ChanteSez … What happened to radio?

I miss local DJs on major stations. I was the kid who used to call in to Chicago’s WGCI-FM on Friday nights while listening to the hip-hop show. I loved feeling like part of the show, winning tickets, and of course, the music.

These days, either Steve Harvey is dishing out advice to misguided women, or Michael Baisden is promoting his latest project/book/fundraiser. I hold Tom Joyner in special regard because he started in Chicago, but still. It’s sad that the few local announcers on major stations are relegated to midday or evening timeslots.

Not to mention the biggest and most widely acknowledged disappointment: The music selection is more corporate demand than listener requested.

Thank goodness for independent stations like WRFG-FM and WMLB-AM, and DJs such as Ausar, Tabone and Jay Force.

Regardless, when it comes to radio stations, there’s a certain way to reference them in your writing.

  • Use all caps for the call letters, and a hyphen to designate whether it’s an AM or FM station: WGCI-FM, WRAS-FM
  • For clarity, add the dial position in parentheses: WGCI-FM (107.5), WRAS-FM (88.5), WRFG-FM (89.3)
  • For station abbreviations and nicknames, the cap-and-hyphen rule applies: V-103, the People’s Station

On that last tip, make sure the station is generally known by the abbreviation, especially if you’re writing for an audience outside of the station’s city or state. Try to avoid the self-proclaimed nicknames (the People’s Station, the Voice of the Arts) unless it specifically relates to the story.


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