|Broadcast area||Memphis, Tennessee|
|Slogan||Today's Best Mix|
|First air date||May 22, 1947|
|ERP||290,000 watts horizontal|
96,000 watts vertical
300,000 watts horizontal
100,000 watts vertical with beam tilt
|HAAT||277 meters (909 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||We're Memphis Commercial Appeal (founding and former sister newspaper)|
(Entercom License, LLC)
WMC-FM (99.7 FM, known as "FM100") is a hot adult contemporary radio station serving the market of Memphis, Tennessee. The station is notable for being an FM "superpower," with a transmitter that greatly exceeds current Federal Communications Commission restrictions. Of stations in the FCC's Zone II, WMC-FM is the most powerful. The station's license is currently held by Entercom Communications, which purchased it and sister WMC (790 AM) from CBS Radio in 2006. The two radio stations, along with former sister station WMC-TV (channel 5), were originally owned by the E.W. Scripps Company, publisher of The Commercial Appeal, prior to 1993.
Taking beam tilt into account, the station's effective radiated power is rated at 300,000 watts horizontal polarization and 100,000 watts vertical. The station's antenna is 277 meters (909 ft) high and located along Crestview Drive in Northeast Memphis. Current FCC restrictions were passed in 1962 and mandate a 100 kW maximum across most of the country on the FM band (though some of the more densely populated areas are limited to 50 kW). The station is calculated to exceed power restrictions by 4.6 decibels. However, WMC-FM was grandfathered in, since it went on the air before the restrictions. The station's studios are located in Southeast Memphis.
Unlike many other stations, WMC-FM has retained its same general format since the 1970s. In fact, many of the staff members of the radio station have worked there a decade, or even longer. Most notably, Ron "Hey Now" Olson had been the station's morning host since the 1980s, partnered with Steve Conley (now afternoons on WGUE) on the morning show since the early 1990s. In January, 2018, after Olson left for Entercom sister station WRVR, his most recent co-host Michelle Lewis took over mornings with newcomer Ryan Anderson. Tom Prestigiacomo had been the afternoon host since 1979 (the same year that Conley arrived), but Prestigiacomo left in 2007 for crosstown rival WKIM-FM, and has now left the radio business.
WMC-FM started broadcasting on the FM band on May 22, 1947 and was upgraded to its current power level prior to 1962.
WMC-FM was the first radio station in the market, and the first in Tennessee, to play the Progressive Rock format on the FM band, beginning February 6, 1967, at a time when most FM stations played Frank Sinatra, Patti Page and easy listening instrumentals. Personalities included Greg Hamilton, Ron Michaels, Jon Scott, and David Day. The program director was Mike Powell. Artists included King Crimson, It's a Beautiful Day, and Quicksilver Messenger Service. The versions of "Light My Fire" by The Doors and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly (with its extended drum solo) were longer than the one most stations played.
In the early 1970s, the station was responsible for regionally breaking many new artists such as David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Billy Joel and other rock acts of the day. By 1978, as its original rock listeners grew older, WMC-FM evolved to a highly successful but legendary Top 40/CHR format. By September 1992, the station transitioned into its present Hot AC format.
WMC-FM is one of six radio properties in the Memphis market held by Entercom; the others are WMC-AM, WRVR-FM, WMFS, WLFP, and WMFS-FM. Entercom purchased WMC-AM, WMC-FM and WMFS from CBS Radio in 2006.
Today, the station's playlist consists of primarily Pop/Top 40 music. Its studios were located at 1960 Union Avenue (along with WMC-TV and WMC-AM). They were moved and are now located at the Entercom complex in the Moriah Woods Business Park, near the intersection of I-240 and Mount Moriah Road in Memphis.
- "Grandfathered Super-power FM Stations". www.bostonradio.org. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "The Commercial Appeal - Memphis Breaking News and Sports". Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- Hicks, Ed (August 21, 2006). "Entercom Buys 3 CBS Radio Stations in Memphis". Memphis Business Journal.
- WMC FM 100 official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WMC
- Radio-Locator information on WMC
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WMC