|City of license||Dearborn, Michigan|
|Broadcast area||Metro Detroit|
|Slogan||Detroit's Best Variety|
|First air date||1950 (as WKMH)|
|Callsign meaning||Nice music (from Beautiful Music format)|
|Former callsigns||WNIC-FM (1972-7/6/87)
|Owner||Clear Channel Communications|
|Sister stations||WDFN, WDTW, WDTW-FM, WJLB, WKQI, WMXD|
WNIC is an American radio station based in Detroit, Michigan broadcasting at 100.3 MHz FM. WNIC's studios and offices are located in Farmington Hills, MI. WNIC's transmitter is located near Schoolcraft and Livernois Avenue in the City of Detroit on the near west side. WNIC broadcasts with an effective radiated power of 32,000 watts from an antenna 600 feet in height. The station airs an adult contemporary format under the brand Fresh 100 and from August 2011-September 2012, aired a hot adult contemporary format. It can be heard as far as Webberville, Michigan to the west, London, Ontario to the east, and Elmore, Ohio to the south.
WNIC went on the air around 1950 as WKMH-FM, sister to WKMH-AM 1310. Both stations were, and still are, licensed to Dearborn, Michigan.
On Halloween 1963, WKMH became WKNR, and legendary Top 40 radio station "Keener 13" was born, beginning a three-and-a-half-year reign at the top of Detroit's radio ratings until it was toppled by Windsor, Ontario's CKLW in 1967. WKMH-FM similarly became WKNR-FM, and chiefly simulcast Keener AM (with automated Top 40 programming during non-simulcast times) until 1969, when, inspired by the success of groundbreaking progressive rock station 99.5 WABX, the station adopted its own progressive rock sound. "Uncle" Russ Gibb was the WKNR-FM personality who helped to spread the rumor that Paul McCartney was dead. According to Gibb, a college student in Ann Arbor called him on the air one Sunday afternoon and explained the theory to him. The rumor took off from there and generated lots of publicity for Gibb and WKNR-FM. It was air personality Chris Randall who phoned WABC New York personality Roby Yonge, who put the rumor on the air in New York and was responsible for it spreading nationwide.
WKNR-FM dropped its progressive rock format in 1971 to become "Stereo Island," a cross between Beautiful Music and Middle of the Road that could be described as an early form of what would be later be called Adult Contemporary. "Stereo Island" was successful and spawned imitators such as WFMK in Lansing, but in 1972, both WKNR-AM and WKNR-FM were sold and became WNIC-AM/FM, simulcasting a straightforward Beautiful Music format. The WNIC calls were meant to denote the station's "NICe" music. In 1976, WNIC adopted a more up-tempo sound called "Rock 'n' Easy" and has been successful with that AC format ever since. WNIC scored its first number-one placing in the monthly Arbitron ratings in Detroit in 1998, although the station's ratings have since dropped, due largely to competition from Greater Media-owned Magic 105.1. The ratings drop was also blamed on the departure of popular morning show host Jim Harper to Magic 105.1. Since 2009, WNIC decided to lean more hot adult contemporary by adding songs they would have never touched, such as Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolf.
On December 27, 2010, the station rebranded as "Fresh 100.3, Detroit's Fresh New Sound" and was forced to keep the adult contemporary format for eight months, dropping all 1970s music and a lot of 1980s music from the playlist, focusing on upbeat music from the 1990s through today, but retained some 1980s songs. The station made the switch at 4:00 PM (EST) after running its annual Christmas music and an on-air music test for two hours. The surprise flip caught listeners off guard, but according to Clear Channel/Detroit OM Todd Thomas, he noted that the target audience will remain the same, adding that "This is the music that radio listeners in Detroit told us they wanted to hear. With their help, we’ve created a unique sound on 100.3 for 2011 and beyond." Artists heard on WNIC now include Lady Gaga, Daughtry, Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry. The station competes with Adult Contemporary WMGC and Adult CHR WDVD, as well as hot AC station CHYR-FM from Leamington, Ontario. It was moved to Mediabase's hot adult contemporary reporting panel in February 2011, with Nielsen BDS following suit in August, thus completing WNIC's shift from its longtime AC format to hot AC that month, particularly because the station cannot became hot adult contemporary because of WDVD & CHYR-FM having the format and gave Detroit three hot AC stations; the first since 2006 when CHUM Limited exited the hot adult contemporary format on CIDR-FM in favour of adult album alternative. That station is owned by Bell Media as of 2011. However, although the station now programs its current hits from the Hot AC rather than Mainstream AC chart, the station still plays a sprinkling of '80s hits (including ballads such as Phil Collins' Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now), which puts the station on the line between mainstream and hot AC. When WNIC goes all-Christmas, the station is delisted temporarily from Mediabase's hot AC panel.
On December 26, 2011, WNIC slightly adjusted their moniker to "Fresh 100, Variety From Today & Back In The Day."
The station uses "Detroit's Best Variety" Fresh 100 as of January 2013, and plays a mainstream AC mix of 80's, 90's, and 2000's. 70's can only be heard overnight when the station picks up the Clear Channel "Premium Choice AC" format 12m-5am M-S.
The morning show was changed in April 2013 keeping Jay Towers as host and adding Doni Flynn as co-host. Kam Carman continues to provide weather and banter via WJBK.
Under its previous adult contemporary format, WNIC played continuous Christmas music from the beginning of November through Christmas. In 2009, WNIC started playing holiday music on November 6, a later start that of the previous year, which was on November 2. They were well known for being one of the earliest radio stations in the entire United States to start featuring holiday music with a majority of other stations not starting until around Thanksgiving. WNIC went all-Christmas again in 2011 despite then being a hot AC station. WNIC went all Christmas on November 9, 2012 at 7:45 AM
WNIC is licensed for HD Radio operations and features a soft AC/oldies format on its HD2 channel, which is a feed of Clear Channel's "Sunny Radio" programming on iHeartRadio. The HD-2 images as Detroit's Nicest Rock, 100.3 WNIC HD2 and features a mix of classic pop and AC hits from the 1960s through the 2000s no longer played on the primary station, with featured artists including Gloria Estefan, Lionel Richie, The Carpenters, Barbra Streisand, and Barry Manilow.
When WNIC played Christmas music for much of November and December, WNIC's regular adult contemporary format usually moved to the HD2 channel. After Christmas is over, WNIC's HD2 channel played Christmas music until January 1.
The current lineup (as of January 8, 2013) is as follows
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