|City of license||Poquoson, Virginia|
|Broadcast area||Hampton Roads|
|Slogan||"#1 for New Country"|
(also on HD Radio)
106.1-2 for WROX-FM
|First air date||2001 - Exmore
2004 - Poquoson
|Callsign meaning||W United States Hampton (Roads)|
|Former callsigns||WEXM (2001-2003)
|Owner||Sinclair Telecable, Inc.
(Commonwealth Broadcasting, LLC)
|Sister stations||WNIS, WROX-FM, WNOB, WTAR|
WUSH originally signed on the air in 2001 as WEXM in Exmore, Virginia on the Eastern Shore. It used to simulcast 93.7 WKOC (later WKCK) in Chesapeake, VA which would last until early 2004, when the FCC granted them the green light to move the signal to a transmitter site in Hampton, VA despite objections by Saga Communications, who filed a petition to keep Sinclair from making the signal move-in official (which the FCC later denied). WEXM briefly had the WKOC calls from December 2003 to February 2004.
This frequency was also home to Sinclair's translator for Alternative rock music outlet WROX-FM. In 1995, they fired up the translator which was to help eliminate signal dropout in the downtown area on 96.1. The on-air positioning statement was "106-1 Downtown, 96-1 All Around - 96X." Tidewater Communications, which owned rocker 'FM99' WNOR and '106.9 The Fox' WAFX at the time, filed a petition with the FCC to deny WROX a construction permit. WROX also had a petition to the FCC, which collected more than 3,000 signatures from listeners requesting 96X be granted the go-ahead, which it was by the FCC. The translator signed-off on March 7, 2004.
On March 7, 2004, the 106.1 signal would debut as Adult Hits WPYA "106.1 Bob-FM". This format was very popular with listeners, and fared much better than sister station WKCK (now WPYA)'s Country format. The two stations swapped signals and formats and became "Kick 106" on September 23, 2004. That would last until February 2, 2005, when the format, which never had high ratings, was dropped and the station began stunting with Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot" for two days straight. The Top 40/CHR format known as WZNR, "The Zone @ 106.1," debuted on February 4, with Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" being the first song. The station was hoping to fill the market's Mainstream Top 40 void that was left open by WNVZ in 1993 by giving listeners "All The Hits, Not Just Some Of Them." The station also carried the syndicated morning show, "The Playhouse", which is based out of Portland, Oregon (the reasoning behind this was most likely that the show's host (PK)'s hometown was Norfolk).
Even though the format was well received in the area, the station had low ratings. On September 21, 2006, at 12:04 pm (ET), WZNR exited the "Zone" by segueing from the All-American Rejects' "Move Along" to an introduction to the new "Energy 106.1, Music That Makes You Move" followed by its first song in the new format, Bob Sinclar's "Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now)." WNRJ's format, branding and logo are also extremely similar to that of Alan Burns' Movin' format. Although this station was billing themselves as a "Rhythmic Hot AC," WNRJ was expected to lean slightly towards a Dance direction (as evidenced by the Sinclar track they launched with).
In January 2007, Energy's playlist began to shift towards Rhythmic Contemporary by incorporating more current R&B/Hip-Hop product into the mix and lessening on Dance and Old School tracks as a way to boost ratings and because of WWHV's flip from Urban to Sports (now WXTG). During this time, the station was still suffering from dismal numbers in the Arbitron ratings. On August 27, at Midnight (ET), Energy shifted formats to Adult Top 40, with the current Hot AC Pop/Rock fare mixed in with some of the Rhythmic crossovers that were held over from the previous format. At the same time, the station dismissed their entire air staff. The Rhythmic AC format would later return to Hampton Roads in March 2011, when WKUS dropped its simulcast of WKSA to become "MOViN 107.7". Unlike Energy, MOViN concentrates on more classic dance, hip-hop, and R&B tracks, as well as playing very few currents.
December 2007 relaunch
Energy's new Adult Top 40 format ultimately failed in the ratings, as the station peaked below a 2 share for the market's ratings. Sinclair Communications decided to take station in a different direction by flipping back to their previous country music format, while going in stunt mode for about 4 days to promote the change. On December 14, 2007, just before 2 pm (ET) and after playing its final song, "Bye Bye Bye" by NSync, WNRJ began stunting, temporarily playing and repeating Garth Brooks songs on loop and used the moniker "Garth 106." On December 15, the station shifted to a loop of Rascal Flatts songs and changed monikers to "Rascal 106". On December 16, the station shifted to Kenny Chesney songs and changed monikers to "Chesney 106". On December 17, the station looped Martina McBride songs and changed monikers to "Martina 106". On December 18, the station shifted to George Strait songs and changed monikers to "Strait 106".
The station completed its shift back to country as WUSH, "US106, America's Country" at 5 pm on December 18, 2007. Two days later, though, the station took the WUFH call sign. The station continued to ID as "WUSH," signaling a possible goof with either the station or the FCC. The call letters were corrected on January 2, 2008.
On August 15, 2008, the FCC granted a request from Sinclair Communications to move the antenna and increase the power of WUSH. Owner Bob Sinclair also made the announcement on-air at 5 pm. The new tower started broadcasting on May 29, 2009 with 11,000 watts in Portsmouth, Virginia.
In 2011, WUSH shifted to a "new country" format and began identifying as "US106-1", although station sweepers and IDs still use "US106."
- "WUSH Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "CHR 106.1 WZNR becomes Rhythmic AC "Energy 106.1″ WNRJ". FormatChange.com, The Format Change Archive. 2006-09-21. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
- Visakowitz, Susan (2006-09-21). "WZNR/Norfolk Flips To WNRJ As 'Energy 106-1'". AllBusiness Radio Monitor. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
- Maisey, Jeff (2007-08-31). "WNRJ now Hot Adult Contemporary". The Virginian Pilot. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
- "WNRJ Norfolk/Virginia Beach Stunting". Radio Insight. 2007-12-14. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
- US-106 Online
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WUSH
- Radio-Locator information on WUSH
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WUSH