|Broadcast area||Flint, Michigan|
|Slogan||'80s, '90s and Now|
|First air date||November 4, 1961|
Christmas music (Nov.-Dec.)
|Callsign meaning||CaRZ 108|
|Former callsigns||WGMZ (?-6/4/84)|
|Owner||Townsquare Media |
(Townsquare Media of Flint, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WFNT, WLCO, WQUS, WRCL, WWBN|
WCRZ (107.9 FM, "Cars 108") is a radio station in Flint, Michigan, broadcasting an adult contemporary format. WCRZ is the top-rated heritage station in the market. Its studios and transmitter are located separately in Burton, east of Flint.
From its sign-on in 1961 until changing its call letters to WCRZ in 1984, the station was WGMZ with a long-running and successful MOR/easy listening format. It was originally co-owned with WAMM AM 1420 (now WFLT). The owner of WAMM at that time sold WGMZ in 1966. By 1968, WGMZ was co-owned with WKMF AM 1470 (now WFNT). On June 25, 1984 at 1 am, the call letters changed to WCRZ and the format became adult contemporary. Fame by Irene Cara was the first song played in the new format. Those calls were assumed by an easy-listening station in Tuscola, Michigan three years later, and that station is known today as WWBN, and has been a sister station to WCRZ since the mid-1990s.
Cars 108's local airstaff includes morning duo Pat & AJ, Jenny Boom, George McIntyre (who has been a staple of Cars 108 since 1991) and Amie Burke.
Since the mid-1990s, WCRZ has been the number one radio station in Flint, off and on, and was the first station in the market to broadcast in high definition. Since then, sister stations WWBN and WRCL have also added HD broadcasting, as has competing station WDZZ.
In the Spring of 1995, WCRZ went off the air for some time due to a vandalizing of their transmitting antenna. During this time, the frequency of 107.9 was dead for roughly a week. However, sister station 101.7 (now 101.5) WWBN allowed WCRZ to share signals until repairs were made on the antenna.
WCRZ's jingle melody was adapted from KVIL in Dallas, Texas. For much of the 1990s, JAM Creative Productions produced WCRZ's jingles; it was TM Century that chose to sing the station's nickname, "Cars 108" to the melody of KVIL. For over a decade, however, WCRZ's jingles have been by TM Studios.
The KVIL jingles were originally produced from the TM Century package "KVIL: The '90s". KVIL-FM in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas market first aired that jingle package in January 1991 and continued to do so until Late Spring or Early Summer 1993, when JAM introduced the "Celebrate" package for that station. Before that time, however, that jingle package was first tested by TM on a radio station in country of Japan in late 1990, but TM later decided to shift the jingle package to American radio stations, just so that they could more easily syndicate that package to radio stations in several American markets. Following that, the "Memphis' Best Music" package from Thompson Creative was used. Jam Jingles were not used until the mid/late 1990s, and the package was Q95-Detroit's "Q Cuts" and "Quick Qs." Cars 108 returned to the KVIL packages from TM Century around the turn of the century. In 2008, Cars 108 had a custom jingle package produced by the world-famous jingle expert, Johnny Hooper. The RadioScape Package, simply called "Cars 108," was originally produced in 2008, with 5 new cuts added in 2010. The current jingle package is another adaptation of a KVIL jingle package, which is the "103.7 Lite FM"-era jingle package produced by Reel World Productions.