Most popular radio stations in Washington D.C. 2019

In November 2019 the leading radio station in Washington D.C. by rating was WAMU-FM. The station had a rating of 8.9, meaning that 8.9 percent of those listening to the radio in Washington D.C. listened to WAMU-FM for at least five minutes in each 15-minute period.

Also featuring regularly on the ranking are urban adult contemporary (often abbreviated to urban AC) stations WMMJ-FM and WHUR-FM, as well as WASH-FM. The latter is classed as ‘AC’ or adult contemporary and is owned by iHeartMedia.

The history of WASH-FM

Radio station 97.1 WASH-FM was previously known as WSDC but has been operating under its current name since late 1946. The station is one of the oldest in Washington D.C. along with WKYS-FM (urban contemporary) and alternative station WWDC-FM, the latter of which also belongs to mass media corporation iHeartMedia. The number of radio stations owned by iHeartMedia has been hovering around the 850 mark since 2016, and the company’s most popular radio stations are located in major cities like New York and Los Angeles.

WASH-FM now operates as many commercial radio stations do, offering playlists, podcasts, holding regular contests and incorporating Christmas tunes into its schedule from November through to December. However, in days gone by the station was somewhat unusual in that it relied on FM broadcasting rather than AM, simply because its owner in the 1970s, Metromedia, did not own an AM station in the Washington area.

Previous fans of WASH-FM may remember the program ‘Jammin’ Saturday Night’, which received a new sound and feel in 2013, moving away from disco to 1980s tunes (‘All 80’s Saturday Night’). In mid-2017, this was replaced with ‘Lovin’ Life, Living the 80’s’.

Leading radio stations in Washington D.C., U.S. in November 2019, by ratings

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Release date

November 2019


United States

Survey time period

November 2019

Age group

6 years and older

Special properties

Monday to Sunday, 6 am to midnight

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Statistics on "Radio in the U.S."

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