|City of license||Wake Forest, North Carolina|
|Branding||Classic Rock 100.7 WRDU|
|Slogan||Raleigh's Classic Rock|
|Frequency||100.7 MHz(also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1947 (as WCEC-FM)|
|Former callsigns||WCEC-FM (1947-1949)
|Sister stations||WDCG, WNCB, WTKK|
WRDU ("Classic Rock 100.7") is a classic rock radio station that serves the Raleigh–Durham market of North Carolina. Its studios are located at Smoketree Court in Raleigh and its city of license is in Wake Forest. However, its city-grade signal also covers a considerable part of the Eastern North Carolina market, including the cities of Rocky Mount, Wilson, Goldsboro, Greenville, and Roanoke Rapids, based on the transmitter location east of Zebulon. WRDU is owned and operated by iHeartMedia, Inc., whose sister stations include G105, 106.1 WTKK, and B93.9.
In 1947, Mel Warner and his father-in-law, Rocky Mount Evening Telegram founder Josh Horne, signed an AM/FM combo in this Eastern North Carolina town. WCEC was heard at 810 AM and WCEC-FM 100.7. The stations hired legendary agricultural broadcaster Ray Wilkinson in 1948 and, along with Raleigh's WRAL-FM, and Goldsboro's WGBR started the Tobacco Network. It was sold to WRAL-FM owner A. J. Fletcher, and has grown into what is now known as the North Carolina News Network. Two years after its sign on, WCEC-FM became WFMA.
WFMA had a country format when Ken Johnson's Birmingham, Alabama-based Capital Broadcasting (no relation to Raleigh's Capitol Broadcasting Company) bought it and moved its studios to Raleigh as WTRG around August 1986. (WCEC 810, now a stand-alone which was authorized for daytime operation only, went dark and its license was subsequently turned into the FCC.) Along with the studio move, WTRG was upgraded to a 100,000-watt signal from one of the tallest FM towers in North Carolina. The station, now with a 10,227-square-mile (26,490 km2) coverage area, claimed the 17th largest coverage area of any FM station in America. WTRG signed on with the fight songs from Duke, UNC and NC State before debuting with an oldies format, only to quickly shift gears to an adult contemporary format. They returned to oldies in 1989 as "Oldies 100.7".
Tom Joyner purchased WTRG in 1991 and built a very community-minded station not afraid to take editorial stances: an example of this was the station's 1993 crusade for increased rights of victims of violent crimes. With the relaxation of dual ownership rules, WTRG was sold in 1994 to Hicks Muse of Dallas, along with Carl Venters' WRDU, a move-in from nearby Wilson. That same year, WTRG picked up UNC Tar Heels radio broadcasts from WZZU.
Through several mergers, WTRG, WRDU and three other local stations became part of Clear Channel Worldwide. On November 8, 2004, WTRG axed its longtime oldies format and began stunting with simulcasts of Clear Channel sister stations WRSN (now WNCB), WDCG, WDUR and WRDU (now WTKK). At 5 p.m. on November 12, the station switched to country as "100.7 The Bull".
On November 15, also at 5 p.m., they became adult album alternative-formatted "100.7 The River", with the new call letters WRVA-FM following shortly thereafter. Even though it shared the same call letters as fellow Clear Channel station WRVA, a 50,000-watt AM station out of Richmond, Virginia, the station was programmed completely independently. Per FCC requirements, the -FM suffix was attached to the call letters.
On September 25, 2006, The River shifted to a rock adult contemporary format, albeit with the same handle and imaging. In anticipation of sister station and heritage rocker WRDU's move to a country format, which took place on October 6 of that year, "The River" shifted to classic hits.
In 2010, WRVA-FM changed its city of license from Rocky Mount to Wake Forest in part of a multi-station agreement that allowed Capitol Broadcasting sports outlet WCMC-FM 99.9 to increase its coverage.
During 2011, WRVA shifted toward more of a mainstream classic hits/Rock-leaning Gold AC format, including more 1960s rock music and non-disco pop music from the 1970s, while continuing to play 1980s music.
On November 11, 2011, at 6:00 PM, after playing The Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" and going into Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock", WRVA-FM made the switch to all-Christmas music. It became the third station in the Clear Channel Raleigh cluster to make such a change. WRSN/WKSL made the holiday switch on an annual basis until 2007, and WRDU did likewise in 2009 when it segued from country music to talk radio (as that station lost the ratings and revenue battle to WQDR-FM). The switch led to rumors of a format change. On December 26, 2011, 100.7 The River returned with more of a mainstream Classic Hits format, including more 1960s and 1970s pop/R&B music, and less classic rock and 1980s music. This put the station in competition with Curtis Media's WKIX-FM.
Another format tweak took effect on June 8, 2012, with the station this time going in more of a general classic rock direction, with artists like Guns n Roses, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, and ZZ Top. As of November 7, 2012, the River has tweaked to a harder brand of classic rock, similar to 96rock, who flipped formats to Adult Hits in November of 2011, and longtime classic rocker 106.1 RDU.
On March 27, 2013, WRVA-FM changed their call letters to WTKK. On March 28, the station released morning host Kitty Kinnin. The next day, the station began running liners promoting that "The River has dried up" and a change would happen on April 1 at 9:00 AM. At that time, after a 3-hour stunt with "Back in Black" by AC/DC and a scene from the movie School of Rock, the station relaunched as "Classic Rock 100.7 WRDU" under the WRDU calls and then actor & singer of the rock duo Tenacious D Jack Black says these words, "LET'S GET ROCKIN'"! The first song after the relaunch was "Eruption" by Van Halen. The WTKK call letters were shifted to 106.1, which brands itself as "More Stimulating Talk Radio".
Other uses of the letters
The WRDU call letters were once associated with Channel 28 (now WRDC-TV) from 1968 to 1978 when it was an NBC affiliate. In addition, a radio station with the call letters WRDU was depicted as "The Voice of the Durham Bulls" in the 1988 film Bull Durham, for which the previous WRDU (now WTKK) helped recruit extras in crowd scenes.
- Venta, Lance (April 1, 2013). "WRDU Returns To Rock Raleigh". Radio Insight. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- WRDU Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WRDU
- Radio-Locator information on WRDU
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WRDU