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City of license Grand Rapids, Michigan
Branding 97-9 GRD
Slogan "Grand Rapids' Rock Alternative"
Frequency 97.9 MHz
Format Modern Rock
ERP 13,000 watts
Class B
Callsign meaning Grand Rapids
Former callsigns WXTO
Owner Regent Communications
Sister stations WFGR, WLHT-FM, WNWZ, WTRV

WGRD-FM (97.9 FM) is an active rock-leaning alternative radio station in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The station is owned by Regent Communications.

WGRD-FM is the flagship station of The Free Beer and Hot Wings Show, a comedy/talk program, on weekday mornings. It consists of four members: Greg "Free Beer" Daniels, Chris "Hot Wings" Michels, Eric (Zeitunian) Zane, and Joe "Producer Joe" Gasmann, Jr. The show is now syndicated in 16 markets throughout the eastern United States.[1]

WGRD-FM began as WXTO. The station was owned by the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids and operated by Aquinas College, but the owners of Top 40 music stations WGRD-AM 1410 in Grand Rapids and WTRU-AM 1600 Muskegon (Regional Broadcasters, Inc.) took full control of the station in 1971 and changed its call letters to WGRD-FM. The station's transmitter would remain on the Aquinas College campus until 1974. During the mid 1970's, WGRD was frequently the #1 station (12+) in the Grand Rapids market. By 1985, the station was known as "98ROCKFM, WGRD." WGRD earned a 12.2 share (12+) in the Summer 1986 Arbitron ratings.

WGRD-AM 1410 (which had had a Top 40 music format in place since 1959) was struggling in the ratings at the time against pop-rock competitors WLAV-AM 1340 and WZZM-FM 95.7 (then known as "Z96", now WLHT). WGRD thus moved its struggling Top 40 format onto its new FM station, making the stereo FM station the primary frequency while having the AM continue to simulcast. The revamped WGRD quickly became the dominant Top 40 station in the market and continued to be for over two decades.

In the Summer of 1993 the station was known as "98WGRD" the #1 hit music station. By 1994, however, the station had lost significant market share to Muskegon's 104.5 Sunny-FM WSNX, which had flipped from AC to TOP-40 and WGRD switched that year from CHR to the then-emerging and rapidly growing modern rock format, which it has had ever since.

The original WGRD, AM 1410, is now WNWZ with a Regional Mexican format. The call letters "GRD" stood for "Grand Rapids Daytime," since WGRD-AM was originally licensed to air only during daytime hours.

WGRD's target demographic is men ages 18-34 and a secondary of Men 25-54 (Arbitron demographics). Its main competitor in the Grand Rapids market was Citadel Broadcasting' former active rock station WKLQ.




5am- 10am-

WGRD is the flagship station of the popular syndicated show.

From 10am to anywhere from 10:15 or 10:30 the Free Beer and Hot Wings Show does a local bit, talking about the area of Grand Rapids, and anything they may have missed on the syndicated broadcast.

10/10:15ish- 2pm-

  • Program Director JT.

12pm- "Liquid Lunch" Request Hour


  • Spud

5pm- "Work Release" request hour, where GRD takes requests from listeners.


  • Dahmer

9 PM- WGRD used to do "Nineties at Nine" where they play songs from the '90s for an hour. Now it is the night show titled "Dahmer After Dark" hosted by DJ Dahmer.




  • Dave Kim


  • Dahmer



  • Loose Wendy


  • Jackie On Air


  • Unknown

Former Personalities

Michael Grey- Now with the morning show at 107.3 WBBL.

Dave Fox


Kevin Matthews- Morning host at WLAV

Chuck Bailey

Michelle McKormick- Midday co-host at WOOD_(AM)

Scott Winters-Midday co-host at WOOD-AM

Darla Jaye-talk show host at KMBZ in Kansas City, Missouri

Rick Beckett-former midday co-host at WOOD-AM (deceased)

Stephanie Webb-co-host of Take 5 And Company at WZZM

Sean Stevens-afternoon drive at WVFM in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Rockin' Ray Baker

Bob Berry



External links



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