Digital subchannel of WAKS, Akron
106.1 refers to translator W291BV, which rebroadcasts WAKS-HD2
Broadcast area
Frequency96.5 MHz · HD2 (HD Radio)
BrandingReal 106.1
FormatUrban contemporary
First air date
c. October 5, 2006
(17 years ago)
Technical information
Facility IDn/a (WAKS: 49952)
Classn/a (WAKS: B)
ERPn/a (WAKS: 31,000 watts)
HAATn/a (WAKS: 189 m (620 ft))
Transmitter coordinates
41°16′50.00″N 81°37′22.00″W / 41.2805556°N 81.6227778°W / 41.2805556; -81.6227778
Translator(s)106.1 W291BV (Solon)
WebcastListen live (via iHeartRadio)

WAKS-HD2 (96.5-2 FM) is a digital subchannel of WAKS, a commercial radio station licensed to Akron, Ohio, which features an urban contemporary format known as "Real 106.1". Owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., WAKS-HD2 serves Greater Cleveland and surrounding Northeast Ohio and is the FM radio home of Cleveland Charge basketball.[1] Using the proprietary technology HD Radio for its main digital transmission, WAKS-HD2 is also rebroadcast over low-power analog translator W291BV (106.1 FM), and streams online via iHeartRadio. WAKS-HD2's studios are located at the Six Six Eight Building in downtown Cleveland's Gateway District, while the WAKS-HD2 and W291BV transmitters reside in Brecksville and Parma, respectively.


A Clear Channel Communications press release dated April 25, 2006, announced the launch of nearly 200 new HD Radio "multicast channels" in dozens of markets across the United States; among these was WAKS-HD2, a digital subchannel for Cleveland market radio station WAKS (96.5 FM), set to broadcast an "all new hits" format.[2] As of September 1, 2006, WAKS-HD2 was still not on the air, but by October 5, 2006, the new channel had launched an "underground dance" format known as "Trancid".[3][4] As of October 2007, WAKS-HD2 had adopted a new automated format called "Kiwi Radio"; The Plain Dealer described it as a collection of "tweener tunes of the Hannah Montana and High School Musical variety."[5] By June 2008, and lasting until at least March 2012, WAKS-HD2 aired a dance radio format known as "Club Phusion".[6][7] As of November 2014, WAKS-HD2 was airing a "Soul and R&B" format.[8]

On December 11, 2018, WAKS-HD2 switched to a mainstream urban format; and also began simulcasting over low-power FM translator W291BV (106.1 FM) under the brand "Real 106.1". The simulcast was made possible by a May 3, 2010, decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Although low-power FM translators in the United States are generally not permitted to originate their own programming, the FCC decision affirmed that translators are free to retransmit the programming of HD Radio digital subchannels – effectively creating new analog "radio stations" on the FM band – and thereby expanding the potential audience of digital-only channels like WAKS-HD2.[9] At the launch of this new simulcast, WAKS-HD2 aired 10,000 consecutive songs free of commercial interruption, and thereby positioned itself in direct competition to Cleveland hip-hop station WENZ.[10] WAKS program director "Java Joel" Murphy was announced as the program director for Real 106.1.[11]

FM translator

Broadcast translator for WAKS-HD2
Call sign Frequency City of license FID ERP (W) HAAT Class Transmitter coordinates FCC info
W291BV 106.1 FM Solon, Ohio 141400 200 m (0 ft) D 41°22′44.80″N 81°43′11.50″W / 41.3791111°N 81.7198611°W / 41.3791111; -81.7198611 LMS

Current programming

The Breakfast Club, nationally syndicated via Premiere Networks, airs weekday mornings.[12] All other regular content, including music and on-air talent, either comes from the iHeartMedia urban contemporary national format via Premium Choice, or is voice-tracked out-of-market specifically for WAKS-HD2.

WAKS-HD2 airs regular traffic and weather updates via the Total Traffic and Weather Network, and the station satisfies FCC-mandated public affairs programming on Sunday mornings with the City Club of Cleveland's Friday Forum. WAKS-HD2 also transmits text to HD Radio receivers, such as station IDs and artist and song information, known as Program Service Data (PSD); similarly, W256BT transmits text to compatible analog receivers via the Radio Data System (RDS). Both WAKS-HD2 and W291BV broadcast in stereo.

96.5 HD2/106.1 FM also serves as the FM radio outlet for the Cleveland Charge of the NBA G League, airing games when sister station and Charge flagship WARF AM 1350 is unable to do so because of conflicts with other events.[1]


  1. ^ a b Charge 2021-22 broadcast schedule - Cleveland Charge.com
  2. ^ Coyle, Sandra; et al. (April 25, 2006). "Clear Channel Radio Adds HD Digital Multicasts to 20 More Markets; Brings Total to 48 markets and 196 Stations". ClearChannel.com (Press release). Clear Channel Communications. Archived from the original on April 30, 2006. Retrieved April 30, 2006. The new channels will also be made available at the company's HD2 streaming site: www.clearchannelmusic.com/hdradio/ as they go live.
  3. ^ "Listen to HD Digital Radio". ClearChannelMusic.com. Clear Channel Communications. 2006. Archived from the original on September 1, 2006. Retrieved September 1, 2006.
  4. ^ "Listen to HD Digital Radio". ClearChannelMusic.com. Clear Channel Communications. 2006. Archived from the original on October 5, 2006. Retrieved October 5, 2006. Cleveland, OH: WAKS-FM - Trancid - Underground Dance; WGAR-FM - Classic Country; WMVX-FM - The Lake - AAA.
  5. ^ Feran, Tom (October 24, 2007). "Will HD Radio be the wave of the future?". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland.com. Archived from the original on October 27, 2007. Retrieved October 4, 2018. Nine have additional 'HD2' channels, all of them automated and designed as alternatives or complements. ... and WAKS HD2's KiWi has tweener tunes of the 'Hannah Montana' and 'High School Musical' variety.
  6. ^ "96-5 KISS FM: Club Phusion HD Radio". KissCleveland.com. Clear Channel Communications, Inc. 2008. Archived from the original on June 16, 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2008. Your HD2 and HD3 Multicast Channels: WAKS-FM - 96.5 - Club Phusion; ...
  7. ^ "HD Radio station guide for Akron". HDRadioAlliance.com via HDRadio.com. HD Radio Alliance. 2012. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012. WAKS-HD2; 96.5-2 FM; Club Phusion...
  8. ^ "National Stations: R&B". HDRadio.com. Ibiquity Digital Corporation. 2014. Archived from the original on November 8, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2014. WAKS-HD2; Akron, OH; Soul and R&B
  9. ^ Oxenford, David (May 3, 2010). "FM Analog Translator Can Rebroadcast FM Digital Multicast Programming – Opportunities for New Signals in Local Markets". BroadcastLawBlog.com. David Oxenford. Archived from the original on August 22, 2014. Retrieved October 4, 2018. In a recent decision, the FCC made clear that analog FM translators can rebroadcast the signal of a HD digital multicast channel from a commonly owned FM station.
  10. ^ Venta, Lance (December 11, 2018). "iHeartMedia Launches Real 106.1 Cleveland". RadioInsight.com. RadioInsight. Archived from the original on January 28, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2019. Launching with 10,000 songs commercial-free, the new format gives a direct format competitor to Urban One's 'Z 107.9' WENZ. The launch coincides with the upgrade of W291BV to 200w/263m giving it full coverage of Cleveland proper.
  11. ^ "iHeartMedia Debuts New Urban WAKS-HD2-W291BV (Real 106.1)/Cleveland". AllAccess.com. All Access Media Group. December 11, 2018. Archived from the original on January 28, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2019. Top 40 WAKS PD Java Joel Murphy will add PD duties at Real 106.1.
  12. ^ Niesel, Jeff (January 10, 2019). "iHeartMedia Cleveland Launches 106.1 FM, a New Urban Radio Station". CleveScene.com. Cleveland Scene. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2019. The station will feature the Breakfast Club in the morning.