|Branding||Radio For Your Soul|
|Format||Catholic religious programming|
|Power||50,000 watts day
1,500 watts night
|Former callsigns||WJOK (1980–1984)
|Affiliations||Guadalupe Radio Network (EWTN Catholic Radio Network)|
WMET is a radio station broadcasting on 1160 kHz in the mediumwave AM band, serving the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Over several decades, it has gone through a number of radio formats, from progressive rock to all-comedy to a conservative talk-show format. Since May 3, 2010, it has been a Catholic religious radio station.
WMET moved from the 1150 kHz frequency in 2003. Its transmitter is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. WMET has a daytime transmitter power of 50,000 watts and a 1500 watt directional signal at night.
WMET first went on the air as WHMC (the Heart of Montgomery County) which broadcast at 1150 kHz. During the 1960s, WHMC was known as the "500 Watt Flower-pot". 'HMC, as it was nicknamed, hired disc jockey Barry Richards away from WINX (1600AM) in nearby Rockville, MD. He turned the station into one of the DC area's first progressive rock stations. It was the only one on the AM band. The station also sponsored a series of rock concerts underneath the towers (which were on a grassy hillside in Gaithersburg, Maryland) that were well-attended by area teens.
WMET has run through a variety of formats including an all-comedy format as WJOK in 1983. In recent years, station owner IDT had aired a conservative talk format including syndicated hosts Tony Snow & G. Gordon Liddy.
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In the 90's, simulcast the business news format of WPGC while airing brokered talk shows on the weekend. The 1994 College World Series final game was broadcast on the station. Oklahoma State with Ryan Minor. Minor gained fame in his major league career as the player who replaced Cal Ripken, Jr., ending the legend's consecutive game streak. Georgia Tech feature Nomar Garciaparra and number one draft pick Jason Veriteck.
By the mid-90's, WMET picked up the business news format full-time from WPGC. The station's most popular show was The Don MacDonald Show. Show host from various sectors of the financial world would purchase air time on the station. The station also became known as an affiliate of Baltimore Orioles Minor League affiliate The Frederick Keys and affiliate of Mount Saint Mary's Basketball of the Division I North East Conference. The stations feed was also carried on the Dulles Airport Flight Information Channel on Media General Cable in Northern Virginia. The Greaseman was hired for the morning drivetime slot in November 2005. WMET switched to a brokered (paid) programming format in March 2006. Greaseman's show was among the few weekday programs to be retained in the transition but he later left on hiatus in November 2007. Until the spring of 2010, WMET aired Music of Your Life standards in the slot, which remains available for live-streaming on the internet and other stations that carry it nationally.
WMET was purchased in February 2010 for $4 million by the Dallas-based Huffines Media, owned by land developers Donald and Phillip Huffines. WMET had previously been owned by Delaware-based CTM Media Holdings.
An article in The Washington Times stated the following: "Two Texas millionaires are funding the Washington area's first Catholic radio station, which is scheduled to go on the air Wednesday." It quoted Donald Huffines as stating, "There are thousands of Protestant stations across the country but Catholics have been behind a little bit as to getting their message on the radio.... I told them [at Guadalupe] I'd help them in that endeavor." The article also stated, "Although Phillip Huffines is a Protestant, Donald Huffines converted to Catholicism a year ago from non-denominational Protestantism. His wife of 22 years, Mary Catherine, is a Catholic from birth and a fan of Catholic radio. Two years ago, they were approached by Guadalupe. "Spiritually, we were led to put a station in Washington," said Len Oswald, president of Guadalupe. "We felt there was a strong need in our nation's capital to have Catholic radio."
In May 2010, WMET programming consisted entirely of nationally syndicated Catholic radio programs. The owners stated their intent to showcase local Catholic programs as well, to include public service announcements, and to offer free air time to the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington. WMET is the 14th station operated by the Guadalupe Radio Network in the United States. It has a larger population in its broadcast region than any of the other Guadalupe Radio Network stations.
According to a press release on April 28, 2010, "The new lineup starts with 'Son Rise Morning show' with Brian Patrick, then proceeds to 'Catholic Connection' with Teresa Tomeo, 'Women of Grace', 'The Doctor Is In' with Dr. Ray Guarendi & Dr. Colleen Kelly Mast, 'Al Kresta', and 'Catholic Answers Live.'"
The number of Catholic radio stations increased from seven in 2000 to 165 in 2010. Much of the growth is due to these stations being able to use content produced by the Eternal Word Television Network and its radio broadcasting arm.
Other stations with the call-letters WMET
- Juin, Julia (May 4, 2010), "Two Texans start D.C. area's first Catholic station", The Washington Times, Washington, DC, retrieved 2010-08-21
- "Guadalupe Radio Network takes over Washington, D.C.'s WMET (1160) Monday". Radio-Info.com. April 28, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Guadalupe Radio Network website
- Sample WMET broadcasting schedule
- EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network Affiliates: Domestic—English (listed under "DC")
- WMET Website
- WMET Calumet Internet Radio
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WMET
- Radio-Locator Information on WMET
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WMET