Washington DC CHR Wars: WAVA, WRQX & WPGC | May 1990

Don & Mike WJFK
Don Geronimo & Mike O’Mera while at WJFK

Donated to this site by the late Robyn Watts, here’s a 28 minute scope highlighting three Washington DC area stations that were in a heated ratings battle for much of the late 1980s and early 1990s.  All three stations are no longer involved with Top 40.  WRQX decided to quit the format later in 1990, moving to an Adult Contemporary format.  WPGC soon shifted to Urban and WAVA cashed out in the middle of the decade, becoming a Christian Teaching & Preaching station which it remains to this day.

This starts out with Don & Mike’s morning show on WAVA and moves on to Q-107 and WPGC-FM, then cycles through those same stations in order again later in the broadcast day. It sounds great, the audio is crisp, and it’s just wonderful! So listen, dang it!

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  1. This is an interesting snapshot of CHR radio in D.C., but major changes were coming.

    Q-107, after experiencing a significant downturn in the ratings, would flipped to Hot AC as Mix 107.3 in September, 1990. WAVA would wind up being sold to Salem after parent Emmis experienced serious financial difficulties. They would dismantle the CHR format in 1992. WPGC, still with us, would adjust their Churban format more toward Hip-Hop/Urban within several years of this composite.

    One sad note: Celeste Clark, who stayed after Q-107 became Mix 107.3, passed away recently.


  2. Tim

    These clips brings back so many great memories of growing up in the D.C. suburbs during the late-80’s/early-90’s. All 3 of these stations were huge back then.

    Although hearing Stacy Binn’s throaty voice rasping out the traffic reports on Q-107 was very familiar, I don’t recall much about the David Lawrence show on this clip, but I do remember Q-107 cycled through a number of morning shows to try to compete with WAVA’s powerhouse “Morning Zoo” with Don & Mike. Some of Q-107’s other, more memorable morning shows of this era were “The Morning Crew” with J.J. McKay (which is where Q-107’s long-running DJ, Celeste Clark, began as the traffic girl), the “Q Morning Crew” with Mark Ross, and Chris Jagger’s “Morning Mess.”

    And I’m sorry to hear that Celeste Clark passed away. Back in middle school, for some reason, I had a huge crush on her just from listening to her voice on the radio. A friend of mine saw her at some event handing out Q-107 refigerator magnets and got her to autograph one for me (I still have it!). Although I haven’t lived in the D.C. area for a long time, when I would come to visit, I thought it was cool to be able to turn on 107.3 between 10 & 2 and still hear voice after all these years. In fact, she must’ve been on until pretty close to her death because I remmeber hearing her until just a couple of years ago.

    Anyway, thanks, Robyn, for posting this great set of clips.

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