|Broadcast area||Greater Hartford|
|Branding||Radio 104.1 WMRQ|
|Frequency||104.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||December 25, 1967 (as WWCO-FM)|
|Format||FM/HD1: Alternative rock
HD2: Tropical music "Bomba FM"
|HAAT||255 meters (837 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||W Modern Rock Q|
|Former callsigns||WURH (12/20/07-5/15/09)
WWCO-FM (12/67-before 12/72)
|Owner||Red Wolf Broadcasting|
WMRQ-FM is an alternative rock radio station licensed to Waterbury, Connecticut and serving the Greater Hartford media market. WMRQ-FM is owned by Red Wolf Broadcasting and operates at 104.1 MHz with an effective radiated power of 14,000 watts from West Peak in Meriden (on a tower with former sister station WKSS). Its studios are located at 131 New London Turnpike, Suite 101, in Glastonbury.
The station broadcasts in HD Radio. Its HD-2 channel carries a Spanish tropical music radio format known as "Bomba FM," also heard on translator stations 97.1 W246CC in Bolton, 99.5 W258AL in Clinton and 104.5 W283BS in Bridgeport.
On December 25, 1967, the station began broadcasting as WWCO-FM, sister station to AM 1240 WWCO, and carrying a country music format. The station was acquired by entertainer and TV host Merv Griffin in 1972, with the station changing call letters to WIOF (standing for "1-0-Four", its dial position) and branded as "Nashville Connecticut, W-104".
In 1978, the station dropped country to become soft adult contemporary-formatted "Magic 104" using the syndicated "TM Beautiful Rock" service. During the switch to "Magic", WIOF upgraded its signal by moving its transmitter from near its studios in Prospect to West Peak in Meriden. Lou Terri was the Program Director and midday host until his death in an automobile accident in 1989. Steve Wiersman later became Program Director until 1994. Morning announcers included Bill Cleveland, Greg O'Brien and Ray Petraca. Jack Carney, who was also the voice of WVIT at the time, hosted the afternoon show. Jim Scott did nights, and Rick O'Connor did middays, later replaced by Ron O'Brien (also known as Ron O, who later went to WZMX). Weekend DJs included Greg LaPorta.
In 1992, the station rebranded as "Star 104.1", WYSR, with a more uptempo Adult Contemporary sound. DJs on "Star" included Brett Provo in mornings, then later afternoons (now Afternoon Drive/Production Director at WMAS in Springfield); Paul DeFrancisco in afternoons; Jay Hanson (now at WFMX in Skowhegan, Maine) and Long John on weekends; Jim Severine; Rich Kilbourne (also known as Big Rich Baker) on news; Cathy Foxx in middays; Neil Jackson in mornings; Lee Gordon as Production Director; and Race Bannon, who later stayed on the station after the flip to modern rock. Ron O became WYSR's PD after Steve Wiersman departed.
In October 1994, all programming staff were released. On October 31, 1994, at midnight, the format flipped to modern rock as WMRQ "Radio104". Personalities such as "Jake & Beth", "Nick the Intern", "Mudbone" Dee Snider and Bubba the Love Sponge were on the station in the mornings at various points during the station's history, with Wilcow, Chaz, "Darkside Dave," The Carlito Show, and Logan following after the mornings. The station also hosted popular annual events such as "The Big Day Off" and "104fest". Lee Gordon remained as Production Director, and Bud Fisher became WMRQ's first sales manager. (Bud had appeared on "Magic 104" as "Gary Hunter".)
Due to struggling ratings, the station flipped to WPHH, "Power 104.1", in September 2003. As a station playing hip hop and R&B music, WPHH solidified its position as the only mainstream urban station in the Hartford and New Haven market. Its main competitor was urban-leaning rhythmic CHR WZMX. Nicole Siedman served as Program Director for a short period until 2004. Mychal Maguire assumed the Program Director position thereafter. Spank Buda served as Assistant Program Director and night host for the entire duration of WPHH. Popular events included the "Hoop It Up" basketball tournament and the "Legends of Hip Hop" concert. Other DJs on "Power" were Mia Mendez, DJ Showtime, TT Torrez, DJ Londonn, and PJ.
On October 25, 2007, WPHH flipped back to modern rock. The station was programmed similar to WRFF in Philadelphia. On December 20, 2007, WPHH changed its call letters to WURH. In May 2008, almost six months after Clear Channel launched "FM 104-One," the station named a Program Director, Becky Pohotsky, who had been the station's APD/MD and de facto PD for most of its existence.
On August 4, 2008, Clear Channel placed the station's assets into an entity called the Aloha Station Trust in order to sell off the station. This was due to Clear Channel being above the ownership limits set by the Federal Communications Commission. These limits were imposed when Clear Channel was officially taken private by Bain Capital Partners on July 30, 2008.
On February 19, 2009, Ledyard-based Red Wolf Broadcasting Corp., who owns WBMW and WWRX in the New London area, announced that it had agreed to buy WURH for $8,000,000. On May 14, 2009, Red Wolf Broadcasting took over control of the station. The first action was to revert the station back to its WMRQ call letters, and the "Radio 104.1" moniker.
Under the direction of Brian Ram, WMRQ's VP/Programming, the alternative rock lineup includes "Fisch in the Morning" (morning drive), Amy Grey (middays), Holden (afternoons), and Michael Maze (nights), plus weekend programs "Digital Takeover with DJ Darth Fader" and "HomeBrew Local Music Show".
In November 2009, a Spanish tropical format, "Bomba 97.5" ("The Bomb") was launched on WMRQ-HD2. The format was initially simulcast on 60-watt Bolton-licensed translator W248AB (97.5 FM). Recently, Red Wolf moved the translator to 97.1 FM (which forced a change of call letters to W246CC) to provide more coverage and increase signal strength. "Bomba 97.1" is now licensed for 100 watts, reaching as far as Springfield. In addition, the station added translators in Clinton and Bridgeport.
- WMRQ-HD1 (Radio 104.1)
- WMRQ-HD2 (Bomba FM) Spanish Tropical
|City of license||ERP
- "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access Database. FCC Media Bureau. December 20, 2007. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-25
- WMRQ Website
- Bomba 97
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WMRQ
- Radio-Locator information on WMRQ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WMRQ
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W246CC
- Radio-Locator information on W246CC
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W258AL
- Radio-Locator information on W258AL
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W283BS
- Radio-Locator information on W283BS
- Dee Snider Radio - archives of morning show