Share This Post

Washington D.C.

The Final Hour of CHR on WAVA


In the early 1990’s, Emmis Broadcasting was one of the premier ownership groups in the country consisting of many stations of the former Doubleday and NBC Radio groups. However, one bad business decision (Ownership of the Seattle Mariners) caused the company to auction off many of its stations to the highest bidder. While WFAN in New York went to Infinity Broadcasting, some stations were unable to keep their current format by their new owners. Salem Broadcasting acquired WAVA and quickly stated its obvious intent to flip the station religious.

WAVA had an illustrious history. One of the first FM all news stations in the 70’s, the station had been an AOR in the early 80’s when the decision to go Top 40 was made. Under such monikers as “All Hit 105”, “Power 105”, and simply “105.1 WAVA”, the station dominated the CHR landscape from the mid 80’s until its demise. However, changing musical trends kept the format away from Washington following the demise of WAVA until 1996 when Z104 debuted.

Share This Post


  1. when i heard the final hour i-d “wava arlington-washington…the future has come to this” followed by silence, i actually started to cry. what an awesome station it was. i cant believe it took 4 years to get another hit music station in dc. and the one we got z104 wasnt that good. top 40 just doesnt have the creative personalities and excitement it had back in the 70s and 80s.

  2. I taped this myself that night. Unfortunately I lost the tape somewhere between Fredericksburg,VA and Lakewood,CO, a college degree, a wife, 2 kids and 2 career changes!
    As a side note, recently, TK Tom Kent was “dee-jaying” at KOOL 105.1 out here in Denver.
    Thanks for finding this piece of my history and re-uniting me with it!

    • Is this the same Tom Kent who would later have a syndicated show with affiliates on classic-hits stations such as WMJI in Cleveland?

  3. Listening 1/29/21. I too remember this final WAVA hour. Still have it on cassette tape! Great memories. Thank you for having this still up!

  4. I just listened to this audio on the 30th anniversary of WAVA changing formats. My how time flies.

    I loved listening to WAVA for years, right up until WPGC hired me in 1987. It was great competition back in those days with WPGC initially trying to become the second favorite radio station for people who had WAVA, Q107 and WKYS as their favorite station.

    I did not hear this when it happened back in ’92 but it was great to hear some of the old jingles, jock shouts, promos, and air talent that worked at WAVA.

  5. Working at WAVA (with P.D. Smokey Rivers) and Top FM106 (with P.D. Bobby Rich) were the MOST fun I ever had in a 40 year radio career. Too bad both stints were not as long as I’d hoped. They were both GREAT stations. Best of all, WAVA had the numbers to prove it. I spent the night guarding the equipment in the trailer backstage at the 4th of July Beach Boys concert. The night before the Mall was nearly empty. In the morning they let me on stage to look out…at a sea of people estimated at nearly a MILLION! The U.S. Park Service said we “broke the 4th” and downsized in future years. (Smokey made me be J.J.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>