Infobox Radio Station
name = WGTZ

| airdate = 1959 | frequency = 92.9 MHZ
city = Eaton, Ohio
area = Dayton | format = Variety Hits
owner = Main Line Broadcasting
sister_stations = WDHT, WING, WKSW, WROU
erp = 40,000 watts (based on FCC reports)
branding = "Fly 92.9"
slogan = "We play anything"
class = B
website = [http://www.wgtz93.com Z93's website]
callsign_meaning = "We're Great Trails Z-93" | former_callsigns = WCTM-FM (1959-1972)
WJAI (1972-1984)

WGTZ "Fly 92.9"(for "Great Trails Z-93" the original call sign meaning) is a commercial FM station licensed in Eaton, Ohio at 92.9 mHz serving the Dayton and Springfield market area with a Variety Hits format. The previous CHR format commenced in 1984 when Dayton-based Great Trails Broadcasting owned the station at the time. Fly 92.9 began on November 2, 2007. It is currently owned by Pennsylvania-based Main Line Broadcasting.

Early history

Founded in 1959 as WCTM co-founded by Stanley Coning and three other business partners (dba:Western Ohio Broadcasting Service Inc.) and aired mostly beautiful music but was essentially a middle of the road format in the beginning. It's original FM tower still stands today on North Barron Street in downtown Eaton near the Norfolk Southern railroad crossing with the original call letters still intact.In the 1960s,Coning was locked out of the station in an attempt by his partners to take over the operation but were taken to court. Coning won and became the sole owner. He originally wanted an AM station first but was unable to obtain a license at the time so he went for the FM license. A serious heart attack in the early 1970s forced him to put the station up for sale while at the same time Great Trails was looking to acquire an FM station as a sister for its Dayton AM station WING when no more commercial FM frequencies in Dayton were available. WCTM-FM was the logical choice. Coning sold the station and eventually was granted an AM frequency several years after his health improved. WCTM-AM was on the air from 1981 until 2004 when he retired and sold the station due to failing health and age. That station is now WEDI simulcasting WBZI(AM) in Xenia with a country oldies format.

WCTM-FM becomes WJAI

After the station was acquired the calls were changed to WJAI (for "Jai-Alai" a popular game in Florida.) Great Trails purchase of the station did not include the existing studio. Former owner Stan Coning obliged by constructing a temporary studio in the basement of his home in Eaton; the quirky studio consisted of a rack along the left wall with aged broadcasting gear, an ancient Gates "Yard" audio board in front, a washer/dryer and toilet along the back wall. Access to the basement studio was through a windowed sliding door. WJAI-FM remained at this location for nearly three years. Former owner, Stan Coning was employed as the on-site engineer, Program Director Don Robertson rarely visited the studios, maintaining his Dayton, Ohio address. Robertson was a former WING-Dayton on-air personality, promoted to managing the station and it's low-maintenance format. Robertson hired Doug Ritter (Doug Ritterling), as one of WJAI's first announcers- Ritter was only 16 years of age. Ritter later became a news anchor at WING-Dayton. Great Trails purchase of WJAI was motivated by a possibility of a transmitter power increase, and access to the much larger Dayton market. The power increase was finally approved by the FCC after a prolonged legal battle with owners of two Dayton stations; the owners protested establishment of a new competing station in the Dayton market.

WJAI's first "official" studios were moved to a movie theater which had been converted to an office building at the corner of Sommers and North Barron streets in downtown Eaton. The beautiful music continued under the new nickname "WJ-93" until 1979 when it switched to country music giving competition to WONE (AM) in Dayton and WBZI in Xenia (then at 95.3 FM.) By this time Kim Faris was on board doing mid-days...one of the first women DJs in the Dayton market area. She was joined by afternoon personality Ron Scott. Doug Davisson did the 7 to midnight shift after leaving WONE AM in the early 1980's.

In the early 1980s, the syndicated Al Ham's "Music Of Your Life" a big band/ballad-themed 1940s/early 50s format was gaining a following on stations in Indianapolis,Chicago and other market areas. WJAI did its own take on the format though they themselves furnished the music instead. The format ran from 1982 to 1984.

WJAI becomes Z-93

The Z-93 nickname has been used by many hit stations since the late 1970s in other radio market areas, so Great Trails gave the nickname a try while at the same time moving the Top 40 format over from WING to the newer FM. In the spring of 1984, the nostalgia format was dropped becoming WGTZ "Z-93" playing "Ten Thousand and Ninety Three In A Row" without commercial interruption. King and Dorsey(originally afternoons at WING) came to Z-93 being the first "Z-Morning Zoo Crew" for a year then followed by "Dr. Dave" Gross and Wild Bill taking the reins until 1989. Kim Faris stayed on at the station doing mid-days and later as a morning sidekick to Jeff Wicker and others, eventually moving back to middays several years later where she remained until 2006 when she was inducted into the Ohio Broadcasters Hall Of Fame. She announced her departure from the Z-93 airstaff in December of that year and thanked her many fans who sent in countless letters and e-mails thanking her for a job well done. In 2007, Faris was also inducted into the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame. She was joined by fellow broadcasters from WING's hit music era including Kathy O'Conner Bow, Charlie Reeder, Bill Nance and Reetha Phillips. Faris returned to the air in the summer of 2007 as the morning personality of competitor WLQT.

The catchy top of hour legal ID "WGTZ, Eaton/Dayton and Springfield ALIVE!" first caught the attention of listeners that same year when there was no contemporary hit station in Dayton at the time. Earlier in the decade WING switched to adult contemporary mixed with oldies and the former WDJX in Xenia (transplanted to Beavercreek as WYMJ "Majic 104"...later "Oldies 104") followed suit. Former album rocker WVUD, then owned by The University of Dayton tried its hand as a hit format for a brief time but was later sold and became WLQT "Lite 99.9"

Great Trails also owned Z-93's then sister stations WCOL and WXGT in Columbus. WCOL 1230 AM was Columbus' heritage Top-40 station through the 1970s. WCOL-FM 92.3 played album-oriented progressive rock music. Largely because of the demise of AM radio, Great Trails abandoned Top-40 music on its AM station and moved it to its FM signal. WCOL-FM changed its call letters to WXGT and became more commonly known as 92X, Columbus' first and most popular contemporary hit station. It was largely due to the success of 92X that Great Trails made the decision to bring the format to Dayton. WXGT and WGTZ were virtual clones of each other, using similar playlists, imaging, jingles and even station logos. On November 2nd, 2007, "Z-93" Made another change. Former "Z-93" became a Variety Hit music channel.

Fly 92.9 Today

Its studios are now located on David Road in Kettering,the same location as its AM sister WING with transmitter moved in 1985 to Brookville between Eaton and Englewood, a Dayton suburb. It currently shares its studio location with WDHT "Hot 102.9" with a hip-hop fusion R&B format and the recently-acquired WROU at 92.1 which airs Classic Soul and Urban Contemporary. Radio One's stations are mostly R&B formatted.

On May 17, 2007 Philadelphia-based Main Line Broadcasting announced the acquisition of Radio One's stations in the Dayton and Louisville market areas [ [http://news.radio-online.com/cgi-bin/$rol.exe/headline_id=b9903 News article of Main Line's purchase of Dayton and Louisville station clusters from Radio One (Radio-Online, May 17, 2007)] ] . Main Line took over the Dayton stations on September 14, 2007 [ [http://news.radio-online.com/cgi-bin/$rol.exe/headline_id=n17010 From Radio-Online (September 14, 2007)] ] .

On November 1, 2007, all of the Z93 DJs were let go or reassigned within the Main Line / Dayton radio stations in advance of an announced format change. The station is due to change its format at Noon (EDT) on November 2, 2007, reportedly to a form of the Adult Contemporary genre.

According to the "Dayton Daily News" on Nov. 2, 2007, Z-93 was expected to switch to a Variety Hits format as "92.9 Jack FM," this according to Radio Online. [ [http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2007/11/01/ddn110207z93.html "Dayton Daily News" article Nov. 2, 2007] ]

At noon on November 2, 2007 "Fly 92.9" debuted, claiming that they would "play anything". The first song played was "Fly Like An Eagle" by The Steve Miller band, followed by Sugar Ray's "Fly" after a full day of on-air "stunting" using a synthesized-like countdown voice and Pink Floyd "On The Run" -styled electronic sweeps beginning the day before leading up to the format change.

ee also

*Radio One (Former owners)
*List of radio stations in Ohio


External links


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