Lawrence begins doing his overnight show live from the 'Black Ulysses' restaurant in DC.  New block letter & 'Music Troll' logos debut. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) purchases the Washington, Marlboro & Annapolis bus line (WM&A, original owner of WBUZ-FM) for $4.5 million. Along with the near simultaneous acquisition of the other three independently owned bus lines in the greater Washington area, MetroBus is formed.

On Air line up:

Harv Moore
(PD & mornings)

Bob' Raleigh #6 (Bill
Miller) (news / production)

'Columbus' (middays)

Jim Collins (afternoons)

Dan Steele (nights)

Dino Del Gallo (late nights)

Bryan Lawrence (overnights)

Major promotions:
Phono Phunnies, Money Car

#1 song on
year end countdown:
'Brother Louie' - Stories. 

 

1974

Dave Kellogg joins the station for late nights while weekender 'Big' Don O'Bryan inherits the overnight shift. Foreshadowing things to come, ratings on the FM surpass those on the AM for the first time.  For years, the station has continually conditioned its listeners to 'tune over now' at sunset. 

Meanwhile, the estate of station owner, Max Richmond receives FCC approval on August 7th, 1974 to sell the stations for $5.8 million to First Media Corporation (Richard E. Marriott, Chairman & 44% owner).  The transaction is finalized on October 17, 1974. Outbid for the properties, General Manager, Bob Howard exercises his right of first refusal, leaves the station and purchases WYSL in Buffalo.  First Media Corporation names Glenn Potter as President and GM.

On Air line up:

Harv Moore (mornings)

Bob' Raleigh #6 (Bill
Miller) (news / production)

'Columbus' (middays)

Jim Collins (afternoons)

Dan Steele (nights)

Dave Kellogg (late nights)

'Big' Don O'Bryan (overnights)

#1 song on
year end countdown:
'The Way We Were'
- Barbra Streisand.

1975

Bob Howard hires Harv Moore for mornings at WYSL, and 'The Morning Mayor' leaves the station after 12 years of AM drive.  Jim Collins is named the new Program Director, 'Columbus' moves to mornings as Jim Elliott is hired from WEAM for middays and Music Director. Wolfman Jack's syndicated show runs on Saturday nights. 

A new FM transmitter is installed late in 1975 concurrent with a boost in antenna height to 480 feet (horizontal & vertical polarization).

Market motion: WRC drops music altogether and goes talk. The anticipated move of it's music and personalities to FM fails to materialize as Disco WKYS debuts.

On Air line up:

'Columbus'  (mornings)

Bob' Raleigh #6 (Bill
Miller) (news / production)

Jim Elliott (MD & middays)

Jim Collins (PD & afternoons)

Dino Del Gallo (nights)

Keith MacDonald (late nights)

Kevin James (overnights)

On air positioner: 'Musicradio' . 

#1 song on year end countdown:
'Love Will Keep Us Together'
- Capt. & Tennille. 

On air contesting: Superstash.

Major promotions: Adventure Ring

 

1976

Long time salesman Bill Prettyman is promoted to Vice President and Station Manager. Glenn T. Potter continues as President of First Media Corporation. 'Columbus' leaves for WLS, Chicago. Tim Kelly is hired for mornings from WRKO Boston.  Jim Collins presents Helen Reddy a Gold record for her Greatest Hits LP on NBC's 'Midnight Special' TV show. 'Big' Ron O'Brien joins the station for nights when Dino Del Gallo leaves for WYRE, Annapolis.

Market motion: Ratings on the Washington FM dial as a whole surpass those for AM stations for the first time, making DC the first FM dominant market in the country, thanks in no small part to WPGC's long time campaign to convert cume to FM.

On Air line up:

Tim Kelly (mornings)

Bob' Raleigh #6 (Bill
Miller) (news / production)

Jim Elliott (MD & middays)

Jim Collins
(PD & afternoons)

'Big' Ron O'Brien (nights)

Keith MacDonald
(late nights)

Kevin James (overnights)

Jingles in use: First package purchased from JAM Creative Produtions of Dallas, a compilation of cuts from 'Logoset' & 'Priority One'.

#1 song on
year end countdown:
'Afternoon Delite'
- Starland Vocal Band.

Major promotions: Visible Vault,
3 G's & a Z, $10,000 Gold Rush.

1977

Station Air Personalities, News Guys & Money Girls walk out on strike over objections of management's desire to have jocks record their voices for use on the AM while they are live on the FM.  When the union threatens advertising agencies running spots with WPGC talent on them on other DC stations, the National Labor Relations Board rules it constitues a secondary boycott, outlawed by the Taft-Hartley Act. 

First Media replaces the air staff with jocks from other stations in the chain. Dan Mason from sister station WZGC (Z93) Atlanta is named new Program Director, Waylon Richards joins the station for nights from WGCL, Cleveland. Liz Kiley is hired for the overnight shift.

Market motion: Late in the summer another competitor throws in the towel as WMOD goes Country as WMZQ

Post Strike On Air line up:

Jim Elliott
(MD & mornings)

Don O'Day (news)

Dave Foxx
(middays / production)

Brandt Miller (afternoons)

Dan Mason (PD & nights)

Waylon Richards
(late nights)

Liz Kiley (overnights)

#1 song on year end countdown:
'You Light Up My Life' - Debby Boone.

Major promotions: Uncle Richard,
Your Own Country Home



 

1978

Brandt Miller leaves for WLS, Chicago. Scott Carpenter is hired for PM drive. Dan Mason becomes the first off-air Program Director, moves Waylon Richards to nights and hires Steve Michaels for late nights. In the summer, Scott Woodside from Z93, Atlanta is first teamed up with Jim Elliott in mornings when Don O'Day leaves the station. In November, the station airs the 2nd Annual Simulated Thanksgiving Day Parade, an account of a fictious parade in DC.

On Air line up:

Jim Elliott
(MD & mornings)

Scott Woodside (news)

Dave Foxx
(middays / production)

Scott Carpenter (afternoons)

Waylon Richards (nights)

Steve Michaels
(late nights)

Liz Kiley (overnights)

Jingles in use:
JAM's 'Positron'
.

#1 song on
year end countdown:
'Stayin' Alive' - Bee Gees.

Major promotions: The 'Ramblin' Raft Race' brings thousands of listeners to the banks of the Potomac in August, and the Toys for Tots ocncert does the same at the Capital Centre in December.

 

1979

Liz Kiley leaves the station for WABC, New York in February.  Dan Mason leaves the station for a GM position and is succeeded by Scott Shannon from Ariola Records in LA in the spring. Lee Logan, formerly Program Director of WIFE, Indianapolis is brought in for late nights replacing the departing Steve Michaels. Dana Stephens is hired for overnights.

Within a few months of his arrival, Lee Logan is named Program Director of WPGC's sister station, KFMK, Houston.  Weekender Scott (Tony) Jenkins covers late nights until 'Don Geronimo' is brought in to fortify the teen numbers at night in the first real skirmish with Q107, Waylon Richards moves back to late nights. Bill Prettyman is elevated from Station Manager to General Manager.

On April 9th, 1979 the FCC grants the AM a permit to raise power from 10KW to 50KW, still daytime only, directional.

Market motion: In April, amidst concern of continued erosion of WMAL's ratings, ABC relaunches WRQX as Q107, attempting to siphon off as much cume from WPGC as possible to protect its AM mainstay. Ironically, that summer WPGC beats WMAL for the first time ever in Total Persons 12+.

On air line up:

Jim Elliott (mornings)

Scott Woodside (news)

Dave Foxx (middays / production)

Scott Carpenter (afternoons)

Don Geronimo (nights)

Waylon Richards (late nights)

Dana Stephens (overnights)

Scott (Tony) Jenkins (weekends)

Jingles in use: JAM's 'Christmas Kit'

#1 song on year end countdown:
'Reunited' - Peaches & Herb.

#1 song of the decade:
'You Light Up My Life' - Debby Boone.

Major promotions:
Indy 500 Star Car, Unknown Star


 

1980

After 15 years in the Parkway Building in Bladensburg, the station moves to new state of the art studios overlooking the Beltway in Greenbelt at 6301 Ivy lane, Suite 800. Charles Giddens is named the new General Manager when the venerable Bill Prettyman leaves for station ownership on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Steve Kingston is hired as Assistant PD while still programming WYRE in Annapolis. Don Geronimo assumes Music Director duties so that Jim Elliott can concentrate on the morning show. 'J.J. Jackson' is hired for afternoons when Scott Carpenter leaves the station for mornings at the new CHR in Baltimore, B104 (launched by former WPGC jock 'Jim Madison' [Joel Denver]). Shauna replaces the departing Dana Stephens, who relocates at WKYS.

In response to the on-going Iranian hostage crisis, the station begins playing the national anthem everyday at 12 noon until their release.

On air line up:

Elliott & Woodside (mornings / news)

Dave Foxx
(middays / production)

'JJ Jackson' (afternoons)

Don Geronimo
(MD & nights)

Waylon Richards (nights)

Shauna (overnights)

Jingles in use:
JAM's 'The Music Sounds Best' & 'Whisper Chants'

#1 song on
year end countdown:
'Call Me' - Blondie.

Major promotions:
World's Easiest Contest

 

1981

Steve Kingston is named Program Director when Scott Shannon leaves for Q105 in Tampa. One"JJ" leaves as another arrives when 'J.J. Jackson' is replaced in afternoons with 'J.J. McKay'. Bruce Kelly joins for nights and Music Director from Y-100 in Miami when Don Geronimo leaves for WLS, Chicago.

Lisa Kay joins the station from WCAO, Baltimore for overnights when Shauna departs. One time WINX Program Director, Skip Nelson begins hosting the 'Sunday Night Oldies Show. Loo Katz does weekend and fill in duties. WPGC sister station, Z-93, Atlanta's Program Director, John Young becomes the station's primary imaging voice.

On June 18th, 1981 authorization from the FCC is granted to change the transmitting location from 6369 Walker Mill Road to 5526 Walker Mill Road. The change of sites occurs on December 21, 1981. The FM's antenna height is increased to 500 feet.

The annual Toys for Tots Concert at the Capital Centre featrures Rick Springfield, Juice Newton, Quarterflash & the Spinners in December.

Market motion: Q107's ill fated repositioning campaign, 'Q Phase 2', inspired by the success of Howard Stern on DC-101, leaves WPGC comfortably ahead in the now widely watched battle of the Top 40 titans.  A one time AM titan itself, WEEL gives up and goes Country.

On air line up:

Elliott & Woodside (mornings / news)

Dave Foxx
(middays / production)

'J.J. McKay' (afternoons)

Bruce Kelly (MD & nights)

Waylon Richards
(late nights)

Lisa Kay (overnights)

Jingles in use:
TM's 'Radio Express'.

#1 song on
Memorial Day 300 countdown:
'Bridge Over Troubled Water'
- Simon & Garfunkel

 

1982

The turmoil begins as Elliott & Woodside accept a staggering offer and leave the station in January for mornings at crosstown Q107, Dave Foxx initially moves to mornings and is teamed up with Washington Redskin's Joe Theismann & 'El Double O', Loo Katz handling news.

Displaced in the Elliott & Woodside move, Q107's Dude Walker joins WPGC for afternoons.  Then he is moved to mornings with Dave Foxx as 'Dude & Dave' when Joe Theismann has to report to training camp in the summer. Lee Chambers joins for weekends in February.

Steve Kingston exists the station by Fall, heralding a distinct shift in focus for the station as it attempts to remodel itself as an adult friendly venue 'that Washington grew up with'. Promotions Director, Loo Katz leaves to program a station in New Haven, Connecticut.

Jerry Steele is named Program Director along with yet another morning show line up: Dude Walker & news guy,
J. Robert Howe
, Dave Foxx  moves to afternoons. Max Wolf replaces Lisa Kay in overnights. The last of the WPGC 'Money Girls', Pam Smith leaves the station.

General Manager. Charles Giddens leaves the station late in the year for station ownership and is replaced by Jeanne Oates. Ratings tumult, as a mindblowing 50% of the station's cume leaves too.

On air line up:

Dude Walker & Joe Theismann (mornings)

J. Robert Howe ( news)

Dave Foxx (middays / production)

'J.J. McKay' (afternoons)

Bruce Kelly (MD & nights)

Waylon Richards (nights)

Max Wolf (overnights)

Jingles in use:
JAM's 'Double Plus'.

#1 song on
Memorial Day 300 countdown: 'Satisfaction' - Rolling Stones.

Major promotions: The Movie Game


 

1983

Al Casey is hired to replace the departing Jerry Steele as Program Director and attempts to reposition the station closer to its former hipper, heritage position as 'The New 95' but is pre-empted by station ownership more intent on stealing WASH-FM's recently relinquished adult contemporary crown. Q107 becomes thee dominant CHR in Washington by default. Loo Katz returns as Promotions Director after programming in New Haven, Connecticut, and is named Asst. PD. Traffic & Continuity Director Collette Roeder leaves and is replaced by Susan Raider.

Dave Foxx returns to mornings when Dude Walker leaves the station. Max Wolf moves to middays while two mainstays from WASH-FM, John Dowling & Greg Cole join for afternoons & nights respectively. Bruce Kelly departs for B94, Pittsburgh while Lee Chambers handles late nights and Music Director duties. Gene Baxter is added for overnights.

'American Top 40' with Casey Kasem which has run on WPGC since its inception in 1970 is taken from the station when ABC acquires show producer Watermark and gives it to its O&O, Q107. Long a benchmark on the station, 'Sound-Offs' are phased out as the first wave of Deregulation eliminates the necessity of their existence.

On air line up:

Dave Foxx & Joe Theismann (mornings)

J. Robert Howe ( news)

Max Wolf (middays)

John Dowling (afternoons)

Greg Cole (nights)

Lee Chambers
(MD & late nights)

Gene Baxter (overnights)

#1 song on year end countdown:
'Billie Jean' - Michael Jackson'.

Major promotions:
Quizman, Tell A Friend


 

1984

Gene Baxter moves to nights as Greg Cole vacates the station. Glenn Beck is added for overnights. The end of a 30 year legend is in sight as numerous personnel changes late in the summer including Lee Chambers crossing the street for Q107 and Gene Baxter & Loo Katz moving over to WAVA preceed the final nail in the coffin, when the call letters of the FM are changed to WCLY in a vain attempt to commandeer a new image as 'Classy 95'. (Today the WCLY calls are used by an AM Gospel station in Raleigh, NC).

On September 13th, 1984 the FCC renews the permit to raise power on the AM from 10KW to 50KW.

Market motion: WASH-FM's new rhythmic leaning format is almost equally as much a failure.  Sensing a one horse race, Doubleday blows up album rock WAVA and creates a worthy CHR competitor for Q107.

On air line up:

Dave Foxx & Joe Theismann (mornings)

J. Robert Howe ( news)

Max Wolf (middays)

John Dowling (afternoons)

Gene Baxter (nights)

Lee Chambers
(MD & late nights)

Glenn Beck (overnights)

#1 song on
Memorial Day 300 countdown:
'Hello' - Lionel Richie


Epilogue:

The new format continues to languish in the ratings doldrums until First Media decides to sell all of its properties for $177 million to a minority interest in early 1987.  New owners Cook Inlet promptly rebuild the station as Urban Contemporary and bring back the legendary call letters on May 30th, 1987.  Ratings rise almost immediately, softening the blow somewhat of unquestionably the biggest blunder in the history of Washington radio at that time. 

Eventually the AM raises power from 10KW to 50KW in late 1986 and debuts a business talk format in 1988.  In October 1987, it also gains a low power nightime authorization of 270 watts. In 1989 the AM's nightime power is increased to 500 watts directional, but a change in the directional pattern in 1990 requires a reduction in power back to 270 watts.

Infinity Broadcasting acquires the stations from Cook Inlet in June 1994 for $60 million. In 1995, the AM format gives way to Rap and Hip-Hop. Ultimately, it evolves to its present Gospel incarnation in November 1996 as 'Heaven 1580'.

The stations move to new studios and offices at 4200 Parliament Place, Suite 300 in Lanham, MD in the Summer of 2000.

In 2009, the AM becomes WHFS-AM and picks up a syndicated line-up of Right-Wing talk shows.

 




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