|City||Winston-Salem, North Carolina|
|Broadcast area||North Carolina and Virginia|
|Slogan||Public Radio for the Piedmont|
|Frequency||88.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||100.1 W261CK (Boone)|
|First air date||April 19, 1948 (in Wake Forest, moved to Winston-Salem in 1956)|
|Format||FM/HD1: news/talk/classical music
HD2: Classical music
HD3: Xponential Radio
|Callsign meaning||Wake Forest Demon Deacons (nickname of Wake Forest University sports teams)|
|Affiliations||National Public Radio, Public Radio International|
|Owner||Wake Forest University|
|Webcast||Listen Live (FM/HD1)
Listen Live (HD2)
Listen Live (HD3)
WFDD (88.5 MHz) is an FM public radio station licensed to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It is the National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate for the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point media market, also called the Piedmont Triad. Owned by Wake Forest University, WFDD serves 32 counties in Central North Carolina and South-Central Virginia. It also operates a translator, W261CK on 100.1 FM in Boone.
The station airs news and talk shows from NPR during the day, with local news updates. From 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., the station turns to classical music programming. It produces the syndicated show Across the Blue Ridge.
WFDD has its roots in a station operated by Wake Forest College students in Wake Forest from a rooming house beginning in the fall of 1946. The station was so popular students began asking for an official station. With the help of student fundraising, WAKE was fully licensed by 1948.
After the discovery that the WAKE letters were already in use, the station changed its letters to WFDD, which stood for "Wake Forest Demon Deacons." Since the schools' sports teams were an important part of the station's programming, this seemed appropriate. Other programs included "Deaconlight Serenade," a student music program which included the part of the name of a Glenn Miller hit. This program remained on the air as "Deaconlight" until 1981. The WAKE letters returned in the 1980s on a student-run AM station, which later became available on the Internet.
After Wake Forest College moved to Winston-Salem, WFDD returned to the air with a 10-watt signal in 1961. The signal increased to 36,000 watts in 1967, the year the Corporation for Public Broadcasting began. WFDD became one of only 10 stations to received federal funding from the new organization.
On May 3, 1971, WFDD became a charter member of National Public Radio (NPR), the first affiliate of the network in the state. Dr. Julian Burroughs, who had helped put the station on the air, added his knowledge to that of other station officials around the country to determine what NPR would become.
On May 5, 1989, WFDD lost its tower along Business 40 in Winston-Salem when severe storms struck the area. The station returned to the air with reduced power, but did not fully cover the market until a new tower was completed north of Lexington, which would be shared with WWGL.
For two years in the 1990s, WFDD aired Wake Forest football and basketball games, but many listeners complained.
For many years, WFDD's format was a mix of NPR programming and classical music. In 2005, WFDD began airing more talk programming from NPR, with no classical music during the day on most weekdays. With less classical music, donations dropped. The station added a 24-hour classical music station on its HD radio subcarrier.
- "WAKE, WFDD, Wake Radio: 'The Radio Voice of Wake Forest University'". Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- Susan Ladd, "WFDD Tower Extends Public Radio Station's Range," Greensboro News & Record, September 13, 1994.
- William L. Holmes, "WFDD Kicks Out Sports Broadcasts Wake Forest Games Didn't Mesh Well with Music Shows," Winston-Salem Journal, January 20, 1998.
- Tim Clodfelter, "More News: WFDD Has Shifted Format Away from Classical Music," Winston-Salem Journal, February 3, 2005.
- Tim Clodfelter, "WFDD's Pledge Drive Falls 21 Percent Short of Its Goal," Winston-Salem Journal, April 7, 2007.
- Tim Clodfelter, "Clearly Different - As Broadcasters Go HD They're Hoping Radio Listeners Will Jump on the Trend," Winston-Salem Journal, December 3, 2007.