|Broadcast area||Columbus, Ohio|
|Branding||AM 880 WRFD|
|Slogan||Life Changing Radio!|
|First air date||September 27, 1947|
|Format||Christian talk radio|
|Power||23,000 watts (daytime)
6,100 watts (critical hours)
|Callsign meaning||Rural Free Delivery|
|Affiliations||Salem Radio Network|
(Salem Media of Ohio, Inc.)
WRFD (880 AM) is a radio station in Columbus, Ohio, USA. WRFD is owned by Salem Communications and is a sister station to conservative talk outlet WTOH (98.9 FM). The two stations share studios in the northwest portion of the city, and WRFD's transmitter is based near Cooper Stadium on the city's west side.
WRFD is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as a daytime-only station, and is required to sign-off at local sunset to protect WCBS in New York City, a 50,000-watt, clear-channel station on the same frequency. Despite the interruption of over-the-air service, WRFD offers programming 24 hours daily through its webstream.
WRFD began broadcasting September 14, 1947, with 5 KW power and was owned and operated by Peoples Broadcasting Company, an affiliate of Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company (the present-day Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company; the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation was Nationwide's founding member). WRFD was originally aimed at the regional agricultural market (hence the use of RFD, or rural free delivery), and had its studios and transmitter located on East Powell Road in rural Delaware County, north of Columbus.
WRFD held a construction permit for an FM station that actually was on the air for a period of time in the early 1950s; the license was turned in for financial considerations. In 1961 WRFD re-opened a sibling FM station, WRFD-FM, which became WNCI by 1967. WRFD was later sold to Buckeye Media in 1974, which later sold it to current owner Salem Communications in late 1981.
Since February 1, 1982, WRFD has operated with a Christian talk radio format. On air personalities at that time included Chuck Brown, Rick Dolezal and Boyce Lancaster. The station maintained a daily broadcast schedule of farm news and agribusiness information. In the late '90s, the farm program adopted the brand Ohio Farm Radio.
One widely known WRFD farm broadcaster was Ed Johnson, who hosted the program from 1967 until 1972. Leaving WRFD, he founded The Agri Broadcasting Network (ABN) which he owned and operated until his death in February 2001. The longest serving Farm Director at the station during the Salem Years was Joe Cornely, who broadcast daily farm news and information until 1998, when he joined the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff. He was followed by Darrin Johnston, who was replaced in 2002 by Andy Vance who left Salem Communications in 2005 to found the Buckeye Ag Radio Network, and later acquire Johnson's ABN Radio.
In 2005, Salem executives, with hopes of providing a more consistent programming schedule, decided to discontinue WRFD's agricultural programming.
Local programming on WRFD includes Bob Burney Live on weekdays. On Saturdays, there is "Listen to Your Money," "Saving Face," and "Saturday Live," hosted by Columbus radio legend Tom Wiebell.
- "Rural Ohio Station, WRFD, Now on Air" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 15, 1947. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- ^ Nationwide Insurance and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation have had a long and close relationship; Nationwide having originally been created by the farm bureau to meet the insurance needs of farmers.