Infobox Radio station
name = WYCD

city = Detroit, Michigan
area = [http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=WYCD&service=FM&status=L&hours=U]
branding = "99.5 WYCD"
slogan = "Detroit's Best Country Music!"
airdate = May 4, 1960
frequency = 99.5 MHz HD Radio
99.5 HD-2: 99.5 The Wolf
Future Country
99.5 HD-3: Psychic On Air
Psychic Radio

format = Country
erp = 17,500 watts
haat = 240 meters
class = B
facility_id = 1089
coordinates = coord|42|27|13|N|83|09|50|W|type:landmark
callsign_meaning = Young Country Detroit
former_callsigns = WOWF (9/28/92-7/1/93)
WDFX (7/25/88-9/28/92)
WDTX (9/85-7/25/88)
WCLS (1/84-9/85)
WABX (5/4/60-1/84)
owner = CBS Radio
sister_stations = WOMC, WVMV, WWJ, WXYT, WXYT-FM
webcast = [http://www.wycd.com/pages//445038.php Listen Live]
website = http://www.wycd.com
affiliations =

WYCD (99.5 FM, "99.5 WYCD") is a radio station in Detroit, Michigan. The station is one of two country music stations in the Detroit area, the other being WDTW-FM ("106.7 The Fox"). WYCD's studio and offices are located in the Travelers Towers building in Southfield, Michigan. WYCD's transmitter is located in Royal Oak Township in Oakland County off of Wyoming Avenue just north of the Detroit city limits.

WYCD is licensed for HD radio operations, it has two HD stations; its secondary channel is called "99.5 HD2 The Wolf" and features "future" Country music hits. Its HD3 channel is known as "Psychic On Air". Which is a 24 hour psychic radio station.


99½ WABX

The station began broadcasting on May 4, 1960 as WABX, beginning as a classical music station before adopting the MOR format in 1964.

On February 1, 1968, "play lists" of acceptable tunes went out: the DJs picked their own music, and Century Broadcasting Corporation bit its tongue. With a freeform progressive rock format, WABX became a springboard for the new music that no other station in the market (least of all CKLW and the other Top 40 stations) would touch.

The ABX revolution was one of style as well as sound. The station made itself a community catalyst for fun: free concerts and movies, kite-flys, bike-ins, and conferences. Also, the station played a role in giving many artists the recognition that they did not have at the time, including The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Iron Butterfly, and The J. Geils Band. The success of WABX inspired other Detroit stations such as WKNR-FM and 101.1 WXYZ-FM to adopt the progressive-rock approach. "Air Ace" Dave Dixon was a musician himself who co-wrote the Peter, Paul and Mary hit "I Dig Rock and Roll Music."

During the 1970s, WABX evolved into a more mainstream album oriented rock station, albeit one that took a softer, more laid-back approach than its competitors. By 1982, WABX was third-ranked out of three AOR stations in Detroit (behind WRIF and WLLZ). Century Broadcasting sold the station to Liggett Broadcasting that year. Under new program director Paul Christy, WABX shifted from AOR to "Hot Rock," a Top 40/rock hybrid (known on the air as "Detroit's New Music"), playing a wide variety of new wave, pop, rock and urban product with a slick, CHR-style presentation. However, the station's market share continued to decline throughout 1983, and a little over a year after WABX debuted "Hot Rock," Liggett decided to change the station's format and calls.

Class FM/99 DTX/99.5 The Fox

On January 9, 1984, WABX's long-term reign as a high-rolling rock station came to an end with the song "When the Music's Over" by The Doors, after which the station became "Class FM", WCLS, with a soft rock format. However, the adult contemporary field in Detroit was as crowded as the rock format had become, and "Class FM" was not successful. At this same time, the station was sold to Metropolis Broadcasting.

The following year, in the station became WDTX, reverting to a rock-based CHR format meant to be a radio version of MTV. Eventually the format evolved into mainstream CHR. In 1988 the station changed its call letters to WDFX, known as "99.5 The Fox". For a short time, The Fox tweaked its CHR format into "Rock 40," a variation of Top 40 heavy on hair bands and other rock-oriented acts, and saw its ratings slide after a promising beginning.

Afterwards, The Fox tweaked its format back to mainstream CHR and at the same time added some hip hop to compete with Power 96 WHYT. Ratings did improve and the station posted frequent Arbitron top 10 showings in the late 1980s and early 1990s - but advertising revenue was poor and, in September 1990, the station went into receivership. In addition, WDFX's ratings were adversely affected (as were WHYT's) by the debut of modern rock station 89x in 1991.

Terry "The Motormouth" Young (formerly of WCAU-FM Philadelphia and now of XM Satellite Radio's "60s on 6" channel) was one of the WDFX personalities during this time.

The Failed Attempt At FM Talk

On December 24, 1992, the station started stunting by having a character named "Cowboy Hugh Chardon" (played by Dr. Don Carpenter) play "Friends In Low Places" by Garth Brooks repeatedly (for his good buddy Bobby Stalls in Birmingham) and try to kill "The Fox" using various methods suggested by "listeners". This was followed by an automated countdown that started at midnight on Christmas Day, beginning with 63,752 and ending with number one on December 28, 1992. (This was apparently done so they could rebuild the studios). Instead of changing formats when the countdown ended it stunted for another week with a six hour loop of novelty songs they called "goofy loops" played repeatedly. This continued until the early morning of January 4, 1993 (the first Monday after the holiday week) when the station finally finished changing formats and became "99-5 WOW-FM" WOWF, (the call letters had actually been in place since October, 1992), a news/talk station with broadcasters such as Art Vuolo and Ed Tyll coming to the station. However, by popular demand, the "goofy loops" track was brought back at weekends for the life of the station.

Young Country/Competition

A few months later on May 28, 1993, at 3pm, the station dropped the talk format in favor of "Young Country 99.5", opening "Young Country" was Dr. Don Carpenter. WYCD positioned itself as a younger-leaning alternative to crosstown 106.7 W4 Country. The format kept it's talk element and combined it with younger sounding country music and created "Morning Shows" all day that highlighted listener calls, tons of requests and fun jock talk. It was all a part of owner Alliance's "Young Country" concept that it had on the air in Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco. Although W4 Country typically had higher ratings with country than did WYCD, lack of advertiser revenue led W4 Country to switch to a classic-rock format in September of 1999.

On February 16, 2001 WYCD dropped the "Young Country 99.5" positioner in favor of "Country 99.5". By late 2002, it seemed that the station had dropped its Country 99.5 positoner and rebranded itself as just 99.5 WYCD.

With the country format all to itself in Detroit from 1999 to 2006, WYCD has consistently been a top 10-rated station. In the spring of 2006, WYCD had its best ratings book ever when it tied for first place 12+ with hip-hop station FM98 WJLB.

The high ratings at WYCD are probably what led 106.7 The Drive to switch formats back to country in May 2006, although they claim the format was chosen by the listeners. In another strange twist the new name at 106.7, also chosen by the listeners, is "The Fox", which used to be the name at 99.5 when it was a Top 40 station in the late 1980s. Whether or not 99.5 will once again be able to "kill The Fox" remains to be seen; although WYCD's ratings have fallen since the debut of "The Fox" and the station now typically hovers around tenth place, 106.7's overall ratings remain low.

In 2007, WYCD was nominated for the top 25 markets Country music Radio & Records magazine station of the year award . Other nominees included WUSN Chicago, KYGO-FM Denver, KEEY-FM Minneapolis, WXTU Philadelphia, and KSON-FM San Diego.cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=2007 Industry Achievement Awards | date=September 28, 2008 | publisher= | url =http://www.radioandrecords.com/Conventions/con2007/awards/indexFinal.asp | work =Radio and Records]

Downtown Hoedown

Since 2000, WYCD has been the hosts for one of the largest free country music festivals in the world. The Hoedown takes place one weekend every May in downtown Detroit's Hart Plaza. It is a major showcase of new upcoming artists and some very well recongnized ones as well.

The Hoedown was established back in 1983 by former Detroit country outlet W4 Country. It's first event featured artists like Hank Williams Jr, Tanya Tucker and Mel Tillis. This event soon would attract people from all across the country.

On September 1, 1999, after nineteen years as a country station, W4 Country flipped formats from country to a classic hits format. When the station flipped formats people thought that it was the end of an era and the Hoedown. Then in May 2000, it was announced that the only other country station in Detroit, WYCD would take over hosting the Hoedown. The stations first year hosting saw artists like Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry and Rascal Flatts. Over The years, The hoedown has had there share of very well known artist kicking off there career at the hoedown. Some of these include Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, Toby Keith, Lonestar and in 1989 came an unknown artist by the name of Garth Brooks

The audience at the event has always increased every year. In 2008 the Hoedown saw its biggest audience yet with over one mllion people showing up over the three day period.

In 2008, at the 26th annual Downtown Hoedown, WYCD welcomed nationally known recording artists Trisha Yearwood, Gretchen Wilson, Little Big Town and Detroit's own Josh Gracin, among many others.


The current weekday lineup (as of January 2008) is "The Dr. Don Morning Show" featuring Dr. Don Carpenter, Rachael Hunter, Steve Grunwald & Jason The 300lb Cowboy, plus mid-days with WYCD music director and assistant program director Mike Scott, the "Edwards & Lee" afternoon drive show hosted by Chuck Edwards & Linda Lee, Jyl Forsyth on nights, and Michelle Metcalf on early overnights. WYCD's program director is Tim "T-Rob" Roberts.

Other notable programming includes "The Maria Shaw Show" with Maria Shaw, "Whiny Pisces Matt" Vaughn, "Sexy Sag Joe" Lawson on Monday nights and "Live At Coyote Joe's" with Chuck Edwards on Saturday nights. Weekend and fill-in hosts include Mike Aaron, Kym Austin, Ron Brand, Danielle Car, Mike Daniels, Sheryl Fender, Dave Fuller, Brian Harper, Joe Lawson, Jackie Lynne, Scott Mansell, Steve Marshall, Kevin Scollin, Matt Vaughn, Mike Williams, and Will Kosnik.

Logo gallery


* [http://www.michiguide.com/dials/rad-y/wycd.html Michiguide.com - WYCD History]
* [http://www.radioandrecords.com/RRRatings/DetailsPage.aspx?MID=74&RY=2008&RQ=3&MP=1&OTHER=2&MN=Detroit&MS=MI&MR=11&12P=3866500&UP=8/19/2008&SU=CM&BPER=21.8&HPER=3.2&OPER=&NSD=9/16/2008&CE=0 Detroit Radio Ratings]
* [http://wycd.com/pages/437067.php Downtown Hoedown History]
* [http://wycd.com/pages/438147.php Downtown Hoedown Artist List 1983-2008]

External links


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