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WJZ-FM, branded on-air as 105.7 The Fan, is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Catonsville, Maryland. The station is owned by Entercom through licensee Entercom License, LLC and broadcasts a sports format with local shows most of the day and programming from CBS Sports Radio during the evening and overnight hours. Studios are located in Towson, Maryland while the transmitter is located in Baltimore's Frankford neighborhood at ( ).
|Broadcast area||Baltimore metropolitan area|
|Branding||105.7 The Fan|
|Slogan||"Baltimore's New Sports Leader"|
|Frequency||105.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||November 11, 1961 (as WBMD-FM)|
HD2: Business news (WDCH-FM simulcast)
HD3: Sports (WJZ simulcast)
|ERP||50,000 watts (analog)|
2,390 watts (digital)
|HAAT||150 meters (490 ft)|
|Transmitter coordinates||Coordinates: (NAD27)|
|Callsign meaning||Taken from former sister station WJZ-TV, which took the callsign in honor of the former WJZ (AM) in New York City, now WABC|
|Former callsigns||WBMD-FM (1961–1977)|
|Affiliations||CBS Sports Radio|
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WJZ, WLIF, WDCH-FM, WWMX-FM|
History of the WJZ-FM callsignEdit
The call letters "WJZ" were originally created by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the direct predecessor to the current CBS Corporation. Westinghouse was the owner of WJZ radio in Newark, New Jersey from 1921 to 1923, before it moved to New York. The "JZ" in the call sign referred to New Jersey. The WJZ call letters have been used in Baltimore since 1957, when WAAM (channel 13) was renamed to WJZ-TV, an ABC Network affiliate that was changed to CBS in 1995.
WJZ-FM signed on in 1961 as WCBC-FM. The station was purchased in the late '60s by Key Broadcasting. The FM station was paired with a country AM station, WBMD, already owned by Key. In 1970, the FM's format became hard rock at night, with country during the day. On July 5, 1971, the station's call sign was changed to WKTK and the format shifted to all progressive rock music. From 1977 to 1979, WKTK played disco music, but later changed to oldies with the decline of disco. In 1982, the call letters became WQSR as the station planned to join Super Radio, a new national music network to be operated by ABC. Shortly before Super Radio's scheduled launch, ABC decided not to go forward with the network. WQSR kept its new call letters. WQSR was then sold to Sconnix Broadcasting in 1988 and continued playing oldies music. The station was sold to Infinity Radio in 1993, then passed on to CBS Radio in 1997.
On September 8, 2001, at 6 a.m., WQSR moved to WXYV's 102.7 FM frequency to broadcast on a better signal. After two days of simulcasting, at 3 p.m. on September 10th, 105.7 FM became the new home for WXYV, with an Urban contemporary music format known as "X105.7." (X105.7 marked WXYV's second stint as an Urban station; the first incarnation was known as "V103", which flipped to CHR/Top-40 and became "102.7XYV" in 1997, and was then re-branded as "B102.7" in 1998, with the same CHR/Top-40 format.) The call letter swap between the two stations became official 4 days later. Both stations were owned by Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio). The morning show was a simulcast of former V103 and 92Q personality Frank Ski's morning show, originating from WVEE (also known as "V103", but located on the 103.3 frequency) in Atlanta.
Revival of WHFSEdit
However, X105.7 failed to compete against WERQ-FM, which resulted in WXYV flipping to hot talk on March 10, 2003. The station was an affiliate for Howard Stern and the Don and Mike Show. The station adopted the name "Live 105.7", which would later change to "105.7 Free FM" in 2006, and then "Baltimore's FM Talk 105.7" in 2007 after CBS phased out the Free FM branding nationwide.
Meanwhile, Infinity Broadcasting saw an unexpected public reaction to their decision to change the format of 99.1 FM in Washington. The story was covered by local TV stations for many days afterwards, and mentioned nationally by The Washington Post, The Howard Stern Show, and The Today Show. The corporate offices of Infinity Broadcasting in New York City were flooded with phone calls and e-mails from irate listeners. An online petition protesting the format change gathered tens of thousands of signatures in only a few days. Media attention was attracted by a public protest in downtown Washington, outside a skate shop where WHFS maintained a remote storefront studio in its last few months. WHFS' main competitor, DC101, paid tribute to the station, airing many memories of WHFS from its DJs and listeners.
Infinity Broadcasting responded by resurrecting the WHFS format on nights and weekends at 105.7, beginning at 7 p.m. on January 21, 2005 with former WHFS afternoon DJ Tim Virgin. The station rebranded itself as "The Legendary HFS, Live on 105.7"; Infinity Broadcasting moved the WHFS call letters to the station days later. 'HFS was pulled from the airwaves again on February 1, 2007, immediately before KMS on HFS premiered, yet retained the WHFS call letters traditionally associated with the music the station used to broadcast. Currently, HFS2 and Locals Only with Neci remain WHFS's only ties to its original format.
In 2006, WHFS began to broadcast a digital signal for radios using the new HD Radio technology, and launched an all-music station named "HFS2" on its second HD Radio channel. The station focuses primarily on new alternative rock and indie rock, and currently has no DJs or commercials. On January 19, 2007, the online stream of "HFS2" was launched with the slogan "What You've Been Missing" hinting at the death of HFS music on the regular 105.7 frequency.
On Thursday, November 1, 2007, Neci Crowder began broadcasting on HFS2 from 8am to 1 pm. This marked the first time a live DJ has been heard on HFS2.
105.7 the FanEdit
On November 3, 2008, WHFS flipped to a sports talk format, branded as "105.7 The Fan." Along with the format change came a new callsign: WJZ-FM. The new station has Ed Norris and Rob Long in the morning drive ("Norris & Long Show" 5:30-10 AM), Bob Haynie and Vinny Cerrato ("Vinny & Haynie Show" from 10 AM to 2 PM), and Scott Garceau and Jeremy Conn ("Scott Garceau Show" from 2 to 6 PM.
WJZ-FM retained WHFS' status as the flagship radio station for Baltimore Orioles baseball and Maryland Terrapins football and men's basketball. The WHFS call sign landed on 1580 AM (formerly WPGC) one week later. Orioles broadcasts moved from WJZ-FM back to WBAL (which WHFS had replaced as flagship in 2007) in 2011. But in 2015, WJZ-FM reacquired the broadcast rights to Orioles games from WBAL for the second time.
On February 2, 2017, CBS agreed to merge CBS Radio with Entercom, currently the fourth-largest radio broadcaster in the United States; the sale will be conducted using a Reverse Morris Trust so that it will be tax-free. While CBS shareholders retain a 72% ownership stake in the combined company, Entercom was surviving entity, separating WJZ radio (both 105.7 FM and AM 1300) from WJZ-TV. The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was consummated on the 17th. However, despite no longer sharing an owner with WJZ-TV, the deal grants the station the right to use the call letters in perpetuity.
WJZ-FM is short-spaced to WQXA-FM 105.7 The X (licensed to serve York, Pennsylvania) as they operate on the same frequency and the cities they are licensed to serve are only 48 miles apart. The minimum distance between two Class B stations operating on the same channel according to current FCC rules is 150 miles. Both stations use directional antennas to reduce their signals toward each other.
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