|Broadcast area||Metro Detroit |
|Slogan||"Detroit's Greatest Hits"|
|Frequency||104.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
104.3 HD-2: Oldies 104.3 (50s-60s Oldies)
104.3 HD-3: Detroit's Boulevard
104-3 (All Detroit artists)
|First air date||March 5, 1948|
|HAAT||110 meters (360 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||Wayne, Oakland, & Macomb Counties|
|Former callsigns||WEXL-FM (1948–1973)|
|Affiliations||Michigan Wolverines Sports Network (flagship)|
(sale to Entercom pending)
(CBS Radio Inc. of Michigan)
|Sister stations||WDZH, WWJ, WXYT, WXYT-FM, WYCD
part of CBS Corp. cluster w/ TV stations WWJ-TV & WKBD-TV
Listen Live (HD2)
WOMC (104.3 FM, "104.3 WOMC") is a classic hits radio station broadcasting in the Detroit, Michigan, United States, area. WOMC's transmitter and studios are located on Woodward Heights (9½ Mile Rd) near Interstate 75 in Ferndale, Michigan. WOMC broadcasts with an effective radiated power of 190,000 watts from an antenna height of 361 feet. It is the flagship station of the Michigan Wolverines Football Network.
The station began operations on March 5, 1948 as WEXL-FM. The calls changed to WOMC ("Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties") a few years later. WOMC programmed a Beautiful Music format for many years but was typically mired toward the bottom of the local ratings until 1973, when it was purchased by Metromedia. Metromedia retooled WOMC's easy listening format to include brighter and more uptempo material, an approach modeled after the successful WQLR-FM "Clear 106" in Kalamazoo.
According to Bill Wertz of WQLR's former owner Fairfield Broadcasting (the station is now WVFM owned by Midwest Communications), WOMC's sales manager at the time, Bob Reinhardt, was impressed with WQLR's sound, especially when he learned that the station was programmed in-house and not using a syndicated service, and requested that WQLR's programmers create a similar format for WOMC. WOMC's revised beautiful music format was an instant success, lifting the station from twenty-eighth place in the Detroit Arbitron ratings into the top three. This marked the beginning of the beautiful-music syndication service known as KalaMusic.
During the late 1970s WOMC enlisted the help of program director and legendary Detroit DJ Dave Shafer, and well-known Detroit radio personalities Marc Avery (who died in 2004), Tom Dean and Nick Arama. By 1980, WOMC had evolved its format from easy listening to a soft, gold-based Adult Contemporary sound, with which it continued to be quite successful. The adult-contemporary format field in Detroit was rather crowded during the 1980s, with WOMC competing against 100.3 WNIC, 94.7 WMJC and 93.1 WLTI among other stations, and WOMC differentiated itself from its competitors by emphasizing Oldies.
By 1989, WOMC had become almost exclusively an oldies station, and, despite the fact that Detroit had several other oldies stations at the time (including 102.7 WKSG-FM, 93.9 CKLW-FM, and 560 WHND-AM), eventually came to dominate as the most popular choice for oldies in the market.
WOMC has also had many memorable slogans, like "WOM-SEE" and "Detroit's Big O", and when the call letters are said, they're said with emphasis on the O ("W Ohhh M C").
In 2006, under the leadership of Steve Alan, the station removed the word "Oldies" from all station imaging and jingles and re-branded as "The Motor City's 104.3" While quite successful in growing the ratings, in early 2007, under the guidance of Detroit-based programming consultant, Gary Berkowitz, the station started using the word "Oldies" again in jingles and imaging, but the heritage WOMC call letters are only used for the top of the hour legal ID.
Berkowitz's switch back to Oldies using Randy Reeves as the station voice, and Gary used a combination of "Do It Again", "Home of the Hits" and selected PAMS jingle packages from JAM Creative Productions. Gary Berkowitz and management then brought in Scott Walker, as program director.
In August 2007, WOMC-FM had begun airing brief jingles and "retromercials" that formerly aired on CKLW during its famous tenure as the "Big 8", especially with much of the same music being played on WOMC-FM today as on CKLW in the 1960s to the 1980s.
In April 2009, under the leadership of Tom Bigby, Tim Roberts, and Tom Sleeker, WOMC once again dropped the "Oldies" branding from the station. Once Tim Roberts was named Operations Manager and Program Director, the transition to "Classic Hits" from "Oldies" continued. During that time, WOMC replaced voiceover guy Charlie Van Dyke with Jeff Davis. The station changed to "104.3 WOMC, Detroit's Greatest Hits."
WOMC is licensed for HD Radio operations, and has a multicast channel on WOMC-HD2. Originally, this station featured hits of the 1950s and 1960s. Gradually, the format began to evolve into pop hits of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. WOMC had changed its station voice twice, and at one time, all three station voices could be heard doing liners for WOMC-HD2. In January 2008, WOMC-HD2's format changed back to the hits of the 1950s and 1960s. Every day, beginning at 1:00 p.m., the station played an hour of Elvis music. The station would also occasionally play a retro PAMS jingle from the early-mid 1990s.
In November 2008, WOMC had plans to re-create the sound of Top-40 legend WKNR Keener 13 for its HD2 stream. On November 8, 2008, a Keener Radio logo appeared on WOMC's website. However, the program director of the HD2 Channel, Ted Richards and the WOMC program director were let go in April 2009 and the Keener Radio idea never took off. In April 2009, WOMC-HD2 picked up the "Oldies 104.3" branding which was dropped from the FM channel. The station also shifted its format to playing pop hits of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
In February 2010, WOMC added an HD3 channel known as "New Sky Radio: New Horizons, No Boundaries". The station mainly featured psychic talk shows and readings, along with various life talk shows.
On January 1, 2014, WOMC-HD3 dropped "New Sky Radio" in favor of an all-Detroit artists format, branded as "Detroit's Boulevard 104-3."