WZDR

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WZDR
WYDR - The Drive.png
City of license Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Broadcast area Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin
Branding 94.3 & 99.7, The Drive
Slogan "The Soundtrack of Our Lives"
Frequency 99.7 MHz
Repeaters 101.9 W270AJ (Green Bay)
First air date February 1982 (as WSBW at 100.1)
Format Classic Hits/Rock
ERP 46,000 watts
HAAT 156 meters (512 ft)
Class C2
Facility ID 42090
Transmitter coordinates 44°38′8.00″N 87°37′37.00″W / 44.6355556°N 87.6269444°W / 44.6355556; -87.6269444Coordinates: 44°38′8.00″N 87°37′37.00″W / 44.6355556°N 87.6269444°W / 44.6355556; -87.6269444
Callsign meaning W Z The DRive
Former callsigns WSBW (2/1982-2/1989)
WQZZ (2/1989-9/1990)
WHET-FM (9/1990-7/1993)
WGEE-FM (7/1993-9/1996)
WLTM (9/1996-4/2002)
WLYD (4/2002-2/2006)
WZBY (2/2006-8/2009)
WRQE (8/2009-9/2010)
Former frequencies 100.1 MHz (1982-1986)
Owner Midwest Communications
Sister stations WGEE-FM, WIXX, WNCY, WNFL, WTAQ (AM/FM), WYDR
Webcast Listen Live
Website thedrive.fm

WZDR (99.7 FM) is a radio station licensed to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, USA, the station serves the Green Bay area simulcasting co-owned WYDR with a Classic Hits/Classic rock format as The Drive. The station is currently owned by Midwest Communications, broadcasting from both its main transmitter in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin and from a translator in Green Bay, W270AJ (101.9 FM).[1]

History[edit]

The station that would become WZDR launched in the early 1980s at 100.1 FM (eventually moving to 99.7 by 1986). Compared to its simulcast partner in the Fox Valley, WZDR's format history has been mostly unstable. The station started out in the early 80s under the WSBW call sign (not to be confused with the current WSBW in Sister Bay, Wisconsin) and aired a locally-originated adult contemporary format through studios in downtown Sturgeon Bay. An ownership change in 1989 would see WSBW become WQZZ, with the station now using a satellite-fed AC format, the same service used by its sister station in the Fox Cities, the similarly-callsigned but separately-operated WOZZ. In the fall of 1990, WQZZ became WHET-FM and adopted a new satellite-fed top 40 (CHR) format as "99.7 The Heat" to compete with Top 40 station WIXX; the station would go to an all-local Top 40 operation 2 years later.

By 1993, new FCC rules allowed companies to own a 2nd FM frequency in a market, and WHET's owners would sell the station to Midwest Communications that year. Midwest planned to replace the "Heat" format to avoid direct competition with its heritage Top 40 station, WIXX, plans that were furthered along by severe storms that twice knocked WHET off the air in June and July 1993; the 2nd storm permanently ended "The Heat," as Midwest used the 2nd outage to repair the signal and begin its transition to country. By August 1993, the station became "99 Country," using the WGEE-FM call sign (mirroring that of its heritage country sister station, the current WTAQ) and using a 24/7 local operation in comparison to its mostly satellite-fed competitor, WJLW.

WGEE-FM remained as "99 Country" until September 1996, when FCC ownership rules were further loosened, allowing Midwest Communications to purchase WNCY-FM "Y100", which by then surpassed WJLW and WGEE-FM to become the dominant country station in the area. Midwest would keep country on WNCY and change WGEE-FM to an adult contemporary station under the WLTM call sign. Midwest would move WLTM to a simulcast with its similarly-formatted WROE (see above), a simulcast that would last until spring 2001, when WLTM adopted a more upbeat hot AC format as "Magic 99.7", with a schedule featuring Rick Dees' syndicated morning show.

In March 2002, 99.7 switched formats again to a brand new (for Northeast Wisconsin) Rhythmic format as WLYD ("Wild 99-7"), while sister heritage Top 40 sister station WIXX gravitated to a more rock-leaning top 40 format. Although designed to be a flanker station for WIXX, "Wild 99-7" and its unique format for Green Bay would soon become one of the better-rated stations in the Green Bay market. "Wild 99-7" forced top 40 station WKSZ "95.9 Kiss FM" (WIXX's competition) to flip to Hot AC as "Mix 95.9" in April 2003.

In February 2006, "Wild 99-7" would end as poor advertising sales on the station forced Midwest to flip WLYD to a more advertiser-friendly adult hits format under the new call sign of WZBY ("99.7 The Bay"). One month later in March 2006, WKSZ reverted to its "95.9 Kiss FM" Top 40 format with a rhythmic lean to pick up on former "Wild 99-7" listeners. WZBY would evolve to classic hits by September 2008, and in early 2009 began a simulcast on translator 101.9 FM to help with 99.7's signal issues in the immediate Green Bay area. By September 15, 2009, WZBY and its "Bay" format would give way with a 2nd simulcast with the Fox Valley's WROE, this time under the similar call sign of WRQE.

"The Drive's" original logo (c. 2010)

At 5PM on September 3, 2010, Midwest Communications dropped the AC format a second time. The stations became WYDR (94.3) and WZDR (99.7) and adopted a classic hits/classic rock hybrid format as "The Drive," a format similar to that of WDRV in Chicago and sister classic rock station WOZZ, which adopted a mainstream rock format at the same time and date as "The Drive's" debut (and using 99.7's former WRQE call sign).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WZDR Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 

External links[edit]