|Broadcast area||Canton-Akron metro areas|
|Slogan||It Just Rocks!|
(also on HD Radio)
|First air date||March 1, 1961|
HD2: News/talk (WHLO simulcast)
|Callsign meaning||RQK resembles "Rock"|
|Former callsigns||WCNO (1961–67)
United Stations Radio Networks
(Capstar TX LLC)
|Sister stations||WARF, WHLO, WHOF, WKDD|
WRQK-FM (106.9 FM) – branded Rock 106.9 – is a commercial active rock radio station licensed to Canton, Ohio, serving both the Canton and Akron metro areas. Owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., the station serves as the local affiliate for Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx, and The House of Hair with Dee Snider. The WRQK-FM studios are located in North Canton, while the station transmitter resides in Canton. In addition to a standard analog transmission, WRQK-FM broadcasts over two HD Radio channels, and is available online via iHeartRadio.
WRQK-FM began broadcasting as WCNO on March 1, 1961. The new station was owned by the Greer Group, also owner of WAND/Canton; the two stations became WNYN and WNYN-FM in 1967. Both stations were purchased in 1965 by Don Keyes, who had made his mark as a national programmer for legendary station owner Gordon McLendon. In 1971, he sold the FM station to Susquehanna Radio Corporation, the owners of WHLO (AM) Akron, and it became WHLQ.
Susquehanna sold the station in 1978 to the owners of WINW, who applied to change the FM call letters to WHOF (for the "Hall of Fame" city of Canton) but were rebuffed by the owners of WTOF, another local FM station. (Coincidentally, WRQK-FM now has a new Clear Channel sister station using the WHOF call letters.) 106.9 adopted an automated Top 40 format and became WOOS-FM on June 1, 1979.
WOOS-FM changed its call sign to WRQK on August 3, 1985, taking on an album oriented rock music format. For a while, the station called itself Goodrock 107, an apparent play on the name of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in nearby Akron. It formally changed from WRQK to WRQK-FM on February 14, 1989, when AM station WINW changed its call sign to WRQK. The AM station changed back to WINW six months later, but the FM call sign has remained WRQK-FM.
In 1995, the station was sold by Jim Embrescia's Canton/Akron Radio, Inc. to Sabre Communications. Then In 1997, SabreComm sold to Connoisseur. Connoisseur sold their entire radio group to Cumulus. Then, on August 8, 2006, it was announced that WRQK-FM would be sold to Clear Channel Communications, pairing WRQK-FM with former partner WHLO, as well as WARF, WKDD, and WHOF. Clear Channel took over operations of WRQK-FM on January 15, 2007, pending FCC approval of its purchase of the station from Cumulus.
In March 2007, WRQK-FM changed its branding from Rock 107 to Rock 106.9. It also changed its slogan from "Canton's Rock Station" to "It Just Rocks!", in an effort to also serve the Akron market.
WRQK-FM personality and former Maxwell Show sidekick Dan Stansbury hosts the morning drive program. Local DJ "Captain" Tony McGinty is heard in afternoon drive, and other music programming is provided via the Premium Choice network. WRQK-FM also airs Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx weekday evenings, via Premiere Networks; and The House of Hair with Dee Snider on weekends via United Stations Radio Networks. The HD2 digital subchannel simulcasts the news/talk format of sister station WHLO/Akron.