|City||Hanahan, South Carolina|
|Broadcast area||South Carolina Lowcountry|
|Branding||101.7 Chuck FM|
|Slogan||We Play Everything|
|First air date||March 11, 1985 (as WKZQ-FM)|
|Former callsigns||WKZQ-FM (1983-2008)|
|Owner||Apex Media (sale to Saga Communications pending FCC approval)|
|Sister stations||WXST, WSPO, WCKN, WMXZ|
WAVF is a commercial radio station located in Hanahan, South Carolina, broadcasting to the Charleston area on 101.7 FM. WAVF airs an adult hits music format branded as "Chuck FM." Before moving to 101.7, the WAVF call sign had been on the 96.1 FM frequency in Charleston since 1985.
Founder and Tin Man Broadcasting Managing Partner Paul W Robinson (Emerald City Media Partners) launched WAVF on March 11, 1985 on 96.1 FM as "96 Wave" with sound effects of ocean waves over a period of a week. When the stunt was over, the station debuted with an Album Rock format. Over time, 96 Wave shifted its format to Alternative.
Atom Taler worked at 96 Wave nine years. For the last three of those years he was joined by Jim Voigt, known as "The Critic". Their popular morning show, which was beginning to decline, was replaced February 23, 1998 by Howard Stern. Ratings fell still further, but program director Rob Cressman pointed out ratings increased from a year earlier. He also said the station would improve with a format that relied less on alternative. After a year and a half, Stern had the market's no. 1 morning show. WAVF also brought back The Critic for afternoons.
Tin Man Broadcasting sold 96 Wave to Apex Broadcasting late in 2001.
On February 22, 2002, 96 Wave dropped Stern. Many advertisers did not like the show, so they would buy time on 96 Wave but not on Stern's show, or they avoided WAVF altogether. Stern's show also cost the station a lot, so airing his show just became too expensive. Dick Dale from WMMS in Cleveland replaced Stern. WMMS created the show to compete with Stern and began syndicating it to Clear Channel stations. But Dale, who knew The Critic, had left WMMS, so this show would be local. WAVF General manager Dean Pearce described Dale's show as "intelligent", while program director Greg Patrick described it as "fast-paced", pointing out that the show would include music. Dale described his show as radio's answer to The Daily Show.
On August 31, 2007 at 5pm, 96 Wave became known as 96.1 Chuck FM, after stunting for over 20 minutes playing the "Charles in Charge" theme song. The first song played on the new 96.1 FM was "Take This Job and Shove It" by Johnny Paycheck. The final song played on WAVF was "My Wave" by Soundgarden.
101.7 was originally established as a "beautiful music" automated station, operating out of the back room of its big sister AM rocker, WTGR, in Myrtle Beach. By the late 1970s the station had switched to a Top 40/ AOR a,k,a CHR format as "The All New Energy 102 WZKQ" before switching to mainstream rock in the late 1980s, then active rock and finally alternative rock. With this Alternative format, WKZQ-FM was an immensely popular radio station, finding fans across the nation; Rolling Stone even named it one of the "Top 5 Radio Stations" in America.
In September 2008 WKZQ-FM abandoned its historic frequency of 101.7 MHz and migrated to 96.1 MHz in a frequency swap with WAVF.
- Wooten, Frank (1998-02-23). "Wave drops Taler, Critic for Stern". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "Radio stations WSUY, WEZL big winners in spring ratings". Post and Courier. 1998-08-13. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- Lipman, Lisa (1999-11-11). "Stern becomes No. 1 morning radio show". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "WAVF/Charleston, SC Sold For $6M Cash". Radio & Records. 2001-10-26. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- Steve Palisin (September 30, 2008). "'Cool' another choice on Strand radio dial". Myrtle Beach Online. The Sun News. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-09.