WFDF (910 AM) is a Talk formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Farmington Hills, Michigan, serving the Metro Detroit. The station is owned and operated by Kevin Adell. WFDF broadcasts in HD.[7]

History

The station began broadcasting in 1922 as WEAA in Flint. The call letters were changed to WFDF in 1925, in honor of the founder of the station, Frank D. Fallain (1890-1968). WFDF is a Class B station broadcasting on a Regional (not clear-channel) frequency.

For many years the station featured a middle-of-the-road music format targeting Flint. WFDF experimented with a Top 40 rock format (using the nickname "Giant 91") for a time in the early 1970s, but the station's older listeners disliked the change and tuned out in droves, leading the station to shift its music mix back toward Adult Contemporary by 1975. In the 1980s, as popular music formats on AM were dying and shifting to FM, WFDF became an Adult Standards station and a favorite with the older demographics. WFDF's format shifted to News/Talk in 1993. By 2001, the station was owned by Cumulus Broadcasting.

Move to Detroit

In 2002, Cumulus sold the station to ABC and in August, the station began featuring programming from Radio Disney. In 2003, ABC began preparations to move WFDF' to the Detroit market. It announced plans for a new array (of eight towers) in Monroe County, Michigan, and (first) applied to use the new site only for daytime operation (with Flint in the northwest corner of the proposed daytime coverage area) and to continue using the extant site near Flint during nighttime hours (since providing an interference-free nighttime signal to Flint from the Monroe County site, without exceeding the 50,000 watt maximum power limit, would have been practically impossible). Shortly after WFDF started broadcasting with this two-site operation, they applied to change their city of license to Farmington Hills (a Detroit suburb), with 50,000 watts of daytime power and 25,000 watts at night, both from the Monroe County site. If WFDF' had attempted to make the move in a single step, they could have been forced into a spectrum auction under rules that had recently been enacted at the time.

In order for this change to take place, some channels had to be deleted that would have interfered with the station's present signal. ABC purchased the AM license of WFRO in Fremont, Ohio; which operated at AM 900, while its FM sister was spun off to a new owner. Also operating on AM 900 was WSNQ in Gaylord, Michigan. This station was silenced shortly after its FM station, WMJZ, was spun off to a new owner. With the two AM 900 frequencies now silenced, this paved the way for WFDF to substantially increase its power and move into the more profitable Detroit radio market.

The new array still covers Flint with a city-grade signal during daytime hours. The license for the new facilities was granted by the Federal Communications Commission in January 2006. The city of license was changed in February 2006. The former broadcast towers in Burton, outside Flint, were taken down and dismantled in April 2006.

The station's office is located in Southfield, moving completely away from Genesee County in the spring of 2006.

Transition and growth

On August 13, 2014, Disney put WFDF and twenty-two other Radio Disney stations up for sale, in order to focus more on digital distribution of the Radio Disney network.[8][9]

On November 18, Radio Disney Group announced the sale of the station to The Word Network, owned by Kevin Adell (who also owns the TV station WADL).[10][11]

On January 20, 2015, The Word Network closed on the purchase of WFDF at a price of $3 million and changed the existing format to its religious format.[10]

The changeover took place with no prior announcement at 5 p.m. on January 20.[12]

WFDF was the last Michigan-based Disney O&O broadcast station in any form.

On November 9, 2015 station owner Kevin Adell re-launched the station with an "Urban Talk Radio" format. The station has become home to some of Detroit's most outspoken political figures and activists Monday thru Saturday.

Being known as “The Most Powerful Voices in the Urban Community”, 910 AM Superstation has over 30 on-air show hosts that generate a variety of perspectives and discussion on current events. 910 AM Superstation has a number of public figures from the Detroit area cover topics surrounding the political agenda as well as call-in’s from the stations listeners. As of September 2016, 910 AM show hosts lineup include; Greg Davis Motivation, Steve Hood “Wake Up”, Ralph Godbee “On Point”, SPUDD, LaMarr Woodley, Bankole Thompson “Redline”, Reverend Rideout, Cliff Russell Show, Karen Dumas “The Pulse”, Cliff Woodards “Your Turn”, Jonathan Kinloch, Michael Schwartz, Krystal Crittendon, Charlene Mitchell “Mind Your Business”, Mayowa Reynolds “Mama Mayowa”, Mike Bonner Comedy, Dr. Sabrina Jackson, Joann Watson “Wake Up Detroit!!” Horace Sheffield, Adolph Mongo “Detroit in Black and White”, Todd Courser, Judge Vonda Evans, Mayor James R. Fouts, Christine Beatty “Perspectives”, David Alexander Bullock, Wade McCree “No Shame”, Elena Herrada, Senator Bert Johnson (Michigan politician), Cindy Gamrat, Monica Conyers, Gurl Bye, Aaron Alfaro, and Michael Imhotep with music show hosts Reggie Reg, D12 Swifty McVay, and Nat Morris “Soul Skool” as well as music from 1:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m.[13]

After purchase of WFDF from Radio Disney, Adell gives his input on the route to changing 910 AM to the Superstation, “The Most Powerful Voices in the Urban Community”. Based on an April 2016 interview with the Jewish News, Adell mentions his reasoning for choosing the African American demographic as his target market. Adell states, “I chose to switch it to an African American talk radio format. There was no competition, really. I got some movers and shakers, and it took about eight weeks to build it up to where it is now”.[14] After the roundup of various show hosts, 910 AM Superstation’s topics of on-air conversation caught wind throughout Metro Detroit. “This is what talk radio should be,” Adell says, “aggressive, controversial and engaging. We get 75 calls every half-hour."[14]

The Superstation maintains community connection by attending and participating at public events/rallies such as live broadcasts during Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure Detroit[15] and the 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference Detroit Regional Chamber.[7] During the fold out of the Flint Water Crisis, 910 AM hosted a town hall meeting at the University of Michigan-Flint campus. The meeting was aired on 910 AM, WADL, and The Word Network.[7][7]

In June, 2016, Adell formed a partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy men’s basketball program that will have 910 AM Superstation broadcast every game over the air for the 2016-2017 season. Cliff Russell, one of the Superstations current talk show hosts, will be the play-by-play announcer.[7]

CEO Kevin Adell's format change to Urban Talk Radio resulted in WFDF 910 AM Superstation making the Nielsen Audio ratings for the Detroit Market. The ratings became available starting June 2016, generating a 0.1 (AQH).[7] According to Vice President and General Manager David Bangura, the station averages 25,200 unique listeners per week, and of those, 15,600 are black.[21] Crain's Detroit points out that Nielsen Audio also reports 17,000 of the stations listener base reside in Oakland County.[21]

According to WXYZ-TV and the Detroit Free Press, former Detroit City Council President Monica Conyers will join the Sunday show host line-up starting September 25 and air from 1pm to 2pm. In a press release, 910 AM Superstation CEO Kevin Adell said "I am excited to have Monica Conyers join us on 910 AM Superstation where I think she'll be bringing hope and inspiration to many people."[7][7] Conyers served as Detroit City Council president from September 2008 to May 2009. Conyers was sentenced to serve 37-months at a federal prison in West Virginia back in 2010 after pleading guilty to bribery in connection with a multimillion-dollar city contract.[7]

A media frenzy ensued which include local TV stations, WJBK, The Detroit News, and Free Press were made aware of an unexpected change on October 5, 2016, when morning show on air host "Ralph Godbee" walked off the air in the middle of his broadcast because of a dispute with the owner and CEO Kevin Adell. The disagreement was a result of Kevin Adell not allowing Ralph Godbee to have a show about "Relationships" on Adell's worldwide television network "The Word Network" due to the fact the Network is religious and the content was inappropriate.[7] After Ralph Godbee's sudden departure,the station was inundated with willing candidates who wanted to host the time slot.The slot was filled by pastor and political activist David Alexander Bullock.. It appears the transition of morning show host has been a welcome change. The stations morning show call in volume has shown an increase. In addition to the "Morning Show " changes the station continue to grow and transition with addictions to the line up of International Flutist Alexander Zonjic, and reality star minister Bishop Corletta Vaughn.

See also