WMMS began as WHK-FM in 1946 when WHK received one of the first experimental FM licenses. By the early 1950s, the FM station, broadcasting at 100.7 megacycles, was playing adult-oriented music. In Aug. 1968 it switched to underground progressive and contemporary ROCK `N' ROLL, while the station owner, Metromedia, changed its call letters to WMMS (MMS meaning Metromedia Stereo). After briefly returning to its adult format, in Sept. 1970 it settled permanently on rock `n' roll and slowly began to build its audience. When Malrite Communications bought WHK and WMMS for $3.5 million, a small but loyal audience protested the purchase, believing the new owners would change the station's format. After studying the Cleveland market, Malrite chairman Milton Maltz decided to stay with rock `n' roll, and the sale became final at the end of 1972. Under program director John Gorman (1973-86), a cohesive staff developed a rock-centered radio station that came to dominate the Cleveland radio market and gain a national reputation as a forum for new rock `n' roll acts. It was an early showcase for Bruce Springsteen's music and has been active in promoting local rock `n' roll music as well. In the 1980s it was dominant in this market and was one of the highest-rated radio stations in the country. From 1979-86, readers of Rolling Stone magazine voted WMMS the "Radio Station of the Year" award. Located with its AM sister station, WHK, in the Skylight Office Tower at Tower City, WMMS was sold with WHK in 1993 to Shamrock Broadcasting, Inc., which sold them the following year to Omni America.

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