WSM-FM is an FM radio station in Nashville, Tennessee, known on the air as 95.5 The Wolf. The station broadcasts at 95.5 MHz and is one of three country music stations in the Nashville Area. The others being The Big 98 and Real Country FM 98.9.
Sister of the legendary clear-channel WSM-AM, the FM began in the late 1940s on an experimental license with callsign W47NV, and was the first commercial FM radio station to be granted an FCC license in the U.S.
This initial license was later divested; the current FM station (located on the dial at 95.5 MHz) dates only from 1968 and its country format only from 1983. It is now owned by Cumulus Media, which also operates the sales department of sister station WSM (AM), but (as of 2007) does not own it.
Afterward, NL&AI allowed a change (despite some management misgivings) to a soft-rock playlist that was very broad by today's standards; during those years, the station adopted the branding "SM95". In demographics, the station went after an audience of people in their twenties and thirties who, obviously enough, wanted something more musically interesting than easy listening but disliked the harder and louder rock (or disco) that was becoming popular among teenagers then. SM95 was one of the few outlets in the nation for upcoming singer-songwriters to get airplay without having a smash record elsewhere; some of the artists were in fact Nashville-based, reflecting the growth in non-country artists recording there. One might consider the moderately eclectic format a forerunner of the "adult alternative" playlists that achieved some success years later, in the 1990s and early 2000s.
On Live365, listeners could hear a re-creation of the SM-95 sound from 1976-1983, including station IDs and jingles. This streaming station was put together and operated by former SM95 DJ Nick Archer. This station streamed from November 2001 until February 2008, almost longer than the original station was in format.
However, upon the arrival of a fourth country station in the market in 1999 (the legendary FM rocker WKDF, which shocked longtime Nashvillians by changing formats), WSM-FM fell to a distant third place, and sometimes fell to fourth behind WSM-AM. In September 2004, the station adopted a revised country format, referred to as "The Wolf," in an attempt to again become competitive in Nashville's highly-competitive country radio market; early indications are that it is boosting Arbitron ratings considerably, and the station is approaching the #1 spot, held in recent times by WSIX.
In February 2008, WSM-FM midday host Kerri D. resigned for WEZL/Charleston, followed by the departures of nighttime host Su-Anna, and Program Director Kevin King. In March 2008, midday host Frank Seres shifted to the morning drive, while morning drive man Jim Day moved to afternoons. Weekender Kelly Ann Monahan became the permanent midday host. In April 2008, the station let go weekend hosts Karen Keely and Britt Savage. In May 2008, WSM-FM seemed to clean house once again, this time letting go afternoon drive jock Jim Day. In August 2008, The Wolf again let go two air personalities, mid-day host Kelly Ann Monahan and weekender Bama. On August 18, 2008, The Wolf added to new airstaff members, Donna Britt for middays and program director Charley Connolly will take over the afternoon drive. Also nighttime host John Sorres left the station after only being there for two months. This means there is now only one more spot to fill. In a span of seven months, the station has fired the entire airstaff except for morning host Frank Seres and weekender Josh Connor.