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WHFS

WHFS

Overview
For the current AM radio station see: WHFS
WHFS
WHFS was the call sign for three different FM stations in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore, Maryland markets on various frequencies for nearly 50 years. The first and longest run was a progressive rock station and was usually, and affectionately, referred to as 'HFS...



WHFS was the call sign for three different FM
Frequency modulation
In telecommunications and signal processing, frequency modulation conveys information over a carrier wave by varying its instantaneous frequency. This contrasts with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier is varied while its frequency remains constant...

 stations in the Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

/Baltimore, Maryland markets on various frequencies for nearly 50 years. The first and longest run was a progressive rock
Progressive rock (radio format)
Progressive rock is a radio station programming format that prospered in the late 1960s and 1970s, in which the disc jockeys are given wide latitude in what they may play, similar to the freeform format but with the proviso that some kind of rock music is almost always what is played...

 station and was usually, and affectionately, referred to as 'HFS. For many local residents, it was the first place to hear such bands as R.E.M.
R.E.M.
R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's...

, The Specials
The Specials
The Specials are an English 2 Tone ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry, England. Their music combines a "danceable ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude", and had a "more focused and informed political and social stance" than other ska groups...

, Pixies, The Smiths
The Smiths
The Smiths were an English alternative rock band, formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr , the band also included Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce...

, The Monochrome Set
The Monochrome Set
The Monochrome Set are an English post-punk band originally formed in 1978 from the remnants of a college group called The B-Sides...

, The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member...

, Echo & the Bunnymen
Echo & the Bunnymen
Echo & the Bunnymen are an English post-punk band, formed in Liverpool in 1978. The original line-up consisted of vocalist Ian McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant and bass player Les Pattinson, supplemented by a drum machine. By 1980, Pete de Freitas had joined as the band's drummer, and their debut...

, Stereolab
Stereolab
Stereolab are an alternative music band formed in 1990 in London, England. The band originally comprised songwriting team Tim Gane and Lætitia Sadier , both of whom remained at the helm across many lineup changes...

, and New Order
New Order
New Order are an English rock band formed in 1980 by Bernard Sumner , Peter Hook and Stephen Morris...

.

"HFS" returned to the airwaves on August 1, 2011 on WWMX-HD2 (106.5 FM) and is translated on W248AO (97.5 FM).

WHFS began broadcasting on November 11, 1961, on 102.3 FM
WMMJ
WMMJ is a top rated station Urban Adult Contemporary radio station owned by Radio One in the Washington, D.C. market. It is licensed to Bethesda, but its transmitter is located in Tenleytown...

 in Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda is a census designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House , which in turn took its name from Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda...

.
Discussion
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Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
For the current AM radio station see: WHFS
WHFS
WHFS was the call sign for three different FM stations in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore, Maryland markets on various frequencies for nearly 50 years. The first and longest run was a progressive rock station and was usually, and affectionately, referred to as 'HFS...



WHFS was the call sign for three different FM
Frequency modulation
In telecommunications and signal processing, frequency modulation conveys information over a carrier wave by varying its instantaneous frequency. This contrasts with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier is varied while its frequency remains constant...

 stations in the Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

/Baltimore, Maryland markets on various frequencies for nearly 50 years. The first and longest run was a progressive rock
Progressive rock (radio format)
Progressive rock is a radio station programming format that prospered in the late 1960s and 1970s, in which the disc jockeys are given wide latitude in what they may play, similar to the freeform format but with the proviso that some kind of rock music is almost always what is played...

 station and was usually, and affectionately, referred to as 'HFS. For many local residents, it was the first place to hear such bands as R.E.M.
R.E.M.
R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's...

, The Specials
The Specials
The Specials are an English 2 Tone ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry, England. Their music combines a "danceable ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude", and had a "more focused and informed political and social stance" than other ska groups...

, Pixies, The Smiths
The Smiths
The Smiths were an English alternative rock band, formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr , the band also included Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce...

, The Monochrome Set
The Monochrome Set
The Monochrome Set are an English post-punk band originally formed in 1978 from the remnants of a college group called The B-Sides...

, The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member...

, Echo & the Bunnymen
Echo & the Bunnymen
Echo & the Bunnymen are an English post-punk band, formed in Liverpool in 1978. The original line-up consisted of vocalist Ian McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant and bass player Les Pattinson, supplemented by a drum machine. By 1980, Pete de Freitas had joined as the band's drummer, and their debut...

, Stereolab
Stereolab
Stereolab are an alternative music band formed in 1990 in London, England. The band originally comprised songwriting team Tim Gane and Lætitia Sadier , both of whom remained at the helm across many lineup changes...

, and New Order
New Order
New Order are an English rock band formed in 1980 by Bernard Sumner , Peter Hook and Stephen Morris...

.

"HFS" returned to the airwaves on August 1, 2011 on WWMX-HD2 (106.5 FM) and is translated on W248AO (97.5 FM).

1960s


WHFS began broadcasting on November 11, 1961, on 102.3 FM
WMMJ
WMMJ is a top rated station Urban Adult Contemporary radio station owned by Radio One in the Washington, D.C. market. It is licensed to Bethesda, but its transmitter is located in Tenleytown...

 in Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda is a census designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House , which in turn took its name from Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda...

. It was the first station in the Washington, DC, area to broadcast in FM stereo, thus its call sign stood for High Fidelity Stereo. It was originally located in a 20 × 20-foot space in the basement of the Bethesda Medical Building on Wisconsin Avenue with antenna on the roof. Its original format was a combination of MOR
MOR
Mor or MOR may refer to:In publications:* Mathematics of Operations Research, a quarterly publication on the mathematics of operations research.In mechanics:...

 and classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

, with jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 after 10 p.m. The original owners were considerably underfunded, and the station was sold in 1963. The station was initially moved to Norfolk Ave. in Bethesda
Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda is a census designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House , which in turn took its name from Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda...

 and later to Woodmont Ave. All these locations are within a three-block area. When Jacob Einstein became general manager and part-owner in 1967, the station had a broadcast signal of 2,300 watt
Watt
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units , named after the Scottish engineer James Watt . The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion.-Definition:...

s.

"When Mr. Einstein became general manager of WHFS, the station had been on the air for six years and was lucky to draw 800 listeners a night with its format of pop, light classical and jazz. 'Then a guy named Frank Richards came in one day wearing cutoffs and a leather vest, played me a tape of rock music from Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

,' Mr. Einstein told The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

 in 1983. 'We were losing so much money that another couple of dollars couldn't hurt, right? So we put him on. My God, the calls! I never knew we had an audience!' In 1969, three would-be DJs - Joshua Brooks, Sara Vass and Mark Gorbulew - approached Mr. Einstein with an idea for a free-form rock-and-roll program. They went on under the name Spiritus Cheese (derived from a cheese company in New York), and a new era was born. 'It was Jake's vision that FM radio and rock-and-roll were about to collide,' said Mr. Einstein's daughter Rose, who briefly worked at WHFS. 'He saw it as an all-night format that would sustain a station.' Within months, WHFS was drawing an average nightly audience of 32,700 listeners. Spiritus Cheese lasted just a year - someone complained about a four-letter word in a Firesign Theatre skit broadcast on the air - but by then the station had found its niche."

1970s


By the early 1970s, the station was broadcasting progressive music nearly all the time (Sundays were given to foreign language programs). WHFS studios were now located in a second floor luxury condo at 4853 Cordell Avenue ("Broadcasting from high atop the Triangle Towers..."; was a phrase often heard over the air). The station was also conveniently located directly across the street from the Psyche Delly, a venue for live performances by bands playing the club circuit. Local radio legends Don "Cerphe" Colwell and Jonathan "Weasel" Gilbert began their careers when they joined WHFS in the early 70s.

The legendary Murray the K
Murray the K
Murray Kaufman , professionally known as Murray the K, was an influential rock and roll impresario and disc jockey of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s...

 hosted the morning show in the early 1970s for a short while with female partner Judy. In 1972, after Murray the K had left for WWDC, Ty Ford left his Program Director and on-air positions WAYE to replace Judy. Ford remained at WHFS until 1975, as morning drive announcer, Chief Engineer and Production Director. Ford was quick to admit that Alvin Jeweler was the real engineering brains for WHFS-FM, but Jeweler had allowed his FCC license to expire, so Ford was listed as Chief Engineer.

Many musicians, famous and not yet famous, traipsed across the street to do interviews and perform live at the station. Many cut WHFS-specific IDs. One classic example of a legal ID done by The Persuasions, "WHFS, it's the station we like the best, we'll be rockin', we'll be rollin', on W - Hhhhh---F-Sssss - - - 102.3 - Bethesda." The enthusiastic and knowledgeable interviews by such deejays as "Weasel", who held down the drive-time afternoon weekday slot - about the time that bands setting up across the street were ready for a dinner break before a performance - provided fascinating details about the artists' experience, as well as providing plugs for the upcoming appearance. Weasel's obvious friendship with many of his guests elicited striking candor from them.

During the '70s, WHFS would broadcast music that other FM Rock stations normally would not, including cuts as long as 20 minutes. Artists like Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

, Yes
Yes (band)
Yes are an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their progressive, art, and symphonic style of rock music. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre, Yes are known for their lengthy songs, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, and live stage sets...

, Genesis
Genesis (band)
Genesis are an English rock band that formed in 1967. The band currently comprises the longest-tenured members Tony Banks , Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins . Past members Peter Gabriel , Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips , also played major roles in the band in its early years...

, Roxy Music
Roxy Music
Roxy Music was a British art rock band formed in 1971 by Bryan Ferry, who became the group's lead vocalist and chief songwriter, and bassist Graham Simpson. The other members are Phil Manzanera , Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson . Former members include Brian Eno , and Eddie Jobson...

 and other non-commercial artists, at that time, would be the normal format. If The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 were ever played, instead of familiar tracks like Hey Jude
Hey Jude
"Hey Jude" is a song by the English rock band The Beatles, written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The ballad evolved from "Hey Jules", a song widely accepted as being written to comfort John Lennon's son, Julian, during his parents' divorce—although this explanation is not...

 or Lady Madonna
Lady Madonna
"Lady Madonna" is a song by The Beatles, primarily written by Paul McCartney . In March 1968, it was released as a single, backed with "The Inner Light." The song was recorded on 3 and 6 February 1968 before the Beatles left for India...

, they would play more obscure tracks like Tomorrow Never Knows
Tomorrow Never Knows
"Tomorrow Never Knows" is the final track of The Beatles' 1966 studio album Revolver but the first to be recorded. Credited as a Lennon–McCartney song, it was written primarily by John Lennon...

, Blue Jay Way
Blue Jay Way
"Blue Jay Way" is a song written by George Harrison; it was first recorded and released by The Beatles on their Magical Mystery Tour album and EP in 1967.-Origins:...

 among others. Once the station played all of Revolution 9
Revolution 9
"Revolution 9" is a recorded composition that appeared on The Beatles' 1968 self-titled LP release . The sound collage, credited to Lennon–McCartney, was created primarily by John Lennon with assistance from George Harrison and Yoko Ono. Lennon said he was trying to paint a picture of a revolution...

. The station made a policy of never playing a "hit" and broke with precedent by leaving the playlists strictly up to the DJs. Once in a while the DJ's would, as a joke, throw in a Top 40 hit just to throw the listeners off. Sometimes, late at night, the DJ might announce "and now we'll repeat that for those of you on drugs" and immediately replay the last song. It furthered the careers of then-undiscovered stars Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

, George Thorogood
George Thorogood
George Thorogood is an American blues rock vocalist/guitarist from Wilmington, Delaware, United States, known for his hit song "Bad to the Bone" as well as for covers of blues standards such as Hank Williams' "Move It On Over" and John Lee Hooker's "House Rent Boogie/One Bourbon, One Scotch, One...

 and Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris is an American singer-songwriter and musician. In addition to her work as a solo artist and bandleader, both as an interpreter of other composers' works and as a singer-songwriter, she is a sought-after backing vocalist and duet partner, working with numerous other artists including...

, who sometimes showed up at the studio. WHFS played the records of many local groups as well, including The Nighthawks
The Nighthawks
The Nighthawks are an American blues and roots music band, based in Washington, D.C. The Nighthawks currently are Mark Wenner , Paul Bell , Johnny Castle , and Mark Stutso...

, The Slickee Boys
The Slickee Boys
The Slickee Boys were a Washington, D.C. area punk-psychedelic-garage rock band whose most-remembered lineup consisted of guitarist Marshall Keith, guitarist Kim Kane, singer Mark Noone, and drummer Dan Palenski. The band has become a legend in the D.C. punk community...

, The Diversions, Tru Fax & the Insaniacs, the Bad Brains
Bad Brains
Bad Brains is an American hardcore punk band formed in Washington, D.C., in 1977. They are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk, though the band's members objected to this term to describe their music. They are also an adept reggae band, while later recordings featured elements of...

 and Root Boy Slim
Root Boy Slim
Root Boy Slim was the stage name assumed by American musician, Foster MacKenzie III. Born in Asheville, North Carolina, he was raised in suburban Maryland, a few minutes from D.C. after his family relocated there...

 and the Sex Change Band."

In addition to the station's progressive rock and alternative music, jazz, and even bluegrass was prominently featured on their format. One of the show's features was "Thor's Bluegrass" hosted by DJ Thor. Local bluegrass band The Seldom Scene
The Seldom Scene
The Seldom Scene is an American bluegrass band formed in 1971 in Bethesda, Maryland.-Early history:The band formed out of the weekly jam sessions in the basement of banjo player Ben Eldridge. These sessions included John Starling on guitar and lead vocals, Mike Auldridge on Dobro and baritone...

 would sometimes perform live from the station.

Fans of the station came to expect certain "regular" features. Listeners were treated to Weasel playing "I Wanna Be Sedated
I Wanna Be Sedated
"I Wanna Be Sedated" is a song by the American punk rock band the Ramones. It is one of the band's best known songs. It was originally released on their fourth album, Road to Ruin, in September 1978 and was the b-side of the UK single "She's the One" released on January 10, 1979. The song was later...

" by the Ramones
Ramones
The Ramones were an American rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first punk rock group...

 every Friday towards the end of the work day. Weasel also filled his playlist with requests like local DC near hit "Washingtron" by Tru Fax & the Insaniacs and Yuppiedrone by The Pheromones. The DJs answered the telephone themselves when requests were called in. WHFS made Root Boy Slim
Root Boy Slim
Root Boy Slim was the stage name assumed by American musician, Foster MacKenzie III. Born in Asheville, North Carolina, he was raised in suburban Maryland, a few minutes from D.C. after his family relocated there...

's "Christmas at K-Mart" a holiday standard. Weasel was the first to play The Diversions first single "Get Up" backed with "Lil Lovin' Baby" which was aired only moments after the record was hand delivered to the station upon its release in 1982.

Among the station's more endearing traditions was the broadcasting of the entire "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" suite that makes up the bulk of the first side of Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

's "Apostrophe
Apostrophe
The apostrophe is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritic mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet or certain other alphabets...

" LP, when the Washington area would experience its first snowfall of the season. And every Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. In Canada, Thanksgiving falls on the same day as Columbus Day in the...

, 'HFS listeners could count on Arlo Guthrie
Arlo Guthrie
Arlo Davy Guthrie is an American folk singer. Like his father, Woody Guthrie, Arlo often sings songs of protest against social injustice...

's "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" being played, usually by Bob "Here", all 18:20 of it.

According to the Washington Post, the 1978 DJ lineup at WHFS was: Damian Einstein, John "Weasel" Gilbert, David Einstein, Bob "Here" Showacre, Diane Divola, and Tom Grooms. ("Cerphe" left the station in 1976). Don Grossinger did weekend late nights from 1976 through 1979 and, when Weasel moved to prime time, he took over overnights for two years, through 1981. He peppered his show with surprise rarities and unavailable tracks. Adele Abrams held weekend slots from 1974-1988 (and held a full-time shift for nearly two years following Damien's accident). She and Weasel also hosted a live show featuring local band performances called "Take One," which broadcast from the Sounds Reasonable studio in Washington, DC, during the late 1970s. Suzanne Gordon was the progressive format's first news director, hosting five "News of the Universe" segments, and various public affairs features, daily from 1975-1977.
Susan Desmarais hosted the overnight weekend slots from 1980–1983, and went on to 99.1, hosting Saturday and Sunday afternoons. She eventually hosted the 9pm-1am slot until 1986.

1980s and 90s



In early 1983 Jacob Einstein sold the station to the owners of WTOP (AM) for $2 million which Einstein then used to purchase WNAV
WNAV
WNAV is an AM radio station located in Annapolis, Maryland. The full-service talk radio outlet broadcasts at 1430 kilohertz and is owned by Sajak Broadcasting Corporation, named after and part-owned by game show host Pat Sajak...

 AM and WLOM FM Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It had a population of 38,394 at the 2010 census and is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, south of Baltimore and about east of Washington, D.C. Annapolis is...

. Eventually, WNAV-AM was sold and passed through several owners (including being resold to Einstein in the mid 1990s) until WNAV-AM was ultimately sold to Pat Sajak
Pat Sajak
Pat Sajak is a television personality, former weatherman, actor and talk show host, best known as the host of the American television game show Wheel of Fortune.-Early life:...

, the game-show host, in 1998. Einstein took the 'HFS call letters with him and WLOM-FM 99.1 became WHFS (FM) in Autumn 1983 with much higher power than the 102.3 facility. Eventually Einstein's group sold WHFS. When the station switched formats, it was located at the Infinity Broadcasting Center in Lanham, Maryland
Lanham, Maryland
Lanham is an unincorporated community in Prince George's County in the State of Maryland in the United States of America. Because it is not formally incorporated, it has no official boundaries, but the United States Census Bureau has defined a census-designated place consisting of Lanham and the...

. The 102.3 frequency is now occupied by an Urban AC station in Washington, using the call letters WMMJ
WMMJ
WMMJ is a top rated station Urban Adult Contemporary radio station owned by Radio One in the Washington, D.C. market. It is licensed to Bethesda, but its transmitter is located in Tenleytown...

 and nicknamed "Majic 102.3".

A daily topical humor "news" show, "The Daily Feed", aired for much of the 1980s on WHFS. It featured the sarcastic "Max Nobny" exchanging wit with straightman and nominal narrator, the Baltimore-accented "Frank Benlin", discussing current issues and using classic passion plays such as Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

 parodies (during the Gulf shipping crisis of the mid-1990s when the U.S. reflagged Middle Eastern tankers) as a comedy vehicle. During Washington Mayor Marion Barry
Marion Barry
Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. is an American Democratic politician who is currently serving as a member of the Council of the District of Columbia, representing DC's Ward 8. Barry served as the second elected mayor of the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1991, and again as the fourth mayor from 1995...

's drug case, a faux-Washington, D.C. tourism promo by the Feed referred to the mayor for life, adding that he "is featured on a totally hidden federal video program."

Sunday broadcasts featured paid foreign language/culture specialty shows in the morning. In the afternoon in the 1980s, Tom Terrell
Tom Terrell
Thomas Gerald Terrell was a music journalist, photographer, deejay, promoter, and NPR music reviewer. Born Thomas Gerald Terrell, and later known as Scooter, King Pleasure, and Tom T., he was a life-long musicologist who recognized talent and trends long before they became popular, and, until his...

 would host Sunday Reggae Splashdown.

Since 1990, WHFS has hosted an event called the HFStival
HFStival
The HFStival is an annual Washington, D.C. / Baltimore, Maryland rock festival. Held every summer from 1990 through 2006 by radio station WHFS, and annually since 2010 in commemoration of the now-defunct station's legacy, the HFStival was at its peak the largest yearly music festival on the East...

, an annual (sometimes semi-annual) day-long (sometimes two-day-long) outdoor concert. The concert, often held at Washington's RFK Stadium, features a variety of local and national acts; for example, the 2004 lineup included The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member...

, Jay-Z
Jay-Z
Shawn Corey Carter , better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, having a net worth of over $450 million as of 2010...

, Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse is an American indie rock band formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington, by singer/lyricist/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy. They are based in Portland, Oregon. Since their 1996 debut album, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think...

, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an American indie rock band formed in New York City in 2000. The group is composed of vocalist and pianist Karen O, guitarist and keyboardist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase. They are complemented in live performances by second guitarist David Pajo, who joined as a touring...

, and Cypress Hill
Cypress Hill
Cypress Hill is an American hip hop group from South Gate, California. Cypress Hill was the first Latino hip-hop group to have platinum and multi-platinum albums, selling over 18 million albums worldwide...

. Robert Benjamin, Bob Waugh and Bill Glasser took the HFStival from a small yearly concert at Lake Fairfax in Reston, Virginia, to a large festival in Washington DC that was headlined by major acts and was surrounded by culturally significant booths, games, food, and rides, as well as an outdoor second stage.

In the mid-1990s, Liberty Broadcasting published a quarterly magazine titled "WHFS Press" that was mailed to listeners and available in local music outlets.

2000 to 2005


Though becoming famous as a cutting-edge station playing the latest underground music (and often beating the mainstream to the punch by months and even years), the station, under Infinity Broadcasting's ownership
Ownership
Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property. Ownership involves multiple rights, collectively referred to as title, which may be separated and held by different parties. The concept of ownership has...

, became the local modern alternative station in the mid 1990s. In this period, WHFS featured a specialty show called "Now Hear This", hosted by Dave Marsh, that highlighted indie and local music. Though, in the few years before the infamous 2005 format switch the station did begin to combine more underground programming with its modern rock format, it never fully reverted to its prior all-indie status. In 1999, WHFS released a New Music New Video Compilation Volume 1 on VHS that was distributed free at Washington area Tower Records
Tower Records
Tower Records was a retail music chain that was based in Sacramento, California. It currently exists as an international franchise and an online music store....

 outlets. It featured tracks by Cyclefly
Cyclefly
Cyclefly were an alternative rock band from Cork, Ireland.Once the band were signed to their label for their first two albums they became increasingly frustrated by the confines of being a 'signed act'...

, Fuel
Fuel (band)
Fuel is an American rock band formed by guitarist/songwriter Carl Bell and bassist Jeff Abercrombie in 1989. Originally known as Small the Joy, they changed the group's name to Fuel sometime in 1994...

, Fastball
Fastball (band)
Fastball is an American rock band that formed in Austin, Texas in the 1990s. The band originally called themselves "Magneto U.S.A." but changed their name after signing with Hollywood Records....

, Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith
Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and resided for a significant portion of his life in Portland, Oregon, where he first gained popularity...

, Kid Rock
Kid Rock
Robert James "Bob" Ritchie , known by his stage name Kid Rock, is an American singer-songwriter, musician and rapper with five Grammy Awards nominations...

, Eve 6
Eve 6
Eve 6 is an American rock band from Southern California, who are most well known for their hit singles "Inside Out", "Leech", and the slow anthem "Here's to the Night". They disbanded in 2004, returned in 2007 with a new lineup, and finally reunited with all three original members in March 2011...

, 3 Colours Red
3 Colours Red
3 Colours Red were a rock band from the United Kingdom. They achieved their biggest chart success at the end of the 1990s, along with other Britrock bands such as Ash and Feeder. The band was named by sticking a pin in a London listings magazine, Time Out...

, Puya
Puya (band)
-History:Formed under the name Whisker Biscuit in 1988 and originally playing only instrumentals, the band added vocalist Sergio Curbelo in 1992 and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where they created a mix of salsa and heavy metal with the assistance of Jeff Renza and the Noiz Boiz production...

, and Joydrop
Joydrop
Joydrop was a Canadian alternative rock band in the late 1990s and early 2000s from Toronto, Ontario. The band consisted of vocalist Tara Slone, guitarist Thomas Payne, bassist Tom McKay, and drummer Tony Rabalao....

.

No longer playing rather obscure progressive rock, nor the classic and hard rock of its Baltimore competitor WIYY
WIYY
WIYY is a radio station in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, owned by the Hearst Corporation. WIYY broadcasts an Mainstream Rock format that mixes music popular in the modern rock, heavy metal and classic rock genres...

, HFS was now formatted more towards a younger set of fans who were more apt to listen to Green Day
Green Day
Green Day is an American punk rock band formed in 1987. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool...

 and Fuel
Fuel (band)
Fuel is an American rock band formed by guitarist/songwriter Carl Bell and bassist Jeff Abercrombie in 1989. Originally known as Small the Joy, they changed the group's name to Fuel sometime in 1994...

 than less mainstream artists such as Fugazi or Lou Reed
Lou Reed
Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed is an American rock musician, songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and for his successful solo career, which has spanned several decades...

. The station played much of the alternative hits that were touted by the mainstream press and MTV, turning off many old-school HFS listeners, but in turn gaining many listeners in the 18-24 age demographic.

Abrupt format switch to tropical Latin music


At noon on January 12, 2005, 99.1 WHFS was switched to a Tropical Latin music format. Its call letters were soon changed to WZLL for a few days, and then again to WLZL
WLZL
WLZL is a radio station broadcasting a Spanish language format. Licensed to the suburb of Bowie, Maryland, it serves the Baltimore, Maryland/Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The station is currently owned by CBS Radio. Its transmitter is located near Crofton, Maryland.-History:WLZL signed on...

, and the station was rebranded as "El Zol 99.1 FM". Although a format change had been rumored to some extent for years—due to slipping ratings (22nd) in its primary market of Washington (although its ratings in Baltimore remained high)--the switch was not publicized beforehand and took many long-time fans, and even most of the station's staff, by surprise. Most of the station's staff were not told of the change until less than an hour before it happened, and new management presided in the air studio as the former format was playing its last few songs. Though nearly always met with harsh criticism, such abrupt format changes are a common practice in the radio industry.

AOL
AOL
AOL Inc. is an American global Internet services and media company. AOL is headquartered at 770 Broadway in New York. Founded in 1983 as Control Video Corporation, it has franchised its services to companies in several nations around the world or set up international versions of its services...

, which had a partnership with Infinity Broadcasting and recognized that many people would miss the old WHFS format, quickly launched an internet-only streaming radio station with a playlist much like that of WHFS.

Live 105.7: a new WHFS


Infinity Broadcasting saw an unexpected public reaction to their decision to change the format of 99.1 FM in Washington. The story was covered by local TV stations for many days afterwards, and mentioned nationally by The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

, The Howard Stern Show, and The Today Show. The corporate offices of Infinity Broadcasting in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 were flooded with phone calls and e-mails from irate listeners. An online petition protesting the format change gathered tens of thousands of signatures in only a few days. Media attention was attracted by a public protest in downtown Washington, outside a skate shop where WHFS maintained a remote storefront studio in its last few months. WHFS' main competitor, DC101
WWDC (FM)
WWDC is a commercial radio station in Washington, D.C., broadcasting to the Washington, DC-Baltimore, Maryland area. WWDC airs an alternative rock format on 101.1 FM branded as DC101.-History:WWDC-FM signed on in 1947 as a beautiful music station...

, paid tribute to the station, airing many memories of WHFS from its DJs and listeners.

Infinity Broadcasting responded by resurrecting the WHFS format on nights and weekends on Live 105.7 in Baltimore, Maryland, beginning at 7 p.m. on January 21, 2005 with former WHFS afternoon DJ Tim Virgin. The station rebranded itself as "The Legendary HFS, Live on 105.7", Infinity Broadcasting moved the WHFS call letters to the station days later.

Move to HD


105.7 HFS ceased broadcasting mainstream music on February 1, 2007 immediately before KMS on HFS premiered, yet retained the WHFS call letters traditionally associated with the music the station used to broadcast. During this period the WHFS format was moved to HD radio
HD Radio
HD Radio, which originally stood for "Hybrid Digital", is the trademark for iBiquity's in-band on-channel digital radio technology used by AM and FM radio stations to transmit audio and data via a digital signal in conjunction with their analog signals...

 as WHFS
WJZ-FM
WJZ-FM is a radio station licensed to Catonsville, Maryland, and broadcasting from studios in suburban Towson, Maryland. The station is owned by CBS Radio.-History of the WJZ-FM callsign:...

 105.7-HD2 and was known as HFS2.

End of 105.7


On November 3, 2008, WHFS flipped to a sports talk format, similar to that of sister station WFAN
WFAN
WFAN , also known as "Sports Radio 66" or "The FAN", is a radio station in New York City. The station broadcasts on a clear channel and is owned by CBS Radio...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Along with the format change came a new callsign: WJZ-FM
WJZ-FM
WJZ-FM is a radio station licensed to Catonsville, Maryland, and broadcasting from studios in suburban Towson, Maryland. The station is owned by CBS Radio.-History of the WJZ-FM callsign:...

. On November 10, 2008, the WHFS
WHFS
WHFS was the call sign for three different FM stations in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore, Maryland markets on various frequencies for nearly 50 years. The first and longest run was a progressive rock station and was usually, and affectionately, referred to as 'HFS...

 callsign was moved to 1580 AM which dropped its long time call letters WPGC. The format was changed to talk
Talk radio
Talk radio is a radio format containing discussion about topical issues. Most shows are regularly hosted by a single individual, and often feature interviews with a number of different guests. Talk radio typically includes an element of listener participation, usually by broadcasting live...

, with programs hosted by Michael Smerconish
Michael Smerconish
Michael A. Smerconish is an American radio and television personality, newspaper columnist, author and MSNBC Political Analyst. His talk radio show is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at The Big Talker 1210 AM WPHT. He began his full time radio career in 2002...

 (from sister station WPHT
WPHT
WPHT is a CBS Radio station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, broadcasting on 1210 kHz. A 50,000-watt clear-channel station, it broadcasts in an omnidirectional pattern that allows it to cover most of the eastern half of North America at night. It uses the nickname "Talk Radio 1210 WPHT." The...

), Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck
Glenn Edward Lee Beck is an American conservative radio host, vlogger, author, entrepreneur, political commentator and former television host. He hosts the Glenn Beck Program, a nationally syndicated talk-radio show that airs throughout the United States on Premiere Radio Networks...

, Bill O'Reilly
Bill O'Reilly (political commentator)
William James "Bill" O'Reilly, Jr. is an American television host, author, syndicated columnist and political commentator. He is the host of the political commentary program The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, which is the most watched cable news television program on American television...

, Lou Dobbs
Lou Dobbs
Louis Carl "Lou" Dobbs is an American journalist, radio host, television host on the Fox Business Network, and author. He anchored CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight until November 2009 when he announced on the air that he would leave the 24-hour cable news television network.He was born in Texas and lived...

, and Laura Schlessinger
Laura Schlessinger
Laura Catherine Schlessinger is an American talk radio host, socially conservative commentator and author. Her radio program consists mainly of her responses to callers' requests for personal advice and has occasionally featured her short monologues on social and political topics...

.

Return to DC on 94.7 HD 2


On June 10, 2009, the WHFS alternative format was relaunched as HFS2 once again, now located at WIAD 94.7-HD2 in Bethesda, Maryland and serving the Washington, DC area. It is also available online HERE.

Added to Baltimore on 97.5 and WWMX-HD2


"HFS2" was added to Baltimore airwaves at noon on Monday, August 1, 2011, but under the new name "HFS". The station is now broadcast via three channels: WIAD 94.7-HD2, WWMX 106.5-HD2 and W248AO 97.5. W248AO was moved to The Candelabra tower in Baltimore, and the power was increased to 250W.

102.3 WHFS (1968–1983)

  • Adele Abrams
  • Josh Brooks
  • Don "Cerphe" Colwell
  • Susan Desmarais
  • Diane Divola
  • Ty Ford
  • Sarah Gillies
  • Mark Gorbulew
  • Thomas Grooms
  • Don Grossinger
  • John Hall
  • Larry Harris
  • Sarah Vass
  • Johnny Walker
    Johnny Walker (DJ)
    Johnny Walker was an American radio personality, best known as a disc jockey on WFBR, a Baltimore, Maryland AM radio station from 1974 to 1987...


  • 99.1 WHFS (1983–2005)

    • Adele Abrams
    • Tony "Aq" Aquaviva
    • Mark Avery
    • Mark Bejarano
    • Meg Brulatour
    • Lou Brutus
    • Michael Butscher
    • Scott Cool
    • Mark "The Alien" Daley
    • Mike Dawson
    • Susan Desmarais
    • DJ Milk
    • Jim "Bubba Lewis" Dunbar
    • Damien Einstein
    • David Einstein
    • Shari Elliker
      Shari Elliker
      Shari Elliker is an American radio personality who has worked on a number of radio stations, primarily in the Washington/Baltimore metropolitan area....

    • Pat "Freeze" Ferrise
    • Mike G.
  • Jonathan "Weasel" Gilbert
  • Bill "Will Robinson" Glasser
  • Graeme
  • Guido in a Speedo
  • Dave Issing
  • "Wild" Wes Johnson
    Wes Johnson
    Wes Johnson is an American actor, cartoonist, comedian and voice artist, who has appeared in such films as A Dirty Shame, Head of State, The Invasion, For Richer or Poorer and Hearts in Atlantis...

  • The Junkies
    The Junkies
    The Sports Junkies, also known as The Junkies, are the hosts of an eponymous morning drive time radio show aired in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The hosts are John Auville, Eric Bickel, Jason Bishop and John-Paul Flaim. Their show is heard on WJFK-FM, at 106.7 on the FM radio dial...

  • Khan
  • Kim Kirkpatrick
    Kim Kirkpatrick
    Kim Kirkpatrick is a landscape photographer who lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area.Kirkpatrick earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Maryland. In 1993, the Aaron Siskind Foundation awarded Kirkpatrick...

  • Lori Landon
  • Kathryn "Kath" Lauren
  • Janet Little
  • Dave Marsh
  • Matty
  • Milo (Bob Shepherdson)
  • Pauly Simone
  • Kim Pelis
  • Neci
  • Zach Overking
  • Tom Perry
  • Pogo
  • Paula Sangeleer
  • Allen Scott
  • Bob "Here" Showacre
  • Steve Stec
  • Tom Terrell
    Tom Terrell
    Thomas Gerald Terrell was a music journalist, photographer, deejay, promoter, and NPR music reviewer. Born Thomas Gerald Terrell, and later known as Scooter, King Pleasure, and Tom T., he was a life-long musicologist who recognized talent and trends long before they became popular, and, until his...

  • Rob Timm
  • John "JB" Trimmer
  • Bob Waugh
  • Scott Thomas aka Tom Wilson
  • Billy Zero
    Billy Zero
    Billy Zero is a Radio and TV host.Billy Zero was born in Ft. Meade, Maryland in 1971. He performed in many bands in the 90's including Bovox Clown, Love Muffin Prowler, Mentle Gen and Naked Lunch....

  • Zoltar "The brotha from another planet"
  • Gina Crash

  • 105.7 WHFS (2005–2008)

    • Cane
    • Gina Crash
    • Chad Dukes
      Chad Dukes (radio personality)
      Chad Dukes is a radio personality co-host of the "The LaVar Arrington show with Chad Dukes" and formerly a co-host of the Big O and Dukes Show on WJFK-FM in Washington, D.C.-Early life:...

    • Pat Kain
    • Libby
    • Neci
  • Oscar "Big O" Santana
  • Reada
  • Rich Rudel
  • Johnny Riggs
  • Jeff Shamrock
  • Spam
  • Josh Spiegel
  • Chris Steele
  • Tim Virgin
  • Lisa Worden

  • External links