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WYCD
City of license Detroit, Michigan
Branding Detroit's 99.5 WYCD
Slogan "Real Country Variety"
Frequency 99.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)
99.5 HD-2: 99.5 The Wolf
Future Country
99.5 HD-3: Psychic On Air
Psychic Radio
First air date May 4, 1960
Format Country
ERP 17,500 watts
HAAT 240 meters
Class B
Facility ID 1089
Transmitter coordinates 42°27′13″N 83°09′50″W / 42.45361°N 83.16389°W / 42.45361; -83.16389
Callsign meaning Young Country Detroit
Former callsigns WABX (5/4/60-1/84)
WCLS (1/84-9/85)
WDTX (9/85-7/25/88)
WDFX (7/25/88-9/28/92)
WOWF (9/28/92-7/1/93)
Owner CBS Radio
(CBS Radio Inc. of Michigan)
Sister stations WOMC, WVMV, WWJ, WXYT, WXYT-FM
part of CBS Corp. cluster w/ TV stations WWJ-TV & WKBD-TV
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.wycd.com

WYCD (99.5 FM, "Detroit's 99.5 WYCD") is a radio station in Detroit, Michigan. The station is the only country music stations in the Detroit area. WYCD's offices and studios are located on Woodward Heights (9 1/2 Mile Rd). near Interstate 75 in Ferndale, Michigan. WYCD's transmitter is located in Royal Oak Township in Oakland County off Wyoming Avenue just north of the Detroit city limits.

WYCD is licensed for HD radio operations, it has two HD stations; its secondary channel is called "99.5 WYCD HD2 The Wolf" and features "future" Country music hits. Its HD3 channel is known as "Psychic On Air". Which is a 24 hour psychic radio station.

Contents

History

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99½ WABX

Station logo used during "WABX" era
(circa 1980)

The station began broadcasting on May 4, 1960, as WABX, beginning as a classical music station before adopting the MOR format in 1964.

On February 1, 1968, "play lists" of acceptable tunes went out: the DJs picked their own music, and Century Broadcasting Corporation bit its tongue. With a freeform progressive rock format, WABX became a springboard for the new music that no other station in the market (least of all CKLW and the other Top 40 stations) would touch.

The ABX revolution was one of style as well as sound. The station made itself a community catalyst for fun: free concerts and movies, kite-flys, bike-ins, and conferences. Also, the station played a role in giving many artists the recognition that they did not have at the time, including The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Iron Butterfly, and The J. Geils Band. The success of WABX inspired other Detroit stations such as WKNR-FM and 101.1 WXYZ-FM to adopt the progressive-rock approach. "Air Ace" Dave Dixon was a musician himself who co-wrote the Peter, Paul and Mary hit "I Dig Rock and Roll Music."

During the 1970s, WABX evolved into a more mainstream album oriented rock station, albeit one that took a softer, more laid-back approach than its competitors. The station was branded as "WABX 99" during this era with a logo similar to the one used by the current WABX station in Evansville, Indiana. The logo used yellow lettering on a black background.[1] By 1982, WABX was third-ranked out of three AOR stations in Detroit (behind WRIF and WLLZ). Century Broadcasting sold the station to Liggett Broadcasting that year. Under new program director Paul Christy, WABX shifted from AOR to "Hot Rock," a Top 40/rock hybrid (known on the air as "Detroit's New Music"), playing a wide variety of new wave, pop, rock and urban product with a slick, CHR-style presentation. However, the station's market share continued to decline throughout 1983, and a little over a year after WABX debuted "Hot Rock," Liggett decided to change the station's format and calls.

Class FM/99 DTX/99.5 The Fox

Station logo used during "The Fox" era
(circa 1990)

On January 9, 1984, WABX's long-term reign as a high-rolling rock station came to an end with the song "When the Music's Over" by The Doors, after which the station became "Class FM", WCLS, with a soft rock format. However, the adult contemporary field in Detroit was as crowded as the rock format had become, and "Class FM" was not successful. At this same time, the station was sold to Metropolis Broadcasting.

The following year, in the station became WDTX, reverting to a rock-based CHR format meant to be a radio version of MTV. Eventually the format evolved into mainstream CHR. In 1988 the station changed its call letters to WDFX, known as "99.5 The Fox". Part of the branding for this format included a logo with red lettering and a fox tail coming off the letter X. A cartoon fox was featured on some logos wearing a checkered shirt reclining on "The Fox" logo while holding a keytar.[1] For a short time, The Fox tweaked its CHR format into "Rock 40," a variation of Top 40 heavy on hair bands and other rock-oriented acts, and saw its ratings slide after a promising beginning.

Afterwards, The Fox tweaked its format back to mainstream CHR and at the same time added some hip hop to compete with Power 96 WHYT. Ratings did improve and the station posted frequent Arbitron top 10 showings in the late 1980s and early 1990s - but advertising revenue was poor and, in September 1990, the station went into receivership. In addition, WDFX's ratings were adversely affected (as were WHYT's) by the debut of modern rock station 89x in 1991.

The Failed Attempt At FM Talk

On December 24, 1992, the station started stunting by having a character named "Cowboy Hugh Chardon" (played by Dr. Don Carpenter) play "Friends In Low Places" by Garth Brooks repeatedly (for his good buddy Bobby Stalls in Birmingham) and try to kill "The Fox" using various methods suggested by "listeners". This was followed by an automated countdown that started at midnight on Christmas Day, beginning with 63,752 and ending with number one on December 28, 1992. (This was apparently done so they could rebuild the studios). Instead of changing formats when the countdown ended it stunted for another week with a six hour loop of novelty songs they called "goofy loops" played repeatedly. This continued until the early morning of January 4, 1993, (the first Monday after the holiday week) when the station finally finished changing formats and became "99-5 WOW-FM" WOWF, (the call letters had actually been in place since October, 1992), a news/talk station with broadcasters such as Art Vuolo and Ed Tyll coming to the station. However, by popular demand, the "goofy loops" track was brought back at weekends for the life of the station.

99.5 WYCD

Original logo used during "Young Country"
(1993-1998)

A few months later on May 28, 1993, at 3pm, the station dropped the talk format in favor of "Young Country 99.5". Part of the branding for this format included the logo for Young Country with red and blue lettering and some blue background and a star in the middle of the word "Young".[1] Dr. Don Carpenter was one of the few airstaff that remained from the "Wow FM" format. WYCD positioned itself as a younger-leaning alternative to crosstown 106.7 W4 Country. The format kept its talk element and combined it with younger sounding country music and created "Morning Shows" all day that highlighted listener calls, tons of requests and fun jock talk. It was all a part of owner Alliance's "Young Country" concept that it had on the air in Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco. Although W4 Country typically had higher ratings with country than did WYCD, lack of advertiser revenue led W4 Country to switch to a classic-rock format in September 1999.

On February 16, 2001, WYCD dropped the "Young Country 99.5" positioner in favor of "Country 99.5". By late 2002, it seemed that the station had dropped its Country 99.5 positoner and rebranded itself as just 99.5 WYCD. In June 2009 in a way to symbolize where it is from, The station rebranded as Detroit's 99.5 WYCD.

With the country format all to itself in Detroit from 1999 to 2006, WYCD has consistently been a Top 10-rated station. In the spring of 2006, WYCD had its best ratings book ever when it tied for first place 12+ with hip-hop station FM98 WJLB.

The high ratings at WYCD are probably what led 106.7 The Drive to switch formats back to country in May 2006. After three years of competing in the format, 106.7 The Fox dropped country music for Rhythmic AC, due to low ratings, making WYCD once again the only country station in Detroit.

In 2007, WYCD was nominated for the top 25 markets Country music Radio & Records magazine station of the year award . Other nominees included WUSN Chicago, KYGO-FM Denver, KEEY-FM Minneapolis, WXTU Philadelphia, and KSON-FM San Diego.[2]

Logo used from 2006-2009

Detroit's 99.5 WYCD currently ranks at #1 (5.7) in the Detroit market according to the January 2010 PPM Rating release.

Downtown Hoedown

Since 2000, WYCD has been the hosts for one of the largest free country music festivals in the world. The Hoedown takes place one weekend every May in downtown Detroit's Hart Plaza. It is a major showcase of new upcoming artists and some very well recognnized ones as well.

The Hoedown was established back in 1983 by former Detroit country outlet W4 Country. Its first event featured artists like Hank Williams Jr, Tanya Tucker and Mel Tillis. This event soon would attract people from all across the country.

On September 1, 1999, after nineteen years as a country station, W4 Country flipped formats from country to a classic hits format. When the station flipped formats there was no word if the hoedown would return. Then in May 2000, it was announced that the only other country station in Detroit, WYCD would take over hosting the Hoedown. The stations first year hosting saw artists like Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry and Rascal Flatts. Over The years, The hoedown has had its share of very well known artists kicking off their careers at the hoedown. Some of these include Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, Toby Keith, Lonestar and in 1989 came an unknown artist by the name of Garth Brooks.

The audience at the event has always increased every year. In 2009 the Hoedown saw its biggest audience yet with over 1.2 million people showing up over the three day period.

In 2009, at the 27th annual Downtown Hoedown, WYCD welcomed nationally known recording artists Willie Nelson, Zac Brown Band, Phil Vassar, actor turned country singer Kevin Costner and Detroit's own Josh Gracin, among many others.

Airstaff

The current lineup (as of December 12, 2008) Starting out on the morning is The Dr. Don Morning Show with Dr. Don Carpenter, Rachael Hunter, Steve Grunwald and Jason The 300lb Cowboy. Next is Mike Scott on middays. Holding down the afternoon drive is Edwards & Lee with Chuck Edwards and Linda Lee. Wrapping up the day on nights is Dave Fuller, and Jason The 300lb Cowboy on overnights.

Weekend/Fill-in is Mike Williams. WYCD's program director is Tim Roberts. The assistant PD and music director is mid-day host Mike Scott. Its signature voice is John Willyard, voice of the CMA Awards since 1996, whose imaging voice work is heard on many notable Country stations across North America. He is also one of the mainstay promo voices of CNN, GAC and HDNet.

Past Personalities

WABX Era 1968-1984

  • Doak Breen (Morning Host "Weekday Morning Crazyiness" early 1980‘s)
  • Ken Calvert - Now afternoons at 94.7 WCSX
  • Peter Carey (Morning Host, stayed after flip to Soft Rock)
  • Dan Carlisle
  • Paul Christy (Overnights/Program Director)
  • Steve Dahl (1975-1976)
  • Dave Dixon (1968-1974) - Died June 1, 1999
  • Dennis Frawley
  • Jerry Goodwin (1969-1972)
  • Jim Hampton (1968)
  • Craig "The Hugger" Hunt (Morning co-host)
  • BJ Hunter - Died of cancer on November 13, 2008
  • Jerry Lubin
  • Kris McClendon
  • Larry Miller (1968-1972)
  • Steve Monkiewicz (News Director 1976-1977; later returns when station flips to talk)
  • John O'Leary (Afternoon Host 1976-1980) - Now weekends at 94.7 WCSX
  • Gary Palmer
  • Tim Powell
  • Rod Prahin (Afternoon Host)
  • Karen Savelly - Now Mid-day host at 94.7 WCSX
  • Don Schuster (1976-1977)
  • Allan Stagg (1979-1982)
  • Steve Trella (Mid-day Host, stayed after flip to Soft Rock)
  • Dick Thyne (1971-1975) - Died on February 11, 2005 in a car accident
  • Pete Werbe - Now working at all Greater Media Detroit stations (Magic 105.1, WCSX and WRIF)

Class FM Era 1984-1986

  • Peter Carey
  • Tom Dean (1984-1985 later returns to station when it becomes "Young Country")
  • Michael W. Kay
  • Eddie Rogers (stayed after flip to Pop)
  • Steve Trella

99 DTX Era 1986-1988

  • Karen Dalessandro (Stays after flip to “The Fox”)
  • Chris Edmonds - Now Morning Host at 100.3 WNIC
  • Jim Harper - Now morning host on Magic 105.1
  • Eddie Rogers (1986-1987)

99.5 The Fox Era 1988-1992

  • Sean Caldwell
  • Kim Carson (stayed after flip to talk)
  • Karen Dalessandro (1988-1991; later returns to station when it is Country)
  • Scott Go Go Gordan (1991-1992)
  • Bobby Hatfield
  • Mark Mitchell
  • Savage & Steve Morning Show
  • Bob Schuman (Morning Co-Host/News Anchor; stayed after flip to talk)
  • Dom "Domino" Theodore (1990-1991) - Now VP of CHR programming of CBS Radio Detroit
  • Terry "The Motor Mouth" Young - Now at XM Satellite Radio's "60s on 6" channel

99-5 Wow-FM Era January 1993-May 1993

  • RC Bauer (Afternoon News 1993)
  • Alex Caruso (Afternoon Traffic 1993)
  • Kim Carson (1992-1993) - Now at WLHT in Grand Rapids
  • Jim "JD" Daniels (Overnight/Nighttime Host, stayed after flip to country)
  • John Delle Monache (Morning Host "Morning News Magazine" 1993)
  • Cleat Dumpster (Sports Reporter 1993)
  • Mark Elliot (Mid-day Host, stayed after flip to country)
  • Todd Fowler (Afternoon Co-Host, stayed after flipped to country)
  • Anthony Miles (Overnight Co-host 1993)
  • Bob Schuman (Morning Co-Host; stayed after flip to country)
  • Ed Tyll (Nighttime Co-Host Fill-in 1993)

99.5 WYCD Era 1993-Present

  • Afentra (Morning co-host 1999-2001)
  • Tom Baker (Weekends 1999-2000 & 2004-2005/Morning co-host 2005)
  • Su-Anna Bareford (Nighttime Host 1996-1998)
  • Lisa Barry (Morning co-host 2002-2003) - Now morning co-host at 100.3 WNIC
  • Ron Brand (Overnight Host/Weekends 1998-2004 & 2006-2008)
  • Ron Chatman (Overnights/Asst. PD/Music Director 1999-2007) - Now afternoons at 104.7 WZZK in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Pete Collins (Morning co-host 2005)
  • Jim "JD" Daniels (Morning Host "The Moo Crew" 1993-1995) - Now handling marketing/promotions for X103.9 in San Bernardino, California
  • Karen Dalessandro (Mid-Day Host/Morning co-host/Afternoon Host 1993-1995) - Now Morning host at FM 106.1 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tom Dean (Weekends 1993-1994)
  • Mark Elliot (Mid-Day Host 1993)
  • Joe Wade Formicola (Morning Host 1995-1997)
  • Jyl Forsyth (Mid-day/Nighttime Host 1993-2008)
  • Todd Fowler (Nighttime Host 1993)
  • Brian Hatfield (Overnight/Weekends/Nighttime Host/Music Director 1994-1999) - Now afternoons at 99.9 Kiss Country
  • Eddie Haskell (Weekends/Morning Host “The Eddie Haskell Show”/Afternoons/Program Director 1993-1999) - Now program director and afternoons at 92.3 KRST in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Stu Hawk (Afternoon Traffic Personality 1993-1995)
  • Rhonda Hart (Weekends 1994-1996) - Died June 4, 2007
  • Hugh Holsome (Weekends/Producer 1993-1996)
  • John Kanakry (Overnight Host 1997-1998)
  • Joe Lawson (Producer/Weekends/Monday Late Night Co-Host "The Maria Shaw Show" 2005-2008)
  • Dana Lundon (Weekends 2002-2004) - Now weekends on 96.3 WDVD
  • Tony Magoo (Weekends/Morning Fill-in 2000-2002 & 2004-2005)
  • Marie (Afternoon Co-host 1994-1995)
  • Katie Marroso (Morning Co-Host/Mid-day Host/Music Director 1993-1998)
  • Ravenna Micelli (Morning Host, canned after two days 1997)
  • Sean Michaels (Overnight Host 1993-1994)
  • Scott Moore (Weekends 1999-2004) - Now weekends at 104.3 WOMC
  • JR Nelson (Morning co-host/Production Director/Weekend’s 1997-2000) - Died of cancer on February 16, 2010
  • Kevin O'Neill (Morning Host "The First Shift" 2000-2002) - Now mornings at 100.3 WNIC
  • Bill Plegue (Morning co-host/producer 2000-2002)
  • Lori Rigato (Weekends 1994-1998 & 2004-2005/Morning co-host 2005) - Now morning co-host on 102.9 W4 Country
  • Bob Schuman (Morning News Anchor/News Director 1992-2007)
  • Maria Shaw (Monday Late Night Host "The Maria Shaw Show" 2008)
  • Greg Stryker (Afternoon Co-host 1995-1999)
  • Tim Wall (Morning host "Wilhite & Wall" 2002-2004)
  • Kelly Walker (Morning Co-Host 2003-2005/Weekends 2008)
  • Ken Warner (Weekends)
  • Erin Weber (Mid-day Host 1999-2001)
  • Darren Wilhite (Morning host "Wilhite & Wall" 2002-2004)
  • Matt Vaughn (Weekend/Monday Late Night Co-Host "The Maria Shaw Show" 2006-2008)

References

External links



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