When it comes to Classic Rock in town, there’s only one station that you can truly rely on for Flint’s Best Rock! That’s right, it’s 103.9 The Fox! And there’s a reason it’s known as Flint’s Classic Rock AUTHORITY! With a rich Mid-Michigan history, the legacy and heritage of 103.9 FM spans across not just decades, but centuries!
THE HISTORY OF 103.9 FM
The frequency 103.9 was actually launched as an FM counterpart to WOAP-AM, owned at the time by the Owosso Argus Press. It first signed on in April of 1948 before FM really took off, and despite heavy promotion failed in 1953. After being dark for more than 12 years, 103.9 FM relaunched once again on December 2, 1965, and has been on the air since.
In 1987, new FCC rules prevented the cross-ownership of newspapers and radio stations within the same market. So the station went through a few owners, formats and call letters including WMZX-FM, and WAHV-FM ‘Wave 104’. Though it still wasn’t the Classic Rock station we all know and love today, in 1998 the station became the Adult Contemporary ‘Soft Rock 103.9’. That was when 103.9 FM got those now-famous call letters, WRSR-FM. However, they were originally meant to represent ‘We R Soft Rock’.
Shortly after taking ownership in March of 2000, Cumulus Broadcasting began planning to make a change at 103.9 FM yet again. But this time it would be the beginning of something special, something that would become one of the area’s most beloved radio stations!
103.9 THE FOX IS BORN
The Cumulus-owned station, under the local direction and leadership of Flint radio legend Jeff Wade, made the switch at noon on September 14, 2000. That was when the thunderous, bold and booming voice of Paul Turner began speaking to Mid-Michigan. And as “It’s Only Rock And Roll (But I Like It)” by the Rolling Stones began to play as the very first song under the new format, Flint’s Classic Rock Authority, 103.9 The Fox was born!
In addition to Jeff Wade, other amazing voices like Stan Parman and Mike Sinclair were there at the very beginning. Shortly after the launch other local rockers like Dennis Mitchell, Roy Moore and Andre Peters joined the team.
Jeff Wade nominated legendary Flint broadcaster and newsman, the late Les Root for the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He was inducted into both.
During life as a corporate-owned radio station, 103.9 The Fox aired several syndicated shows. At one point Alice Cooper was on six nights a week, but he was pre-recorded days or weeks in advance to accommodate touring. And although Alice visited Flint, he never broadcast his show from here.
FROM CORPORATE RADIO TO TRUE ‘LIVE AND LOCAL’
March of 2011 brought the announcement that Cumulus Media and Citadel Broadcasting were merging. In the process, the new company would own too many FM radio stations in the Flint market and had to get rid of one. Because of it’s relatively weak signal in the Flint Metro, the thought was that compared to all of their other properties, 103.9 FM had the least potential to be lucrative. So the decision was made to put The Fox in a trust until it could be sold. It operated in that trust for over a year under the local direction of General Manager, Bill Bailey.
Rod Krol, the local owner and president of Krol Communications Inc., took over ownership of WRSR-FM in December 2012. He also purchased the naming and branding rights allowing the station to continue as Flint’s Classic Rock Authority, 103.9 The Fox. Bill Bailey was asked to stay on as General Manager, and continues to serve in that capacity. Today, WRSR-FM is consistently ranked #1 in local sales revenue, dominating the Flint Radio Market. Ironically, that includes all of The Fox‘s former sister stations and all competitors!
Jeremy Fenech, a Flint native and mega-radio geek, took over as Program Director in March of 2016, bringing with him 21 years of radio broadcasting experience, 18 in programming. During his first month, Jeremy permanently unplugged the station’s satellite dishes, putting an end to all nationally syndicated programming. Everything going forward around the clock, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, would originate exclusively from 103.9 The Fox‘s Flint studios on Miller Road.
In addition to being 100% locally programmed since 2016, 103.9 The Fox can also boast that it features live and local in-studio disc jockeys seven days a week! No other radio station in town can say all of that without blatantly lying. A slight and subtle change was also made to the logo, changing ‘The Classic Rock Authority’ to read ‘Flint’s Classic Rock Authority‘. Jeremy also decided to once again utilize the call letters WRSR-FM in the station’s branding: ‘We R Solid Rock in Flint, Michigan!’
FLINT’S CLASSIC ROCK AUTHORITY TODAY
Today, 103.9 The Fox features a solid lineup of local legends, with a combined 300 years of Flint Radio experience! We’re still playing the best Classic Rock for Mid-Michigan, but with the all-new ClassicFox.com and The Fox Mobile App you can listen anywhere in the world!
The Foxhole Morning Show starring Johnny Burke and Amie Burke has been on the air since 2017. Newsman Hal Maas is 100% live all morning with breaking news and traffic updates in real time. M-Live Chief Meteorologist Mark Torregrossa provides The Fox Forecast, and Rusty the Clown is behind-the-scenes making it all happen, including our daily Facebook Live stream. Listen to The Foxhole Morning Show weekday mornings from 5 to 10!
Roy Moore started at The Fox about a year in, and still rocks middays today! You can call Roy at 810-230-WRSR with your requests for A Whole Lotta Lunch, weekdays at noon. You’ll also have a chance to play and win with The Midday Exam weekdays at 12:20pm! Tune in to Moore Music Middays, every weekday from 10am to 3pm!
Afternoons rock with Fenech on the Fox! You can play that zany 420 Contest for a chance to win some most excellent prizes, then rock your ride home with The Punch-Out Party! And don’t forget Jeremy Fenech’s Classic Conversations, featuring local, national and global celebrities from the worlds of rock, news, game shows and more! Catch Jeremy weekday afternoons from 3 to 7!
Andre Peters has been rockin’ Flint nights since the 90s, and he’s still got it! Tune in for Flint’s ONLY Live and Local nighttime radio show, Fox Nights Live! Starting at 7, find out what local bars, restaurants and other businesses are up to during The Fox Lounge! Then check out something you haven’t heard in a while during Deep Cuts at Nine! Connect with Fox Nights Live, weeknights from 7 to Midnight!
Fox Rock Weekends also features local radio legends like Mark Simons, Dale Willis, Kelly Stevens and the newest member of The Fox Air Force, Josh Strickland, who plays your Saturday Night rock requests live. Sunday Mornings from 8am to 10am, we proudly feature the #1 rated, locally-produced Blues Is My Business with legendary guitarist Larry McCray!
Off the air and on the road, we’re constantly upping our game! In early 2018, we got rid of the old Fox Van. And thanks to Young Chevrolet, Vehicle Accessories and Flint Tint, we now rock the streets of Flint and Mid-Michigan with The Fox Monster Remote Rig!
And who could forget everyone’s favorite Mascot, Sly the Fox! We commissioned Sly in the Fall of 2018, and he officially joined our team in June 2019! In fact, he helped us hand out over $30,000 in Free Fox Money in 2019 alone!
Throughout the life of the station, 103.9 The Fox has been community-based for Mid-Michigan. And over the years, we have raised tens of thousands of dollars for local charities including the Old Newsboys of Flint and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, and many others. We love our city and could not be prouder to call Flint, Michigan our home!
We’ve come a long way in 20 years, and we ain’t going nowhere! Thanks for rockin’ with Flint’s Classic Rock AUTHORITY! 103.9 The Fox for 20 years! Here’s to 20 more!
103.9 THE FOX’S VIRTUAL BIRTHDAY PARTY! Listen to 103.9 The Fox to hear awesome birthday messages from former Fox Rockers, local businesses, and more!