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New logo for radio station WXZX-FM.png
CityHilliard, Ohio
Broadcast areaColumbus metro area
Frequency105.7 MHz (HD Radio)
BrandingColumbus Alternative 105.7
SloganEverything Alternative
FormatAlternative rock
SubchannelsHD2: 1980s1990s hits (Gen X Radio)
AffiliationsCincinnati Bengals Radio Network
Premiere Networks
United Stations Radio Networks
(iHM Licenses, LLC)
First air date
July 20, 1990 (1990-07-20)
Former call signs
WNRJ (1990–91)
WWHT (1991–94)
WAKS (1994–97)
WHQK (1997–98)
WKFX (1998)
WZAZ-FM (1998–2000)
WFJX (2000–05)
WBWR (2005–15)
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID64716
ERP2,400 watts
HAAT159 meters (522 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
39°58′10.00″N 83°0′10.00″W / 39.9694444°N 83.0027778°W / 39.9694444; -83.0027778
Public license information
WebcastListen live (via iHeartRadio)
HD2: Listen Live

WXZX (105.7 FM) is a commercial radio station that is licensed to serve Hilliard, Ohio and serves the Columbus metropolitan area. Owned by iHeartMedia, the station broadcasts an alternative rock format. Both the WXZX studios and the station transmitter are located in Downtown Columbus. The station is the Columbus affiliate of the Cincinnati Bengals Radio Network.[1]

WXZX broadcasts in HD Radio.


WXZX's HD Radio Channels with former format "The Zone" on a SPARC Radio with PSD.
WXZX's HD Radio Channels with former format "The Zone" on a SPARC Radio with PSD.

A new station was constructed in Marysville, Ohio at 105.7 MHz in early 1990, known as WNRJ. The call letters signified "energy", as "Energy 105.7" was originally considered as a brand but never used. When the station finally signed on the air on July 20, 1990,[2] it was known as "The Power Pig" (not to be confused with Tampa, Florida's WFLZ's "The Power Pig" name) and featured a contemporary hit radio format. This short-lived format quickly evolved to rhythmic contemporary as WWHT, "Hot 105".[3] In March 1993, sister station WTLT (107.1 FM) in Circleville began simulcasting WWHT's signal and changed its call sign to WAHC. Together the two stations were branded as "Hot 105/Hot 107" and served the entire Columbus market.[4][5]

In an effort to again re-image the station, in early 1994 WWHT was changed to WAKS, "105.7 Kiss-FM", playing mainstream hits with a more adult lean. Kiss-FM failed to become a viable competitor to top 40 leader WNCI due to WAKS' relatively poor signal and undifferentiated format. The next format change in April of that year saw WAKS and WAHC flip to all-1970s oldies as "Arrow 105.7".[6] The first song on Arrow was "Stayin Alive" by the Bee Gees.

The late 1990s saw frequent changes at the station. In December 1996, Jacor Communications purchased WAKS and WAHC for approximately $9.5 million.[7] The new owner flipped the station to country music the following month as WHQK, "Kicks Country 105-7", ending the simulcast with WAHC.[8] WHQK dropped its programming in April 1997 after only a few months in favor of simulcasting WHOK-FM's country format.[9] (Prior to the Jacor purchase, in late 1996 WAKS and WAHC stunted as simulcasts of WLLD (Country 98-9) in an attempt to "surround" leading country station WCOL-FM (92.3 FM). A third format change came late in 1997 when the station gave all-1970s another try; it was branded "105.7 The Chicken" in reference to its mascot, a giant whole broiled chicken dressed in seasonal clothing. Also late in the year, after a day of stunting with Ohio State University themes, WHQK flipped to urban adult contemporary. Urban programming lasted until 1998, when modern rock-formatted WZAZ-FM (then located at 98.9 FM) swapped formats and call signs with WHQK. WZAZ-FM, now on 105.7 FM, was rebranded as "Channel Z 105.7".

On June 6, 2000, WZAZ-FM relocated its transmitter closer to Columbus and became WJFX, a classic rock outlet branded "The Fox". A listeners petition to "Bring Back Channel Z" was started after the station switched to 1970s and 1980s rock, but nothing materialized from this effort. Although many liked the music variety played by "Channel Z", it was not competitive in the ratings with Grove City's alternative station, WWCD. On September 19, 2005, after a week of stunting again (this time with episodes of the TV series Cheers), The Fox relaunched as WBWR, "The Brew @ 105.7". Later that year, WBWR began broadcasting in HD Radio.

Logo for WXZX as 105.7 The X from 2014 to 2016.
Logo for WXZX as 105.7 The X from 2014 to 2016.

On December 1, 2014 at noon, after playing "Heard It on the X" by ZZ Top (a clever reference to the station's future format), WBWR dropped the "Brew" format and began stunting with music by the Ohio State University Marching Band. At 3 p.m., WBWR flipped to gold-leaning alternative rock as 105.7 The X, bringing back the former name and branding of sister station WCGX (106.7 FM) after it dropped the format two months earlier; a modern rock format branded as "X" aired on WBWR's HD2 digital subchannel in the interim. The first song on The X was "Gold on the Ceiling" by Akron-based band The Black Keys.[10][11] On July 8, 2015, WBWR changed its call letters to WXZX to match the new branding.

On November 21, 2016, at 3 p.m., after briefly stunting with audio from past Ohio State–Michigan football games (as the next rivalry game was set for the following Saturday, November 26), WXZX flipped to sports radio as "105.7 The Zone".[12]

Logo under second iteration as The Brew, 2019–2020
Logo under second iteration as The Brew, 2019–2020

On February 8, 2019, WXZX returned to its previous classic rock format and The Brew branding.[13] By that July, the station shifted to mainstream rock. On March 16, 2020, WXZX began airing Rover's Morning Glory from sister station WMMS/Cleveland.[14][15]

On November 16, 2020, WXZX returned to alternative rock as Columbus Alternative 105.7, returning the format to terrestrial radio after WWCD (branded as CD1025) flipped to Regional Mexican in early November after being taken over by Urban One.[16][17] On November 21, CD1025 returned to terrestrial radio as CD92.9 (WMYC) leaving two Alternative Rock focused stations in Columbus.

HD Radio

WXZX broadcasts in HD Radio with two subchannels:

  • WXZX-HD1 is a digital simulcast of the analog signal.
  • WXZX-HD2 airs "Gen X Radio", a commercial-free channel from the iHeartRadio streaming radio platform that features hits from the 1980s and 1990s. The HD2 subchannel serves as the originating station for this service.


  1. ^ "Bengals Radio Network Stations". Cincinnati Bengals. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  2. ^ "WNRJ signed on the air (July 18, 1990)". Marysville, Ohio: Marysville Journal-Tribune. 1990. p. 1. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  3. ^ "Rumbles" (PDF). Radio & Records. February 15, 1991. p. 31. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  4. ^ "Format Changes" (PDF). The M Street Journal. New York: M Street Corporation. March 17, 1993. p. 1. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  5. ^ "Street Talk" (PDF). Radio & Records. March 12, 1993. p. 24. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  6. ^ "Format Changes & Updates" (PDF). The M Street Journal. New York: M Street Corporation. April 13, 1994. p. 2. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "Entravision Eyes El Paso Pair" (PDF). Radio & Records. December 13, 1996. p. 6. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  8. ^ "Format Changes & Updates" (PDF). The M Street Journal. New York: M Street Corporation. January 8, 1997. p. 2. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  9. ^ "Format Changes & Updates" (PDF). The M Street Journal. New York: M Street Corporation. May 7, 1997. p. 1. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  10. ^ Venta, Lance (December 1, 2014). "Columbus' Brew Marches To Alternative". RadioInsight. RadioBB Networks. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  11. ^ "WBWR Becomes The X". Format Change Archive. RadioBB Networks. December 5, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  12. ^ Venta, Lance (November 21, 2016). "Sports 105.7 The Zone Debuts In Columbus". RadioInsight. RadioBB Networks. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  13. ^ Feran, Tim (February 8, 2019). "105.7 switches from sports to classic rock". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  14. ^ "WXZX/Columbus, OH Adds Rover's Morning Glory To Mornings". All Access. All Access Music Group. March 24, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  15. ^ "The Brew Is Back In Columbus As WXZX Zones Out". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  16. ^ "Radio One Launches La Grande 102.5 Columbus". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  17. ^ "iHeartMedia Launches Columbus Alternative 105.7". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2020-11-17.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 March 2021, at 05:17
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