WRCQ rock103 logo.png
Broadcast areaFayetteville Metropolitan Area
Frequency103.5 MHz
BrandingRock 103
FormatMainstream rock
AffiliationsJohn Boy and Billy, House of Hair, HardDriveXL
First air date
May 17, 1971 (as WQTI)
Former call signs
WQTI (1971-1982)
WIDO (1982-1985)
WDKS (1985-1989)
Call sign meaning
Call letters to have stood for Rock
Technical information
Facility ID34826
ERP48,000 watts
HAAT153 meters (502 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
35°03′9″N 78°38′54″W / 35.05250°N 78.64833°W / 35.05250; -78.64833
WebcastListen live

WRCQ (103.5 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a mainstream rock music format.[1] Licensed to Dunn, North Carolina, United States, it serves the Fayetteville area. The station is currently owned by Cumulus Media. Its studios are located in west Fayetteville, and its transmitter is located east of Fayetteville in rural Sampson County, North Carolina.


Lincoln "Uncle Linc" Faulk, a longtime general manager and announcer at WCKB, helped start WQTI,[2] which played easy listening music.[3] In 1976, Robie Butler and his mother, Mrs. Walton Baggett, sold WQTI to Rev. Gardner Altman and his son, Gardner Altman, Jr. The elder Altman would later own several Fayetteville-area stations, including WFLB and WFAI. The Gardners sold WQTI to William Belche, which complemented his AM daytimer, a Gospel and Urban Contemporary station licensed to Fayetteville.

William Belche Sr. changed the letters from WQTI to WIDO ("D-103") in 1982. In 1985, Belche sold WIDO to Maurie Webster and Dean Landsman, who changed the letters to WDKS.[4][5] The studios and transmitter were in Dunn, but sales and management offices were in Fayetteville in 1989. The format was urban contemporary. Landsman had been the Program Consultant to Belche's stations. Upon taking over the FM, the sales tripled in the first year, and the station went on to score the highest Arbitron ratings in market history.

Metropolitan Broadcasting of North Carolina Inc., a partnership of real estate developers, bought WDKS in 1989 for $2 million from Landsman Media of New York City, which had already applied for a power increase from 3000 watts to 50,000 and a frequency change from 103.1 to 103.5.[6]

Late in 1989, WDKS increased its power, changed to the letters WRCQ, and began playing classic rock.[7] WRCQ aired the same programming as WZNS briefly in 1993.[8]

Metropolitan Broadcasting sold WRCQ to Kinetic Communications Inc. of Florida, in a $2.8 million deal announced in 1994, to focus on real estate.[9] The new owners focused more on new artists and less on the classics. As general manager Howard Johnson explained it, "It was sitting here next to a military base with all these men, and this station wasn't doing well. ... My station is doing well. The station is profitable.[10]"

In March 1997, WRCQ added Howard Stern. Former morning hosts Mad Max, Bogie and Matt Patrick moved to afternoons.[11] In 1998, Cape Fear Broadcasting, owner of three area stations, announced its purchase of WRCQ, which was describing its format as modern rock.[12]

In 1999, Cape Fear Broadcasting announced the sale of its stations to Cumulus. This sale was challenged by Ocean Broadcasting of Wilmington, North Carolina because it would give Cumulus 6 FMs and an AM in Wilmington, and about 55 percent of market revenue.[13] Even before Cumulus owned WRCQ, Stern was dropped December 31, 1999[14] first for music and then Lex and Terry.[15] The sale was completed in May 2001[16] and when WFNC stopped doing daily editorials, WRCQ was one of the stations that aired taped editorials instead.[17]

John Boy and Billy replaced Lex and Terry when WKQB, also purchased by Cumulus, dropped classic rock in 2002.[18]


  1. ^ "Login to All Access | Breaking Radio News and Free New Music".
  2. ^ "Former Mayor of Lillington, Faulk, Is Dead," The Fayetteville Observer, October 2, 1997.
  3. ^ Michael Futch, "Sounds for the Soul," The Fayetteville Observer, October 19, 1997.
  4. ^ Daisy Maxwell, "1991: Troops Return from Saudi Arabia," The Fayetteville Observer, March 3, 2001.
  5. ^ Michael Futch, "Scanning Across the Dial," The Fayetteville Observer, March 18, 2001.
  6. ^ David Bourne, "Partnership Seeks to Buy D-103 Radio Station," The Fayetteville Observer, July 18, 1989.
  7. ^ David Bourne, "Radio Stations Spinning New tunes," The Fayetteville Observer, May 20, 1990.
  8. ^ Paul Woolverton, "WRCQ Owners to Purchase Competitors," The Fayetteville Observer, November 2, 1993.
  9. ^ Paul Woolverton, "Florida Firm Plans to Buy WRCQ Radio," The Fayetteville Observer, November 30, 1994.
  10. ^ Michael Futch, "Is 'Classic Rock' Going the Way Of the Dinosaur?", The Fayetteville Observer, October 13, 1995.
  11. ^ Michael Futch, "Rock Station Adds Stern's Morning Show," The Fayetteville Observer, March 9, 1997.
  12. ^ Catherine Pritchard, "Local Company to Buy WRCQ," The Fayetteville Observer, April 8, 1998.
  13. ^ Michael Futch, "For Cumulus, the Wait Continues," The Fayetteville Observer, September 10, 2000.
  14. ^ Michael Futch, "Howard Stern Show Pulled off the Air," The Fayetteville Observer, January 9, 2000.
  15. ^ WRCQ Brings Back Talk in the Morning," The Fayetteville Observer, December 3, 2000.
  16. ^ Michael Futch, "Radio Host Jordan Resigns," The Fayetteville Observer, June 16, 2001.
  17. ^ Michael Futch, "WFNC Drops Its Daily Editorials," The Fayetteville Observer, July 8, 2001.
  18. ^ Michael Futch, "'B107' is now 'Power 107'", The Fayetteville Observer, March 17, 2002.