|City of license||Waldorf, Maryland|
|Broadcast area||Washington, D.C.|
|First air date||April 7, 2007 (as Praise 104.1)|
|Callsign meaning||W PRaiSe|
|Former callsigns||WXTR (1981-1996)
(Radio One Licenses, LLC)
|Sister stations||WKYS, WMMJ, WOL, WYCB|
WPRS-FM (104.1 FM, "Praise 104.1") is an Urban Gospel formatted radio station in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The station broadcasts from Waldorf, Maryland, at 104.1 MHz. It is co-owned with WKYS-FM, WMMJ, WOL and WYCB and has studios located in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Bonneville announced the local marketing agreement with Radio One for the 104.1 signal on April 6, 2007. The 103.9 signal – which had been paired at the time with 104.1 – was switched the same date to a simulcast of WTOP, while the 104.1 frequency went dark in anticipation of a format switch. "Praise 104.1" launched the next morning. On April 24, 2007, WXGG changed their call letters to WPRS.
Before becoming an urban contemporary gospel station, WPRS was known as WXGG (nicknamed George 104), an adult hits radio station. The station used "George FM" (as in George Washington) instead of the usual "Jack FM" for this format, because Jack FM is owned by Big Sticks Broadcasting and is licensed almost exclusively to CBS Radio. The station broadcast from Braddock Heights, Maryland at 103.9 MHz FM, and from Waldorf, Maryland, at 104.1 MHz.
George 104 began broadcasting on the afternoon of January 22, 2007, at 3 p.m. EST, after the announcement of the end of classical music station WGMS, which had aired on the two frequencies since early 2006 and maintained a classical music format in Washington for 60 years. At the time of the format change, Bonneville announced that it had reached a deal with public radio station WETA-FM to return the latter station to a classical format. WETA hired Jim Allison, the longtime program director of WGMS, and Bonneville donated its 15,000-disc WGMS music library to WETA. Bonneville also gave WETA the right to use the WGMS call sign.
The format change took place after an abortive effort by Bonneville in late 2006 to sell the two frequencies to Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. Snyder planned to buy WGMS to convert it to a sports radio format, adding its frequencies to the Triple X ESPN Radio network. Snyder withdrew from the preliminary purchase agreement, however, citing "a change in the radio climate" and hopes that "a better signal will soon become available in the market." News accounts suggested that a comment to The Washington Post from an unnamed Bonneville executive, who said Snyder had offered "50 percent more than WGMS was worth," had stalled the negotiations.
The adult hits George format moved to the 103.5-2 subcarrier frequency of WTOP but was eventually discontinued altogether.
- "Bonneville, Radio One Reach Agreement on 104.1 FM". WTOPNews.com. 2007-04-06.
- Farhi, Paul (January 23, 2007). "Radio Stations Harmonize On Classical Music". The Washington Post.
- Bonneville Moves D.C.'s Classical WGMS to WETA
- Farhi, Paul (December 8, 2006). "Redskins Owner Set to Buy Last Classical Station". The Washington Post.
- Farhi, Paul (January 4, 2007). "Dan Snyder's Deal Stalls but WGMS Ponders Format Change". The Washington Post.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WPRS
- Radio-Locator information on WPRS
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WPRS
- The end of WGMS classical programming (audio)