WCXG

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WCXG
City of license Grand Rapids, Michigan
Branding 91.3 WCSG
Frequency 89.9 MHz
First air date Circa 196x
Format Contemporary Christian
ERP 4,900 watts
HAAT 74 meters
Class A
Callsign meaning Disambiguation of WCSG
Former callsigns WEHB (?-1991)
WBYW (1991-1998)
WAYG (1998-2013)
Owner Cornerstone University
Website http://www.wcsg.org

WCXG 89.9 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.

History[edit]

The 89.9 frequency had been 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.

Way-FM[edit]

Former logo

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.

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.

Technical challenges[edit]

WCXG's signal is challenged in the Grand Rapids metro, as Hope College's student station, WTHS in Holland, also broadcasts on 89.9. Despite not being able to adequately cover areas to the southwest of Grand Rapids, 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). To resolve the interference problem, the FCC recently[when?] approved a proposal that will move the Grand Rapids signal to a frequency of 89.7 and boost the power to 6,000 watts from the current 4,000.[citation needed] This move will substantially increase the ability for listeners to pick up the station in the previously underserved portions of the market and allow the signal to penetrate into eastern Muskegon and Ottawa counties for the first time, as well. However, with WCXG having been converted to a repeater of WCSG, and that station already having considerable coverage in the Muskegon area, it is unknown if the owners will carry on with WCXG's frequency change.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°58′41″N 85°35′46″W / 42.978°N 85.596°W / 42.978; -85.596