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|City||Hanover, New Hampshire|
|Slogan||"The Modern Rock Station"|
|First air date||1976|
|HAAT||100 meters (330 ft)|
(Trustees of Dartmouth College)
WFRD (99.3 FM, "99 Rock") is an American commercial modern rock radio station licensed to serve the community of Hanover, New Hampshire. It is a stereo FM station with 6,000 watts of effective radiated power, with offices located on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover. WFRD is owned and operated by Dartmouth Broadcasting.
The station's playlist on weekdays is a mix of modern rock alternative and active rock, with a few classic rock tracks. Weekday mornings feature Chris Garrett and the "Rock N Go Morning Show" and weekday afternoons are hosted by Heath Cole. The station's middays and evenings feature announcers who are students at Dartmouth College. The station also provides hourly news and sports reports in morning drive.
The "Lunch Crunch" at noon on weekdays emphasizes grunge and pop-alternative artists from the 1990s. "The Happy Hour", heard weekdays from 5-6 pm, features all listener requests. On weeknights, WFRD features alternative rock, modern rock, and classic rock plus the "99 Minute Nightmare," which features programming geared more towards heavy metal. Sunday through Thursday, WFRD programming includes the syndicated call-in show "Loveline" with Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood at 10 p.m.
WFRD features specialty programs on weekends, some focused on specific genres of rock music or its roots, and others on public affairs or sports. "Valley Voices" is a 30-minute public affairs show that showcases various local events and news stories that airs Sunday mornings. "The Big Green Scene," airs Sunday mornings and concentrates on Dartmouth Sports, with highlights, recaps, interviews with coaches, and more. WFRD is the flagship station for the "Dartmouth Sports Network", which covers Dartmouth men's and women's hockey games, as well as Dartmouth football.
WFRD features regular syndicated shows as part of its weekend lineup, including "The House of Hair" with Dee Snider Saturday nights, "Harddrive" with Lou Brutus on Saturday mornings, as well as "Racing Rocks" with Riki Rachtman Sunday mornings, "Out of Order" hosted by Jed the Fish on Saturday mornings, as well as Skratch 'N Sniff, a syndicated show featuring "Mashups" on Saturday nights.
WFRD also features a weekly 2-hour local rock show on Sunday nights called "Homebrew", featuring local artists from around the region, including such names as Brooks Hubbard, The Pilgrims, Albino Rhino, Tuck Stocking, and more. Local artists are encouraged to submit their material for airplay. The show also features weekly in-studio interviews with local bands.
WFRD is a commercial radio station, operated and managed by Dartmouth Broadcasting, which is in turn owned by the Trustees of Dartmouth College. WFRD receives no funding from the college: it supports itself by selling advertising. Student staff members are, for the most part, unpaid. (Some are paid a stipend to help operate the station during the summer and other times when Dartmouth classes are not in session.) The station is managed by a board composed of current students and former Dartmouth Broadcasting alumni. It acts as a training ground for students interested in broadcasting, as well as a serious commercial competitor in the Lebanon-Rutland-White River Junction radio market.
WFRD is involved in the Hanover and Upper Valley community. The station features a "Community Calendar" segment, where non-profit organizations can send bulletins of their events to be read over the air. WFRD also does remote broadcasts from a variety of locations in the area, and from local businesses around the Upper Valley, and it sponsors or helps to sponsor local charitable and cultural events.
WFRD's history goes back to 1976. The FCC-licensed FM station first went on the air in November 1976, originally broadcasting a wide variety of music, from classical to jazz, folk and progressive rock as well as punk rock and new wave music. The call letters originally stood for "FM Radio Dartmouth", referring to Dartmouth College, after a lengthy debate over whether to choose WDCR-FM to link the FM station with its AM big brother or to give the new FM station an independent identity. Among the arguments for an independent identity was the possibility of selling the AM station once FM became the more popular broadcast band.
Since 2001, WFRD has been playing a modern rock format, specializing in artists such as Green Day, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Bush, Linkin Park, Sublime, Blink-182, The Offspring, Incubus, Foo Fighters, Papa Roach, and Metallica.
In 2011, WFRD celebrated its 35th Anniversary by playing "35 Years of Rock," spotlighting songs from 1976 to the present, twice per hour, temporarily giving the station more of an "AOR" feel.
- Eric Wellman '91, current program director at WAXQ ("Q104.3") in New York City
- Eric MacDonald '04, former program director at WCTZ ("96.7 The Coast") in Norwalk, Connecticut (now WKLV-FM, a K-LOVE affiliate)