WGFM

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For the station in Schenectady, New York that previously held the WGFM callsign, see WRVE.
WGFM/WGFE
City WGFM: Cheboygan, Michigan
WGFE: Glen Arbor, Michigan
Broadcast area WGFM: Petoskey, Michigan
WGFE: Traverse City
Branding Rock 105 & 95.5
Slogan We Just Rock
Frequency WGFM: 105.1 MHz
WGFE: 95.5 MHz
Translator(s) 103.7 W279CC (Alpena)
First air date WGFM: August 15, 1968 (as WCBY-FM)
WGFE: September 1, 1997 (as WJZJ)
Format Active rock
ERP WGFM: 43,000 watts
WGFE: 21,000 watts
HAAT WGFM: 295 meters
WGFE: 225 meters
Class WGFM: C1
WGFE: C2
Facility ID WGFM: 56073
WGFE: 15631
Callsign meaning WGFM: Gold FM (former name)
WGFE: similar to WGFM
Former callsigns WGFM: WCBY-FM (1968-09/13/1982)
WQLZ (09/13/1982-02/10/1989)
WGFE:
WTHM (04/13/1989-05/19/1992)
DWTHM (05/19/1992-08/10/1995)
WTHM (08/10/1995-3/31/1997)
WJZJ (3/31/1997-04/01/2013)
WQEZ (04/01/2013-03/17/2017)
Owner Black Diamond Broadcasting
Sister stations WCBY, WCHY, WGFN, WQEZ, WMKC, WTWS, WUPS
Webcast Listen Live
Website rock105.fm

WGFM (105.1 FM) in Cheboygan, Michigan and WGFE (95.5 FM) in Glen Arbor, Michigan are American radio station that air a mainstream rock format branded as Rock 105 & 95.5. WGFM boasts a 43,000-watt signal which easily covers most of northern Lower Michigan from Grayling northward and extends into the eastern Upper Peninsula. WGFE's signal serves primarily the immediate Traverse City area and carries across the waters of Lake Michigan, and can frequently be heard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and the eastern shoreline of Door County, Wisconsin. Rock 105 & 95.5 is also heard on translator W279CC (103.7 FM) in Alpena.

Current on-air talent at WGFM/WGFE include morning drive host Brian "Cartman" Pfeifer, and DJs Jay Roberts, Nate "Smitty" Smith, Sam Lee, and "NASCAR" Steve. Smith and "NASCAR" Steve are also DJs at WGFM's sister stations WGFN & WCHY, which simulcast as Classic Rock: The Bear. Each January, WGFM hosts a 12-hour marathon of Metallica music entitled the Metallica-Thon, which debuted on WGFE (then WJZJ) in 2009 shortly before entering into the first WGFM simulcast.

105.1 FM history[edit]

WGFM originally began in 1968 as WCBY-FM, and aired beautiful music at first until switching to a simulcast of WCBY-AM. In 1982, the station became WQLZ, and began airing a CHR format to try and compete with WKHQ and WJML, but did not have the signal to compete with the two.

In 1989, longtime northern Michigan radio personality and engineer Del Reynolds and wife Mary purchased 100,000 watt CHR WQLZ (formerly WCBY-FM) in Cheboygan. Shortly afterward, he changed the station's format to classic rock with the WGFM call letters, meaning "W-Gold-FM". The station's main focus was classic rock, but also played new cuts from classic rock artists as well. The station was live/local 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. and aired Westwood One's Adult Rock format overnights. Reynolds was the station's morning drive host at that time.

In the 1990s, Del's radio empire grew when he acquired many other local stations and built new ones as well. He purchased WIDG 940 in St. Ignace, MI and WCBY AM in Cheboygan the station that launched his career in the late 1960s. He purchased 98.1 WMLB Glen Arbor, which had previously simulcast WUPS in Houghton Lake, and changed that to WGFN, giving WGFM a clearer signal in the Traverse City, MI area. He also took over 107.1 WCKC "Cadillac KC Country" Cadillac which was simulcasting his 102.9 WMKC "KC Country" St. Ignace, MI, but eventually changing to a WGFM simulcast.

On September 14, 2009, WGFM began carrying The Free Beer and Hot Wings Show. It was also on that day when they started simulcasting |with WJZJ 95.5 as Real Rock 105 and 95-5, airing a mix of The Zone's harder rock artists such as KoRn, Metallica and Alice in Chains with harder classic rockers such as Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne and Van Halen. Real Rock carried The Bob and Tom Show due to the duo's ratings in the upper northern Michigan region until August 2, 2010, when Free Beer & Hot Wings replaced it. The program was dropped by WGFM in March 2013, and replaced by the local morning drive program Cartman in the Morning. On April 1, 2013, WJZJ 95.5 FM and sister station WQEZ 97.7 FM in Cheboygan swapped call letters and entered into a simulcast with 97.7 FM's soft AC format. WGFM became the sole carrier of the mainstream rock format, rebranding as "Rock 105."

95.5 FM history[edit]

In 1989, David C. Schaberg applied for a construction permit on 95.9 FM in Glen Arbor, and the station was known as WTHM. After changing the frequency to 95.5 in 1996, Schaberg sold the permit to Del Reynolds the following year, where he changed the call letters to WJZJ and put it on the air as a simulcast of WLJZ 94.5 in Mackinaw City, Michigan, which played a satellite-delivered smooth jazz format as "Coast FM". WJZJ, along with WAVC 93.9 in Mio and WLJZ, launched The Zone, Northern Michigan's Modern Rock, in 1998, replacing Coast FM after having been sold from Del Reynolds to Northern Star Broadcasting.

The Zone was originally adult-leaning, whose core artists included Jewel, Paula Cole, Alanis Morissette, Barenaked Ladies, Sheryl Crow, and Goo Goo Dolls. In its early years, The Zone could be more accurately described as a Modern Adult Contemporary station, and the station, which positioned itself as "Modern Rock" even while it continued to play primarily adult alternative and Hot AC crossover material, received criticism from fans of harder rock for not including harder-edged artists such as KoRn and Limp Bizkit, whose music was rarely played on classic rock-leaning rival WKLT. It was not until 2000 that "The Zone" became a true "modern rock" radio station. The Zone's revamped "modern rock" format borrowed from both "alternative" and "active" rock formats.

After the format change, ratings improved dramatically, but once again soon fell, partially due to a translator station launched on 95.5 in Boyne City, Michigan, only slightly outside 95.5 Glen Arbor's protected signal contour. The Boyne City station relayed Classic Hits-formatted competitor "The Fox" (WFCX-FM 94.3/WFDX-FM 92.5). However, the "Fox" translator moved down to 95.3 FM in December 2006 (and has since moved to 100.5 FM), alleviating some of the interference to WJZJ in its northern fringe coverage.

WAVC dropped out of The Zone's simulcast in 2000, choosing to simulcast the country station WMKC (102.9 FM, St. Ignace, "Big Country 102.9 & 93.9"). It now simulcasts 98.1 WGFN as part of "The Bear" classic rock network.

On June 5, 2006, the station became an affiliate of Waitt Radio Networks' now-defunct "Alternative Now" format. As a result, the only live and local program the station carried was its morning show, "The Morning Freakshow" hosted by Cartman, Homeless Jake, and Mizz Christal.

On June 26, WJZJ became the sole carrier of The Zone as WLJZ broke the simulcast to switch to Hot AC. After less than two years, it switched to classic country. Since April 2010, WAVC and WLJZ simulcast "Bear" classic rock programming.

On December 28, 2007, the station began broadcasting out of their Traverse City, Michigan studios.

On September 14, 2009, the station began carrying The Free Beer and Hot Wings Show. It was also on that day when they started simulcasting with WGFM 105.1 Cheboygan as Real Rock 105.1/95.5, airing a mix of The Zone's harder rock artists such as KoRn, Metallica and Alice in Chains with harder classic rockers such as Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne and Van Halen. 105.1 carried Bob and Tom due to the duo's ratings in the upper northern Michigan region until August 2, 2010, when The Free Beer And Hot Wings Show replaced it on 105.1 as well.

On March 25, 2013, the station announced that they had canceled Free Beer and Hot Wings. Station staff claimed that a satellite issue caused them to cancel the show earlier than expected as the station announced that they were making changes. The station's listeners took to Facebook with their complaints and staffers had been responding that it was management's decision to move on and not theirs. The morning show had a huge following in northern Michigan, even doing their show live from the historic State Theatre in Traverse City to a sold-out crowd. This led to speculation that Real Rock would be changing format; around Christmas 2012, the station was playing an abundance of classic rock artists not normally heard on the station, such as Styx, Jefferson Starship and Boston. However, by early March, the station had reverted to a more-modern rock format, but current rock tracks had disappeared from the station. The format change rumors came to fruition on April 1, 2013, with WJZJ's change to WQEZ and 105.1 FM continuing a standalone mainstream rock format as "Rock 105."

On St. Patrick's Day 2017, WQEZ 95.5 ended their "Easy" format and became a simulcast of WGFM 105.1 once more. They have adopted the WGFE call letters with this change.

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Coordinates: 44°49′16″N 85°59′46″W / 44.821°N 85.996°W / 44.821; -85.996