Has The HFS Alternative Brand Met Its Final Demise?

Audacy has flipped Alternative “HFS @ 104.9” W285EJ White Marsh MD to a simulcast of recently launched Sports Betting “The Bet 1300” WJZ Baltimore.

Following the January 2005 flip of Alternative 99.1 WHFS Annapolis MD to Spanish Tropical “El Zol“, the “HFS” brand was resurrected in the Baltimore and Washington markets multiple times by former owner CBS Radio. It first appeared on nights and weekends on Hot Talk “Live 105.7” WHFS Catonsville/Baltimore from 2005 to 2007. After a move to 105.7-HD2, it was shifted to Washington on 94.7 WTGB-HD2 Bethesda as “HFS2” in 2009. In 2011, a fully staffed version of the brand debuted on 97.5 W248AO/106.5 WWMX-HD2 Baltimore. After translator owner Hope Christian Church of Marlton was unable to upgrade one of its other Baltimore area signals, it reclaimed W248AO and “HFSmoved again in March 2014 to the 10w 104.9 W285EJ signal that covered just a small portion of the Baltimore metro. The brand was tweaked in September 2020 as Audacy’s restructuring of its Alternative brands across the country brought on-air talent back the signal in this case with the staff of “Alt 92.3” WNYL New York voicetracking the Baltimore focused signal.

The original WHFS was located on 102.3 in Bethesda MD serving Washington DC shifting to Progressive Rock in the early 1970s. It was moved to 99.1 Annapolis allowing it to serve both the Baltimore and Washington markets in 1983 becoming one of the most influential Alternative Rock stations of the late 80s and 1990s.

106.5 WWMX-HD2 Baltimore has shifted to the “New Arrivals HD” that runs on the HD subchannels of many of Audacy’s Alternative stations.

The actual WHFS call letters are held by Beasley Media in use on their “Money Talk 1010” Seffner/Tampa FL since 2012. Following the end of 99.1 WHFS, the call letters have also spent time on 105.7 Catonsville MD, 1580 Morningside MD, 106.3 Jupiter FL, and 98.7 Holmes Beach FL.

This story first appeared on radioinsight.com