WSMW

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WSMW
WSMW Simon98.7 logo.png
CityGreensboro, North Carolina
Broadcast areaPiedmont Triad
Branding98.7 Simon
SloganWe Play Everything
Frequency98.7 MHz
First air dateJanuary 9, 1958 (as WMDE at 98.5)
FormatAdult Hits
ERP100,000 watts
HAAT375 meters (1,230 ft)
ClassC0
Facility ID71272
Transmitter coordinates35°56′42″N 79°51′45″W / 35.94500°N 79.86250°W / 35.94500; -79.86250
Callsign meaningW SiMon W
Former callsignsWMDE (1958-1973)
WPET-FM (1973)
WRQK (1973-1985)
WKSI (1985-2002)
WOZN (2002-2005)
Former frequencies98.5 MHz (1958-1960s)
OwnerEntercom
(Entercom License, LLC)
Sister stationsWJMH, WPAW, WQMG, WPET, WEAL
WebcastListen Live
Website987simon.com

WSMW ("98.7 Simon FM") is an adult hits station licensed to Greensboro, North Carolina and serving the Piedmont Triad region, including High Point and Winston-Salem. The Entercom outlet broadcasts at 98.7 MHz and uses the slogan "We Play Everything!"

WSMW broadcasts with an ERP of 100,000 watts at a height above average terrain of 375 meters (1230 feet). The signal provides secondary coverage as far as Charlotte to the south and Raleigh to the east.[1] The station's studios are located near the Piedmont Triad International Airport and the transmitter site is in unincorporated south Guilford County.


History[edit]

Early Years[edit]

On January 9, 1958, WMDE first signed on at 98.5 MHz.[2] Owner Hall Electronics originally used the experimental call sign W4MDE. In the early 1960s, WMDE moved to 98.7, a frequency used from 1948 to 1950 by WCTP. Early formats on WMDE included classical music, middle of the road music and jazz. In 1966, WMDE played country music and aired Tobacco Radio Network news. Suburban Broadcasting sold WMDE to Mido Broadcasting in 1973 and the station became WPET-FM, airing Southern gospel music as a sister station to AM 950 WPET.

The WRQK Era[edit]

Starting in November 1973, the station increased power to 100,000 watts and went with a Top 40/Oldies format referred to as "Rock N' Gold" with the call letters WRQK. Artists included Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Parliament, General Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board. Studios for WRQK and WPET were on Meadowview Road near the Greensboro Depot. Drivers passing by could see the DJs through the three glass walls, and some even yelled their requests to the DJs. Battleground Avenue had billboards showing the DJs.[3] At one time the station's name was K-99. WRQK leaned toward classic rock in 1980, when it was also called "Heart of Gold".[4] Later the name became "99-RQK."

In 1983, rival station 99.5 WMAG made its debut, giving away a Rolls Royce. WRQK co-owner Tom Armshaw countered by giving away a blue Corvette.[3]

Switch to Kiss-FM[edit]

In 1985, WRQK changed to WKSI "98-7 Kiss FM," under consultant Randy Kabrich. The station was still playing Contemporary Hits and enjoying the "hey day" of 1980's top 40 popularity. The station was programmed during the mid/late 80's by Big Steve Kelly and then Dale O'Brian. O'Brian was hired as the Music Director and night jock following the departure of Dave Denver. O'Brian later hosted mornings following the departure of Jim Quinn. Big Steve left the station for Cleveland in the late 80's and O'Brian was named PD/Operations Manager. The station enjoyed the reputation of being one of the leading Top 40 stations in the Carolinas. In 1989, O'Brian left to sign on WMXF/MIX 96 in Fayetteville, NC. Other alumni include Dave Stone, Kelly Masters, Beth Ann McBride, Sammy Simpson, Scott Robbins, Sean Michaels, Ken Morrison, Robin Lambert, Skip Presson and Nancy Lee. The station would evolve to a modern rock-leaning Adult Top 40 by 1995 (after a brief stint as a country station "98-7 Kiss Country"). The station would also change its slogan to "The Point" in 1997 and by 2002 changed it again to "The Zone" along with the new call letters WOZN.

Move to Adult Hits[edit]

In 2005, the station added songs from the variety hits genre and held an online vote to see in the station should keep its Hot AC format or change to Adult Hits (even though at the time, the owners were planning to change it anyway.) Perhaps not surprisingly, Adult Hits won, with the station changing its call sign to WSMW and joining the list of stations embracing the format by introducing "Simon" to the market, not unlike the Jack FM format that was popular in many cities. The name "Simon" is a reference to the children's game "Simon Says," where Simon gets to say whatever songs he'd like to hear from the music library.

The station later added a morning show hosted by Jeff Wicker, voted "best Triad radio personality" for 2007 on GoTriad.com. Wicker's co-host was "Skip the Prize Guy." Currently, weekdays begin with the "Get Up! Morning Show," is hosted by Sean Sellers, a native of Henderson, North Carolina, who had been a DJ at WDCG, a top 40 station in the Raleigh market.

The station originally focused on playing music of multiple genres, eras, and styles, from as far back as the 1960s to present. In recent times, the station has removed the majority of the newer music and focused mainly on 1970s and 1980s classic hits alongside some 1990s music. The station still includes a few songs from the early 2000s. They have been the first station locally to play brand new music from The Rolling Stones, Weezer, Sting, Kacey Musgraves and many more, adding to their reputation for unpredictability. Several slogans, such as "Random Rules" and "We Play Everything" demonstrate this dedication to a wide variety of music.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Radio-Locator.com
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-151
  3. ^ a b McLaughlin, Nancy (August 30, 2015). "Radio pioneer Tom Armshaw left legacy". News & Record.
  4. ^ "Battle for Big Bucks," Greensboro Daily News, April 27, 1980.

External links[edit]