WWWW-FM - "W4 Country" - is a country music radio station based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, broadcasting on 102.9 MHz.
The 102.9 frequency began operations in March 1962 as WOIA
and was (and still is) co-owned with WOIB-AM
1290 in Saline, Michigan
. Originally, WOIA and WOIB simulcast a middle of the road
music format with some Top 40
music played on weekends. The format changed to full-time Top 40 in 1967. In 1970, the stations became WNRZ AM/FM
"Ann Arbor's Winners." The "Winners" airstaff included a young Arthur Penhallow
, now in his third decade of working at WRIF
-FM in Detroit, under the name "Cicero Grimes." The WNRS/WNRZ format remained Top 40 at first, but as the "Winners" were in competition with Detroit-area stations like CKLW
as well as powerful out-of-state signals like WLS
for the ears of local Top 40 music listeners, it didn't last long. AM 1290 soon changed to country
; FM 102.9 simulcast the country format during the day and played a progressive rock format
WNRZ-FM changed its format from country to album rock in March 1975 and became known as WIQB, with a call sign which designated the number "103" (AM 1290 has since been through a multitude of format changes and is now WLBY, an affiliate of Air America Radio). Like the original WWWW-FM, WIQB broadcasted in quadraphonic sound for a time in the 1970s as "QuadRock 103."
In the 1980s WIQB programmed a mixture of album rock and CHR/Top 40 and was a highly rated station in the Ann Arbor market. The format then went through several changes through the 1990s, including adult alternative during the late 1990s and then active rock by the end of the decade. As an active rock station, "Rock 103 IQB," then owned by Cumulus Broadcasting, was low-rated, continuously losing to Detroit's WRIF in the Ann Arbor Arbitron reports.
History of "W4"
The WWWW calls were originally used for 106.7 FM
(and later 1130 AM
) in Detroit, Michigan
. In October 2000 "Alice 106.7" finally changed their call letters to "WLLC-FM" and the "WWWW
" call letters were moved to 102.9 FM in Ann Arbor to relaunch "W4 Country".
The new "W4 Country" soon became a ratings success in Ann Arbor. Arbitron often rates WWWW-FM as the top-rated music station in the market 12+; it is usually second place overall, behind only Detroit's WJR. Among local stations in Ann Arbor/Washtenaw County, W4 is the highest-rated commercial station, although it has been reported that if non-commercial stations were counted, NPR station WUOM would come out on top.
W4's signal into metropolitan Detroit is impeded by WHTD (102.7 MHz) in Mount Clemens in Macomb County, but it still frequently shows up toward the bottom of the Detroit ratings. W4's signal is much stronger toward the west and north of Ann Arbor, and the station gets a listenable signal as far away as Flint,Lansing and Toledo.
On July 24
, the call letters for 102.9 FM in Ann Arbor
were temporarily changed to WFOR-FM
(there is a CBS
-owned TV station in Miami, Florida
with the WFOR
call letters), as Clear Channel
moved the "WWWW" call letters to the 1310 AM
facility in Detroit. One week later, on July 31
, 102.9 switched to "WWWW-FM
" - different in only the "-FM" suffix. On September 15
, the WDTW call letters returned to 1310 AM
This sequences of moves of the WWWW call letters were likely due to a swap of the Clear Channel Ann Arbor cluster to Cumulus Broadcasting, which was still pending in late December 2007 . Clear Channel had intended to hold onto the "WWWW" calls, though that is now unclear as 106.7 FM's call letters have remained WDTW-FM.
The current lineup is as follows
- Morning Show: Breakfast With Bubba - Brian "Bubba" Cowan, Katie McGillis, Brian Larsen & Monkey
- Mid-Days: Heather McGregor
- Afternoon Drive: Adam Rey
- Nighttime: Drew Mann
- Overnights: After Midnite with Blair Garner
- Weekender: Jody Ryan