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For the Karns, Tennessee, radio station that held the call sign WCYQ at 93.1 FM from 2008 to 2013, see WNOX.
For the history of the 100.3 frequency, see WOKI.
City Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Broadcast area Knoxville Metropolitan Area
Branding Q100.3
Slogan Today's Continuous Country
Frequency 100.3 MHz
First air date 1974 (as WOKI-FM)
Format Country
ERP 98,000 watts
HAAT 618.2 meters (2,028 ft)
Class C
Facility ID 49923
Transmitter coordinates 36°11′54.00″N 84°13′52.00″W / 36.1983333°N 84.2311111°W / 36.1983333; -84.2311111
Callsign meaning W CountrY Q
Former callsigns WOKI-FM (1974-2005)
WNOX (2005-2013)
Owner E.W. Scripps Company
(Scripps Broadcasting Holdings LLC)
Sister stations WKHT, WNOX, WWST
Webcast Listen Live
Website q100country.com

WCYQ (100.3 FM) is a radio station in the Knoxville, Tennessee, area. The station broadcasts a country music format, which previously aired on 93.1 FM (now WNOX) until 2013.[1]

WCYQ operates a 100,000-watt transmitter, located on Cross Mountain[2](elevation 3534 ft.) north of Briceville, Tennessee. Its signal can be received throughout East Tennessee as well as significant parts of southeastern Kentucky, and in small portions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Georgia.

The former call sign WNOX was also the call letters of a co-owned AM station from the 1930s to 1988, and again from 1997 to 2005.


AM station[edit]

For years, the WNOX call letters belonged to the frequency AM 990. In November 1921, WNOX signed on the air as WNAV, the first radio station in Tennessee and one of the ten oldest in the country, and was licensed to broadcast at 833 kHz. In 1923, the station's initial owner, the First Baptist Church of Knoxville, sold it to the People's Telephone & Telegraph Company.[3][4] Sterchi Brothers Furniture briefly owned the station before it was again sold to Scripps-Howard in 1935.[4] The early WNAV studios were located in the St. James Hotel, which once stood near the head of Market Square. Within the span of its first 19 years, the station's call letters changed to WNOX, and the station frequency changed many times, eventually settling at AM 990 in March 1941.

After its purchase by Scripps-Howard in 1935,[5] the station moved to the Andrew Johnson Hotel on Gay Street, with its main offices located on the hotel's 17th floor. The station's growing studio audiences began causing elevator traffic issues for the Andrew Johnson, however, and the hotel asked the station to move. WNOX relocated to a small tabernacle building at the north end of Gay Street, where it remained for several years.[4]

In the 1950s and 1960s, WNOX was home to the popular lunchtime program The Midday Merry-go-Round and weekend program The Tennessee Barndance, which were both influential in the early days of country music. Legendary station manager Lowell Blanchard hosted the programs for many years in downtown Knoxville, and lunch crowds packed the station's downtown auditorium to see the daily programs.[3] Seeking a bigger performance area, WNOX moved its studios to Whittle Springs Road in north Knoxville. The Whittle Springs facility included a large auditorium for live performances, but after the move from downtown, the live musical performances were never the same. Once the crowds diminished, the live performances were called off.

The owners of WNOX also had other, much bigger plans for their new facility on Whittle Springs Road. In 1955, Scripps-Howard Broadcasting was one of the applicants for the Channel 10 frequency, awarded to Knoxville after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reorganized its U.S. TV table of channel allocations in 1952. So sure of getting the Channel 10 license, the company poured thousands of dollars into the Whittle Springs building to make it a top-notch radio-TV studio combination. After the FCC awarded the TV license to Jay Birdwell, local owner of WBIR AM and FM in 1956, Scripps-Howard was saddled with a huge studio to ultimately be used just for radio, amid a dwindling live listening audience. Still, the station remained there for many years, less than two miles from its transmitter site.

The 1960s brought a new era for WNOX. The station became a popular Top 40 station, and remained that way until the late 1970s, when the station switched to AC. In the early 1980s, the station was bought again and flipped to country, and WNOX was never the same.

WNOX's legendary call letters were changed to WTNZ in 1988. However, within a few months Dick Broadcasting (WIVK) purchased WTNZ. Dick donated AM 850, its old daytime-only frequency, to the University of Tennessee, and the 990 frequency, which could air nighttime programming, quickly became WIVK and began airing the programming of WIVK-FM. Within a few years, WIVK began experimenting with news/talk programming, eventually phasing into a news/talk format 24/7.[6]

FM station[edit]

Dick Broadcasting then acquired WNOX-FM/99.1 in Loudon, which became a simulcast signal for the news/talk programming WIVK. Shortly thereafter, the AM 990 call letters were changed back to WNOX. The news/talk format resided on 990 AM & 99.1 FM, jointly called "NewsTalk99 WNOX" until the move to 100.3 FM (formerly WOKI) in 2005. 990 AM and 99.1 FM became WNML, airing sports talk.

Citadel Broadcasting ended its lease agreement with Oak Ridge FM, Inc. for the 100.3 WNOX frequency two years early and announced that it would be broadcasting the programming of WNOX on both 100.3 WNOX and WOKI 98.7 from July 9, 2010, until August 1, 2010.[7] On July 7, 2010, Oak Ridge FM announced plans for WNOX to stay news/talk, but with different hosts.[8] Ed Brantley, the former general manager of the Knoxville Citadel radio group and a longtime WIVK-FM DJ, was hired as general manager of 100.3 FM, and John Pirkle of Oak Ridge FM said he would be an on-air personality.[7]

On July 19, 2010, WNOX moved its former programming to 98.7 WOKI, with 100.3 FM airing nothing but reminders that former WNOX listeners should turn to 98.7.[9] On August 1, 2010 the station's owner, Oak Ridge FM, Inc. regained programming control of the station and resumed broadcasting a news-talk format.

On May 3, 2013, the sale of the station to Journal Broadcast Group[10] closed and upon taking possession, WNOX began stunting towards a new format to be launched on May 9, 2013. The talk programming moved to WKVL 850 AM Knoxville, Tennessee. [11] The country format of WCYQ is expected to move to 100.3 permanently after simulcasting for two weeks and a new undetermined format will launch on 93.1.[12]

On May 9, 2013, WNOX changed their call letters to WCYQ, swapping calls with WCYQ 93.1 FM Karns, Tennessee, which took the WNOX calls.

Journal Communications and The E.W. Scripps Company announced on July 30, 2014 that the two companies would merge to create a new broadcast company under the E.W. Scripps Company name that will own the two companies' broadcast properties, including WCYQ. The transaction is slated to be completed in 2015, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.[13]

Former talk programming[edit]

Further reading[edit]



  1. ^ http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/netgnomes/80128/journal-acquires-wnox/
  2. ^ http://peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=7475
  3. ^ a b "WNOX". The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  4. ^ a b c East Tennessee Historical Society, Lucile Deaderick (editor), Heart of the Valley: A History of Knoxville, Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.: East Tennessee Historical Society, 1976), p. 298.
  5. ^ "WNOX Is Acquired by Scripps-Howard" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 1, 1935. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "The History of WIVK". wivk.com. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  7. ^ a b Matheny, Jim (2010-06-14). "WNOX moving to 98.7 FM; 100.3 FM hires Ed Brantley". WBIR-TV. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  8. ^ "Knoxville's 100.3 is going talk – not country". Radio-Info.com. 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  9. ^ "Citadel Moves NewsTalk to 98.7". Metro Pulse. 2010-07-28. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  10. ^ http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=145779&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1815225&highlight=
  11. ^ http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/netgnomes/80128/journal-acquires-wnox/
  12. ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getimportletter_exh.cgi?import_letter_id=40664
  13. ^ "E.W. Scripps, Journal Merging Broadcast Ops". TVNewsCheck. July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 

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