WIAD is a commercial radio station in Bethesda, Maryland, broadcasting to the Washington, DC area on 94.7 FM. It currently broadcasts a Hot Adult Contemporary format as "94.7 Fresh FM". It is owned by CBS Radio and has studios located in southeast Washington, with transmitter located in Bethesda.
WJMD evolved into a soft adult contemporary music format with a change of call letters to WLTT in March 1982. Under this format, the station was branded as "W-Lite". The format would last for the next 11 years.
WLTT dropped the soft adult contemporary music format on November 19, 1993, in favor of a classic rock music format branded as "The Arrow". A change of call letters followed to WARW to complement the change in branding to "The Arrow". WARW was also billed on-air as "We Always Rock Washington."
94.7 The Globe/Classic Rock 94.7
On February 2, 2007, an adult album alternative (also known as "triple A") music format was adopted with the branding "The Globe". The new "Globe" format also featured "green" segments between songs or before and after commercials with environmental information. These segments are called "The Green Scene". The station's call letters changed to WTGB on February 15. The airstaff remained the same as WARW's, but some spots were flipped. Weasel moved from nights to mornings, displacing the Stevens & Medley morning team. Mark Stevens, who was part of Stevens & Medley, moved to nights and was eventually replaced by Albie Dee, who would later move to mornings, replacing Weasel, in November 2008, two months after WTGB flipped back to their prior classic rock format. Jerry Hoyt would then take over evenings. The February 2007 shift to Triple-A left rival classic hits station WBIG-FM as the capital's only analog station broadcasting some form of classic rock. The Globe's HD-2 channel, then known as "The Jam" began broadcasting a mixture of classic rock.
The call letters appeared to echo those of the Georgetown University radio station, WGTB. Long time Washington radio listeners remember that station from the 1970s as a champion of the alternative rock of its time. WTGB's former DJs, Don "Cerphe" Colwell and Jonathan "Weasel" Gilbert (he left the station October, 2008), have each been involved with Washington radio for nearly 40 years, including stints for both at WHFS. When the station flipped formats, Cerphe left the air April, 2009.
On August 10, 2008, WTGB dropped the triple A format and began returning to a classic rock format. Three weeks after the change, music director and midday personality Schelby Sweeney quit the station, and was replaced by Marci Wiser, formerly of New York City sister station WXRK. The "Globe" name (but not the "World Class Rock" slogan) stayed, and WTGB-HD2 flipped to a triple A format. The format change was likely because of low ratings; the station stayed in the bottom seven for its entire life as a triple A outlet. On September 1, 2008, WTGB began using the branding 'Classic Rock 94.7 The Globe' on air. On February 14, 2009, however, the station's name would change to simply 'Classic Rock 94.7', like it was for some time while the station was still WARW. A new logo and website followed on March 9, 2009. The station would occasionally broadcast Virginia Cavaliers basketball when rights holder WJFK-FM elects not to do so. The most recent sports broadcast on WTGB was on February 26, 2009, when the Cavaliers' men's basketball team played the Miami Hurricanes at home.
94.7 Fresh FM
CBS Radio announced on March 30, 2009 that 94.7 FM would be switching to an adult contemporary format at Noon on April 6, 2009 as "94.7 Fresh FM". Jeff Buckley's Last Goodbye was the last song on "Classic Rock" (and also the last song that signed off the original WHFS-FM on 99.1 in 2005 and the Baltimore version on 105.7 in 2007). The new format launched with P!nk's Get The Party Started. It was said to have the same branding as sister stations WWFS in New York and WCFS-FM in Chicago. CBS aimed to have the new station compete with Clear Channel's Adult Contemporary WASH-FM, as well as Citadel's Hot Adult Contemporary WRQX (which has since been sold to Cumulus Media and shifted to Top 40, but would shift back to Hot AC in November 2015). The rivalry with WASH-FM was hinted at in various promotion spots using the tagline "None of that WASHed up old stuff, just Fresh new music." (The Classic Rock format would return to DC via WJZW in August 2009 as "105.9 The Edge"; this too, would go away in September 2011, when it became a simulcast of WMAL.)
In September 2010, Zapoleon Media Strategies consultant Steve Davis was hired as Program Director. Davis eliminated the voice tracking of talent from outside the market and brought in a staff of live talent that included Tommy McFly from competitor WRQX. The original live lineup included Davis in mornings, market veteran Kristie McIntyre in midday and McFly in afternoons. This lineup remained in place for six months until McFly moved to mornings to create "The Tommy Show" with noted DC blogger Kelly Collis and former WMAL morning producer Jen Richer. Darik Kristofer from WSTR in Atlanta was brought in to replace McFly in afternoons and Taylor Shay came on board from WIHT to do nights, and was switched to the weekday midday shift (she has since left the station).
Musically, the station evolved into Hot AC and is now considered one of the best in the country in the format. Ratings have significantly improved with "Fresh" having the highest ratings in the frequency's history. WIAD is now consistently within the Top 5 in the station's target demos.
On June 10, 2009, 94.7's HD2 subcarrier started broadcasting a progressive rock format under the branding "HFS2". The channel previously played Triple A music. WHFS was a rock station that broadcast from November 11, 1961 to January 12, 2005 on various frequencies in the Washington area. The call sign is now on an AM station.
On August 1, 2011, "HFS2" was dropped from 94.7 HD2 and moved to Baltimore's 106.5-HD2 and FM translator at 97.5 FM. However, the next day, "HFS2" was added back to 94.7 HD2. However, "HFS2" was dropped again on December 30, 2011 for a simulcast of WNEW-FM.