|City of license||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|First air date||Circa 196x|
|Callsign meaning||Disambiguation of WCSG|
|Former callsigns||WEHB (?-1991)
|Former frequencies||89.9 MHz (196?-2015)|
WCXG 89.7 FM radio is a radio station in Grand Rapids, Michigan, broadcasting an adult Contemporary Christian music format as a simulcast of sister station 91.3 WCSG. Both stations are owned by Cornerstone University.
The 89.9 frequency the station was originally transmitting on was used by WEHB (East Hills Broadcasters) for a number of years, broadcasting (in mono) from a tower on the Aquinas College campus, with studios above the Intersection Bar. WEHB later moved to the original Blodgett Hospital on Cherry Street. WEHB was an eclectic locally programmed station, with an emphasis on jazz. The station broadcast circa 1977-1991, becoming "World Music" WBYW from 1991-1998 from a new tower atop the Plainfield Water Tower on East Beltline Ave in northeast Grand Rapids.
Until November 29, 2013, the station broadcast a Christian CHR/Top 40 format as WaY FM. WCXG's programming was repeated on WAYK 88.3 FM (now WCXK) in Kalamazoo and WAYO 89.9 FM (now WCXB) in Benton Harbor.
WaYFM targeted teens, young adults, and young families with modern music wrapped in a Christian worldview. Popular artists played on the station included Switchfoot, The Fray, Relient K, GRITS, Hawk Nelson, tobyMac, BarlowGirl, Daughtry, Casting Crowns, Family Force 5, Stacie Orrico, Skillet, and other various hip hop, pop, rock, and punk acts. WaY-FM consistently pulled strong ratings among teens (#2), young adults, and even persons and women 25-49 (usually placing in the top 5 or top 3 in these demos).
WaYfm is not to be confused with WAY-FM Network, the nationally syndicated Christian CHR network. Ironically, WaYfm's competitor station in the Grand Rapids market, the commercial WJQK 99.3 FM, previously aired some programming from the national WAY-FM network, notably the afternoon drive show "Total Axxess."
WaYfm started in Kalamazoo in 1996 when Cornerstone purchased a construction permit from Grand Valley State University for 88.3 FM. After deciding on the Christian CHR format, the management of the station opted to use CHRSN's programming until local listenership and financial support allowed them to program locally.
88.3 WAYK signed on at 5pm on February 3, 1997, to serve Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. A signal was added at 89.9 in Grand Rapids in late 1998, originating not too far from Cornerstone University.
Despite not being able to adequately cover areas to the southwest of Grand Rapids (due to a directional pattern designed to protect Hope College's student station, WTHS, a station in Holland, Michigan that also airs at 89.9 FM), recent[when?] Arbitron ratings for the former WaY FM format placed the station at #2 among all stations in the market with teens, and tied for 3rd place among females 12-24 (the station's core audience).
Cornerstone University announced in October 2013 that WaYfm network would cease operations on November 29, 2013. The 88.3 and 89.9 signals on that day began to simulcast sister station WCSG 91.3, and also changed call letters. There are currently no plans to sell any of these stations, despite the coverage overlap between WCXG and WCSG, as well as WCXK and 90.9 WCFG Springfield, which also rebroadcasts WCSG.
In August 2015, the station moved the frequency to 89.7 and began to transmit in a non-directional pattern. Additionally, the power was reduced to 3200 watts, while increasing the tower height from 63 meters to 74 meters to compensate for the power reduction. This resolves the long-standing issue with needing to protect WTHS at 89.9 FM.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WCXG
- Radio-Locator information on WCXG
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WCXG