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WAPS (91.3 FM) – branded 91.3 The Summit – is a non-commercial educational radio station licensed to Akron, Ohio. Owned and operated by the Akron Public Schools, the station airs adult album alternative (AAA). In addition to a standard analog transmission, WAPS broadcasts over four HD Radio channels, and is available online.
|Broadcast area||Akron metro area|
|Branding||91.3 The Summit|
|Slogan||True Music Diversity|
(also on HD Radio)
|Repeater(s)||WKTL/Struthers 90.7 MHz|
|First air date||September 1955|
Children's radio (HD3)
Rock music (HD4)
|ERP||2,000 watts (analog)|
80 watts (digital)
|Callsign meaning||Akron Public Schools|
|Former frequencies||89.1 MHz (1955–1994)|
|Owner||Akron Public Schools |
(Board of Education, Akron City School District)
WAPS primarily serves the Akron metro area, but also simulcasts over a single full-power repeater: WKTL (90.7 FM), licensed to Struthers and operated by Struthers High School, broadcasts the WAPS signal to the Youngstown metro area.
WAPS first signed on in September 1955, part of a statewide educational broadcasting initiative which saw the launch of many school system-licensed radio stations across Ohio. From 1955 through the early 1980s, WAPS served as a “radio classroom” service, operating only during school days and offering instructional radio programs that teachers could use in their classrooms.
In the mid-1980s, the station evolved into a vocational program for high school broadcasting students, who served as on-air hosts, playing Top-40 music. In 1987, the station switched format to Alternative Rock/Modern Rock in the afternoons and evenings, and jazz in the morning hours. During this era, the station began broadcasting during the summer months as well as the school year. High school student broadcasters were augmented by college student broadcasters, and community volunteers.
Weekend specialty and nationality broadcasts began with an abbreviated schedule in 1990, expanding to a full-day schedule by 1995. In 1992, WAPS began a slow evolution away from the “Modern Rock” format towards the Album Adult Alternative format, completing the process in 1995. In 1996, the station began broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That same year, WAPS launched their first website, which soon offered live worldwide streaming audio of WAPS programs.
In 1999, the station made a commitment to the Album Adult Alternative format under the branding of "91.3 The Summit". The website, www.wapsfm.com, was re-launched as www.913thesummit.com, though both addresses remain active. In 2001, WAPS hired local professional on-air hosts to broadcast during prime time hours, while continuing to use volunteers on weekends and evenings, supplemented by student interns and community volunteers behind the scenes.
In 2011, another online worldwide radio service was launched, known as Rock & Recovery, designed to empower and entertain those suffering from addiction and enhance their self-motivation and personal nourishment. Rock & Recovery mixes stories and messages from professional health-care providers, addicts, comedians and family members. These stories and messages are woven in between hand-picked music. Rock & Recovery is not associated with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. Rock & Recovery broadcasts on the WAPS HD-4 channel, and, is streamed worldwide at the website http://rockandrecovery.com
In addition to being received locally on standard FM or new HD radios, a live broadcast of the main station as well as HD-only “Summit Flashbacks," "KIDJAM! Radio," and "Rock & Recovery" can be heard worldwide via streaming audio.
Non-commercial WAPS relies on listener membership donations for much of its annual funding. Additional funding is provided by local and regional businesses and organizations, which underwrite station programming, and grant funds from local and regional philanthropic organizations. The station receives a Community Service Grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting. As of 2009, it receives no direct financial support from owner Akron Public Schools.
WAPS once broadcast on 89.1 until moving to 91.3 in August 1994 to increase signal coverage. The station moved transmitter sites in December 2002 to further increase signal coverage to points west and south of Akron. In October 2008, WAPS installed a digital transmitter and panel antenna system to maximize the 2,000 watt signal and to begin broadcasting in HD Radio. As part of the HD radio initiative, it launched a second format on their-
- HD2 audio channel, was originally "Summit Flashbacks," offering a commercial-free mix of "new wave"-inspired music from the years 1976 through 1994.
But this channel was rebranded as " The 330", with music produced by artists from NE Ohio.
In June 2010, WAPS launched an-
- HD3 station for children called KIDJAM! Radio. KIDJAM! Radio aims "to embrace technology by combining high-quality entertainment with a solid foundation for strengthening self-esteem, providing simple steps to good nutrition and developing a positive attitude." The station has its own website, which includes a live online audio stream, www.kidjamradio.com.
September 2011 Rock & Recovery launched a multimedia subscription-free service for those in addiction recovery, their families and health care professionals. It hosted its inaugural broadcast on Sept. 15 from Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous.
WAPS was nominated by Radio and Records Magazine's Industry Achievement Awards as "Triple A Radio Station of The Year: Markets 50+ Noncommercial", in 2006 and 2008. Readers of local publication Akron Life and Leisure Magazine voted WAPS as "Best Radio Station" in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010.
WAPS was listed as one of the "40 Best Little Radio Stations in the U.S." by Paste Magazine in 2010. The station was also recognized as the "Volunteer of the Year" by Akron Public Schools in 2010 for their Music Alive instrument donation program.
- http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=73 HD Radio Guide for Akron
- "WAPS FM 91.3 - radio station in Akron, Ohio USA with local news and weather, NPR network programs". Mondotimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Entertaining and Meaningful Music with Positive Messaging". Rock and Recovery. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "KIDJAM! Philosophy". KIDJAM! Radio. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Akron Ohio's Premiere Children's Radio Station!". KIDJAM! Radio. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- Published at 7:00 AM on September 23, 2010 By Josh Jackson (2010-09-23). "The 40 Best Little Radio Stations in the U.S. :: Blogs :: List of the Day :: Paste". Pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Music Alive". 913thesummit.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.