Competing Columbus radio station stakes claim on CD 92.9’s former call letters

View a previous report on CD 92.9 FM’s shutdown in the video player above.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A corporate radio company has taken a key symbol of retired Columbus alternative station CD 92.9 FM the same day it went off the air, documents from the Federal Communications Commission show.

iHeartMedia, a national radio and audio conglomerate, filed paperwork on Thursday to change the call letters for its station, Columbus Alternative 105.7, from WXZX to WWCD. The FCC authorized the change on Friday.

The call letters WWCD were previously associated with CD 92.9 FM, a local alternative station that also lost access to its namesake frequency on Thursday. Owner Randy Malloy went as far as using the call letters in his business name, WWCD Ltd., and has continued to do so as the station navigated its move from broadcast to exclusively internet streaming branded as “WWCD Radio.”

Malloy’s station previously broadcasted on 92.9 FM through a rental agreement with local radio companies Delmar Communications and ICS Communications, who hold the license for the frequency. Malloy informed the companies in September that he did not want to continue their agreement and instead wanted an ownership deal, ICS’ Mark Litton told NBC4.

However, purchase talks between the group fell through, and Malloy’s station had to vacate the airwaves at the end of January. Delmar Communications President Brent Casagrande originally said he wanted to continue broadcasting on the signal and maintain the brand, calling this venture “the new WWCD.” But Malloy sent the two companies a cease-and-desist letter before this could happen.

“In response, they stated that they will be changing the call letters and will not use ‘WWCD’ going forward,” the station’s team wrote in January.

ICS Communications then filed paperwork with the FCC to change the 92.9 FM call letters from WWCD to WXGT, dormant in Columbus since last identifying a top 40 hits and rock station in the 1990s. On Jan. 31, Delmar and ICS unveiled their new station 93X, which would take over the frequency and keep broadcasting the same genre.

Program Director Ian Graham works at a computer in 93X’s studio. (NBC4 Photo/Greg O’Leary)
Program Director Ian Graham works at a computer in 93X’s studio. (NBC4 Photo/Greg O’Leary)

ICS’ move to abandon the WWCD callsign meant that it was left open for iHeartMedia’s taking. But it’s not clear whether this change was done with Malloy’s involvement, or independently. NBC4 reached out to Malloy to confirm if he was involved with iHeartMedia’s latest venture, but he had not responded as of Tuesday morning. However, a Saturday social media post painted a grim picture of his station’s situation.

“Yesterday amid tears we had to let go five of the staff, we were a staff of 12,” Malloy wrote. “I will work in the Big Room Bar as I do, like tonight until it too will have to be sold since the radio station propped up the venue. I will do my best to be a good steward of the legacy of CD101 and all the other stations along the way, until it is no more if that is the fate.”

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