By September 1968, WSID-FM would break away from the AM for several hours a day for a separate Underground Rock format, which was gradually expanded to full-time by the end of the year. The call letters for the station under the new format became WLPL in the process, call sign meaning "L"and of "P"leasant "L"istening. In 1969, WLPL expanded its operating hours to full-time, while shifting toward a mixture of Top-40 and Album Rock cuts. By 1972, the station had transition fully to Top 40 and began broadcasting in stereo. WLPL was a very popular station in the market under the ownership of United Broadcasting. However, ratings deteriorated when WBSB signed on in 1980 as "B104" with a similar Top 40 format as well as the station being forced to operate under reduced power due to a transmission-line fire.
In the Summer of 1981, WLPL bowed out of the Top 40 format, becoming WYST with a Oldies-based Adult Contemporary format under the name "92 Star". Initially ratings were very good for WYST, but began slipping shortly afterwards. In February 1991, WYST shifted musically more toward a Hot Adult Contemporary approach. This did not work, primary since Baltimore already had a Hot AC in WWMX. Ratings, which had been struggling for several years, declined greatly.
That August, WYST was purchased by Radio One, which dumped its format for a Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio approach under the name "92Q" with the WERQ call-letters added one month later. Initially, the station was more Dance-oriented with a handful of Pop records in the mix, but the format would gradually shift toward Churban (a hybrid of Top 40 and Urban music) by the end of 1991. Ratings increased overnight for 92Q at the expense of WBSB (which flipped to Hot AC as WVRY in 1992) and longtime Urban "V103" WXYV (which abandoned the format for CHR in 1997). By 1995, WERQ would be classified as a Mainstream Urban station.