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City WATZ-FM: Alpena, Michigan
WRGZ: Rogers City, Michigan
Broadcast area WATZ-FM: [1]
WRGZ: [2]
Branding WATZ
Slogan Today's Country
Frequency WATZ-FM: 99.3 MHz
WRGZ: 96.7 MHz
First air date WATZ-FM: unknown
WRGZ: 1983
Format Country
ERP WATZ-FM: 17,000 watts
WRGZ: 42,000 watts
HAAT WATZ-FM: 257 meters
WRGZ: 162 meters
Class WATZ-FM: C2
Facility ID WATZ-FM: 71108
WRGZ: 49304
Callsign meaning WRGZ: RoGerZ City
Former callsigns WATZ-FM:
WVXA (4/1/88-5/30/06)
WMLQ (3/5/84-4/1/88)
WNSR (1/9/84-3/5/84)
WOEA (7/19/83-1/9/84)
Former frequencies WATZ-FM:
93.5 MHz (?-4/1/88)
97.7 MHz (3/5/84-?)
Affiliations Michigan Radio Network
Owner Midwestern Broadcasting Company
(WATZ Radio, Inc.)
Website watz.com

WATZ-FM (99.3 FM) and WRGZ (96.7 FM, "WATZ 99.3 and 96.7") are two radio stations simulcasting a country music format. The two stations are licensed to the cities of Alpena (WATZ) and Rogers City, Michigan (WRGZ). WRGZ first began broadcasting in 1984 under the call sign WMLQ while WATZ has been assigned the same call sign since it signed on in the late 1960s. The stations, along with sister station WATZ AM, are currently owned by Midwestern Broadcasting Company.

WATZ history[edit]

WATZ signed on the air in the late 1960s as an adult contemporary station at 93.5 FM, known for several years as "Z93." In 1988, the format of WATZ-FM was changed to country and the signal moved to 99.3 so the station could boost its power from 3,000 to 50,000 watts. For the next several years, WATZ-FM simulcasted the long-time Country music format of sister station WATZ AM. In the mid-90s, WATZ AM had switched to a news/talk format while WATZ-FM retained the Country format. WATZ-FM became a 24-hour broadcaster in 1999, using a satellite feed from Jones Radio Networks from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Prior to this, the station went off the air at 1 a.m.

WRGZ history[edit]

WRGZ began as the 26,000 watt WMLQ, "Mello-Q", an adult contemporary station at 97.7 FM, in 1984. The station went through numerous changes during the 1990s, including a move to the current 96.7 frequency and a long-running adult standards format as "Silver 97." In 1998, the station was purchased by Xavier University in Cincinnati and converted into a public radio station. It became a repeater of WVXU, the public radio station operated by the university, and its call letters were changed to WVXA. WVXA also featured a small amount of local programming in additiont o the WVXU simulcast.

In August 2005, WVXA was sold to Cincinnati Public Radio, although it continued to serve as a repeater of WVXU. At the same time, the station's power was increased to 42,000 watts. Cincinnati Public Radio was not interested in retaining ownership of WVXU's repeater stations outside Ohio and sold the station to Midwestern in March 2006. After the sale was closed the following May, its call letters were changed to WRGZ and it began repeating WATZ. WRGZ allows WATZ's programming to be heard in areas where the 99.3 FM signal is not heard clearly, as far north as Cheboygan and into the eastern Upper Peninsula.

WATZ today[edit]

WATZ-FM remains locally owned and operated by the same company that founded the AM station in 1946. All of its programming from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and during the day on weekends (except for syndicated shows such as Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40) is broadcast from the station’s studios in downtown Alpena.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°51′25″N 83°32′35″W / 44.857°N 83.543°W / 44.857; -83.543