WVAZ

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WVAZ
WVAZ logo.png
CityOak Park, Illinois
Broadcast areaChicago metropolitan area
Northwest Indiana
Branding102.7 V103
SloganToday's R&B & Old School
Chicago's Only Radio Station For Today’s R&B & Throwbacks
Frequency102.7 FM (MHz)
(also on HD Radio)
102.7 HD-2 FM WGRB simulcast
First air dateOctober 17, 1950[1]
FormatUrban AC
ERP3,800 watts
HAAT425 meters (1,394 ft)
ClassB
Facility ID6588
Callsign meaningThe V from WVAZ is used in "V103" branding. Originally, the call letters meant, "Variety from A to Z" to match their one-time "Best Variety of Hits & Dusties" moniker.
Former callsignsWOPA-FM (1950-1969)[2]
WGLD (1969-1974)[2]
WBMX (1974-1984)[3]
WBMX-FM (1984-1988)[3]
Former frequencies102.3 MHz (1950-1958)[2]
OwneriHeartMedia, Inc.
(AMFM Broadcasting Licenses, LLC)
Sister stationsWEBG, WGCI-FM, WGRB, WKSC-FM, WLIT, WVON
WebcastListen Live
Websitehttps://v103.iheart.com/

WVAZ (102.7 MHz, "V103") is an urban adult contemporary radio station serving the Chicago metropolitan area and Northwest Indiana. Licensed to Oak Park, Illinois, WVAZ is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel Communications until September 2014), alongside sister stations WGCI-FM, WKSC-FM, and WGRB.

In 2005, WVAZ began broadcasting in IBOC digital radio, using the HD Radio system from iBiquity.[4]

WVAZ has studios located at the Illinois Center complex on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Chicago, and it broadcasts from a transmitter atop the John Hancock Center.

History[edit]

WOPA-FM[edit]

The station began broadcasting October 17, 1950 and held the call sign WOPA-FM.[1][2] It was a sister station to WOPA 1490, the present-day WPNA.[5] The call letters WOPA stood for the Oak Park Arms, a hotel on Oak Park Avenue where the station's studios and transmitter were located.[6][2] The station originally broadcast at 102.3 MHz, and had an ERP of 1,000 watts at a HAAT of 250 feet.[2] In 1958, the station's frequency was changed to 102.7 MHz, and its ERP and HAAT were increased to 3,550 watts and 260 feet respectively.[2]

Pervis Spann began his radio career on WOPA in 1959.[7][8]

In 1962, the station's ERP was increased to 8,100 watts, while its HAAT was decreased to 231 feet.[2] In 1965 its ERP was increased to 17,000 watts, and in 1967 its ERP was increased to 50,000 watts.[2]

On May 21, 1967, WOPA-FM began airing progressive rock Sunday nights.[9] On March 4, 1968, the station began airing a two and a half hour nightly progressive rock program titled "Rock Garden".[10] Another overnight progressive rock program was added in October 1968.[9]

WGLD[edit]

In May 1969, the station's call sign was changed to WGLD.[2] The station adopted an oldies format.[11][12] On January 5, 1970, the station switched to a full time progressive rock format.[13][14]

In 1972, the station's transmitter was moved to the John Hancock Center, and its ERP was reduced to 6,000 watts.[2]

In 1973, the station aired a sex talk show hosted by Morgan Moore called Femme Forum, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.[15][16] The Federal Communications Commission fined the station $2,000 for an episode which dealt with the subject of oral sex, and stated that the show's "titillating, pandering fashion" of the episode's discussions constituted "broadcast obscenity".[15][17] The station's owner, Sonderling Broadcasting, did not appeal the ruling.[17] Femme Forum was dropped from the station shortly thereafter and the station returned to airing an oldies format.[17][6][18]

WBMX[edit]

In 1974, the station's call sign was changed to WBMX, standing for "Black Music EXperience", and the station adopted an urban contemporary format.[2][19][20] The station continued airing an urban contemporary format into the late 1980s.[21][20]

In 1988, the station was sold to Sky Broadcasting for $27 million.[22][23][24][25] Sky Broadcasting was taken over by Broadcasting Partners later that year.[26]

WVAZ[edit]

On October 18, 1988, the station shifted to more of an urban adult contemporary format and the station was branded V103, with its call sign changing to WVAZ.[27][3]

Broadcasting Partners was acquired by Evergreen Media in 1995, which in turn merged with Chancellor Broadcasting in 1997.[28][29] Chancellor restructured as AMFM, Inc. in 1999, and in 2000 merged with Clear Channel Communications.[30][31]

In March 2009, WVAZ replaced the Tom Joyner Morning Show with The Steve Harvey Morning Show, which moved from 107.5 WGCI-FM.[32] WVAZ had been the largest affiliate by market size to carry the Tom Joyner Morning Show.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2010, Broadcasting & Cable, 2010. p. D-195. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l History Cards for WVAZ, fcc.gov. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Call Sign History (WVAZ), fcc.gov. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  4. ^ HD Radio Guide for Chicago
  5. ^ 1952 Broadcasting Yearbook, Broadcasting, 1952. p. 130. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Ghrist, John R. (1996). Valley Voices: A Radio History. Crossroads Communications. p. 354-356.
  7. ^ "Pervis Spann", The Blues Foundation. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  8. ^ Whiteis, David. "Not So Smooth Operator", Chicago Reader. January 18, 2001. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Paige, Earl. "Numbers Game is Decried", Billboard. December 7, 1968. p. 35. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  10. ^ "3 Chicago Outlets Launch Progressive Rock Airplay", Billboard. March 2, 1968. p. 22. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  11. ^ "Sales of 45's Vary Widely; Radio Play Helping 'Oldies'", Billboard. July 26, 1969. p. 50. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  12. ^ "50's Are Now to Buyers", Billboard. December 6, 1969. p. 74. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  13. ^ "WGDL-FM's Shift Geared to Youth" [sic], Billboard. January 17, 1970. p. 30. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  14. ^ 1971 Broadcasting Yearbook, Broadcasting, 1971. p. B-66. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  15. ^ a b "FCC Cracks Down on 'Topless Radio'", Associated Press. Daily Inter Lake. The Intertainer. April 20, 1973. p. 1. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  16. ^ Duston, Anne. "WCLR-FM Clarions 'Clear Sound' MOR as Others Probe Rock Chance", Billboard. April 14, 1973. pp. 22 & 24. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c Hilliard, Robert L.; Keith, Michael C. (2008). Dirty Discourse: Sex and Indecency in Broadcasting. John Wiley & Sons. p. 61-63. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  18. ^ 1974 Broadcasting Yearbook, Broadcasting, 1974. p. B-67. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  19. ^ Williams, Jean. "Chicago's WBMX to Top", Billboard. August 9, 1975. p. 54-55. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  20. ^ a b Chicagoland Radio Waves, MediaTies. Summer 1988. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  21. ^ Chicago Radio Guide. Vol. 1, No. 1. May 1985. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  22. ^ "WBMX Radio Sold For $27 Million", Chicago Tribune. September 9, 1987. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  23. ^ "Transactions", Radio & Records. September 11, 1987. p. 16. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  24. ^ Application Search Details - BALH-19870908HG, fcc.gov. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  25. ^ Public Notice Comment - BALH-19870908HG, fcc.gov. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  26. ^ "The Birth of BPI", Radio & Records. December 23, 1988. p. 30. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  27. ^ Feder, Robert (October 19, 1988). "WBMX disappears; new `V-103' emerges". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on March 12, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  28. ^ "Broadcasting Partners Agrees To Merge Into Evergreen Media", Associated Press. February 1, 1995. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  29. ^ Peers, Martin. "Viacom Radio Signs Off", Variety. February 18, 1997. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  30. ^ "Chancellor to Become AMFM Inc.", AdAge. May 20, 1999. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  31. ^ "Clear Channel-AMFM Merger Gets Approval", Associated Press. Los Angeles Times. August 30, 2000. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  32. ^ a b Rosenthal, Phil. "Joyner's job, fans jolted one Clear Channel morn", Chicago Tribune. March 27, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°53′56″N 87°37′23″W / 41.899°N 87.623°W / 41.899; -87.623