Federal News Radio (WFED)

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Your source for federal news... now.

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WFED (1500 AM) is a full-power radio station in the Washington, D.C. region, broadcasting from just outside the District line in Wheaton, Maryland. The signal is relayed on WWFD on 820 kHz in Frederick, Maryland. The stations broadcast a news, talk and information format targeted towards U.S. government employees under the moniker Federal News Radio.The format itself was launched by Bonneville, owners of terrestrial-based all-news station WTOP, as FederalNewsRadio.com - the first Internet-only all news station, and the first Internet station to... See more

Washington AM|1500
+1202-895-5086
3400 Idaho Ave, NW Washington, DC 20016
last update
[2024-02-20 06:16:28]
WFED (1500 AM) is a full-power radio station in the Washington, D.C. region, broadcasting from just outside the District line in Wheaton, Maryland. The signal is relayed on WWFD on 820 kHz in Frederick, Maryland. The stations broadcast a news, talk and information format targeted towards U.S. government employees under the moniker Federal News Radio.The format itself was launched by Bonneville, owners of terrestrial-based all-news station WTOP, as FederalNewsRadio.com - the first Internet-only all news station, and the first Internet station to make the jump to terrestrial radio - on February 22, 2000. The programming concept has changed little to this day, except that the Associated Press' All News Radio service originally filled in during the overnight hours, as a complement to WTOP.Federal News Radio is one of a few radio stations that originated on the Internet prior to moving onto a traditional broadcasting signal. It first found a home on the radio dial in 2004, on the 1050 kHz frequency licensed to Silver Spring, Maryland. That station's original call letters were WGAY, which played a beautiful music format. It was believed that WGAY was named for its owner, Connie B. Gay, though it was merely coincidental; at the time, "beautiful music" connoted a "bright and gay" happy sound. However, Gay bought the station in the late 1950s/early 1960s.The original owners and operators, Ed Winton and Bob Chandler, are credited with creating the beautiful music format, which was mostly instrumental music, with orchestral covers of showtunes, soundtrack excerpts, and standard popular songs. Chandler was known to arrange for recording of music that he did not have in the station's library. In addition, on Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m., Matinee at One played a complete Broadway show soundtrack with an explanation of the plot.Despite its sobriquet of "elevator music", WGAY was popular, and was soon sold to Connie B. Gay. On February 1, 1960, the WGAY calls were moved to the FM band at 99.5 MHz, while the AM station became WQMR, for "Washington's Quality Music Radio." WGAY initially operated as an experimental country music station (Gay was a country and western music promoter) but started simulcasting WQMR fulltime around 1961.These simulcasts would usually end nightly at sunset when WQMR had to sign off as required by the FCC, and WGAY was rarely mentioned on the air or in advertisements. WQMR soon increased in power from 1000 watts on the AM band, while WGAY would upgrade from 20 kilowatts monophonic on the low power FM band to a 50 kilowatt stereo signal. Both WQMR and WGAY moved to the World Building, located on Georgia Avenue, just north of the intersection of Maryland Route 410 (East-West-Highway) in Silver Spring, in 1966.This simulcast arrangement continued well into the 1980s, as WQMR reverted back to WGAY. Winton and Chandler sold the station on September 1, 1984 to Greater Media, which in turn ended the simulcast and changed the call letters to WNTR. (The WGAY calls and format afterward were maintained on the FM band on 99.5 MHz, which is now WIHT.) Greater Media subsequently bought WRC (now WTEM) from NBC Radio and sold WNTR to TM Productions.Later, WNTR was sold to Pat Robertson, the televangelist and founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, who used WNTR as the anchor of a conservative talk radio network dubbed "The News Talk Radio Network". WNTR was also the first station to carry Rush Limbaugh in Washington, before he moved to WMAL. This ended when the World Building studios caught on fire. However, Robertson's company continued to run the station from another building in Silver Spring for a time, initially as part of his network and later in a brokered-program format. In the early 1990s, it was sold to The Walt Disney Company. (The WNTR call letters are now in use by an FM station in Indianapolis.)Under Disney's ownership, the station was called WKDL (in a simulcast with WKDV in Manassas, Virginia), playing a forerunner of the future Radio Disney network, which targeted children. The concept was not successful at the time, and Metro Radio then bought the station, and switched WKDL to a Spanish language format. When that did not succeed, it briefly carried the Genesis Radio Network of conservative talk and then operated it as WPLC "Business Radio" for a short period. Bonneville then bought the station in 2004, at which point the station was converted to Federal News Radio and the WFED call letters.When AP All News Radio was terminated, the station began an affiliation with CNN Headline News, which itself was phased out in 2007 by provider Westwood One. In November 2007, the 1050 frequency increased its daytime power from 1 kW to 3.5 kW in order to better reach the government office workers in Washington, D.C. who comprise its core audience.The 1050 frequency is now used by Bonneville as an AM relay of WTOP for the Washington area.
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