|City of license||Fort Thomas, Kentucky|
|Broadcast area||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Branding||97.3 The Wolf|
|First air date||1993 (as WAAR)|
|Former callsigns||WSWD (2008-2009)
(Cincinnati FCC License Sub, LLC)
|Sister stations||WKRQ, WUBE, WREW|
|Website||97.3 The Wolf|
WYGY (97.3 FM, "The Wolf") is a radio station broadcasting a country music format. Licensed to the suburb of Fort Thomas, Kentucky, it serves the Cincinnati, Ohio metropolitan area. It first began broadcasting in 1993 under the call sign WAAR. The station is currently owned by Hubbard Broadcasting.
97.3 "The Sound" launched ichannel.fm's broadcast as a sub channel (HD-2) on their HD Radio signal near the end of August 2008. In late May 2009, that format was dropped and 'Mormon Channel', a Christian talk and teaching station, took its place on the HD2 channel.
After signing on with the call sign WAAR, the station changed their call sign to WMMA in June 1993. The station again changed their call sign to WYLX in 1998, and by then was broadcasting a classic rock format as "Alex 97.3".
The WAQZ call sign and Alternative rock format abandoned by owner of 107.1 FM (Jacor Communications) was re-introduced by CBS Radio on 97.3 FM as "Channel Z" in March 2000. In 2003, WAQZ was rebranded "New Rock 97.3" with a shift to more current modern rock artists. WAQZ was rebranded again in 2005 as 97.3 Everything Alternative."
On August 21, 2006, Entercom Communications bought WAQZ, along with several other stations, from CBS Radio. On October 30, 2006, Entercom abruptly fired the entire on-air staff, signaling the end of WAQZ. The actual end of WAQZ came 3 days later, on November 2.
WYGY The Wolf
On November 2, 2006, Entercom relaunched alternative rock at 94.9 FM and the WYGY format was moved to 97.3 FM, although the call sign remained WAQZ for a month until the WYGY calls were finally in place. WYGY was formerly "The Star", located at 96.5 FM and owned by Cumulus Media, but was traded to Entercom in exchange for WGRR. Entercom would re-launch the format on 97.3 as "The Wolf", a top 40 country station, in order to appeal to a younger demographic than its other country station, WUBE ("B-105"). At the same time "The Sound" debuted, WAQZ came to an end. The final song to play on WAQZ was "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage" by Panic! at the Disco.
"The Sound" 94.9 FM
On Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 12 p.m. EST, "The Sound" began broadcasting on 94.9 FM. Although the station used the WYGY call letters for the first month that the new format was on the air, station management stressed those letters would be moved to 97.3 FM where the country format previously at 94.9 FM was relocated. The WSWD call letters debuted in late November. The first song played on 94.9 The Sound was "Welcome to Paradise" by Green Day at 12:02 p.m. EST.
Initial programming stunts
Upon its launch, the station began a programming stunt that consisted of 9,490 songs in a row without commercials or DJ interruption, though they replayed many songs multiple times in a day. This stunt took 22 days to complete, and it finished on December 1, 2006 at 5 p.m. EST. At this time, the station announced that it would begin airing commercials. The first song played after the 9,490 song promotion was "Wonderwall" by Oasis, launching a set of personal "Perfect 10" playlists sent in by individuals. After the "Perfect 10" promotion ended, WSWD returned to its alternative variety format.
Entercom/Bonneville station trade
On January 18, 2007, Entercom announced plans to swap its entire Cincinnati radio cluster, including WSWD, together with three of its radio stations in Seattle, Washington, to Bonneville International in exchange for all three of Bonneville's FM stations in San Francisco, California and $1 million cash. In May 2007, Bonneville officially took over control of the Cincinnati stations through a time brokerage agreement. On March 14, 2008, Bonneville officially closed on the stations.
"The Sound moves to 97.3 FM
On November 7, 2008 at 11:00 a.m., WSWD and WYGY switched frequencies, returning an alternative rock format to the 97.3 FM frequency. All weekday disc jockeys were also let go with the move. The last song to play on the 94.9 frequency was "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage" by Panic! at the Disco, which is also the same song that ended WAQZ at 97.3.
Many "Sound" listeners were angry over the move. Some sent angry letters to Bonneville International demanding them to change back and rehire the original weekday disc jockeys who had become a staple in many "Sound" listener's lives. The reason many were angry about the switch from 94.9 to 97.3 is because the signal is weaker on the new frequency, whereas 94.9 broadcast at 10,500 watts. This means the signal had trouble in Northern Kentucky and other portions of the listening area, especially behind hills.
The Wolf Returns To 97.3
On May 21, 2009, Bonneville blew up alternative rocker WSWD and flipped the station back to country, moving the format from its 94.9 sister station, which flipped to 80s-leaning adult hits as Rewind 94.9. The last song on The Sound was No You Girls by Franz Ferdinand. Many believe the Sound's demise was based on Cumulus' WFTK flipping to alternative rock earlier this year. The Sound is available on WREW 94.9 HD2 and on the internet at www.thesoundcincinnati.com.
The current lineup - starting out the day on the morning drive is Jimmy (who worked for both WAQZ and WSWD) During the mid-day its Ernie "The Fatman" Brown. Then on the ride home is Pistol Pete. on late afternoons is Garage Pass. wrapping up the line up on nights is Bud.
- Kiesewetter, John. "Country music station WYGY moving again, changing name". Cincinnati Enquirer. November 2, 2006.
- Virgin, Bill (January 18, 2007). "Entercom trades radio stations". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- "Hubbard deal to purchase Bonneville stations closes". Radio Ink. May 2, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WYGY
- Radio-Locator information on WYGY
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WYGY