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WCUZ

History

The station first began broadcasting in the early 1960s as WMAX-FM, then later became WYON as a sister station to WION-AM in Ionia, Michigan around 1965. In the late 1970s, the station was purchased by the owners of WCUZ-AM 1230 and became WMLW “Mellow 101,” a soft rock/adult contemporary station. WMLW switched to album oriented rock as WFFX “The Fox” in 1978, and then to country music in 1980 as WCUZ (‘CUZ-FM 101.3…more of the music you like… on CUZ-FM.” For most of the 1980s, country WCUZ was a market leader in Grand Rapids, but the station saw its market share erode after the 1992 debut of “B93,” WBCT, on 93.7.

By 1998, WCUZ was co-owned with its rival station, WBCT, under the Clear Channel umbrella, and had moved to a classic country format, identifying as “Country Gold WCUZ.” Clear Channel dropped the “Country Gold” format on September 24, 2000, and debuted “The Fox” that afternoon immediately following the NASCAR broadcast. Meanwhile, WBCT attempted to appease fans of the classic country format by adding more classic country to its playlist along with a Sunday-night oldies show, “The Beehive Archives.” It is believed that Clear Channel’s motive for changing WCUZ to WBFX was to take listeners away from Citadel Broadcasting-owned competitor WLAV and augment WBCT’s audience with former WCUZ listeners, allowing WBCT to become number one 12+ in the market. 1 WLAV, however, is still a top-ten performer in Grand Rapids and has significantly higher ratings than WBFX.

Notable Disc Jockey’s on WBFX included West Michigan Radio Legend Aris Hampers, as well as Alison Harte, Andy O’Riley (Currently mornings on WMRR) Voice Tracker Ranger Bob (of Cincinnati), Matt Hendricks (who has since turned up on Townsquare Media’s WFGR), Dave Kaechele and Steve Labenz. No “Live” Disc Jockeys to speak of are on WBFX as of Fall 2010; With the exception of Brett Matthews Mornings.

WBFX was Grand Rapids’ outlet for the syndicated Bob and Tom morning show. As of September 21, 2009, the show was no longer carried. The show was almost immediately picked up by WFGR.

In late June 2009, the station adjusted its format towards mainstream rock, with a mix of harder classic rock songs as well as recent rock music from the 1990s and 2000s. This adjustment was made in response to the local active rock station WKLQ changing formats to sports talk and taking the call letters of WBBL.

[edit] HD Radio

WBFX is licensed for HD Radio operations and features a classic hits format called “Big Classic Hits” from Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio on its HD-2 side channel. The HD-2 formerly featured an adult alternative format.

[edit] Sources

One Response to WCUZ

  1. Eva says:

    I just purchased a board game
    WCUZ 1230 Grand Rapids money maker board game.
    I can’t seem to find this game any where.
    Can you tell me when it was made and if citadel would like to purchase it for their history

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