iHeart Nabs Competitor’s Call Letters In Ohio Alternative Battle


Just hours after Columbus’ independently-operated alternative station CD 92.9 exited the airwaves with fate uncertain, iHeartMedia picked up the brand’s WWCD call letters of three decades to apply to its alternative signal in the same market, Columbus Alternative 105.7.

The move is the latest setback in WWCD Ltd. owner Randy Malloy’s battle for the brand. After Malloy’s signal lease agreement with Delmar Communications and ICS Communications fell through, Delmar and ICS announced their intention to keep the WWCD call letters and brand for their own use. This led to a formal cease and desist from Malloy.

ICS and Delmar backed off, but on January 31 Delmar Media President Brent Casagrande announced the creation of 93X, a new alternative station branded as “A Better Alternative.” As part of the agreement to let Malloy maintain the CD 92.9 identity, Delmar switched the call letters to WXGT. Enter iHeartMedia Columbus.

A Federal Communications Commission filing shows that on February 1, the day WWCD became WXGT, iHeart filed to change their alternative station of two years, WXZX, to WWCD. The change was approved and is set to take effect on February 12.

While Malloy has not directly responded to iHeart’s acquisition of the WWCD letters, he did post on social media about how he had to lay off five of the station’s staff of twelve while CD 92.9 continues to stream online. He previously expressed, “WWCD/CD 92.9 is planning to remain a part of the central Ohio community. Whether that’s on the air, online, or a combination of the two remains to be seen.”

Whether Malloy will be involved with iHeart’s WWCD iteration is unknown. Neither iHeart nor Malloy returned Radio Ink‘s requests for comment.


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