The NAB has selected the station it will honor this year with the NAB Crystal Heritage Award.
It’s a station famously known for its “Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center” — in addition to top ratings for its continuous supply of news, traffic, weather and sports updates to listeners across the National Capital area.
The award will be presented to Hubbard Radio‘s WTOP-FM 103.5 (and its network of stations) in Washington, D.C.
The ceremony will be conducted during the inaugural We Are Broadcasters Celebration scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 at the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas.
The Heritage Award recognizes radio stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts.
Only six other stations have received this honor in the 31-year history of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards.
“WTOP has served the Washington, D.C. region for 48 years, and our commitment to the community along the way has never wavered,” said Hubbard Radio D.C. Senior Regional VP Joel Oxley. “We are so proud of our accomplishments both on and off the air, and are honored that this dedication is being rewarded with a coveted NAB Crystal Heritage Award.”
In the most recent ratings period, according to Nielsen Audio, WTOP-FM earned a 9.3 share 6+, narrowly missing out on its regular No. 1 finish to all-Christmas music on iHeartRadio’s AC WASH-FM 97.1. It’s previous three-month trend (October-December 2017) was 9.8-9.6-9.4.
It’s an impressive achievement for a radio station reinvigorated some 20 years ago after Bonneville International acquired a struggling WTOP-AM 1500 from Evergreen Media. Evergreen planted the seeds for WTOP’s turnaround with an April 1997 acquisition of an FM facility covering the western Washington, D.C. suburbs in Northern Virginia.
Under Bonneville in April 1998, a bigger Northern Virginia signal was snagged; today it is Class B WWWT-FM 107.7 in Manassas, Va., formerly “Thunder Country.”
Then came the shift from 1500 kHZ of WTOP’s main signal to that of the former Classical WGMS-FM; an additional signal — the one-time Top 40 WZYQ-FM 103.9 in Frederick, Md. — was added as a WTOP Network member.
Hubbard acquired the WTOP Network from Bonneville in 2011.
Radio stations can submit entries for a Crystal Radio Award until January 31.