History of Michigan FM Broadcasting

October 31, 1940: The Evening News Association, owners of The Detroit News and WWJ AM, is granted one of the first construction permits for a commercial FM station in the country. The station is to operate at 44.5 MHz, with a call sign of W45D. The station actually debuted on January 29, 1936 as W8XWJ, an experimental AM APEX station before going silent in April 1940 waiting for approval to move to the a newly carved out FM band.

1941:

5/7/41: W45D 44.5 begins testing with 3,000 watts. A second Detroit station, W49D, also begins testing. W49D is owned by John Lord Booth and is operating with 1,000 watts.
5/10/41: W45D begins regular operations and is officially Michigan's first FM station and America's seventh.
5/24/41: W49D begins regular operations.

1942:

Applications for other Michigan stations included:

  • W53D 45.3 Detroit, owned by Goodwill Station (WJR)
  • W73D 47.3 Detroit, owned by King-Trendell Co (WXYZ)
  • W77XL 47.7 Lansing, owned by WJIM Inc.

1945:

6/27/45: FCC allocates 88-108 MHz for FM broadcasting, with 88-92 MHz to be reserved for noncommercial broadcasting, and allocates 106-108 MHz for facsimile broadcasting. Within the 92-106 MHz spectrum, FM stations are to be allocated as follows: 92.1-93.9 community; 94.1-103.9 metro; 104.1-105.9 rural
9/12/45: The two Michigan FM stations are assigned their new frequencies- WENA (W45D) is assigned 96.9 FM. WLOU (W49D) is assigned 96.5 FM

Applications for new Michigan stations included:

  • Ann Arbor, Washtenaw Broadcasting
  • Battle Creek, Federated Publications
  • Bay City, Bay Broadcasting
  • Benton Harbor, Palladium Publishing
  • Dearborn, Herman-Radner
  • Detroit, UAW-CIO
  • Detroit, James F. Hopkins
  • Detroit, King-Trendle
  • Detroit, Goodwill/WJR
  • Escanaba, John P. Norton
  • Flint, UAW-CIO
  • Grand Rapids, John Fetzer
  • Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Broadcasting
  • Grand Rapids, King-Trendle
  • Grand Rapids, Midwest FM Network
  • Grand Rapids, Leonard A. Verslus
  • Jackson, WIBM Radio
  • Lansing, WJIM Radio
  • Muskegon, Ashbacker Broadcasting
  • Pontiac, Pontiac Broadcasting
  • Port Huron, Times-Herald Company
  • Saginaw, Saginaw Broadcasting
  • Wyandotte, Wyandotte News

1946:

8/1/46: Construction permit granted to John Fetzer for what will become WJEF-FM at 49.3 MHz

1947:

7/9/47: WJBK-FM 93.1 Detroit signs on (later WDEE, WLTI, WDRQ)
8/18/47: Construction permit for station at 49.3 MHz Grand Rapids is assigned 93.7 FM
1947: WMLN 106.3 Mt. Clemens begins operations. Station would sign off for good in 1954
1947: WMUS-FM 100.5 Muskegon begins operations. Station would sign off in 1950, but be reborn in November 1962.

1948:

1/1/48: WXYZ-FM 101.1 Detroit signs on (later WRIF)
1/8/48: The state's first educational FM station hits the air- WDTR 90.9 Detroit
3/5/48:: WEXL-FM 104.3 Detroit signs on (later WOMC)
6/1/48: WJR-FM 96.3 signs on (later WHYT, WPLT, WDVD)

Michigan Stations, June 1948 from Radio Craft magazine:

  • 90.9 WDTR Detroit
  • 92.5 WFRS Grand Rapids
  • 93.1 WJBK-FM Detroit
  • 96.1 WBCM-FM Bay City
  • 96.9 WLAV-FM Grand Rapids
  • 97.1 WWJ-FM Detroit (fomerly WENA)
  • 97.9 WJLB-FM Detroit (formerly WLOU)
  • 98.1 WSAM-FM Saginaw
  • 98.7 WPAG-FM Ann Arbor
  • 99.1 WTTH-FM Port Huron
  • 99.9 WHFB-FM Benton Harbor
  • 100.5 WMUS-FM Muskegon
  • 101.1 WXYZ-FM Detroit
  • 102.1 WELL-FM Battle Creek
  • 103.1 WJJW Wyandotte
  • 104.3 WEXL-FM Royal Oak
  • 106.3 WMLN Mt. Clemens
  • 107.1 WAJL Flint

10/10/48: WKAR-FM 91.7 East Lansing signs on- station later moves to 90.5
12/18/48: WDET 101.9 Detroit signs on, owned by United Auto Workers
1948: WUOM 91.7 Ann Arbor signs on

1949:

2/12/49: WLDM 95.5 Detroit signs on (later WCZY, WKQI)

1950:

Michigan Stations 1950 from the Broadcasting Yearbook, with ERP:

  • 90.9 WDTR Detroit, 2000
  • 91.7 WKAR-FM East Lansing, 1800
  • 91.7 WUOM Ann Arbor, 13500
  • 92.3 WIBM-FM Jackson, 16000
  • 92.5 WFRS Grand Rapids, 10500
  • 93.1 WJBK-FM Detroit, 30000
  • 93.7 WJEF-FM Grand Rapids, 550000 CP
  • 95.5 WLDM Detroit, 20000
  • 96.1 WBCM-FM Bay City, 41000
  • 96.3 WJR-FM Detroit, 24000
  • 96.9 WLAV-FM Grand Rapids, 50000
  • 97.1 WWJ-FM Detroit, 8700
  • 97.9 WJLB-FM Detroit, 30000
  • 98.1 WSAM-FM Saginaw, 1700
  • 98.7 WPAG-FM Ann Arbor, 2200
  • 99.1 WTTH-FM Port Huron, 22000
  • 99.5 WCAR-FM Pontiac, 20000
  • 99.9 WHFB-FM Benton Harbor, 9200
  • 100.3 WKMH-FM Dearborn, 7700 CP
  • 100.5 WMUS-FM Muskegon, 3200
  • 101.1 WXYZ-FM Detroit, 30000
  • 101.9 WDET Detroit, MI 52000
  • 102.1 WELL-FM Battle Creek, 45000
  • 103.1 WJJW Wyandotte, 1000
  • 103.1 WOAP-FM Owosso, 1000
  • 104.3 WEXL-FM Royal Oak, 18000
  • 106.3 WMLN Mt. Clemens, 340
  • 106.5 WKBZ-FM Muskegon, 4700
  • 107.1 WAJL Flint, 400

6/25/51: WJEF-FM 93.7 Grand Rapids is on the air (later WJFM, WBCT)
1951: WMCR 91.1 Kalamazoo signs on (later moved to 102.1, calls to WMUK)

1952: WDET is sold from the UAW to Wayne State University for $1. Now a non-commercial station, it remained at the desirable 101.9 frequency.

9/30/53: WFBE 95.1 Flint is launched with a dedication program and congratulatory messages. Regular programming started on the official sign-on date, 10/5/53. WFBE was assigned the commercial 95.1 frequency because Flint was in a fringe area for television reception- the strongest TV signal was WJIM-TV (now WLNS-TV) Channel 6 in Lansing. It was feared that placing a station in the non-commercial part of the dial would cause interfence with reception of Channel 6.

5/21/54: WHPR 88.1 Highland Park signs on

1955: WIBM 94.1 Jackson signs on (currently WVIC)
1955: WMCR moves from 91.1 to 102.1 (currently WMUK)

1/1957: WILS-FM 101.7 Lansing signs on (currently WHZZ)

Michigan Stations Summer, 1958, North American Radio TV Station Listings, by Vane A. Jones:

  • 88.1 WHPR Highland Park
  • 89.3 WOAK Royal Oak
  • 90.5 WKAR-FM East Lansing
  • 90.9 WDTR Detroit
  • 91.7 WUOM Ann Arbor
  • 93.1 WJBK-FM Detroit
  • 93.7 WJEF-FM Grand Rapids
  • 94.1 WIBM-FM Jackson
  • 94.7 WHFI Detroit
  • 95.1 WFBE Flint
  • 95.5 WLDM Detroit
  • 96.3 WJR-FM Detroit
  • 96.9 WLAV-FM Grand Rapids
  • 97.1 WWJ-FM Detroit
  • 97.9 WMZK Detroit
  • 98.1 WSAM-FM Saginaw
  • 98.3 WTVB-FM Coldwater
  • 99.9 WHFB-FM Benton Harbor
  • 100.3 WKMH-FM Detroit
  • 101.1 WXYZ-FM Detroit
  • 101.9 WDET Detroit
  • 102.1 WMCR Kalamazoo
  • 103.1 WSTR-FM Sturgis
  • 103.5 WMUZ Detroit
  • 104.3 WOMC Detroit
  • 107.1 WFUM Flint

11/11/58: WMUZ 103.5 Detroit signs on

7/16/59: WSWM 99.1 E. Lansing signs on (currently WFMK)
1959: WBCM-FM 96.1 Bay City resumes operations after a 3 year hiatus (currently WHNN)

3/6/60: WQRS 105.1 Detroit signs on (currently WMGC-FM)
5/4/60: WABX 99.5 Detroit signs on (currently WYCD)
5/26/60: WCHD 105.9 Detroit signs on (currently WDTJ)
6/60: WJIM-FM 97.5 Lansing signs on
10/16/60: WDTM 106.7 Detroit signs on (currently WDTW)
11/6/60: WBRB-FM 102.7 Mt. Clemens signs on (currently WDMK)
approx 1960: WNEM-FM 102.5 Bay City signs on (currently WIOG)

6/1/61: FM stereo broadcasting is authorized to begin
11/4/61: WGMZ 107.9 Flint signs on (currently WCRZ)
11/15/61: WJEF-FM 93.7 begins broadcasting at 500,000 watts ERP
12/6/1961: WGPR 107.5 Detroit signs on
12/7/61: WVGR 104.1 Grand Rapids signs on
1961: WBFG 98.7 Detroit signs on (currently WVMV)
1961: WJGS 98.5 Houghton Lake signs on (currently WUPS)

2/26/62, 7:00am: WKLW 95.7 Grand Rapids signs on (currently WLHT)
2/26/62, 11:00am: WOOD 105.7 Grand Rapids signs on
3/62: WOIA 102.9 Ann Arbor signs on (currently WWWW)

6/11/63: WKFR 103.3 Battle Creek signs on
6/29/63: WSAE 89.3 Spring Arbor signs on (later moves to 106.9)
1963: WIAA 88.3 Interlochen signs on (later moves to 88.7)

3/20/64: WPHS 91.5 Warren signs on (later moves to 89.1)
4/6/64: WCMU-FM 89.5 Mt. Pleasant signs on
8/7/64: WHLS-FM 107.1 Pt. Huron signs on (currently WSAQ)
9/64: WMRP 105.5 Flint signs on, owner is Methodist Radio Parish (currently WWCK-FM)
11/64: WFYC 104.9 Alma signs on (currently WQBX)
1964: WBRN 100.9 Big Rapids signs on

6/9/65: WLEN 103.9 Adrian signs on
12/8/65: WEMU Ypsilanti signs on. Station later moves to 89.1 FM
1965: WMRT 100.7 Lansing signs on (currently WITL)

2/14/67: WPAG-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor signs on again (currently WQKL)- was on 98.7 FM in late 40's-1950's
2/28/67: WSHJ 88.3 Southfield signs on
7/16/67: WVMO 98.3 Monroe signs on (currently WTWR Luna Pier)

1968: WGGL 91.1 Houghton signs on

9/69: WSBM 106.3 Saginaw signs on (currently WGER)
1969: WWWS 107.1 Saginaw signs on (currently WTLZ)

197x: WRBJ-FM 92.1 St. Johns signs on (currently WWDX)
1971: WMRP 105.5 Flint (along with AM 1570) is sold by Methodist Radio Parish after support is withdrawn by the United Methodist Church.
1971: WALM 96.7 Albion signs on (currently WUFN)

1/23/72: WCBN 89.5 Ann Arbor signs on (later moved to 88.3)
2/14/72: WSDP 89.3 Plymouth signs on (later moved to 88.1)
5/9/72: WORW 91.9 Port Huron signs on
1972: WTVB Coldwater moves from 98.3 to 98.5 and adopts WANG call sign (currently WNWN-FM)
1972: WWRM Gaylord signs on (currently WKPK)
1972: WJNR Iron Mountain signs on

1973: WCHW 91.3 Bay City signs on

5/28/74: WBLD 89.3 Orchard Lake signs on
10/7/74: WOPR 90.3 Oak Park signs on- station goes silent by 1997
10/1974: WSRX 88.5 Allendale signs on as 10 watt student run station- is silent July 1982
11/74: WIMI 99.7 Ironwood signs on
1974: WSGR 91.3 Pt. Huron signs on
1974: WCSR 92.1 Hillsdale signs on

3/75: WKKM 92.1 Harrison sigs on (currently WVXH)
11/10/75: WAHS 89.5 Auburn Hills signs on

5/76: WORB 90.3 Farmington Hills signs on, off air in mid 1990's
10/1/76: WBFH 88.1 Bloomfield Hills signs on
12/76: WRCI 93.5 Midland signs on (currently WKQZ 93.3)
1976: WKZY 97.1 Escanaba signs on (currently WGLQ)
1976: List of FM stations

9/1/77: WHMI 93.5 Howell signs on
10/3/77: WSDP Plymouth 89.3 and WEMU Ypsilanti 88.1 swap frequencies; WSDP now 88.1, WEMU 89.1
1977: WCBN Ann Arbor moves from 89.5 to 88.3

9/6/78: WOVI 89.5 Novi signs on
1978: WQON 100.1 Roscommon signs on, later moves to 100.3 then 101.1

9/29/79: WDZZ 92.7 Flint signs on

1/18/80: WKJC 104.7 Tawas City signs on
5/80: WKHQ 105.9 Charlevoix signs on

1981: WIKB 99.1 Iron River signs on

198x: WLEW Bad Axe moves from 92.1 to 102.1 and increases power
198x: WNBY Newberry moves from 93.5 to 93.7
198x: WATZ Alpena moves from 93.5 to 99.3
198x: WKQZ Midland moves from 93.5 to 93.3 with power increase
198x: WKLT Kalkaska moves from 97.7 to 97.5 with power increase
198x: WDBI Tawas City moves from 101.7 to 107.3 (currently WHST at 106.1)
198x: WIAA Interlochen moves from 88.3 to 88.7 with power increase

7/17/83: WGVU 88.5 Allendale signs on again with upgraded facilities
11/83: WFXZ 100.9 Pinconning signs on (currently WYLZ)
1983: WKDS 89.9 Kalamazoo signs on
1983: WYCE 88.1 Wyoming signs on

8/23/85: WFUM 91.1 Flint sings on again (on-air in mid/late 1950's in first life at 107.1)
12/20/85: WHFR 89.3 Dearborn signs on
1985: WPHN 90.5 Gaylord signs on

5/15/86: WNFA 88.3 Port Huron signs on
9/86: WIOG 106.3 Saginaw and WGER 102.5 Bay City swap programming and call signs; WIOG pop format moves to 102.5, WGER's soft AC format moves to 106.3

1987: WWKY 92.5 Altanta signs on (currently WFDX)

1988: List of FM stations
10/17/88: WRKR 107.7 Portage signs on
1988: WLJN 89.9 Traverse City signs on

9/89: WUCX 90.1 Bay City signs on
10/1/89: WLJN 89.9 Traverse City signs on
1989: WLEL 94.3 Leland signs on (approx), (currently WFCX)
1989: WIZY 100.9 East Jordon signs on (currently WICV)
1989: List of FM stations

6/1990: WIDL Caro moves from 104.9 to 92.1 (frequency abandoned by WLEW) and increases power to 6kw from 3kw
199x: WWBN Tuscola moves to 101.5 from 101.7, WPRJ Coleman moves to 101.7 from 101.5. Both stations increase effective power along with WHZZ 101.7 Lansing.

5/26/1991: WQHH 96.3 Diamondale signs on. Station later moves to FM 96.5 DeWitt
10/1991: WSAE Spring Arbor moves from 89.3 to 106.9 with power increase
1991: WGRT 102.3 Pt. Huron signs on

1992: WBTI 96.9 Lexington signs on

9/1993: WFGE 94.5 Mackinaw City signs on (currently WLJZ)
12/14/1993: WKJZ 94.9 Alpena signs on

12/19/1994: WGRY-FM 101.1 Grayling moves to 100.3, WQON-FM 100.3 Roscommon moves to 101.1
1994: WCLX 93.9 Mio signs on (currently WAVC)
1994: WNFR 90.7 Sandusky signs on
1994: WLNZ 89.7 Lansing signs on

3/1995: WOVI 89.5 Novi is first Michigan high school station with web site
11/11/1995: WBFH 88.1 Bloomfield Hills is first Michigan high school station to operate 365 days/year
1995: WMXE 102.5 Hudson signs on (currently WBZV)
1995: WXOU 88.3 Auburn Hills signs on

2/3/1997: WAYK 88.3 Kalamazoo signs on
6/30/1997: WFBE 95.1 Flint signs off as a public radio station. The frequency and equipment is sold to Liggett Broadcasting, a Lansing-based group of stations.
7/9/1997: WQLB 103.3 Tawas City signs on
8/1997: WDEE-FM 97.3 Reed City signs on
10/6/1997: WFBE 95.1 Flint signs on once again, this time as 'The New B-95', the format is Country. The station begins for-profit programming with a long marathon of songs without commercial interruption (5000 songs?).
11/21/1997: After 37+ years, the new owners of WQRS 105.1 Detroit drop Classical Music in favor of Alternative Rock.

2/1998: WDEE 97.3 Reed City granted license
4/1998: Construction permit granted to Northern Radio of Michigan for new station at 100.7 in Honor
4/1998: Construction permit granted to Lakes Radio for new station at 105.5 in Gladstone
5/1998: Construction permit granted to Superior Communications for new station at 89.3 near Boyne City
5/1998: Construction permit granted to Northland Community Broadcasters for new station at 89.7 near Alpena
5/1998: WGRI-FM 88.9 Flint granted license (currently WAKL)
5/1998: Construction permit granted to Frankenmuth Radio Company for new station at 93.7 in Frankenmuth
5/1998: WCUP-FM 105.7 L'Anse granted license
6/26/1998: WCVM 94.7 Bronson signs on
7/1998: Construction permit granted to MWC Inc. for new station at 99.5 in Negaunee
7/1998: Construction permit granted to Superior Communications for new station at 88.3 near Gladwin
9/1998: WCMB 95.7 Oscoda granted license
10/1998: WBUM 104.3 Baraga granted license (currently WVCM)
10/1998: The silent WVIC 92.7 Charlotte returns to the air (currently WQTX)
10/1998: FCC approves frequency shift for WMJZ Gaylord to 101.5 from 95.3
10/1998: Construction permit granted to Interlochen Center for the Arts for new station at 91.5 in Traverse City
11/1998: WCVM 94.7 Bronson granted license

1/1999: WYKL 94.9 Benton Harbor granted license (currently WCNF). Station was on-air in late 1998
7/1999: WHWG 89.9 Trout Lake signs on
9/26/1999: WMOM 102.7 Pentwater signs on
11/1999: WBFH 88.1 Bloomfield Hills is first MI high school station to broadcast live stream on Internet
11/1999: WTLI 89.3 Bear Creek Twp (Boyne City) is granted license
1999: WGKL 105.5 Gladstone signs on

3/2000: WMXG 106.3 Stephenson signs on
4/2000: Construction permit granted to Fife Lake Broadcasting (Fort Bend Broadcasting) for new station at 95.9 at Fife Lake
5/18/2000: Donald Noordyk granted construction permit for new station at 93.7 in Harrietta
7/2000: WCMM 94.7 Manistique changes frequency to 102.5
9/13/2000: WICA 91.5 Traverse City signs on
9/18/2000: WBLW 88.1 Gaylord is granted license
10/1/2000: WDQV 88.5 Mackinaw City is on air
10/5/2000: WMSD 90.5 Rose City is granted license
12/17/2000: WHYT 89.1 Imlay City signs on

2001: WZRZ 93.7 Frankenmuth signs on (currently WRCL)
1/2002: WKVK 100.7 Honor signs on

Dates unknown for these changes:
WMBN Petoskey moves from 96.7 to 96.3 and increases power (now WLXT)
WDBI (WHST) Tawas City moves from 107.3 to 106.1


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