WWMX (106.5 FM), known on-air as Mix 106-5, is a Top 40/CHR radio station with a heavy slant towards Hot AC in Baltimore, Maryland. The station's transmitter is located on Television Hill in Baltimore, and its studios are located in Towson.
106.5 FM signed on June 30, 1960 as WCBM-FM, a sister station to WCBM (680 AM). In 1968, Metromedia, which had bought the WCBM stations in 1964, sold WCBM-FM to The A.S. Abell Company, owner of WMAR-TV and the Sunpapers, for $200,000; the sale was necessary because Metromedia's purchase of WASH in Washington put the company over the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s ownership limits of the time, which limited a company to owning seven FM radio stations. Abell changed the call letters to WMAR-FM; this was the second incarnation of WMAR-FM, as an earlier station with those call letters was operated by Abell on 97.9 FM (now WIYY) from 1948 to 1950. The call letters were changed to WRLX in 1982. For many years, the station had played beautiful music. But by the early 1980s, the target demographic of the station had aged beyond what was termed "profitable" and the station decided to switch to a new format.
The WMAR-FM call sign returned on July 14, 1983; at 10:30 p.m. on July 28th, it became one of many "Hot Hits" CHR/Top 40 stations throughout the country, consulted by programmer Mike Joseph. WMAR-FM, also known as "Hot Hits 106", was the main competitor to Baltimore's other CHR, B 104. When the station was sold to S&F Broadcasting in 1985, it retained the Hot Hits format, but its call letters changed to WMKR-FM on March 15, 1985 and its name became "Hot Hits K-106." The station was sold once again to Capitol Broadcasting in 1986. Capitol decided to change the format to adult contemporary and the name to "Mix 106.5" that October. "K-106" signed off by playing "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister, and then the jingles for each of its DJs. "Mix" was then introduced, and the call letters were changed to WWMX on October 17, 1986. Initially, WWMX played the "Best Mix of the '60s, '70s, and '80s." For years, many (including the local press at times) mistakenly thought the calls were "WMIX", leading the station to insert quick "W-Mix," with the word "Mix" spoken, liners between commercials. These were not legal station identifications, as 106.5 still identified itself as "WWMX Baltimore" at the top of the hour, but they allowed the station to claim listeners who mistakenly identified 106.5 as "WMIX" in their diaries. The "WMIX" callsign is actually used for AM and FM stations in Mount Vernon, Illinois, whose broadcaster, Withers Broadcasting, registered the "WMIX" branding as a registered trademark. Shortly after the trademark was approved, the station dropped the "W-Mix" liners.
In 1990, the station's adult contemporary format evolved into a Hot Adult Contemporary format, playing some hip hop, and classic hard rock. Many urban contemporary songs that have charted high on the CHR/pop charts have been played on WWMX.
In 2008, the station began shifting towards a mainstream Top 40 (CHR) direction (similar to rival WIHT in Washington, D.C.) as it began incorporating more rhythmic hits, but still incorporated 1990s hits played on hot AC stations, thus classified as an Adult Top 40 station. As of April 2009, the station has dramatically shifted away from hot AC, primarily focusing on top 40 hits much like a CHR station, but still plays some music from the mid to late 2000s, and dropped the remaining '80s and '90s songs (most of those songs have moved to their HD3 channel). WWMX had not had much rivalry in the market until CHR station WZFT replaced alternative rock station WCHH by late 2009. A Washington, D.C. version with the same format as WWMX, despite the partial blocking of WWMX's signal in Washington, D.C. by sister station WJFK-FM, launched in April 2009 on WIAD. In July 2015, Mediabase moved the station from the Hot AC panel to their Top 40 panel; Nielsen BDS still lists WWMX as a Hot AC.
In 2006, WWMX's HD2 was launched with a Top 40 "New CHR" format. It was replaced in January 2010 with a rhythmic dance format billed as MIX2, playing a mix of hit-driven rhythmic dance, hip hop and pop tracks and remixes. On August 1, 2011, it was replaced with a modern rock format branded as "HFS @ 97-5" (simulcasted on translator W248AO 97.5 FM). As per an agreement with the translator's owner, Hope Christian Church of Marlton, the format was moved to another translator, W285EJ (104.9 FM), on April 2, 2014 at 6 PM (their "Hope FM" programming would move to W248AO, in return).