WVFM, known simply as FM 106.5 and formerly WQLR, is a Classic Hits-leaning Adult Contemporary outlet serving the Kalamazoo, Michigan radio market. The station's frequency is 106.5 MHz on the FM dial with an ERP of 33 kW. They are owned by Midwest Communications. WVFM 106.5 is located on a crowded Frequency across south-west lower Michigan. The station covers all of Kalamazoo/Battle Creek area, can be heard well in the Grand Rapids area, and reaches as far north and east as Lansing and Jackson. During summer months the station can be received to Flint and Ann Arbor on occasion.
The station competes with Grand Rapids' Clear Channel-owned WSRW-FM (Star 105.7), a more traditional pop-based AC station whose 265,000-watt signal easily reaches Kalamazoo. WVFM is Kalamazoo's home of the John Tesh Radio Show, competing with Delilah on Star 105.7.
June 1964: Steere Broadcasting launched WKMI-FM with 23,500 watts of power on 106.5 FM, as an FM stereo companion to contemporary-music formatted WKMI 1360 AM. It was Kalamazoo's first commercial FM station. According to a Billboard magazine article, the station broadcast from 6 a.m. to midnight and aired an MOR music format incorporating selections from current stereo pop albums, Broadway show tunes, and some light classics.
April 1966: Steere Broadcasting changed WKMI-FM's call letters to WSEO, retaining the easy-listening/MOR music format. Station brass explained that since WKMI-FM had become a popular station in its fewer than two years on the air, the change was made to help the station continue to develop its own identity.
June 1972: WSEO was purchased by Fairfield Broadcasting, separating the station from WKMI-AM. Call letters changed to WQLR ("Clear") and the station settled into a homegrown Beautiful Music format which would continue for the next two decades. In the mid-1970s, the station's owners started a Beautiful Music syndication service called KalaMusic after WOMC in Detroit copied WQLR's formatics and became a ratings success (1).
Early 1990s: WQLR shifted from Beautiful Music to Adult Contemporary under the name "Q-Lite 106.5."
March 1999: WQLR dropped its longtime "Q-Lite 106.5" name to become simply "Q106.5."
April 2002-March 2003: "Q106.5" tweaked its AC format to more of a Hot AC approach, adding music by alternative rock artists such as Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd.
January 2006: Midwest Communications announced that it would purchase WQLR and its sister stations, WKZO 590 AM and WQSN 1660 AM, from Fairfield Broadcasting for $13.25 million, pending FCC approval and closing. Not included in the same was WKLZ 1470 AM which was subsequently taken off the air. The sale was approved in March 2006.
August 27, 2006: WQLR moves from AC to Variety Hits as "106-5 The Q", using Midwest's Guaranteed Music Variety format already in use at several of the company's other FM stations.