|City of license||Catonsville, Maryland|
|Broadcast area||Baltimore, Maryland|
|Branding||105.7 The Fan|
|Slogan||"Baltimore's New Sports Leader"|
|Frequency||105.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||November 11, 1961 (as WBMD-FM)|
|Callsign meaning||New JerZ (Jersey); Original call letters of what is now WPLJ in New York City|
|Former callsigns||WHFS (2005-2008)
|Affiliations||Fox Sports Radio
(CBS Radio WPGC(AM) Inc.)
|Sister stations||WJZ, WJZ-TV, WLIF, WNEW-FM, WWMX-FM|
WJZ-FM (105.7 FM) is a radio station licensed to Catonsville, Maryland and serving the Baltimore metropolitan area. WJZ-FM's transmitter's site is located in Baltimore's Frankford section, and broadcasts from studios in suburban Towson, Maryland. The station is owned by CBS Radio.
History of the WJZ-FM callsign
The call letters "WJZ" were originally created by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the direct predecessor to the current CBS Corporation, which was the owners of WJZ radio in New York City from 1921 to 1923. The WJZ call sign has been used in Baltimore since 1957, when WAAM (channel 13) was renamed to WJZ-TV, an ABC affiliate that was changed to CBS in 1995.
WJZ-FM signed on in 1961 as WBMD-FM. The station was purchased in the late '60s by Key Broadcasting. The FM station was paired with a country AM station, WBMD, already owned by Key. In 1970, the FM's format became hard rock at night, with country during the day. On July 5, 1971, the station's call sign was changed to WKTK and the format shifted to all progressive rock music. From 1977 to 1979, WKTK played disco music, but later changed to oldies with the decline of disco. In 1982, the call letters became WQSR as the station planned to join Super Radio, a new national music network to be operated by ABC. Shortly before Super Radio's scheduled launch, ABC decided not to go forward with the network. WQSR kept its new call letters. WQSR was then sold to Sconnix Broadcasting in 1988 and continued playing oldies music. The station was sold to Infinity Radio in 1993, then passed on to CBS Radio in 1997.
On September 8, 2001, at 6 AM, WQSR moved to WXYV's 102.7 FM frequency to broadcast on a better signal. After two days of simulcasting, 105.7 FM became the new home for WXYV, with a mainstream urban format known as "X105.7." (X105.7 marked WXYV's second stint as an Urban station; the first incarnation was known as "V103", which flipped to CHR/Top-40 and became "102.7XYV" in 1997, and was then re-branded as "B102.7" in 1998, with the same CHR/Top-40 format.) The call letter swap between the two stations became official 4 days later. Both stations were owned by Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio). The morning show was a simulcast of former V103 personality Frank Ski's morning show, originating from WVEE (also known as "V103", but located on the 103.3 frequency) in Atlanta.
Revival of WHFS
However, X105.7 failed to compete against WERQ-FM, which resulted in WXYV flipping to hot talk on March 10, 2003. The station was an affiliate for Howard Stern and the Don and Mike Show. The station adopted the name "Live 105.7", which would later change to "105.7 Free FM" in 2006, and then "Baltimore's FM Talk 105.7" in 2007 after CBS phased out the Free FM branding nationwide.
Meanwhile, Infinity Broadcasting saw an unexpected public reaction to their decision to change the format of 99.1 FM in Washington. The story was covered by local TV stations for many days afterwards, and mentioned nationally by The Washington Post, The Howard Stern Show, and The Today Show. The corporate offices of Infinity Broadcasting in New York City were flooded with phone calls and e-mails from irate listeners. An online petition protesting the format change gathered tens of thousands of signatures in only a few days. Media attention was attracted by a public protest in downtown Washington, outside a skate shop where WHFS maintained a remote storefront studio in its last few months. WHFS' main competitor, DC101, paid tribute to the station, airing many memories of WHFS from its DJs and listeners.
Infinity Broadcasting responded by resurrecting the WHFS format on nights and weekends at 105.7, beginning at 7 p.m. on January 21, 2005 with former WHFS afternoon DJ Tim Virgin. The station rebranded itself as "The Legendary HFS, Live on 105.7"; Infinity Broadcasting moved the WHFS call letters to the station days later. 'HFS was pulled from the airwaves again on February 1, 2007, immediately before KMS on HFS premiered, yet retained the WHFS call letters traditionally associated with the music the station used to broadcast. Currently, HFS2 and Locals Only with Neci remain WHFS's only ties to its original format.
105.7 the Fan
On November 3, 2008, WHFS flipped to a sports talk format, similar to that of sister station WFAN in New York City. Along with the format change came a new callsign: WJZ-FM. The new station has Ed Norris in the morning drive, Mark Viviano and Damon "Bulldog" Yaffe from 9 AM to 12 PM, WBFF sports director Bruce Cunningham from 12 to 2 PM, and Scott Garceau and Jeremy Conn from 2 to 6 PM. WJZ-FM retained WHFS' status as the flagship radio station for Baltimore Orioles baseball and co-flagship for Maryland Terrapins football and men's basketball. The WHFS call sign landed on 1580 AM (formerly WPGC) one week later. Orioles broadcasts moved from WJZ-FM back to WBAL (which WHFS had replaced as flagship in 2007) in 2011. But in 2015, WJZ-FM reacquired the broadcast rights to Orioles games from WBAL for the second time.
In 2006, WHFS began to broadcast a digital signal for radios using the new HD Radio technology, and launched an all-music station named "HFS2" on its second HD Radio channel. The station focuses primarily on new alternative rock and indie rock, and currently has no DJs or commercials. On January 19, 2007, the online stream of "HFS2" was launched with the slogan "What You've Been Missing" hinting at the death of HFS music on the regular 105.7 frequency.
On Thursday, November 1, 2007, Neci Crowder began broadcasting on HFS2 from 8am to 1 pm. This marked the first time a live DJ has been heard on HFS2.
- Jim Williams (November 3, 2008). "WHFS Now WJZ-FM 105.7 "The Fan"". dcexaminer.com. Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2008-11-03.[dead link]
- "Orioles headed back to WBAL". baltimoresun.com. February 8, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
- "Orioles Return to CBS Radio". cbsbaltimore.com. January 13, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WJZ-FM
- Radio-Locator information on WJZ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WJZ
- HFS2 (HD radio station)