WWQM-FM

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WWQM-FM
WWQM-FM "Q106.3"
City of license Middleton, Wisconsin
Broadcast area Madison, Wisconsin
Branding Today's Q106
Slogan "It's Your Country"
"Madison's Hometown Country Station"
Frequency 106.3 MHz FM
Format Country music
ERP 4,500 watts
HAAT 114 meters
Class A
Facility ID 19623
Callsign meaning Q-Madison
Former callsigns WMAD or WMAD-FM (prior to 1978)
Owner Mid-West Family Broadcasting
Sister stations WHIT, WJJO, WJQM, WLMV, WMGN, WOZN, WOZN-FM
Webcast Listen Live!
Website Q106.com

WWQM-FM (106.3 MHz) is a radio station licensed to Middleton, Wisconsin and serving the Madison area. Owned and operated by Mid-West Family Broadcasting, the station has aired a country music format since 1981.

History[edit]

Previous "Q106" logo, c. 2007

WWQM was originally WMAD-FM, owned by Hudson Communications. As WMAD-FM, it simulcast with Country-formatted WMAD (at 1550AM, the current WHIT). "The Country Giant" was an early station slogan, followed by "Music of America." WMAD-AM became WWQM ("15Q") in 1976, running an automated oldies format featured PAMS jingles, while WMAD-FM adopted its own country format, though competitor WTSO continually beat it in the ratings, forcing WMAD-FM to drop Country for Top 40 rock in 1978. WMAD adopted the WWQM call letters in 1978, running a live-assist format using TM Programming Stereo Rock. In mid-1978, the station hadn't reached the high ratings expected and Q106 became a fully automated station. In January 1980, Q106 dropped automation and went live Top 40. This version of Q106 only lasted a short time and a switch to country would follow in 1981.

On November 3, 2008, Q106's reach would expand outside of the immediate Madison area with a simulcast on WWQN at 106.7 FM, a signal that covers Iowa County and far Western portions of Dane County. The 106.7 frequency was previously home to Rhythmic Top 40 station WJQM, which moved to 93.1 FM (and displaced the classic rock-formatted WHLK[1]) to accommodate the Q106 simulcast. WWQN simulcast the programming of WWQM until December 13, 2011, when it moved to a simulcast of talk station WTDY (as WTDY-FM).

The Q106 format would be adjusted in July 2009, when new program director John Sebastian, after 3-1/2 days of on-air stunting with alternate, non-country formats, instituted a new "Q106.3" (or simply "The Q"). The adjusted format featured less talk by DJ's, more music, and darker voice imaging; the playlist was also broadened to include vintage country songs as well as pop and rock songs with crossover appeal to contemporary country listeners (including the first song played post-stunting, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama").[2][3] After Sebastian departed the station in Summer 2011, new program director (and longtime Madison radio personality) Fletcher Keyes would gradually reverse the format back to contemporary mainstream country, including brighter voice imaging and branding ("Today's Q106"), as well as emphasizing local connections between the station's listeners and its roster of disc jockeys, all of whom are Madison based.

Madison Country Music Awards[edit]

For more than 20 years (through Fall 2008), WWQM hosted the "Madison Country Music Awards," an annual awards ceremony honoring local and national country artists. The ceremonies, which were popular among the station's Madison audience, featured performances by local and national country acts (including a then-up-and-coming Taylor Swift in 2007) as well as presentations of awards as voted by Q106 listeners (e.g. awards for Entertainer of the Year and Best Local Band). The Madison Country Music Awards were discontinued in 2009 at the time of Q106's format adjustment.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Station Goes to Hip-Hop", from madison.com, posted 29 October 2008
  2. ^ "Q106 teasing listeners with format change", from Wisconsin State Journal, July 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "Q106 returns to country format", from Wisconsin State Journal, July 16, 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°03′04″N 89°29′13″W / 43.051°N 89.487°W / 43.051; -89.487