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The WWCD-FM Story: 1990-2024


The original CD101 staff at an event in 1991 along with band members from The Royal Crescent Mob and Scrawl at Valley Dale. Founder Gary Richards is top center in the white t-shirt.  Photo Contributed By Gary Richards.

The WWCD-FM Story: 1990-2024

Written By Jim Hutter


On Tuesday, August 21, 1990, at 5:05 pm, Columbus broadcasting history was made when an unlikely upstart took to the FM airwaves. On a radio dial saturated with Classic Rock, Oldies, Adult Contemporary, Heavy Metal, Urban Contemporary, and Country, the sounds of Alternative Rock could be heard at 101.1 FM. The first song broadcast was “Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello (Petrol)” by an obscure Irish Powerpop band called Something Happens. Something indeed was happening, and it would become a vital part of the Central Ohio cultural landscape. That something was best known as CD101.

On January 31, 2024, WWCD-FM bid farewell as a terrestrial radio station and became an exclusive internet stream. In an unprecedented 33-year history, the station inclusively broadcasts various musical styles that fit the “Alternative” format. Fans of Punk, New Wave, Post-Punk, Synth-Pop, College Rock, Grunge, Garage Rock, and other non-mainstream genres had a radio home in Central Ohio. Due to the financial realities of the radio business, the station lost the rights to its FM frequency.

This was not the first time the station faced this grim possibility. Known initially as CD101, that trade name shifted twice due to the necessity of changing frequencies. 2010 it moved to 102.5 FM when The Ohio State University took over 101.1.  At the start of November 2020, the station lost its lease to 102.5 FM, and for two weeks, existed solely on an internet stream. Good fortune beckoned when Randy Malloy negotiated a deal with Delmar Communications of Delaware, Ohio. WWCD and sister station WQCD would now broadcast at 1580 and 1550 AM respectively, with two FM repeaters at 92.9.

Randy Malloy, the owner and president of WWCD, Ltd., spray painted over the existing CD102.5 signage. In true Punk fashion, he scrawled “92.9” over the old number in bright red aerosol enamel. This bit of outsider art became the station’s new official logo.

In addition to running the radio station, Randy Malloy also owns the Big Room Bar, a live music venue housed in the same Brewery District building as the broadcast studio. Since its inception, the Big Room has been incredibly supportive of local music, presenting performances by Columbus bands on weekends and occasional charity benefit shows. It also hosted internationally known acts, including The Alarm and Modern English. The stage of the Big Room also serves as a radio studio for broadcasting live performances of touring artists who visit the station.

To outsiders, all was going well for this local institution. On January 5, 2024, CD92.9 issued a startling press release. On January 31, 2024, after 33 years, the FM station would go silent.

For Columbus Alternative Rock fans, this news was a devastating blow. To fully understand the impact of WWCD-FM, let’s explore the long history of this innovative and beloved station.


In 1989, Gary Richards was a 31-year-old media veteran who had just returned to Columbus from jobs in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Youngstown, Ohio. In Williamsburg, he discovered a radio station that would be his inspiration for creating CD101: WCWM at the College of William and Mary. It was one of the storied “College Radio” stations run by students that featured full-time Alternative Rock programming. Richards had fallen in love with this style as a student at The Ohio State University in the late 1970s.

Initially, a young co-ed introduced Richards to The Alan Parsons Project. He then recalled, “I discovered Yes and Genesis and Pink Floyd and Emerson Lake and Palmer. ‘Head music’ is basically what we call it. That’s what my buddies in the dorm listened to.  One day, they started coming home from the record stores with The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and Elvis Costello. I thought they were nuts! But I listened to it and got hooked. I went to college listening to Led Zeppelin and Kiss and left listening to The Ramones and The B-52’s.”

Knowing that there was a market in Columbus for this music, Richards returned to Central Ohio with his intention of bringing it to the airwaves. His first step was taking an advertising sales job with Circleville’s adult contemporary station WLRO-FM. Although this outlet was more apt to play Barry Manilow or Barbra Streisand, Richards persuaded station management to let him host a specialty program during their lowest-rated time slot, which was Sundays from 10:00 pm to midnight. This new show was called “Radical Romper Room” and featured the latest in Alternative Rock, including the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen, The Smithereens, The Church, The Mighty Lemon Drops, and R.E.M. It would also include local artists like The Royal Crescent Mob, Scrawl, and Great Plains.

The sales professional believed in the adage “money talks,” and used it to pitch his new programming idea. He successfully sold around a dozen sponsorships from various independent businesses in the Short North and OSU Campus, including record stores, hair salons, music venues, hip restaurants, and video rental shops. With station bosses Nelson and Mary Embry duly impressed, “Radical Romper Room” got the green light. It very quickly expanded from two to three hours weekly.

A local musician who wished to remain anonymous recalled his joy of listening to “Radical Romper Room.”  He opined, “Throughout the 1980s, it seemed that most Rock following in the wake of Punk was suppressed by the mainstream media. Suddenly, this little underground show took to the airwaves. Hearing the distant signal crackling through static and other interference could make one feel like a member of the French Resistance receiving coded messages from the BBC. It could make ‘Alterno-Rockers’ like me, who felt alienated from mainstream American culture, become hopeful that things would get better; that change was on the way.”

“Radical Romper Room” very quickly gained a cult following through word-of-mouth. Gary Richards worked extremely hard at promotions, passing out hand-drawn flyers at various Columbus venues and giving interviews to local publications like Columbus Musician Monthly and Columbus Alive. As all of this was happening, Video Services Corporation of Northvale, New Jersey, was granted the 101.1 FM frequency in Central Ohio and worked hard to persuade the City Council of Grove City to grant a permit to build a radio tower. Getting word of this, Richards contacted C.E.O. Arnold Ferolito with a proposal to manage the new station.

After months of negotiation, Ferolito got the building permit for the transmitter and Gary Richards was hired. When the new manager asked for the call letters of the station, a member of Ferolito’s staff told Richards, “WWCD. We’re going to call it CD101.”

A local legend was born.


As the new general manager of CD101, Gary Richards continued the same promotion methods he used for “Radical Romper Room.”  After circulating flyers and giving interviews to The Columbus Dispatch and the various “rock rags,” anticipation for this new Alternative radio station ran high.

Zero Hour finally arrived at 4:30 pm on Tuesday, August 21, 1990. The crackle of static on 101.1 FM was replaced by the electric guitar jangle of an Irish band called Something Happens. It was soon followed by the likes of That Petrol Emotion, The Hoodoo Gurus, and The Replacements. Since this debut coincided with evening rush hour, motorists commuting along High Street in the Short North could be heard through their car windows giddily enjoying this new station. It was, to quote 2-Tone Ska band The Specials, the dawning of a new era.

Local musician Liz Hecker (then Walker) vividly recalled those first few hours on the air, “I was riding to band practice with Bruce Killen when ‘Diplomat’ by The Aquanettas came on. I was yelling out the window of his car, telling people about the new station. When the tune finished playing, Bruce blurted, ‘That song was pretty bitchin’!’”

Other music fans around Columbus had similar reactions.

For the next two weeks, CD101 sounded like nothing else on the Columbus airwaves. There were no disc jockeys nor commercials, just 24 hours of Alterno-Rock interrupted only by station identification bumpers. Stirring intense passion among Central Ohio enthusiasts, the new broadcast satisfied over a decade of pent-up demand for the plethora of musical styles that followed in the wake of Punk. It didn’t matter that many of the songs were one, two, or even ten years old. The previously marginalized Alternative Rock fan in Columbus finally had the airwaves.

Disc jockeys were very quickly added to the mix.  Gary Richards took to the microphone under the name “Rusty Blades.”  Other on-air staff included Program Director Kelli Gates, Marlon Spear, Russell Carey, Maxx Faulkner, and John “Buzz” Fitzgerald.

Hired as production and music director, Fitzgerald fondly recalled the early days of CD101, “We KNEW we were all a part of something magical, fun, and culturally important. Plus, we were all young and highly energetic. There were no older people to tell us how to run the station. I remember an older record rep was visiting the station in the first month and he said the atmosphere of CD101 was comparable to an early WMMS vibe. Since I grew up with WMMS (in North Canton, Ohio), I was loving the comparison!”

He continued, “Since Gary was still hiring on-air talent and staff, only a few jocks were keeping the station going 24/7. We all rotated 6-hour shifts constantly. Sometimes at night, sometimes in the morning, etc. This was the era of vinyl and CDs (but mostly vinyl), and Gary’s supply of records was lying on the floor against the wall. We had an index card system that corresponded to an hourly clock that helped us pick the tunes that were played within that hour. We were learning the new studio equipment while we ‘jocked’ in those early days.”

The upstart station leased studio space in a small storefront on South High Street near Innis and Reeb Avenues, next to a muffler shop. True to its independent nature, the radio outlet sometimes received unexpected visitors. Buzz Fitzgerald recalled, “I was working late in the production room while Maxx Faulkner was doing his evening show. It was probably around 7 pm when someone knocked on the station's front door. Since it wasn’t the best of neighborhoods, I reluctantly answered the door to find a guy with long stringy hair smoking a cigarette and wearing a trench coat. Yikes! Who is it, I asked. ‘Warren Zevon,’ he replied in a low, gravelly voice. Holy shit!! It WAS Warren Zevon! I let him in, and he said he was in town early before his show at The Newport and he was told by his record company to go to CD101 for a radio interview. Ha! I was running around like a giddy school kid while Maxx interviewed Zevon for over an hour. Warren didn’t want to leave so we kept brewing more coffee and he helped Maxx play music for another hour. RIP Warren!”

In addition to presenting nationally known artists, CD101 also became a conduit for local musicians. In its first year, the station created a program called "Front Stage 101.”  Initially weekly, it played demo recordings by various Columbus artists, including The Smashing Lads, The Vents, The G-Spot Tornados, The Epicureans, Th’ Flyin’ Saucers, Watershed, and Ronald Koal. The response was so positive that “Front Stage 101” eventually became a nightly program.

Thanks to the exposure on CD101 and in local papers like Columbus Musician Monthly, The Columbus Edge, and The Other Paper, a loosely unified scene of original Alternative bands started to develop. On any given Friday or Saturday night, one could catch a handful of artists playing self-penned songs at various OSU Campus or Short North Venues. Record labels began looking to Columbus as another Seattle or Athens, Georgia. Understanding what they helped create, CD101 began attaching their name to these live shows, offering promotions, and adding a certain chic cache.

During this time, the station created a block of specialty programs. One was “Toss the Feathers,” a Celtic music program with Doug Dickson. A second was “All Mixed Up,” a Saturday night dance show hosted by Michael Swaggerty. Both can still be heard, albeit with different hosts, on WCBE. A little later came “Gimme Some,” a Reggae program presented by Skankland nightclub owner Hugo Cabrera. Sadly, Doug Dickson, Michael Swaggerty, and Hugo Cabrera are no longer with us.

The longest surviving program was “The Invisible Hits Hour.” Initially hosted by Columbus Dispatch writers Curt Schieber and Bill Eichenberger, it focused on new releases by non-mainstream artists. The scope often went beyond Alternative Rock and into New Age, Jazz, and Avant-Garde. “Invisible Hits” lasted 33 years with Schieber becoming the sole host.

Another type of programming included professional hockey broadcasts. From 1991 until 1999, CD101 was the radio home of the Columbus Chill of the East Coast Hockey League. After the National Hockey League came to town in the form of the Columbus Blue Jackets, WWCD-FM broadcast those games until 2010.


With success and expansion came the inevitable growing pains. In late 1991, Video Services Corporation chose to divest its Central Ohio radio holdings. WWCD was sold to Columbus businessman Roger Vaughan. Although Vaughan claimed to be a fan of Alternative music, he was mostly interested in turning CD101 into an “Adult Alternative” station, not unlike today’s WCBE. While this format skews towards contemporary non-mainstream sounds, it favors the more melodic. In 1991, it was more apt to play the likes of 10,000 Maniacs, Chris Isaak, or k.d. lang rather than Nirvana or Mudhoney.

According to Buzz Fitzgerald, the new owner drew inspiration from KBCO in Boulder, Colorado, the station that created the Triple A (Adult Rock) format. “Roger Vaughn fell in love with the station whenever he went to Denver, and he contacted them (SBR Consulting) to consult his new purchase of CD101. That's the main reason he bought the frequency.”

With this change of ownership, Gary Richards and Kelli Gates parted ways with the station. In their place, Vaughan hired Tom Teuber, formerly of mainstream Rock station Q-FM-96, to program the new format.

Buzz Fitzgerald recalled that it was not easy for the young staff to work for a 45-year-old in charge of programming. “To be honest, I did not like the man at the time. Since he worked at Q-FM-96, we considered him the enemy. During that time, it was very difficult to go out to see shows without most of the listeners yammering in your ear about how they hated to hear Dire Straits and Jackson Browne on the station. There always seemed to be an anxiety permeating the station during that time. And unfortunately, Tom did not make things any easier. But in hindsight, I looked at that situation for what it was, a station that was trying to change its image and culture—kind of like how a football team would be changing head coaches in mid-season. And yet ironically, I ended up seeing Tom multiple times during my career later on and developing a much warmer relationship with him. We both were out of the environment of CD101, and we were moving forward into our careers at other stations, him in Wisconsin and me in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Life is all about perspectives. I guess Tom DID teach me something (and I am grateful).”

Gary Richards added another insight, “Vaughan hired SBR, these consultants from Boulder. One of these guys said to Buzz Fitzgerald, ‘This band The Smiths, is this really something we ought to be playing?’ Buzz was gobsmacked. He had to explain to these guys that yeah, they were a pretty important band.”

One of Tom Teuber’s additions to the station was veteran deejay Terry Wilson. He had previously served stints at Progressive Rock WCOL-FM and Jazz station WBBY. He is currently an on-air personality at WCBE.

In coming to WWCD, Wilson recalled, “Promotion Director Wendy Steele hired me to create a ‘Day in the Life of CD101’ photographic portfolio, and as I was in process, was collared by Tom Teuber who lobbied me to help the station out more directly, ‘needing some more grey hair around here’ is how he put it.”

Terry Wilson hosted the afternoon programs and served as Production Manager and Staff Photographer from 1991 to 1993. If his voice sounded familiar, it was because he had portrayed the Crazy Gerry character for Waterbeds N Stuff radio and TV commercials since 1978. Wilson added a recognizable professionality to this upstart and sometimes renegade radio station.

Unfortunately, the Adult Alternative format proved disastrous. Gary Richards recalled, “Vaughan changed the name of the station from CD101 to just ‘101.’  He started playing Bonnie Raitt and Little Feat. And then you didn’t hear Nine Inch Nails anymore, you didn’t hear Jane’s Addiction anymore. Roger Vaughan wanted the station to sound like the one out in Boulder. The backlash from the listeners was severe. There was a huge blowback, and finally, they back-pedaled and went back to what we were playing originally, went back to calling it CD101.”

During 1992, CD101’s Arbitron ratings plummeted, and Tom Teuber parted ways with the station. It was back to the proverbial drawing board.


In returning CD101 to its more rocking roots, disc jockey J.P. Collins (now known as actor Jane Dashow) was promoted to program director. Recalling how she came to her position, “The consultants of the station had heard about what I was doing at a station in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and had an eye on me. I called CD101 when my station in Ann Arbor flipped format and they quickly asked me to interview. It started the best radio experience of my career.”

She continued, “I started at CD101 in January of 1992, and, by the summer, I was program director and the afternoon drive jock until I left in March of 1998. Being the program director at CD101 was a joy because I was there for such a richly creative time in Alternative. I took the station back to an Alternative sound that Columbus wanted back. I worked with the DJs and developed the sound of the station. It sounds clinical but it was magic.”

Collins recounted the best parts of her time at the station, “Getting the artists for CD101 Day was always an interesting, sometimes frustrating but always rewarding part of working with record companies and the Newport.”

CD101 Day was an annual event, held in April on the 101st day of the year. It was a multi-artist concert featuring bands and singers played on WWCD. This annual event continued into the early 2020s.

Under J.P. Collins, CD101’s ratings rebounded. Fans found the return to form more palpable than the Adult Alternative format. She carried the station through various Alternative music trends, including Grunge, Britpop, Pop Punk, Third Wave Ska, and even a late 1990s Swing revival.

While on the air, Collins made no bones about her favorite musician: it was Who leader Pete Townshend. Whenever she played one of his solo records, she would delightfully squeal his name, “Pete!!!!”

A dream came true when she got to interview the guitarist-songwriter. Chuckling, she revealed, “…not that I got to use a lot of it on the air. Pete cursed more than I did (when I wasn’t on the air!).” 

One achievement would have a long-lasting impact on CD101; “One of the things I’m most proud of was hiring a jock from Seattle to come to Columbus,” revealed Collins, “I just knew Brian Phillips was what we needed. I love a story with a happy ending!”

Brian Phillips joined the station in 1993. He remains their morning drive-time disc jockey, even in their online-only format.

During this same period, CD101 upgraded its studios. In 1996, they moved from the tiny storefront on South High into the Worly Building at 503 South Front Street. This spacious building, which was a Victorian-era plumbing warehouse, offered a broadcast studio large enough for full electric Rock bands to perform live on the air. This main studio was dubbed The Big Room, a name that would stick around for even bigger and better ideas.

J.P. Collins left CD101 in 1998. She returned to her hometown of New York to work for Heritage Rock station WNEW. She also became a character actor and voice-over artist. Her successor was none other than Andyman Davis.


John Andrew Davis, better known by his air name “Andyman,” joined the station in 1991 under Gary Richards. Although he would become CD101’s most beloved personality, his beginnings with the station were inauspicious.

Richards remembered, “Andy worked for FedEx. He would bring us records and CDs that the record companies sent us. He was always bugging us, ‘C’mon! Please! Hire me!’  He was working weekends at WKKJ in Chillicothe, a Country station down there, spinning Reba McEntire records, so he did have some radio experience. He just kept bugging me. We didn’t have any on-air positions open, and there’s a lot of people ahead of him if we did. We had resumes and tapes piling up on my desk. But he wouldn’t let up. He was getting to be a pain... I was losing my patience with him.”

“Finally, a breaking point came when I was at a show at the Newport. I’m in the bathroom…and he comes up to me like a puppy dog, pawing me, ‘Please hire me! Please hire me!’

“I said, ‘Look, call Kelli Gates, our program director, on Monday. I don’t promise anything, but I will tell her to take your call.’  He did, she hired him and put him on the weekends. And look what happened. He became the program director.”

Despite these awkward beginnings, Andyman would quickly endear himself to the CD101 community with his warm personality, easygoing style, and passion for music. A giant of a man at 6’3” and 400 pounds, his massive exterior contained an even bigger heart. It was his kind and generous manner that led to the creation of a CD101 institution, the Christmastime Andyman-A-Thon.

In December of 1992, several disc jockeys wanted to take Christmas Day off to be with their families. To prevent any unnecessary conflict, Andyman agreed to cover all their shifts, taking to the airwaves for 48 hours. Realizing this was a radio marathon of sorts, Andyman suggested that it be a fundraiser for various children’s charities around Central Ohio. Listeners could pledge money to make song requests. The more outlandish the song, the higher the pledge. Local musicians joined the fray, pledging cash to perform live on the air. By 7:00 PM on Christmas day, CD101 had raised tens of thousands of dollars for institutions like Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Special Olympics, and Ronald McDonald House. A minor success in its first year, The Andyman-A-Thon became a regular event every December for the next 31 years.

Virtually everyone who worked with Andyman Davis has fond memories. Terry Wilson recalled, “Andy Davis was an on-air part-timer at the station when I started, and we were like long-lost brothers. Andy suffered from a lack of self-confidence, depression, and embarrassment due to his size at that time. He seriously considered giving up trying to get on full-time at the station. I vividly remember having long talks late into the night about the need for thick skin and tenacity to survive in the radio business. Later it was great to watch as he was becoming very popular with listeners. He was widely recognized for his love of people and great personality that revealed the generous, good-natured character that we all came to love as Andyman.”

J.P. Collins also reflected, “I wanted to go in the mosh pit at the Newport for Hole. Andy was adamant against it. I was gobsmacked but he got protective. He finally agreed only on his terms. He walked me to the front of the stage and put one strong arm around each side of me. Yup, I had an Andyman audience buffer. I felt ripped off but how can you get mad at Andy?”

Mike Folker, who joined the CD101 air staff in 2001, looked up to Andyman, “There's a million laughs. We were always joking around. But the biggest thing was he had such a different way of looking at things. If you were making a big life decision you didn't dare not ask his advice.  You might not take his advice, but he always had a way of looking at things that you'd never think of yourself. He was a father figure for a lot of us.”

After eight years on the air, Andyman branched out into another venture that was a natural extension of his passion for music and people. Partnering with local singer-songwriter Quinn Fallon, he opened a bar, Andyman’s Treehouse. So named because a huge silver maple grew in the middle of the building, the Treehouse was located near Grandview Heights and featured live music. Many notable Columbus musicians performed in this intimate venue, including Tim Easton, Scott Gorsuch, Joe Peppercorn, and Zach Whitney. Davis and Fallon would eventually sell the Treehouse in 2008 to new owners, but it was yet another example of how Andyman gave back to the community.

Another one of Andyman’s gifts was his passionate love for the music of The Beatles.  Though not considered an Alternative Rock group, Davis would frequently sneak their songs onto the CD101 playlist. His most moving use of Beatles’ music occurred shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington, DC.  After the most frightening and heartbreaking day in many Americans’ lifetimes, John Andrew Davis assured us that love is stronger than hate and, around 3:00 pm, played John Lennon’s message of peace and brotherhood, “Imagine.” The effect was quite calming and reassuring.

For the next nine years, Central Ohio listeners were treated to the warmth and good spirits of Andyman gracing the afternoon drive-time airwaves. At that time, he married and fathered three sons. Sadly, Andyman Davis left us on July 18, 2010, on a family vacation in Michigan from an apparent heart attack. He was 42. A public memorial concert was held at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion (now Express Live) four days later. It was attended by thousands of his fans and featured music by Watershed, Happy Chichester, Quinn Fallon, and many others blessed to have known Andyman.

CD102.5, 2010-2020

On June 30, 2010, Roger Vaughan’s company, Fun with Radio, LLC, sold the 101.1 FM frequency to The Ohio State University for $4.8 million. This allowed the university licensee, WOSU Public Media, to move their radio operations entirely to the FM band. WOSU 89.7 FM would become NPR news and the new station at 101.1 would become WOSA, broadcasting Classical music. To keep WWCD on the air, Roger Vaughan then entered a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) to lease the 102.5 frequency from Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting. Moving to this new frequency by the end of 2010, WWCD would officially adopt the name CD102.5 the following July.

Just before this change, WWCD made an equally important move. The station transferred its studios from the Worly Building into a space previously occupied by The Swiss Club at 1036 South Front Street. Remaining in The Brewery District, this new building allowed for radio and production studios in the basement and a combination bar and live music venue upstairs. Boasting a full stage with monitors and a sound system would allow even better-quality broadcasts of live band performances. This new venue was dubbed the Big Room Bar, after the largest studio in the Worly Building. The Big Room Bar would also present live local bands on weekends. This addition further cemented CD102.5’s position as a major piece of the Columbus music community.

With the change to CD102.5, other shifts were in the works. To prevent a hostile buyout from a third party, general manager Randy Malloy cashed in his investments in January 2011 and bought a majority share of Fun with Radio, LLC, from Roger Vaughan.

To ensure that the station would always have an FM frequency, Malloy started a public crowdfunding campaign in July 2015 via Indiegogo. The goal was to raise $5,000,000.00 in 60 days. If successful, it would allow WWCD to buy the FCC license from Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting Systems and to own it outright. Although at the time, CD102.5 had an amicable working relationship with Southeastern, there was always the risk of being outbid by another party and thus going silent.

While the crowdfunding campaign was not a success, Randy Malloy dug in with even more determination to keep the station viable. In 2017, he used even more personal funds to buy the remainder of Fun with Radio, LLC, changing it to WWCD, Ltd. To clarify, Malloy took over the intellectual property of WWCD-FM, but not ownership of the FM frequency.

Just who is Randy Malloy? He began his association with WWCD as an intern in 1991. He was trained in the behind-the-scenes operation of radio by Andyman Davis. Thanks to his hard work, passion for Alternative Rock, and an ardent desire to bring it to the public, he eventually became the station’s general manager and eventual owner of WWCD, Ltd.

In August of 2021, Randy Malloy told Columbus Underground that he owed his radio career to Columbus radio icon Wendy Steele. Steele, who died in 2005, had been a commanding presence on Columbus radio. She had been a long-time air personality at Q-FM-96 before coming to CD101 as an account executive.

Malloy offered the details to Columbus Underground, “I discovered the station when it went on the air because I was finishing up school at Ohio State. Wendy’s mom, Marion, actually used to own Press Grill – and before it was the hip Press Grill, it was the dive bar Press Grill in the Short North. Wendy was a…rock chick. When I was in my last year at Ohio State, in the spring of that year, [CD101] did something with the Ski Club, and I was the president.

“We did this Warren Miller film thing, and I said to her ‘Hey, if you’re even going to have an opportunity to do internships, I’d love to know.’ So, lo and behold, I was one of the very first station interns. I was like, ‘All right, so I basically get to hang out with rock stars, and someone buys me beer? Alright! I can do this!’ So, I became a promotions intern.”

Within a year, that unpaid position turned into a full-time career. Malloy was hired as assistant promotions director. He could be seen at CD101-promoted events, including concerts of nationally famous bands and even local artists as they played nearby venues, Ludlow’s, and The Patio. By 2010, Randy Malloy was general manager of CD101. When Andyman died that summer, it was Malloy who picked his successor as program director, Lesley James.

In contrast to Andyman’s awkward start at WWCD, Lesley James’ radio career started quite serendipitously. In 2013, she told Deane Media Solutions, “CD102.5 has been my only radio gig. I was a Guest DJ back in 2004. Every Friday, we invite a listener to take over the airwaves for an hour and play their favorite songs. After my hour of fame, I met the one, the only Andyman, and passed along my resume. I said, ‘Andy, I grew up listening to this radio station. I’ve gotta work for you guys!’ He laughed at me and said, ‘Honey, we’re a small independent radio station. I don’t need to look at a resume. I liked what I heard.’ Within a month I was training to be on-air and officially became a weekend personality in late January of 2005. I moved to the mid-day slot within seven months.”

She continued, “After Andyman passed away in July 2010, Randy Malloy called me in and basically told me that the PD job was mine to lose.”

Lesley James oversaw the station at a time of changes in the Commercial Alternative format. The music moved away from electric guitar-based Rock and into a very produced and slick sounding Pop, characterized by groups like Coldplay or Imagine Dragons. Major labels liked these less aggressive artists because they could be marketed successfully to both the Alternative and Pop markets. They brought a greater return on investment to their parent labels. It also made financial sense for CD102.5 to play the artists who sold well, as indicated by the Billboard Alternative charts. Conversely, the punchier sounds that had once characterized Alternative Rock—including Powerpop, Garage, and even Punk—were separated into other formats, such as the less common “Modern Rock” stations.

After seven years as program director, Lesley James moved on to a head position at the U.S. radio and streaming department at East City Management in New York City. She was succeeded by Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, radio veteran Mason “Mase” Brazelle.

Mase Brazelle was already familiar with the Columbus music scene and WWCD through his friendship with the members of Watershed. A former Rock drummer and elder member of Generation X, he understood older listeners being alienated by the softer Pop sounds coming out of Alternative. He created the station’s first Alternative oldies show, “The Stash,” which aired weeknights from 7:00 to 10:00 pm.

“The Stash” as a nightly program, unfortunately, did not last long. “It tested poorly with younger listeners,” explained Brazelle in 2019. He further elaborated upon the challenges of keeping CD102.5 fresh for those who could not recall the station’s earlier and more radical days.

“I know the history of the station and how cool it is/was. I used to listen some when I was working in Myrtle Beach. The problem is that it eventually just stopped working. As more and more people moved to Columbus from other markets that didn't have an indie station and didn't know the songs that we played, the ratings dropped. Unfortunately, you have to keep things familiar, or people will change the station. Also, unfortunately, most ‘cool’ stuff is unfamiliar to most people. We are just trying to keep the lights on.”

As the calendar turned to 2020, CD102.5 would face unprecedented challenges. Due to the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 virus, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine ordered the state into a lockdown quarantine on March 13, 2020. Non-essential businesses were ordered to close so as not to expose employees to this previously unknown virus.

While radio stations may not be as essential as emergency workers or food stores, they are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as a community service. WWCD was able to remain on the air by minimizing personal contact in the studio. This was achieved through remote hookups, via the internet, allowing disc jockeys to broadcast from their homes. Only Randy Malloy and program director Mase Brazelle were needed in the main studio while the rest of the staff worked remotely. While this technology may have slightly compromised audio fidelity, CD102.5 stayed on the air throughout the pandemic.

Another challenge occurred on June 6, 2020, when Mason Brazelle became critically ill in the CD102.5 studio. Randy Malloy told Columbus Monthly, “[Mase] hadn’t been feeling good for a little bit of time; he said he was really tired and just didn’t look so great. He called his doctor and the doctor said I should take him down to the emergency room. He went into the hospital mid-morning.”

Two days later, the 53-year-old disc jockey died from what doctors believed was a bleeding ulcer. Brian Phillips broke the sad news to listeners. Phillips told Columbus Monthly, “My heart [was] in my throat. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Because Mase Brazelle was well-known and respected throughout the Alternative radio community, stations across the country honored him on June 9. They played a song by his favorite band, The Clash; “This is Radio Clash.”  Giving national recognition to a local disc jockey was unprecedented in the radio business.

CD102.5 honored their fallen comrade with a special edition of “The Stash” on Sunday, June 14, 2020. Brian Phillips hosted, offering an open invitation to listeners; “You pick the music that makes you think of Mase. This was his baby.”

It would have been exceedingly difficult to find more fitting words to honor this veteran musician and broadcaster. His massive shoes were filled by CD102.5 stalwart Tom Butler, best known for creating and hosting “Independent Playground.”

The third and biggest challenge hit CD102.5 in October of 2020: temporary loss of their FM frequency.

CD92.9, 2020-2024

On October 31, 2020, WWCD’s existence on terrestrial radio was threatened when the station announced that their Local Marketing Agreement with Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting would expire at midnight, and they would cease broadcasting on the FM airwaves. At midnight, the station fell silent. Minutes later, the Spanish-language broadcast of WWLG took over the 102.5 frequency.

Randy Malloy immediately moved all programming online for three weeks. On November 21, WWCD, Ltd. found a new radio home when they entered a new LMA with Delmar Communications, Inc. of Delaware, Ohio. Under this agreement, WWCD would lease two AM frequencies, 1550 and 1580. They would return to the FM band via repeaters at 92.9 FM, previously used by WMYC and WDLR. This required yet another trade name change: CD92.9.

The WWCD studios and Big Room bar were full of CD102.5 signage, not to mention their remote broadcast vehicles. It would have cost thousands of dollars to change these signs. Randy Malloy took to the “Do It Yourself (D.I.Y.)” Punk spirit and spray painted “92.9” over the existing lettering in bright red enamel. This crude update became the station’s official new logo.

The best summation of the CD92.9 era was written on the station’s website. It reflected the broadcaster’s heritage and involvement in the Central Ohio community.

For more than 30 years, the WWCD radio brand has captivated the Columbus community through its unique blend of listener and community engagement. Our adventure started on August 21, 1990, with a station called CD101 at 101.1 on the FM dial.  In 2010, we moved to CD102.5, and on November 21, 2020, we made our third and final move to 92.9 on the FM dial.  Since the beginning, we have always attracted and retained loyal listeners by developing intelligent programming designed to be “theater for the mind.”  Our listeners consistently rate WWCD as Columbus’s best radio station not only because we have smart programming, but also because we foster deep connections within our community.

We support local artists and hold low-cost concerts so that everyone can experience live music.  We sponsor cultural events to raise awareness about our vibrant and dynamic community.  We also sponsor local nonprofit events to raise awareness about the various ways our listeners can support our community.  Our community and advertising partners know that associating with the WWCD brand produces a “halo effect” that brings results and that creates long-lasting relationships.

Despite an ever-changing media landscape, we have never lost our soul or our sense of connection to the community.  We remain committed to our music, to our listeners, and to our community so that CD92.9 FM continues to serve as an oasis in a sea of media options.  Thanks for listening!”

That “ever-changing media landscape” proved to be a double-edged sword for CD92.9. Unable to reach an accord with ICS Communications and Delmar Media for renewing their Local Marketing Agreement, WWCD issued a heartbreaking press release on January 5, 2024. Effective January 31, the station would leave the FM airwaves. Simultaneously, Delmar announced their plans to launch their Alternative station at 92.9 FM.

Almost immediately, WWCD issued the following statement via social media:


ICS Communications, Inc. and Delmar Media, Inc., the FCC licensees of WWCD-AM and WQCD-AM, asked us, WWCD, Ltd. dba CD92.9 if we would transfer our music library and website to them. We advised them that we own the intellectual property and that if they wished to use it, they would need to purchase it. We pointed out that our agreement with them, which is public record, states: “All rights, title, and interest in and to any of [CD92.9]’s programming in any manner and in any media, shall be and remain vested at all times solely in [CD92.9].”

ICS and Delmar are violating this provision by attempting to portray themselves as a continuation of the brand that we spent 30+ years building. As all of you are aware, Randy Malloy has been the face of the WWCD brand for more than 30 years. What you are reading about from ICS Communication, Delmar, or anyone acting on their behalf is not true—they are not a continuation of CD92.9. They are using our intellectual property without authorization, and we will be taking legal action to protect our brand.

The public outpouring of support for WWCD was amazing, fully reflecting the station’s 33-year legacy to the community. On January 27 and 28, the CD92.9 Farewell Fest was held at the Big Room Bar, featuring twenty-eight different local acts who have benefitted from and supported the station. They included Zoo Trippin,’ Angela Perley, Watershed, The Worn Flints, Electro Cult Circus, and The Whiteouts, among others. Both nights played to sellout crowds, mixing nights of celebration, gratitude, and sorrow.

In their last few days as FM broadcasters, the loyal deejays of CD92.9 wore their hearts on their sleeves. Brian Phillips, Laura Lee, Grayson Kelly, Tom Butler, DJ Nate, and Adam Latek all took requests from fans. Their playlists returned to the edgier roots and spirit of Alternative Rock, reflecting their feelings of grief and gratitude. It was a wonderful way to go out with the proverbial bang.

On January 31, CD92.9’s final day as a terrestrial station, the “CD92.9 Send Off” event was held at the Big Room Bar. From noon to midnight, fans and supporters gathered in the Big Room to show their love for this iconic station. As streaming video of each disc jockey’s program played on the big screen, a very pleasant surprise came shortly before the 7:00 pm hour. Around the shift change from Grayson Kelly to Tom Butler, it was announced that WWCD would continue after midnight as an internet-only station. The Big Room erupted into a roar of applause. The programming would continue at with most on-air staff remaining. This was a small victory that many hope can be turned into an ever bigger one.

As CD92.9 left the airwaves at midnight, on January 31, the signal switched to WXGT 93X. The newcomer debuted much like CD101 in 1990: two weeks of commercial-free music with no disc jockeys. It was truly a compliment to that great radio pioneer, WWCD 101.1 FM.

WWCD now exists as an internet stream with an uncertain future. Fans of this groundbreaking Columbus broadcaster hope that this is merely the beginning of another chapter and not the end of the story that began over 33 years ago as CD101. We give sincere thanks to Randy Malloy for keeping this dream alive with his tenacity and “D.I.Y.” spirit.



Many thanks to Randy Malloy, Gary Richards, Liz Hecker, Buzz Fitzgerald, Terry Wilson, Jane Dashow, Mike Folker, Bill Eichenberger, and Jerry Rubino for their recollections and radio business insight. All helped confirm personal recollections that were not reported by the media.



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Eichenberger, Bill, “New Radio Station Big on Alternatives.” Columbus Dispatch, 26 Aug. 1990

Eichenberger, Bill, “Cheerful Chaos as WWCD Produces a Sound Alternative.” Columbus Dispatch, 19 Sep. 1990

Columbus Dispatch Staff. “John Davis Obituary.” Columbus Dispatch, 18 Jul. 2010


Odorisio, Joey. “Lesley James, PD, WWCD (CD102.5)/Columbus.” Dean Media Solutions, 12 Jul. 2013,


Hutter, Jim. “Independent Radio Must Survive.” Out of the Blue, 26 Jul. 2015,


614Now Staff. “Cat’s out of the bag about CD102.5’s Lesley James.” 614 Magazine, 21 Dec. 2017,


Melnik, Ally. “Remembering CD102.5’s Mason ‘Mase’ Brazelle.” Columbus Monthly, 18 Jun. 2020,      

Walters, Grant. “Randy Malloy: Raised on Radio.” Columbus Underground, 27 Aug. 2021,

Kolesar, Zak. “Third time’s the charm.” 614 Magazine, 21 Dec. 2021,


Malloy, Randy. “CD 92.9 ANNOUNCES AIRWAVES DEPARTURE.” WWCD Press Release, 5 Jan 2024

Malloy, Randy. “To our listeners.” WWCD Press Release, 5 Jan 2024

Free Press Staff. “CD101’s origin tale is classic old-school Columbus.” Columbus Free Press, 28 Jan. 2024


WWCD Staff. “Our Story.” WWCD Radio, 9 Feb. 2024