|City of license||Detroit, Michigan|
|Broadcast area||Metro Detroit and Windsor, Ontario|
|Branding||Nash FM 93-1|
|Slogan||« Detroit’s New Country Music Leader »|
|Frequency||93.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
93.1 HD-2: 93-1 DRQ
Rhythmic Hot AC
|First air date||July 9, 1947 (as WJBK-FM)|
|Transmitter coordinates||42°28′16″N 83°12′3″W|
|Callsign meaning||W Detroit (branding) RadioQ (format)|
|Former callsigns||WLTI (4/15/85-8/10/96)
(Radio License Holding I, LLC)
|Sister stations||WDVD, WJR|
WDRQ is an FM radio station in Detroit, Michigan broadcasting a Country format as « Nash FM 93-1 ». The station is one of two country music stations in Detroit, the other being WYCD. WDRQ broadcasts from the Fisher Building just north of downtown Detroit and transmits its signal from an antenna 669 feet in length located at the intersection of 10 Mile and Greenfield Roads in suburban Oak Park. The station is owned by Cumulus Media.
Storer Broadcasting signed on WJBK-FM in the summer of 1947. The station initially broadcast only six hours per day but implemented 24-hour operations in October 1947. From 1947 to 1966, WJBK-FM programming was strict 100% duplication of the AM side, and the FM side continued to simulcast through several programming changes. WJBK-AM was Detroit’s first top 40 station, playing hit music from 1956 to 1964. After 1964 WJBK-FM fully and then partially simulcast the AM’s new easy listening and then MOR format, and its brief return to Top 40 in 1969. Starting in 1966, WJBK-FM began to introduce separate stereo programming for about 50% of the broadcast day, due to new FCC rules which restricted FM/AM simulcasting.
In late 1969, WJBK-AM/FM became WDEE-AM & FM (« The Big D ») and implemented a country format with a Top 40-style presentation. The AM side quickly returned to high ratings; however, WDEE-FM remained virtually invisible. According to a Billboard magazine article in February 1970, WDEE-FM was on the air from 6am to midnight, duplicating the AM programming from 5pm to midnight and during the day airing separate stereo country programming syndicated by Bellingham, WA-based International Good Music.
93FM WDRQ/The Super Q
In 1971, WDEE-FM was sold to Bartell Broadcasting, changed its calls to WDRQ-FM, and became Detroit’s first FM talk radio station. One of its earliest, and most well-received, programs was The History of Detroit Radio, a documentary on the then-current and past scene of Detroit radio (with special emphasis given to rock and roll stations) put together by longtime radio enthusiast and former Oakland Press radio columnist Arthur R. Vuolo, Jr.
Ultimately, however, the news/talk format proved to be unsuccessful and WDRQ-FM switched to Top 40 as « The Super Q ». Bartell at the time owned such legendary AM Top 40 stations as KCBQ in San Diego and WOKY in Milwaukee. Like those stations, WDRQ used consultant Buzz Bennett’s fast-paced « Q » format. Like its rival, CKLW « The Big 8 », WDRQ featured a tight playlist which leaned toward R&B and soul records, but unlike « The Big 8 », WDRQ was not saddled with Canadian Content regulations requiring them to play a certain percentage of Canadian music in their rotation, which enabled them to play only the top hits and enabled them to make strong ratings inroads against CKLW. By 1977, WDRQ was the number one Top 40 station in Detroit.
WDRQ also became intimately involved in Detroit. It organized its listeners to gather on a Saturday and clean up Detroit parks, and gave free concerts at Belle Isle, including one with Detroiter Bob Seger. PD Jerry Clifton kept the excitement level much higher at WDRQ than other stations by having some sort of Festival each weekend and mercilessly promoted the upcoming weekend promotion during the week. WDRQ became famous in the radio business nationwide when it ran its « WDRQ HAS BALLS » contest. The contest gave away tennis balls, footballs and other such equipment and prizes. Management blocked plans to say ‘WDRQ gives head! » and then giving away Head Sports equipment. CKLW and WDRQ also became personal rivals. CKLW put up a billboard at the cost of several thousand dollars bragging about their latest dominant Arbitron ratings on a major street that all jocks, newsmen and office personnel of WDRQ would see as they pulled into the parking lot of WDRQ. WDRQ did a « black bag » visit to CKLW on a hot Sunday when the jock and board operator were the only one at the station, but because of the hot day, the CKLW jock propped the door open for a breeze, allowing the WDRQ staff to browse around.
Then, on January 24, 1979, WDRQ made a format shift to Disco as « Disco 93 », inspired by the success of the all-disco format at WKTU in New York City. The move to disco was not received well in Detroit, and WDRQ tumbled out of Arbitron’s top 20 ratings within a few months.
WDRQ returned to a mainstream Top 40 format at the beginning of 1980 and made a brief return to the top 10 that spring, but the big story in Detroit radio that year was the meteoric rise of album-rocker WLLZ, and WDRQ’s ratings once again began to drop and reached an all-time low of 1.4 in the Winter 1982 Arbitrons.
In response to this, WDRQ shifted its format to urban contemporary in March 1982, and immediately saw the format change pay off, climbing to a 3.0 share in the Spring 1982 ratings report and to a 6.6 in Summer 1982. « Continuous Music—93FM WDRQ » was a success, and the opening of Beverly Hills Cop features an advertisement for this version of WDRQ on a city bus. Bartell sold the station to Amatuoro Broadcasting in the early 1980s, who later sold it to Keymarket Communications. Viacom later purchased the station in a trade with Keymarket for a station that Viacom owned in Memphis in the mid-1980s that Keymarket wanted.
93.1 Lite FM
The urban format lasted until 1985, when it flipped to light rock as WLTI, « 93.1 Lite FM. » Its morning drive team of Rogers and Holiday featured comedic « celebrity » drop-ins by the spoofed likes of Rodney Dangerfield, Clint Eastwood and Eddie Murphy, as well as original characters like Mr. Action.
WLTI initially positioned itself as a cross between more up-tempo AC competitor WNIC and beautiful music Joy 97, featuring a blend of soft hits and oldies from artists like Barry Manilow, The Carpenters, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, and Frank Sinatra. By 1994, most of the easy MOR artists were gone, and WLTI had become more contemporary, but the station could never match WNIC for dominance in the AC market.
The New DRQ/93-1 DRQ
On August 11, 1996, WDRQ returned as a Rhythmic Adult Contemporary station. Viacom sold the station to ABC Radio during this time. Initially, the station called itself « 93-1 The New DRQ: Detroit’s Station For Women. » The station was initially jockless, with only an announcer used for on-air bumper promos. The station chiefly played a random mix of programmed dance, disco and pop music from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, with some new music factored in sporadically. More current dance-oriented top 40 music was added to the playlist in the Fall. By late 1996, the station had added a full lineup of personalities, including Marc Mitchell, Sharon Santoni and Trixie DeLuxxe in mornings, Jay Towers, Lisa Lisa Orlando, Mark « JoJo » Allen and Michael Allen.
By January 1997, a lite mix of pop-friendly R&B and hip-hop music was also adopted to further cement the station’s mainstream hook. With this being the first time a top 40/dance music station had been on Detroit radio since the reformatting of WHYT two years earlier, WDRQ immediately attracted a large listening audience upon its re-launch. Subsequently, the station quickly abandoned the ‘for women only’ angle. The station began calling itself « Detroit’s Dance Music Station » (later « Today’s Best Music, » then « Today’s Hit Music, » and finally « Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station. »)
By 1999, the station had evolved into more of a mainstream top 40 station and was eating away at its adult-leaning top 40 competitor Q95-5. The lineup became Jay Towers in the morning, Su-Anna and Dave Fuller midday, Lisa Lisa in the afternoon, Tic Tak (Mark Allen) at night and Eric Chase on overnights. By the final quarter of 2001, both WDRQ and WKQI were leaning very heavily toward Rhythmic CHR. For a time, WDRQ consistently defeated WKQI in the ratings, but after Clear Channel re-launched WKQI as « Channel 9-5-5 » in February 2002, WKQI pulled ahead of WDRQ, garnering both larger ratings and revenue.
93.1 Doug FM
At 1 PM on April 1, 2005, WDRQ abruptly changed formats to Variety Hits, branded as « 93.1 Doug-FM. » The final song on « 93-1 DRQ » was « She Will Be Loved » by Maroon 5, while the first song on « Doug » was « Good Times Roll » by The Cars. Some thought this was a bad April Fool’s Day prank. This, though, was no joke. Many DRQ listeners were both confused and disgruntled over the format change.
The stations music selection is similar to that of the various Jack FM and Bob FM stations around the country. The music selection for the format is very broad, similar to that of WDVD, WNIC, and WMGC-FM, combining a wide variety of songs from the 1960s through the 2000s.
In January 2013, Doug-FM dropped its longtime slogan of « We Play Everything » for « Your All Time Favorites ».
Nash FM 93-1
On December 13, 2013, at 9:31 AM, after playing « Someday » by Sugar Ray, WDRQ abruptly flipped to Country, branded as « Nash FM 93-1. » The station launched airing an automated Country Christmas music format and then began it’s permanent Country format on January 1st at 9:31 AM with the first song being « Radio » by Darius Rucker. The change to « Nash » came after « Doug FM » earned a #18 ranking (2.5 share) in the November 2013 PPM ratings release for Detroit. « Nash » goes up against the established country powerhouse in Detroit, CBS Radio-owned WYCD, which has aired the format since 1993 and is currently the top rated station in the market.
When WDRQ-HD2 first went on the air in January 2006, it was originally a simulcast of AM talk station WJR. In 2007, the HD2 channel began broadcasting a Rhythmic/Dance format as « Detroit’s Party Station » and using old ‘DRQ jingles from the 1990s. On January 29, 2009, WDRQ’s HD2 Channel changed to « Doug’s Wedding Reception, » a mix of variety hits usually heard at weddings.
In July 2011, WDRQ-HD2 once again became « Detroit’s Party Station » with a Gold-based Rhythmic AC format featuring Rhythmic Oldies and Classic Dance music from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The station kept the « Doug’s Wedding Reception » name until August 2012, when they brought back the « 93-1 DRQ » branding and started using old ‘DRQ jingles from the late 1990s-early 2000’s. At that time the format was modified from Rhythmic AC to « CHR gold, » featuring songs played on the original DRQ between 1996 and 2005. In January 2014, the station shifted to a more Rhythmic Hot AC format, dropping most of the old school dance tracks, but still featuring music of the original DRQ from 1996-2005, along with some newer selections as well.
The current lineup (As of January 13, 2014) is as follows
- Nights (7pm-12am): Nash Nights Live – Shawn Parr & Elaina Smith
- Overnights (12am-5am): Kickin’ It With Kix – Kix Brooks & Donna Britt
- Station Voice: Scott Fisher
- Program Director: TBD
- Assistant PD/Music Director: TBD