WNFN

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Broadcast area Nashville, Tennessee
Branding i106.7
Slogan "Nashville's New Hit Music Station"
Format Top 40 (CHR)
ERP 2,950 watts
HAAT 294.3 meters
Class C3
Facility ID 29862
Callsign meaning We're Nashville's FaN! (from previous sports format)
Owner Duey Wright
(Midwest Communications)
Sister stations WCJK, WJXA
Webcast Listen Live
Website i1067.com

WNFN (106.7 FM, "i106.7") is a Top 40 (CHR) formatted radio station in the Nashville, Tennessee market, broadcasting a Top 40 format. Its transmitter site is in Whites Creek, Tennessee and its studios are in Nashville's Music Row district.

Previously licensed to the affluent Nashville suburb of Belle Meade, and recently obtaining a permit for an increased signal, with a new license based in nearby Millersville, WNFN was formerly operated under the callsign of WNPL. The station's original construction permit listed Mt. Juliet, Tennessee as the city of license, but this was changed amid concerns of interference with radio communications at Nashville International Airport.

History[edit]

Previous formats as WNPL[edit]

As WNFN[edit]

  • 2004 to 2009: "ESPN 106.7 The Fan" (Sports Talk) (briefly named "SportsRadio 106.7 The Fan" upon launch)

The former all-sports format was adopted on December 23, 2004, in part as a way of splitting the sports shows then broadcast on WWTN away from the political talk shows that it otherwise broadcasts on the premise that the overlap in listenership between the two formats is minimal, and the callsign change soon followed. The station had marketed itself as "Nashville's only all-sports FM" and "Nashville's Sports Leader", until the sports format was dropped on July 29, 2009.

The once-popular SportsNight afternoon drive-time talk show was briefly simulcast on both WWTN and WNPL/WNFN before being relegated to WNPL/WNFN alone in early 2005. Due in part to the lower power of WNFN and in part to the previous departure of popular host George Plaster to competitor WGFX, SportsNight (hosted by Blake Fulton, Joe Biddle and, for around two years, Pete Weber) fell into a precipitous ratings decline. Both it and the mid-day local talk show Sports Brunch (hosted by John Dwyer and Bryan Mullen) were discontinued in March 2006. SportsNight would eventually be replaced by The Sports Guys (which began in July 2006) featuring longtime Nashville sportscaster Bob Bell, former Middle Tennessee State University head football coach Boots Donnelly and Nashville newcomer Jonathan Shaffer. Donnelly left the show in February 2007, and was replaced by former Tennessee Titans President Jeff Diamond. Bell left in July 2007 and was replaced by Thom Abraham out of Cumulus sister station WUMP/Huntsville.[1] The Abraham show was discontinued after February 6, 2009, leaving no local content, except for MTSU games and coaches' shows. Otherwise, the station broadcast almost exclusively programming from ESPN Radio and selected major sporting events. ESPN Radio was formerly featured on AM 560 WNSR (Nashville Sports Radio) in Nashville. According to a story in Billboard's Radio Monitor and other publications, Cumulus Media, WNFN's owner and ABC Radio, then ESPN's parent company, were both sued in Federal Court in Nashville over tortious interference with a contract (between ESPN and WNSR) due to the move of ESPN programming from WNSR to WNFN. According to the article, this was in violation of antitrust laws. Settlement was apparently made out of court after Cumulus and ABC tried unsuccessfully to move the suit to New York. After the sports format was dropped at WNFN, ESPN Radio was picked up by former rival WGFX.

In 2006, WNFN became the flagship station of the Middle Tennessee State University athletic department, and remained such until the sports format was dropped, at which time this function was reverted to the university's own station, WMOT.

Reformat to Top 40[edit]

Former logo used from 2009-2016.

On July 29, 2009, WNFN went "under construction", airing construction sounds and saying that a new station in Nashville was being built and to check back at 1:06 pm. There had been rumors that the station would flip to a religious format as "Praise 106" and a man in a deep voice would occasionally quickly say "Praise 106", after a female announcer would say "A new station for Nashville is coming soon!"; however no "Praise 106" ever launched, and this was thought to be only a stunt. On July 30, 2009, at 1:06 pm CST, the station launched a Top 40 (CHR) format as i106. "Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas was the first song. This was Cumulus's second Top 40 station launched during the same month, cloned after sister station WRWM in Indianapolis.

On September 16, 2011, WNFN and then sister station WRQQ (Now WLVU) were placed into an independent trust (Volt Radio, LLC) while Cumulus seeks a buyer. The move was forced by FCC ownership limits following Cumulus' acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting, which resulted locally in WKDF and WGFX joining the Cumulus cluster. The FCC, as of 2011, allows a single company to own a maximum of five FM stations and two AM stations in any given market. To meet these guidelines in Nashville, Cumulus was forced to spin off two of its seven FM stations, and the company chose WRQQ and WNFN, traditionally its two lowest-performing stations.

On November 14, 2011, Cumulus announced it was removing WRQQ from the Volt Radio trust, replacing it with WQQK.[2] WQQK was removed from the trust on April 30, 2013, leaving only WNFN to still be under a Trust Agreement to Volt Radio. However, on August 28, 2013, the ownership and control of WNFN once again changed, as Volt Radio transferred ownership and control of the station to Joule Broadcasting.[3]

WNFN broadcasts one channel (HD 1) in the HD format.[4]

Sale to Midwest Communications[edit]

On February 9, 2016, Midwest Communications announced that they would be purchasing WNFN from Joule Broadcasting for $3.75 million. Once the sale was finalized by the FCC on May 31, 2016, WNFN became the third radio station in the Nashville market to be owned by Midwest Communications. It also became a sister station to both WJXA (Mix 92.9) and WCJK (96.3 Jack FM). WNFN was to move its studios from Nashville's Music Row district to the new studios that are located in south central Nashville near the Tennessee State Fairgrounds arena where WJXA and WCJK both currently have their studios.[5]

On June 2, 2016, the station announced that it had named a new assistant programming director (Joe Breezy, who moved from WODS in Boston and would also do the afternoon shift on WNFN) as well as revealing a new on-air branding campaign. The station now identifies itself as "i106.7".[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sports host Abraham leaving, but show staying". The Huntsville Times. Huntsville, Alabama. June 24, 2007. WUMP to also introduce new morning program WUMP-AM 730 sports personality Thom Abraham is moving to Nashville, but his show will remain on the air in Huntsville. Abraham hosts the daily "Thom Abraham Show" from 3 to 6 pm. That show will continue at the same time but originate from Nashville's ESPN-FM 106.7 The Fan. 
  2. ^ http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/98937/cumulus-takes-two-out-of-trusts-puts-one-in
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ http://www.hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=33 HD Radio Guide for Nashville
  5. ^ Midwest acquires i106.7 Nashville
  6. ^ radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/106602/joe-breezy-joins-i106-7-nashville-as-apdafternoons

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°15′50″N 86°47′38″W / 36.264°N 86.794°W / 36.264; -86.794