IHeartMedia Launches WONK-FM Washington DC
The daytime lineup is billed as “The Reaction Zone” with snippets from local Conservative Talk shows from iHeartMedia stations across the country anchored by Stacy Lyn and Alexandra Lane. The block also includes NBC News Radio newscasts and “Traffic & Weather Never Together” with either traffic or weather reports every ten minutes.
The station is also featuring two blocks of podcasts in the 5AM and 6PM hours with much of the content coming from iHeartMedia’s recently acquired How Stuff Works network. Evenings will include syndicated Conservative Talkers Armstrong & Getty from 7-10pm and Joe Pags from 10pm-2am.
WRKO Boston Program Director Michael Czarnecki has transferred to Washington to oversee WONK-FM.
INSTANT INSIGHT: Is the Conservative lean albeit on a translator enough for WONK-FM to chip away at the dominant 1-2 punch in the Washington market of American University’s Public News/Talk 88.5 WAMU and Hubbard News 103.5 WTOP? Those two stations combined for an 18.9 share in the Washington market in the December Nielsen Audio ratings. Add Cumulus Media’s Conservative Talk 630 WMAL/105.9 WMAL-FM‘s 4.6 share and you have nearly a quarter of the Washington audience listening to News or Talk.
The company may not even see WONK-FM as being political leaning one way or another, but when the company has dozens of Conservative leaning stations to pull content from and only one Liberal leaning one that is completely reliant on syndicated talent and also features syndicated Conservative shows in evenings its hard not to come across as biased with the content you are featuring.
iHeartMedia Washington, D.C. announced today the debut of Washington’s WONK-FM, Smart People. News., effective immediately. The launch of the new station comes after iHeartMedia’s recent on-air and on-line celebration of “National WONK Day,” a day created for listeners that have a keen interest for Inside the Beltway news. WONK-FM will broadcast on WWDC-FM 101.1 HD2, simulcast on W284CQ 104.7 and is available on iHeartRadio.com and the iHeartRadio app.
WONK-FM is a news and talk station serving thought leaders, influencers and stakeholders inside the Washington, D.C. beltway. The new station will broadcast renowned anchors Stacy Lyn and Alexandra Lane weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature the latest breaking news and headlines from Washington, D.C. In addition, WONK-FM will air instant reactions from opinion leaders and on-air talk personalities originating from iHeartMedia’s 130-plus News and Talk stations throughout the United States.
“WONKs are the behind the scenes people in D.C. who are innovators, experts and are passionate about their work,” said Michael Preacher, Region President for iHeartMedia. “D.C.’s WONKs are the unsung heroes who solve the world’s most difficult problems and they deserve to have a dedicated platform.”
As part of the new station launch, Michael Czarnecki will transition from iHeartMedia’s WRKO-AM 680 in Boston to lead Washington’s WONK-FM team as Program Director.
“With the accelerated pace of the today’s news cycle, we look forward to providing a contemporary approach to delivering a ‘wonk-centric’ and uniquely D.C. view of the news,” said Czarnecki. “I’m thrilled to be joining the iHeartMedia team in Washington D.C. as part of Washington’s WONK-FM.”