|City of license||Greensboro, North Carolina|
|Broadcast area||Piedmont Triad|
|Slogan||We Play Everything|
|First air date||January 9, 1958 (as WMDE at 98.5)|
|Callsign meaning||W SiMon W|
|Former callsigns||WMDE (1958-1973)
|Former frequencies||98.5 MHz (1958-1960s)|
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WJMH, WPAW, WQMG, WPET, WEAL|
WSMW ("98.7 Simon FM") is a Variety Hits station licensed to Greensboro, North Carolina and serves the Piedmont Triad region, including High Point and Winston Salem. The Entercom outlet broadcasts at 98.7 MHz with an ERP of 100,000 watts. It provides secondary coverage as far as Charlotte to the south, Raleigh to the east, and Roanoke to the west. The station's studios are located near the Piedmont Triad International Airport, and a transmitter site is in unicorporated south Guilford County.
On January 9, 1958, WMDE signed on at 98.5. Owner Hall Electronics had used the ham radio call sign W4MDE. In the early 60s WMDE moved to 98.7, a frequency used from 1948 to 1950 by WCTP. Early formats on WMDE included classical music, middle of the road and jazz. In 1966 WMDE played country music and aired Tobacco Radio Network news. Suburban Broadcasting sold WMDE to Mido Broadcasting in 1973 and the station became WPET-FM, airing Southern gospel music.
Starting November 1, 1973, the station went Top 40 as WRQK, known as "K-99". The station leaned toward classic rock in 1980, when it was also called "Heart of Gold". Later the name became "99-RQK."
In 1985 the station changed to WKSI "98-7 Kiss FM," under consultant Randy Kabrich—still playing Top 40 and enjoying the "hey day" of 80's top 40. The station was programmed during the mid/late 80's by Big Steve Kelly and then Dale O'Brian. Big Steve left the station for Cleveland in the late 80's and O'Brian was named PD/Operations Manager. The station enjoyed the reputation of being one of the best sounding Top 40's in the Carolinas. The station would evolve to a Modern-leaning Adult Top 40 by 1995 (after a brief stint as a country station "98-7 Kiss Country"). The station would also change its slogan to "The Point" in 1997 and by 2002 changed it again to "The Zone" and its calls to WOZN. In 2005, the station added songs from the variety hits genre and held an online vote to see in the station should keep the Hot AC format or change to Variety Hits (even though at the time, the owners were planning to change it.) Perhaps not surprisingly, Variety Hits won, as the station would change their call letters to WSMW and join the list of stations embracing the Variety Hits concept by introducing "Simon" to the market. The slogan is a reference to the children's game "Simon Says," but it also refers to whatever the jockless station plays in its music library.
The station later added a morning show hosted by Jeff Wicker. Jeff was voted "best triad radio personality" for 2007 (GoTriad.com) Currently the morning show is hosted by Sean Sellers, a Henderson North Carolina native who cut his teeth in Triangle radio including a long stint at G-105.
The station originally focused on playing music of multiple genres, eras, and styles, from as far back as the 1960s to present. In recent times, the station has removed the majority of the newer music and focused more on 1970s and 1980s classic hits alongside some 1990s music, although some of the recent material remains. Several slogans, such as "Random Rules" or "We play everything" demonstrate this dedication to a wide variety of music.
- "Battle for Big Bucks," Greensboro Daily News, April 27, 1980.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WSMW
- Radio-Locator information on WSMW
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WSMW