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City Washington, D.C.
Broadcast area Washington, D.C.
Branding 97.1 WASH-FM
Slogan Washington's Variety of the 80s, 90s, & Today (Year round)/
Washington, D.C.'s Christmas Station (Mid-November–Christmas)
Frequency 97.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
97.1-HD2 for Oldies
First air date 1948
Format Mainstream AC
Christmas music (Nov.-Dec.)
ERP 17,500 watts
HAAT 242 meters
Class B
Facility ID 70933
Callsign meaning WASHington, D.C. or George WASHington
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
(AMFM Radio Licenses, L.L.C.)
Sister stations WBIG, WIHT, WMZQ, WWDC
Webcast Listen Live
HD2: Listen Live
Website washfm.iheart.com

WASH (97.1 FM) is an iHeartMedia, Inc. radio station located in Washington, D.C.. Known on-air as "Wash-FM", the station has an Mainstream AC format. The station also streams its broadcast on iHeartRadio. The station's studios are located in Rockville, Maryland and the transmitter site is in DC's Tenleytown district.

WASH has been a soft adult contemporary station in one form or another since the 1970s. For a few years in the early 1980s, the station attempted to do a Top 40 / CHR format (publicized by the station's "WASH with the Stars" TV ad campaign) which had no success and the station later returned to their original Soft AC format. Until late 2013, the station played disco music and related songs (mostly 1970s Top 40) in a program known as "Jammin' Saturday Night" from 7 pm to midnight. After the 2013 holiday season, the program was revamped to play songs from the 1980s under the name "All 80's Saturday Night".

The station plays exclusively Christmas music from mid-November through Christmas Day (plus on July 25 for "Christmas in July") and calls itself "Washington's Official Christmas Station" during the season.

WASH-FM broadcasts in the HD digital hybrid format.[1]


WASH-FM was an early FM station licensed to Washington, DC in 1944. Original owner, Everett L Dillard. WASH-FM and its owner, Dillard were early pioneers in FM “networking” and Stereo broadcasting.


During the 1940s Dillard also headed the Washington-based Continental FM Network, a 52-station network. The Continental Network was Dillard’s & Edwin Howard Armstrong's creation to get some content for Armstrong’s Alpine, NJ, station. Dillard's WASH fed a 15 kHz phone line to Alpine. Some of the content was WASH's evening classical record program. The network “connected” Dillard’s WASH-FM to stations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York (as far west as Buffalo), Connecticut, Massachusetts and ending at Mount Washington, in New Hampshire. Many of the stations picked up the broadcast from the station "down the line" and rebroadcast it, thus allowing the next station "up the line" to pick up the broadcast and forward it along.

Early stereo[edit]

WASH-FM also conducted early experiments with stereo broadcasts. One system was to broadcast one channel over WASH-FM, and the other channel on another of Dillard’s stations, WDON. (1540 Kc Wheaton, MD)

Dillard sells WASH-FM[edit]

Dillard sold WASH-FM in 1968 to Metromedia, who moved the studios and transmitter from Wheaton, MD to Metromedia’s Wisconsin Ave. headquarters. The transmitter was moved to Metromedia’s WTTG-TV’s transmitter facility and broadcast from the WTTG-TV tower.

$1,000,000 giveaway[edit]

In the 1970s, the station gained notoriety for its million dollar give-away contest, both because of the amount of money involved and because of the difficulty the station encountered in finding a winner who met all of the contest's requirements.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=8 HD Radio Guide for Washington D.C.