|City of license||Bowie, Maryland|
|Broadcast area||Baltimore, Maryland - Washington, D.C.|
|Branding||WNEW All News 99.1|
|Slogan||All News. All The Time.|
|First air date||1947|
|Callsign meaning||W-"NEW York" (where the call sign was transferred from by CBS via West Palm Beach, Florida)|
|Former callsigns||WNAV-FM (1947-1983)
(CBS Radio East Inc.)
|Sister stations||WIAD, WJFK-FM, WLZL, WJFK, WPGC-FM, WJZ, WJZ-FM, WJZ-TV, WLIF, WWMX-FM|
WNEW-FM (99.1 FM; "All-News 99.1") is a radio station broadcasting an all-news format. Licensed to the suburb of Bowie, Maryland, it serves the Baltimore, Maryland/Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The station is currently owned by CBS Radio. Its transmitter is located near Crofton, Maryland and the studios are in Lanham, Maryland (in Prince Georges County near Washington).
The 99.1 MHz frequency was originally WNAV-FM, licensed to Annapolis, Maryland and featuring a beautiful music format. It competed with similar stations in both the Baltimore and Washington markets. In 1983, the station changed calls to WLOM-FM.
In 1983 the owners of WHFS, then licensed to Bethesda at 102.3 FM, sold that station for $2 million and used the money to purchase WLOM along with and its sister station WNAV (1430 AM). The WHFS format and call letters were then moved to 99.1 FM, licensed to operate with 50,000-watts with much higher power than the 102.3 facility, which broadcasts with only 3,000 watts at the time. Thus WHFS on 99.1 could then be heard in Baltimore, Washington, and much of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Eventually Einstein's group sold WHFS. When the station switched formats, it was located at the Infinity Broadcasting Center in Lanham, Maryland. The 102.3 frequency is now occupied by an Urban AC station in Washington, using the call letters WMMJ and nicknamed "Majic 102.3".
Since 1990, WHFS has hosted an event called the HFStival, an annual (sometimes semi-annual) day-long (sometimes two-day-long) outdoor concert. The concert, often held at Washington's RFK Stadium, features a variety local and national acts; for example, the 2004 lineup included The Cure, Jay-Z, Modest Mouse, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Cypress Hill. Robert Benjamin, Bob Waugh and Bill Glasser took the HFStival from a small yearly concert in Fairfax, Virginia, to a large festival in Washington DC that was headlined by major acts and was surrounded by culturally significant booths, games, food, and rides, as well as an outdoor second stage. Amongst others, Billy Zero was instrumental in growing the HFStival Locals Only Stage where bands like Good Charlotte and Jimmie's Chicken Shack got their big break. The term Locals Only stuck and is still used today and the Locals Only Stage was copied by Modern Rock Stations across the Country.
In the mid-1990s, Liberty Broadcasting published a quarterly magazine titled "WHFS Press" that was mailed to listeners and available in local music outlets.
Though becoming famous as a cutting-edge station playing the latest underground music (and often beating the mainstream to the punch by months and even years), under Infinity Broadcasting's ownership, the station became the local modern alternative rock station in the mid 90s. No longer playing rather obscure progressive rock, nor the classic and hard rock of its Baltimore competitor WIYY, HFS was now formatted more towards a younger set of fans who were more apt to listen to Green Day and Fuel than less mainstream artists such as Fugazi or Lou Reed. The station played much of the alternative hits that were touted by the mainstream press and MTV, turning off many old-school HFS listeners, but in turn gaining many listeners in the 18-24 age demographic.
During this period, WHFS featured a specialty show called "Now Hear This", hosted by Dave Marsh, which highlighted indie and local music. The station never fully reverted to its prior all-indie status, but it did begin to combine more underground programming with its modern rock format.
In 1999, WHFS released a New Music New Video Compilation Volume 1 on VHS that was distributed free at Washington area Tower Records outlets. It featured tracks by Cyclefly, Fuel, Fastball, Elliott Smith, Kid Rock, Eve 6, 3 Colours Red, Puya, and Joydrop.
"El Zol 99.1 FM" and all-news
At noon on January 12, 2005, 99.1 switched to a Tropical Latin music format. Its call letters were soon changed to WZLL for a few days, and then again to WLZL, and the station was rebranded as "El Zol 99.1 FM". AOL, which had a partnership with Infinity Broadcasting and recognized that many people would miss the old WHFS format, quickly launched an internet-only streaming radio station with a playlist much like that of WHFS. Due to the amount of complaints about the format change which attracted media attention, then owner Infinity brought the WHFS format back a month later on the 105.7 FM frequency (now WJZ-FM). The WHFS call letters have since relocated first to a talk station on 1580 AM (now WJFK), then to a sister station in West Palm Beach, Florida. WLZL is also CBS Radio's first Spanish radio station, and the company's only Spanish station outside the southern United States.
On November 16, 2011, CBS Radio announced plans to acquire WFSI (107.9 MHz) from religious broadcaster Family Radio, with the intention of moving WLZL's Spanish Tropical format and El Zol branding from 99.1 to 107.9, with a new all-news format launched on 99.1. The 99.1 MHz frequency will adopt the WNEW-FM call sign. The format change occurred on December 1, when 99.1 and 107.9 both began simulcasting El Zol. El Zol was finally moved to 107.9 on December 12, 2011, and 99.1 began stunting with Christmas music, with the WNEW-FM call letters now in place on 99.1. On December 27, 2011, WNEW-FM ended its Christmas music stunting and began stunting with the 1981 Silver Anniversary Edition of The History of Rock and Roll. The all-news format launched at noon on January 22, 2012; the station initially planned to launch at 5 a.m. on January 19, but postponed it due to technical problems. The station also broadcasts simultaneously in HD Radio on 94.7 FM - HD2 and 105.7 FM - HD2.
Currently, WNEW regularly programs traffic reports and weather every five minutes between 5 AM and 7 PM on the "ones" and "sixes" weekdays, every ten minutes on the "ones" (six times an hour) the rest of the week (both from CBS affiliate WUSA), sports updates twice an hour (at :25 and :55) from sister station WJFK-FM, entertainment news once an hour, and business news twice an hour (at :15 and :45). When breaking news warrants, WNEW will break format to provide continuous coverage of any event. When the station began, it had traffic reports only every ten minutes, and had weather reports every four minutes. Also at the beginning, it broadcast only Washington area news, traffic, and weather. In 2014, the station expanded its coverage of the Baltimore metropolitan area by providing news, traffic and weather reports. WNEW-FM is the only station to provide coverage to both Washington and Baltimore, unlike WTOP, which focuses on the Washington area.
As is done with other CBS-owned all-news stations, WNEW-FM provides the audio feed of the CBS Evening News each weeknight at 7PM. It is described as a simulcast of the news program on WJZ-TV, but actually is stopped every 10 minutes for traffic and weather, so is actually delayed by a very few minutes during the 7 PM half hour that it is broadcast. It is broadcast in its entirety.
Also, similar to what is done on other CBS-owned all-news stations, the TV program 60 Minutes is broadcast at 7 PM on Sundays. Even if a football game delays the program on WJZ-TV or WUSA, it begins at exactly 7 PM on WNEW-FM.
Anchors typically split five-hour shifts in which one anchor will anchor the first half hour of each hour while the other anchor does the bottom of the hour. The exception to this is for the 2am-5am shift in which one anchor does the entire shift.
On September 9th, 2014, WNEW announced that it would be Ann Compton's last day on WNEW, as she was retiring. Anchors
-Nathan Hager: Monday- Friday Top of Hour 5-10am
-Amy Morris: Monday-Friday Bottom of Hour 5-10am
-Chas Henry: Monday-Friday Top of Hour 10a-3p; Also National Security Correspondent
-Frank Hanrahan: Monday-Friday Top of Hour 3-8pm
-Stacy Lyn: Monday-Friday Bottom of Hour 3-8pm
-Cheryl Simone: Monday-Friday Bottom of Hour 10a-3p; Community Reporter
-Chris Barnes: Sunday-Thursday Top of Hour 8p-2a
-Matt Coates: Friday & Saturday Top of Hour 8pm-2am
-James White: Saturday & Sunday 2-5am
-Kris Ankarlo: Monday-Thursday Bottom of Hour 8p-2a; Transportation Reporter
-John Frawley: Sunday Bottom of Hour 8pm-2am
-Naki Frierson: Saturday & Sunday Bottom of Hour 5a-Noon.
-Troy Johnson: Saturday & Sunday Bottom of hour Noon-7p
-Greg Tantum: Saturday Top of Hour Noon-7p.
-Rosemary Frisino Toohey: Sunday Top of Hour Noon-7pm
-Kathy Foster: Bottom of Hour: Friday & Saturday 8pm-2am.
-Jenny Glick: Education Reporter
-Sarah Jacobs: Baltimore Bureau Chief and AM drive reporter; Also host Public Affairs program Sundays on WIAD-FM
-Lisa Baden: 5-11am
-Bill Fonte: 11am-3:30pm
-Julie Wright: 3:30-7pm
-Ed Rodriguez: 7p-Midnight
-Jill Schlesinger 6-10am
-Ed Corey 10a-Noon
-Nancy Lyons 12noon-8pm
- "WHFS Press", Liberty Broadcasting, Winter 1994
- WHFS: For Many, The Only Alternative
- Radio-Info: "Official: CBS buying D.C.-Baltimore WFSI (107.9), will debut all-news on 99.1", November 16, 2011.
- CBS Radio press release: "CBS RADIO TO BRING ALL-NEWS STATION TO 99.1 FM IN WASHINGTON, D.C.", November 16, 2011.
- Radio Insight: "CBS Acquires WFSI, To Launch All-News On 99.1", November 20, 2011 (updated January 22, 2012)
- "CBS Radio's "All News 99.1" WNEW to debut in Washington DC on Thursday, 1/19". Radio-Info.com. January 3, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- "CBS delays the launch of Washington DC's "News 99.1"". Radio-Info.com. January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2012.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WNEW
- Radio-Locator information on WNEW
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WNEW