The 8 Best Washington D.C. Radio Stations

This is your guide to the best of Washington, D.C.'s radio stations from news and talk to today’s top hits.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Washington, D.C. offers listeners dozens of choices when it comes to radio stations, from NPR on WAMU 88.5 to Classic Rock on the BIG 100.
Whether you’re looking to hear the latest political news or looking to escape it, D.C. has a station to fit your needs. With literally dozens of channels to choose from, finding your favorite station can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
To make things easier for you no matter what your taste, we've researched the best stations in D.C. Read on to find out what you should listen to next.

The best news and talk radio stations in Washington, D.C.

If you’re living or driving in Washington, D.C., then news—both local and national—may be a top priority for you. Here are some of the best news and talk radio stations for you to listen to in our nation’s capital.

DMV’s BIN 1120: Black Information Network

Call sign: WUST
Frequency: 1120 AM
Black Information Network (BIN)
is a nationally syndicated Black news service dedicated to offering objective, accurate, and trustworthy news coverage from a Black voice and a Black perspective. It is the only news/talk radio network dedicated to focusing on topics of particular interest to the Black community.
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WAMU 88.5: NPR

Call sign: WAMU
Frequency: 88.5 FM
WAMU 88.5
is the D.C. metro area’s National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate owned and operated by American University. If you’re looking for NPR staples like Morning Edition, Fresh Air, and All Things Considered, this is the station for you.

WPFW 89.3: Talk and jazz

Call sign: WPFW
Frequency: 89.3
WPFW 89.3
is a unique listener-supported and community-focused radio station dedicated to progressive news coverage and jazz music. WPFW offers Pacifica syndicated programs, like Democracy Now! as well as local favorites like To Heal D.C. and Crossroads—all interspersed with jazz favorites from all styles and periods.

WTOP Radio: Washington’s top news 

Call sign: WTOP
Frequency: 103.5 FM 
If you’re more concerned with local news, then
WTOP Radio
is what you need. WTOP on 103.5 FM offers a “wheel” format, rotating CBS News on the hour with traffic and weather on the 8s. For those interested in sports and business, WTOP provides regularly scheduled sports and business updates twice each half-hour.
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The best music radio stations in Washington, D.C.

It can’t be all news, all the time—even in a city as wrapped up in the daily happenings as Washington, D.C. When you just need to unwind with some good music, check out these favorite stations in the District.

HOT 995: Washington, D.C.’s #1 hit music station

Call sign: WIHT
Frequency: 99.5 FM
Featuring all Top 40s, all day long,
HOT 995
is your go-to station for today’s hits. Start your day off right with Your Morning Show featuring Intern John, Riley, and Rose, then coast through the midday with Ryan Seacrest.

97.1 WASH-FM: Variety from the 80s, 90s, and today

Call sign: WASH
Frequency: 97.1 FM
Every city has at least one obligatory workday variety station and
97.1 WASH-FM
is D.C.’s best. It features all the greats from the 80s, 90s, and today and switches formats throughout November and December to become “Washington’s Home for the Holidays.”They even offer “Christmas in July” with holiday hits on July 25th for listeners who just can’t wait for winter. 

BIG 100: Washington, D.C.’s Classic Rock

Call sign: WBIG
Frequency: 100.3 FM 
Playing Classic Rock favorites from the 60s through the 90s,
BIG 100
is also the “Home of The Don Geronimo Show” to entertain your morning commute. Tune in during your evening commute while Big Rig rocks you all the way home. 

D.C.101: Washington, D.C.’s alternative rock

Call sign: WWD.C.
Frequency: 101.1 FM 
takes a “big picture” approach to alternative rock, offering alternative hits from the 90s and today. Listeners will hear everyone from Nirvana to No Doubt, as well as modern artists like Imagine Dragons and AJR. Tune in early for Elliot in the Morning on your way to work.

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WBIG-FM 100.3
is Washington’s Oldies Station featuring hits from Motown heavyweights, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and more.
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