General Question

CrazyRedHead's avatar

How do they come up with the letters for radio stations?

Asked by CrazyRedHead (925points) July 5th, 2010

You know how its not just 105.3, its 105.3 HOT FM or 97.9 WGRD..So how do they come up with the letters, or what do the letters mean?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

This is a great site, that tells you everything about radio call signals & their origin.

zenele's avatar


It’s been discussed here , too.

CrazyRedHead's avatar

Thank you very much for your answers =]

kenmc's avatar

9.79 is from Grand Rapids, so it’s GRD.

Local station!

john65pennington's avatar

Radio station call letters have to be approved by The Federal Communication Commission. most stations call letters represent their city or their college. WBOL is in Bowling Green, Ky. WVCP-FM is a college radio station at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tn. what you hear at 105.3 FM, say in Evansville, Indiana is not the same at 105.3 FM in Bowling Green. each station has its own broadcast coverage area. FM is truly great in this respect. FM does not override another station on the same frequency as AM radio. the signals just bounce off of each other and you receive the strongest radio signal. hope this helps. john

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

In the early days of radio, it was decided that stations west of the Mississippi would have call letters beginning with the letter K, while stations east of it would begin with W. The oldest stations in the country have only 3 letters, e.g., WOR, WGN, etc. The letters following the initial letter are requested by the station’s owners. For example, Chicago’s WGN’s call letters are for “World’s Greatest Newspaper.” The station was originally owned by the Chicago Tribune.

jaytkay's avatar

@boots 9.79 is from Grand Rapids, so it’s GRD.

And WOOD in Grand Rapids was originally sponsored by local furniture manufacturers.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Aside from the initial letter (usually k or w) the call letter, the rest is up to the station to decide. So like two philly stations WMMR (Mean More Rock) WMGK (magik) and then the radio station my college show is on WLFR (lake fred radio (which is just a lake by the school))

CrazyRedHead's avatar

Thank you to everyone for your various answers, I’m thoroughly enjoying this new knowledge!!

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther