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City Leesburg, Virginia
Broadcast area Metro Washington, D.C.
Branding "China Radio International"
Frequency 1190 AM kHz
First air date March 6, 1958[1]
Format Chinese News/Talk[2]
Power 50,000 Watts daytime only
Class D
Facility ID 54876
Transmitter coordinates 39°2′28.0″N 77°26′42.0″W / 39.041111°N 77.445000°W / 39.041111; -77.445000
Callsign meaning W China Radio Washington
Former callsigns WAGE (1958-2011)
WCRW (2011-Present)[3]
Affiliations China Radio International
Owner Potomac Radio, LLC (Delaware)
Sister stations WUST
Webcast WCRW Webstream

WCRW is a Chinese News/Talk formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Leesburg, Virginia, serving Metro Washington, D.C..[2] WCRW is owned and operated by Potomac Radio, LLC (Delaware).[4]


In 1958, the station first went on the air as WAGE, on 1290 kHz.[5] In 1995, WAGE moved to 1200 kHz, allowing the use of a stronger full-time signal.[5]

On October 29, 2008, WAGE received a permit from the Federal Communications Commission to move to 1190 kHz and increase its power to 50,000 watts. If the move had occurred, it would have caused Annapolis-based WBIS, currently on 1190 kHz, to shut down.[4] While the station covered local news throughout its history, the music format changed over the years, going from classical music, to easy listening music, to country, to light rock and pop.[5]

Logo used until August 2009.

On August 2, 2009, WAGE fell silent due to "tough economic conditions" and an ongoing attempt to move the station to AM 1190 and up the power to 50,000 watts.[6] On April 21, 2010, the FCC approved WAGE's application to increase its daytime power to 50,000 watts and its nighttime power to 1,300 watts from different antenna sites, along with the frequency shift to 1190 kHz.[7]

WCRW returned to the air on April 11, 2011, with the new callsign and format.[8]

On November 2, 2015, the FCC announced it would investigate allegations that WCRW is controlled by China Radio International (CRI), the Chinese state broadcaster.[9] Reuters reported that 60 percent of the station's airtime is leased by a subsidiary of CRI.[10]


  1. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 2010 (PDF). ProQuest, LLC/Reed Publishing (Nederland), B.V. 2010. p. D-566. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Arbitron Station Information Profiles". Nielsen Audio/Nielsen Holdings. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Call Sign History". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "WCRW Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Cheney, Catherine (August 13, 2009). "Loudoun's Radio Station Signs Off". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Leesburg's WAGE Suspends Operations". August 2, 2009. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. 
  7. ^ "WAGE Gets Approval For New Nighttime Signal". April 22, 2010. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ Hager, Hannah (April 13, 2011). "WAGE orients itself to Asian market". Loudoun Times Mirror. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  9. ^ https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/index.do?document=336156
  10. ^ https://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/02/us-china-radio-idUSKCN0SR1KM20151102

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