WBIG-FM

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WBIG was also an AM station in Greensboro, NC that served the Piedmont Triad from 1926 to 1986. The WBIG calls on the AM dial are currently being used by an AM station in Aurora, Illinois.
WBIG-FM
WBIG.jpg
City of license Washington, D.C.
Broadcast area Washington, D.C.
Branding Big 100.3
Slogan "Bigger. Better. Big 100.3"
Frequency 100.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1948 (as WFAN)
Format Classic rock
HD2: Asian
ERP 50,000 watts
HAAT 149 meters
Class B
Facility ID 54459
Callsign meaning W BIG 100.3
Former callsigns WFAN (1948-1978)
WOOK-FM (1978-1990)
WDJY (1990-1991)
WJZE (1991-1993)
Affiliations Baltimore Ravens Radio Network
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
Sister stations WASH-FM, WIHT, WMZQ, WWDC
Webcast Listen Live
Website thebigdc.com

WBIG-FM, or "Big 100.3," is a classic rock radio station serving the Washington, D.C., United States area. It formerly went by the slogan "Big 100", and before that, "Oldies 100." It is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.. It plays music from the late 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. The station's studios are located in Rockville, Maryland and the transmitter site is in Falls Church, Virginia.

History[edit]

Prior to becoming WBIG, it was Washington's first FM Spanish-language station as WFAN, later Washington's first FM urban contemporary station as WOOK-FM ("OK100"), and then as WDJY "DJ100". For several years in the early 1990s[citation needed] it featured an eclectic smooth jazz format as WJZE ("Jazzy 100"). The station was acquired by Chancellor Media and adopted the oldies format in June 1993.[1][2] WBIG was then sold to Clear Channel in 2000 and changed its branding to "Big 100".

WBIG was "evolved" from an oldies format to classic hits (1970s and early 1980s) on April 3, 2006. This was accompanied with a slight branding change to "Big 100.3". The changeover was not announced, and the new format followed Jack FM's lead by removing several announcers. Jeff "Goldy" Gold, who spent 12 years at WBIG, was the morning host at Oldies 106.9 WFVL in Fayetteville, N.C. from September 2005 to February 2009.[3] Kathy Whiteside now does mid-days at Lite FM in Baltimore, Johnny Dark works at WTTR AM in Westminster Maryland playing the greatest hits of all time, and Ira Melman worked for a while at WTOP-FM in DC, and now works for VOA, the Voice of America, in Washington, DC.

WBIG was the first station in the U.S. to work directly with a Beatle. Ringo Starr hosted and voiced the commercials for the "BIG Ringo Starr Art Show" in March 2007. It was the first time that artwork from all four Beatles appeared in the same exhibition. Proceeds from the sales of art benefited Ringo's charity The Lotus Foundations. The station converted their website from idigbig.com to idigringo.com and changed the graphics to reflect Ringo's participation, including home videos provided by Ringo.

After the spring 2009 format change of rival classic rock station WTGB (now WIAD) to adult contemporary, WBIG-FM tried to appease listeners of WTGB by shifting to a musical position in between light classic hits and slightly heavier classic rock but still not becoming a full-fledged classic rock station. Four months later, oldies outlet WJZW (now WMAL-FM) flipped to mainstream rock (mostly heavy classic rock with a few newer songs). Throughout 2010, WVRX slowly siphoned listeners from WBIG, especially in WVRX's target demographic of men 25-54. By the third week of August, 2010, WBIG had plummeted to 14th in the overall Arbitron radio ratings; it had been hovering around 8th place since the demise of WTGB. Accordingly, on August 30, 2010, the station fired its last on-air morning show staff: morning man Jon Ballard and news anchor Bill Stabler. After being fired, Ballard called into Elliot in the Morning (based at sister station DC101 WWDC, where Ballard worked afternoons until 2006) and began to discuss the incident with Elliot Segal. Reportedly, although Ballard did not criticize WBIG-FM or Clear Channel, WWDC management cut off the conversation by ending the show early and "dumping" to music, a process normally used to avoid content that would garner FCC fines. After Ballard's firing, the station shifted its playlist completely to classic rock, and began promoting the fact that it was now DJ-less. In October, the DJ's returned; with Lisa Berigan doing middays, Doc Reno doing afternoon drive, and Big Rig doing nights. On November 20th, Tommy Griffiths would take the station's morning shift. [4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "S-4 SEC filing". EDGAR Online. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  2. ^ Yorke, Jeffrey (January 17, 1995). "WJZW-FM: A Jump for Jazz". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Michael Futch, "Layoffs Claim Radio Hosts," The Fayetteville Observer, February 10, 2009.
  4. ^ "After WBIG, Washington morning man is fired, he calls sister station DC101". Radio-Info.com. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Jon Ballard Exits Big 100.3/Washington, D.C. Mornings". All Access. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°53′13″N 77°12′04″W / 38.887°N 77.201°W / 38.887; -77.201