History of Michigan AM Broadcasting

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The Scripps family founded the Detroit station 8MK, later WWJ, which claims that on Aug. 20, 1920 it 'became the first radio station in the world to broadcast regularly scheduled programs.' According to this claim the first broadcast began at 8:15 p.m. from the second floor of The Detroit News Building with the words 'This is 8MK calling,' followed by the playing of two phonograph records, 'Annie Laurie' and 'Roses of Picardy,' a query by an announcer to unseen listeners, 'How do you get it?,' and the playing of 'Taps'. The broadcast is thought to have been received in some 30 Detroit homes. The station, then licensed to the Detroit Evening News, says it has been on the air continuously ever since. The newspaper was established in 1873 by James Edmund Scripps, who apparently first became interested in radio in 1902 after listening to a Detroit experimental wireless operator named Thomas E. Clark. James E. Scripps and his only son, William Edmund Scripps, attended a private demonstration of Clark's system of wireless transmission of Morse code and then helped finance Mr. Clark's work. Meanwhile, William John Scripps, known then as 'Little Bill,' son of William E. Scripps, was by 1918, at the age of 13, a devoted ham radio hobbyist. Out of that hobby grew WWJ. It was largely in the Detroit News plant that young Bill did his radio experimenting and it may have been in deference to the boss's son (J. E. Scripps died in 1906), that the newspaper started a radio page which later led to the formation of the newspaper's station. [Source: Broadcasting Magazine, 1970]

8/20/20: 8MK (later WBL, WWJ) begins formal period of testing with 20 watts.
8/31/20: 8MK airs election returns.
9/6/20: First prize-fight broadcast was the Jack Dempsey-Billy Miske fight in Benton Harbor MI broadcast by 8MK.
10/5/20: World Series scores aired by 8MK

10/13/21: 8MK changes call sign to WBL, power increased to 500 watts.

2/10/22: WBL broadcasts the first complete symphony on radio
3/3/22: WBL changes call sign to WWJ
5/4/22: WCX (later WJR) signs on for the first time.
5/25/22: WEAA (later WFDF) Flint is licensed.
Shortly after the inception of broadcasting, the idea of giving calls to broadcasting stations that would have some special significance was conceived and, to begin with, assigned KOP to a station of the Detroit Police Department.
Stations as of June 30, 1922 from the US Department of Commerce:

  • KOP Detroit- Detroit Police Department (3/18/22)
  • WCX Detroit- Detroit Free Press (5/4/22)
  • WEAA Flint- Fallain & Lathrop (5/25/22)
  • WHW East Lansing- Stuart W. Seeley (2/24/22)
  • WTP Bay City- George M. McBride (3/30/22)
  • WWI Dearborn- Ford Motor Co. (3/25/22)
  • WWJ Detroit- Detroit News (10/13/21)
8/18/22: WKAR East Lansing is licensed after experimental operations dating back to 1917. Michigan's first educational radio station.
Other stations authorized in 1922:
WMAX Ann Arbor- October; WPAV Laurium- December
Temporary stations in the 1920's: These stations received authority to broadcast for as little as one day! WBI Marquette (3/1922), WMX Port Huron (3/20/22), KFPZ Bay City, WEBM Detroit, WJBM Battle Creek

January 1923: Mississippi River adopted to separate W and K calls
4/28/23: KFGZ Berrien Springs is licensed. Station would eventually evolve into WEMC, then to WKZO in Kalamazoo.
5/15/23: The AM broadcast band is opened (550-1350 kHz) (previously, stations generally operated on 360 meters or 400 meters); 550-1040 is designated for Class B stations, with 500-1000 watts; 1050-1350 is designated for Class A stations, with 5-500 watts. In Detroit, WWJ and WCX are to share the 580 KHz frequency.
Stations as of June 30, 1923 from the US Department of Commerce:

  • 580 -- WCX Detroit- Detroit Free Press (5/4/22)
  • 580 -- WWJ Detroit- Detroit News (10/13/21)
  • 833 -- WIAW Saginaw- Saginaw Radio & Electric Co. (7/1922)
  • 833 -- WLAQ Kalamazoo- Arthur E. Schilling (9/1922)
  • 833 -- WOAP Kalamazoo- Kalamazoo College (11/1922)
  • 833 -- WQAJ Ann Arbor- Ann Arbor Times News (1/1923)
  • 833 -- WTP Bay City- George M. McBride (3/30/22)
  • 1050 - KOP Detroit- Detroit Police Department (3/18/22)
  • 1070 - WEAA Flint- Frank D. Fallain (5/25/22)
  • 1070 - WKAR East Lansing- Michigan Agriculture College (8/18/22)
  • 1100 - WWI Dearborn- Ford Motor Co. (3/25/22)
  • 1120 - KFGZ Berrien Springs- Emmanuel Missionary College (4/28/23)
  • 1180 - WABM Saginaw- F. E. Doherty Automotive & Radio Equipment Co. (6/1923)
  • 1210 - WHAL Lansing- Lansing Capital News (7/1922)

Stations as of June 30, 1924 from the US Department of Commerce:

  • 580 -- WCX Detroit- Detroit Free Press / 500 watts
  • 580 -- WWJ Detroit- Detroit News / 500
  • 1050 - KFGZ Berrien Springs- Emmanuel Missionary College / 500
  • 1050 - KOP Detroit- Detroit Police Department / 500
  • 1060 - WLAQ Kalamazoo- Arthur E. Schilling / 10
  • 1070 - WCBC Ann Arbor- University of Michigan / 200 (licensed 1/1924)
  • 1070 - WEAA Flint- Frank D. Fallain / 10
  • 1070 - WKAR East Lansing- Michigan Agriculture College / 500
  • 1100 - WWI Dearborn- Ford Motor Co. / 250
  • 1110 - WABX Mount Clemens- Henry B. Joy / 500 (12/1923)
  • 1130 - KFMW Houghton- M. G. Sateren / 50 (12/1923)
  • 1180 - WABM Saginaw- F. E. Doherty Automotive & Radio Equipment Co. / 100
  • 1210 - KFLB Menominee- Signal Electric Mfg. Co. / 50 (10/1923)
  • 1220 - WBBP Petoskey- Petoskey High School / 10 (1/1924)
  • 1230 - WBBH Port Huron- J. Irving Bell / 50 (1/1924)
  • 1230 - WWAO Houghton- Michigan College of Mines / 250 (11/1923)
Stations no longer licensed since 1923 report: WIAW Saginaw, WOAP Kalamazoo, WQAJ Ann Arbor, WTP Bay City, WHAL Lansing.
Other station authorized in 1924: WBBO Rogers- January
2/9/24: WBBP Petoskey begins testing
3/1/24: WBBP Petoskey begins regular operations at 10 watts
4/21/24: WBBP Petoskey signs off to upgrade signal
5/24: WBBP Petoskey back on the air at 100 watts
9/16/24: WEBK Grand Rapids is on the air. Station becomes WOOD in 1926.
10/25/24: WWJ broadcast by Ty Tyson of Michigan-Wisconsin football game (station claims is the first play-by-play sports broadcast from the scene)

3/13/25: WBDC Grand Rapids MI signs on at 5:30 p.m. Station would later become WASH and then be combined with WOOD.
4/23/25: WSKC Bay City is licensed. Station would later become WBCM, WMAX.
6/2/25: WGHP Detroit is licensed. Station would later become WXYZ, WXYT.
Stations as of June 30, 1925 from the US Department of Commerce:

  • 580 -- WCX Detroit / 500 watts
  • 850 -- WWJ Detroit / 500
  • 1050 - WEMC Berrien Springs / 500
  • 1050 - WKAR East Lansing / 750
  • 1050 - WREO Lansing / 500 (licensed 10/1924)
  • 1080 - KOP Detroit / 500
  • 1110 - WGHP Detroit / 500 (6/2/25)
  • 1130 - WWI Dearborn / 250
  • 1140 - KFMW Houghton / 50
  • 1140 - WWAO Houghton / 250
  • 1150 - WSKC Bay City / 100 (4/23/25)
  • 1170 - WRAK Escanaba / 100 (3/1923)
  • 1170 - WBDC Grand Rapids / 50 (3/13/25)
  • 1170 - WAFD Port Huron / 500 (2/1925)
  • 1220 - WABX Mount Clemens / 150
  • 1240 - WEBK Grand Rapids / 20 (8/19/24)
  • 1250 - WSMH Owosso / 10 (3/1925)
  • 1280 - WEAA Flint / 100
  • 1310 - WCBC Ann Arbor / 200
  • 1370 - WTHS Flint / 250 (3/1925)
  • note: WBBP Petoskey is not listed in 1925, but is listed in both 1924 and 1926. (typographical error)
Stations no longer licensed since 1924 report: WLAQ Kalamazoo, WABM Saginaw, KFLB Menominee, WBBH Port Huron.
Other station authorized in 1925: WHBI Chesaning- February
8/15/25: WJR is formed by Jewett Radio & Phonograph Co.
8/20/25: WJR Pontiac - first use of call sign. Station shares time with WCX.
10/7/25: WJBK Ypsilanti is licensed. Station would later become WDEE, WCZY, WLVQ.
10/10/25: WGHP 1110 Detroit signs on. Station would later become WXYZ, WXYT.
1925: WEAA Flint changes call sign to WFDF. 'FDF' is station owner Frank D. Fallain's initials.
1925: WTHS Flint was part of Flint Technical High School (located at Flint Central High). It operated briefly around 1925. Later, Technical High School was moved to Flint Southwestern High School, now Southwestern Academy. To revive the technical radio program, they had a carrier current station there in the late 1950s and early 1960's. The studio, control board, and transmitter were taken out in 1971 to make room for a drug counseling center.

1/13/26: WEBK Grand Rapids changes call sign to WOOD.
Stations as of June 30, 1926 from the US Department of Commerce:

  • 580 -- WCX Pontiac- Detroit Free Press / 5000 watts
  • 580 -- WJR Pontiac- Jewitt Radio & Phonograph Co. / 5000
  • 850 -- WWJ Detroit- Detroit News / 1000
  • 1050 - WEMC Berrien Springs- Emanuel Missionary College / 500
  • 1050 - WKAR East Lansing- Michigan State College / 1000
  • 1050 - WREO Lansing- Reo Motor Car Co. / 500
  • 1090 - WAFD Port Huron- Albert B. Parfet Co. / 500
  • 1110 - WGHP Detroit- George H. Phelps / 1500
  • 1150 - WSKC Bay City- Western Star Knitting Co. / 100
  • 1170 - WBDC Grand Rapids- Baxter Laundry Co. / 50
  • 1170 - WMBC Detroit- Michigan Broadcasting Co. Inc. / 100 (licensed 11/1925)
  • 1170 - WRAK Escanaba- Economy Light Co. / 100
  • 1220 - WABX Mount Clemens- Henry B. Joy / 500
  • 1240 - WOOD Grand Rapids- Grand Rapids Radio Co. / 500
  • 1250 - WSMH Owosso- Shattuck Music House / 20
  • 1260 - WBBP Petoskey- Petoskey High School / 200
  • 1280 - WFDF Flint- Frank D. Fallain / 100
  • 1290 - WJBK Ypsilanti- Ernest F. Goodwin / 10 (10/7/25)
  • 1330 - WAGM Royal Oak- Robert L. Miller / 50 (8/19/26)
Stations no longer licensed since 1925 report: KOP Detroit, WWI Dearborn, KFMW Houghton, WWAO Houghton, WCBC Ann Arbor, WTHS Flint
Other stations authorized in 1926: WDXL Detroit- October; WWPR Detroit- November
8/19/26: WAGM Royal Oak is licensed. Station would later become WEXL.
9/18/26: WKBP Battle Creek is licensed. Station would later become WELL, WKFR, WKNR, WWKN, WRCC.
10/22/26: WDBC Grand Rapids changes call sign to WASH.
12/6/26: WMPC Lapeer signs on at 1280. WFDF Flint moved from 1280 to 860 prior to WMPC signing on.
12/18/26: Option to buy WJR-WCX is acquired by G. A. Richards and associates (Leo Fitzpatrick, John Patt, P. M. Thomas and M. R. Mitchell).
1926: NBC Network is formed

5/1927: WOOD Grand Rapids changes frequency from from 1240 to 1150.
Stations as of June 30, 1927 from the US Department of Commerce:

  • 610 -- WSKC Bay City- Western Star Knitting Co. / 250 watts
  • 680 -- WCX Pontiac- WJR & Detroit Free Press / 5000
  • 680 -- WJR Pontiac- WJR & Detroit Free Press / 5000
  • 800 -- WWJ Detroit- Detroit News / 1000
  • 860 -- WFDF Flint- Frank D. Fallain / 100
  • 940 -- WGHP Mt. Clemens- George H. Phelps / 750
  • 1050 - WKAR East Lansing- Michigan State College / 1000d, 500n
  • 1060 - WRAK Escanaba- Economy Light Co. / 50
  • 1150 - WOOD Furnwood- Walter B. Stiles Jr. / 500
  • 1170 - WASH Grand Rapids- Baxter Launderers and Cleaners / 500
  • 1230 - WMBC Detroit- Michigan Broadcasting Co. Inc. / 100
  • 1250 - WBBP Petoskey- Petoskey High School / 100
  • 1260 - WEMC Berrien Springs- Emanuel Missionary College / 1000
  • 1280 - WMPC Lapeer- First Methodist Protestant Church / 50 (licensed 12/17/26)
  • 1300 - WREO Lansing- Reo Motor Car Co. / 500
  • 1330 - WAGM Royal Oak- Robert L. Miller / 50
  • 1360 - WJBK Ypsilanti- Ernest F. Goodwin / 15
  • 1370 - WAFD Detroit- Albert B. Parfet Co. / 250
  • 1370 - WTHO Detroit- W. J. Thomas Broadcasting Co. / 250 (unknown)
  • 1410 - WKBP Battle Creek- Battle Creek Enquirer and News / 50 (9/18/26)
  • 1420 - WBMH Detroit- Braun's Music House / 100 (1/1927)
  • 1430 - WLBY Iron Mountain- Aimone Electric / 50 (unknown)
  • 1460 - WKBL Monroe- Monrona Radio Manufacturing Co. / 15 (9/1926)
  • 1500 - WKBZ Ludington- Karl L. Ashbacker / 15 (11/1926)
Stations no longer licensed since 1926 report: WABX Mount Clemens, WSMH Owosso
9/1/27: Option was to purchase WCX-WJR exercised by G.A. Richards and associates.
1927: WWJ broadcasts first Tigers' baseball game, with Ty Tyson calling the play-by-play
1927: CBS Network is formed
1927: WKSC Bay City changes frequency from 1150 to 610

Stations as of June 30, 1928 from the US Department of Commerce:

  • 620 -- WEMC Berrien Springs- Emanuel Missionary College
  • 680 -- WCX Pontiac- WJR & Detroit Free Press
  • 680 -- WJR Pontiac- WJR & Detroit Free Press
  • 850 -- WWJ Detroit- Detroit News
  • 1080 - WKAR East Lansing- Michigan State College
  • 1080 - WGHP Fraser- George H. Phelps
  • 1100 - WSKC Bay City- Western Star Knitting Co.
  • 1100 - WFDF Flint- Frank D. Fallain
  • 1100 - WMCO Saginaw- Wolverine Broadcasting Co.
  • 1150 - WOOD Furnwood- Walter B. Stiles Jr.
  • 1170 - WASH Grand Rapids- Baxter Laundries Inc.
  • 1230 - WMBC Detroit- Michigan Broadcasting Co. Inc.
  • 1250 - WBBP Petoskey- Petoskey High School
  • 1280 - WMPC Lapeer- First Methodist Protestant Church
  • 1300 - WAFD Detroit- Albert B. Parfet Co.
  • 1330 - WAGM Royal Oak- Robert L. Miller
  • 1360 - WJBK Ypsilanti- Ernest F. Goodwin
  • 1410 - WKBP Battle Creek- Battle Creek Enquirer and News
  • 1420 - WBMH Detroit- Braun's Music House
  • 1430 - WLBY Iron Mountain- Aimone Electric
  • 1500 - WKBZ Ludington- Karl L. Ashbacker

Stations no longer licensed since 1927 report: WRAK Escanaba, WREO Lansing, WTHO Detroit, WKBL Monroe
11/11/28: WJR-WCX is assigned to 750 KHz as a clear channel station, WOOD and WASH are assigned 1270 and must share the frequency.
1928: Federal Radio Commission notifies 162 stations that they will not have their licenses renewed. This is in order to minimize interference problems on the AM dial. Among the stations shut down was WBBP Petoskey.
1928: WKSC Bay City changes frequency from 610 to 1100

January 1929: Goodwill Stations Inc. is formed by G.A. Richards and associates as the owner of WJR. WCX ceases to exist as all the assets are aquired by WJR.
1929: WHDF Calumet is first licensed. Station later becomes WCCY.
1929: WGHP Fraser is sold from George H. Phelps to Trendle & King (Kunsky) and call sign is changed to WXYZ.

Stations as of June 30, 1930 from the Federal Radio Commission:

  • 590 -- WEMC Berrien Springs- Emanuel Missionary College
  • 750 -- WJR Detroit- WJR, The Goodwill Station Inc.
  • 920 -- WWJ Detroit- Evening News Association
  • 1040 - WKAR East Lansing- Michigan State College
  • 1240 - WXYZ Detroit- Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Corporation
  • 1270 - WASH Grand Rapids- WASH Broadcasting Corporation
  • 1270 - WOOD Furnwood- Walter B. Stiles Inc.
  • 1310 - WAGM Royal Oak- Royal Oak Broadcasting Co.
  • 1310 - WFDF Flint- Frank D. Fallain
  • 1370 - WHDF Calumet- Upper Michigan Broadcasting Co.
  • 1370 - WIBM Jackson- C. L. Carrell
  • 1370 - WJBK Ypsilanti- James F. Hopkins Inc.
  • 1410 - WBCM Bay City- James E. Davidson
  • 1420 - WELL Battle Creek- Enquirer-News Co.
  • 1420 - WMBC Detroit- Michigan Broadcasting Co. Inc.
  • 1500 - WKBZ Ludington- Karl L. Ashbacker
  • 1500 - WMPC Lapeer- First Methodist Protestant of Lapeer
1930: WBCM Bay City changes frequency from 1100 to 1410

1931: WJR Detroit increases power to 10,000 watts
1931: Operations of WASH and WOOD are consolidated- the station operates using WOOD-WASH as a call sign.
Stations as of June 30, 1931 from the Federal Radio Commission:

  • 590 -- WKZO Kalamazoo- WKZO Inc.
  • 750 -- WJR Detroit- WJR, The Goodwill Station Inc.
  • 920 -- WWJ Detroit- The Detroit News
  • 1040 - WKAR East Lansing- Michigan State College
  • 1240 - WXYZ Detroit- Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Corporation
  • 1270 - WASH Grand Rapids- WASH Broadcasting Corporation
  • 1270 - WOOD Furnwood- Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Corporation
  • 1310 - WBEO Marquette- Lake Superior Broadcast Co.
  • 1310 - WEXL Royal Oak- Royal Oak Broadcasting Co.
  • 1310 - WFDF Flint- Frank D. Fallain
  • 1370 - WHDF Calumet- Upper Michigan Broadcasting Co.
  • 1370 - WIBM Jackson- WIBM Inc.
  • 1370 - WJBK Ypsilanti- James F. Hopkins Inc.
  • 1410 - WBCM Bay City- James E. Davidson
  • 1420 - WELL Battle Creek- Enquirer-News Co.
  • 1420 - WMBC Detroit- Michigan Broadcasting Co. Inc.
  • 1420 - WJMS Ironwood- Marius Johnson
  • 1500 - WKBZ Ludington- Karl L. Ashbacker
  • 1500 - WMPC Lapeer- First Methodist Protestant Church
11/31: WJMS Ironwood signs on

1/20/33: The Lone Ranger first airs on WXYZ
1/31/33: The Michigan State Network was started by George W. Trendle. It consisted of WXYZ Detroit, WOOD-WASH Grand Rapids, WIBM Jackson, WELL Battle Creek, WKZO Kalamazoo, and WFDF Flint.
1933: The major portion of the licensee of WFDF, Flint Broadcasting Co. is sold to the Loeb Brothers.

Stations as of January 1, 1934 from the Federal Radio Commission:

  • D=daytime only, U=unlimited, SH=special hours
  • 590 -- WKZO Kalamazoo- WKZO Inc. / 1000 D
  • 750 -- WJR Detroit- WJR, The Goodwill Station Inc. / 10,000 U
  • 920 -- WWJ Detroit- Evening News Association / 1000 U
  • 1040 - WKAR East Lansing- Michigan State College / 1000 SH
  • 1240 - WXYZ Detroit- Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Corporation / 1000 U
  • 1270 - WASH Grand Rapids- Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Corporation / 500
  • 1270 - WOOD Grand Rapids- Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Corporation / 500
  • 1310 - WBEO Marquette- Lake Superior Broadcast Co. / 100 SH
  • 1310 - WEXL Royal Oak- Royal Oak Broadcasting Co. / 50 U
  • 1310 - WFDF Flint- Flint Broadcasting Co. / 100 U
  • 1370 - WHDF Calumet- Upper Michigan Broadcasting Co. / 250/100 SH
  • 1370 - WIBM Jackson- WIBM Inc. / 100 SH
  • 1370 - WJBK Ypsilanti- James F. Hopkins Inc. / 50 SH
  • 1410 - WBCM Bay City- James E. Davidson / 500 U
  • 1420 - WELL Battle Creek- Enquirer-News Co. / 50 U
  • 1420 - WMBC Detroit- Michigan Broadcasting Co. Inc. / 250/100 U
  • 1420 - WJMS Ironwood- WJMS, Inc / 100 U
  • 1500 - WKBZ Ludington- Karl L. Ashbacker / 100 U
  • 1500 - WMPC Lapeer- First Methodist Protestant of Lapeer / 100 SH

1935: WJR Detroit increases power to 50,000 watts

1936: WWJ Detroit increases power to 5,000 watts
1936: WKAR E. Lansing moves to 870 KHz

1937: The Hindenburg burns in New Jersey, live radio coverage with famous description 'Oh, the humanity'

8/8/38: WHLS Port Huron signs on
1938: Orson Wells famous War of the Worlds is broadcast, causing widespread panic

12/17/39: WCAR Pontiac (later WCXI, WWWW, WDFN Detroit) signs on
1939: WKAR E. Lansing increases power to 5,000 watts
1939: WMBC Detroit becomes WJLB as John Lord Booth takes control of station

1940: WFDF Flint increases power to 1,000 watts and moves to 910 KHz
9/18/40: WLAV Grand Rapids signs on
1940: WTCM Traverse City signs on

3/29/41: 802 of 893 stations across the US change freqencies as a result of new agreement with Canada, Mexico, and Cuba.

1942: By December, the call sign WASH had been dropped from WOOD-WASH Grand Rapids.
Stations as of 1942:

  • 590 -- WKZO Kalamazoo
  • 760 -- WJR Detroit
  • 870 -- WKAR East Lansing
  • 910 -- WFDF Flint
  • 950 -- WWJ Detroit
  • 980 -- WHAL Saginaw
  • 1130 - WCAR Pontiac
  • 1230 - WMPC Lapeer
  • 1230 - WSAM Saginaw
  • 1230 - WSOO Sault Ste Marie
  • 1240 - WJIM Lansing
  • 1270 - WXYZ Detroit
  • 1300 - WASH Grand Rapids
  • 1300 - WOOD Grand Rapids
  • 1340 - WDMJ Marquette (was WBEO?)
  • 1340 - WEXL Royal Oak
  • 1340 - WLAV Grand Rapids
  • 1400 - WELL Battle Creek
  • 1400 - WHDF Calumet
  • 1400 - WJLB Detroit
  • 1400 - WTCM Traverse City
  • 1440 - WBCM Bay City
  • 1450 - WHLS Port Huron
  • 1450 - WIBM Jackson
  • 1450 - WJMS Ironwood
  • 1490 - WDBC Escanaba
  • 1490 - WJBK Detroit
  • 1490 - WKBZ Muskegon

1943: NBC sells off NBC Blue Network, which becomes ABC

1945: U. S. Supreme Court in Ashbacker decision, rules that FCC must hear all mutually exclusive applications before making grants; reverses grant to WJEF(AM) Grand Rapids, sustains appeal of WKBZ(AM) Muskegon.

4/26/46: WTCB (later WTAC, WSNL) Flint signs on at 600 KHz.
7/18/46: FCC approves ABC's purchase of King-Trendle Broadcasting Corp. (WXYZ-AM Detroit, WOOD-AM Grand Rapids, and Michigan Radio Network) for $3.65 million.
August 1946: George B. Storer, president of Fort Industry Co., purchases WJBK Detroit from John F. Hopkins. Inc. for $550,000 - at the time a record local station figure.
September 1946: Fetzer Broadcasting Co. Grand Rapids (WJEF), losing participant in Supreme Court - Ashbacker decision, wins FCC proposed decision for local on 1230 KHz in Grand Rapids.
Stations as of 1946:

  • 590 -- WKZO Kalamazoo
  • 760 -- WJR Detroit
  • 870 -- WKAR East Lansing
  • 910 -- WFDF Flint
  • 950 -- WWJ Detroit
  • 1050 - WPAG Ann Arbor
  • 1130 - WCAR Pontiac
  • 1230 - WJEF Grand Rapids
  • 1230 - WMPC Lapeer
  • 1230 - WSOO Sault Ste Marie
  • 1240 - WATT Cadillac
  • 1240 - WJIM Lansing
  • 1270 - WXYZ Detroit
  • 1300 - WOOD Grand Rapids
  • 1340 - WDMJ Marquette
  • 1340 - WEXL Royal Oak
  • 1340 - WLAV Grand Rapids
  • 1400 - WELL Battle Creek
  • 1400 - WHDF Calumet
  • 1400 - WJLB Detroit
  • 1400 - WSAM Saginaw
  • 1400 - WTCM Traverse City
  • 1440 - WBCM Bay City
  • 1450 - WHLS Port Huron
  • 1450 - WIBM Jackson
  • 1450 - WJMS Ironwood
  • 1450 - WKLA Ludington
  • 1490 - WDBC Escanaba
  • 1490 - WJBK Detroit
  • 1490 - WKBZ Muskegon
11/11/46: WMRP 1510 Flint signs on (later WCZN, WLQB, WWMN, WGMZ, WWCK)
11/46: WABJ 1490 Adrian signs on
12/29/46: WKMH 1540 Dearborn signs on as daytime station only. Station would later move to 1310 in the 1950's and begin 24-hour operations. Station becomes WKNR, WWKR, WNIC, WMTG, WDOZ, WYUR, WXDX

4/14/47: WKNX 1210 Saginaw signs on
4/30/47: WMBN 1340 Petoskey signs on
12/6/47: WTTH 1380 Port Huron signs on (later WPHM)
1947: WCLC 1470 Flint signs on (later WWOK). Station falls silent, then signs on again in 1953 as WKMF (later WFNT).

1/1/48: WOAP Owosso signs on
1948: Control of WFDF Flint is acquired by the Trebit Corp.
1948: Storer purchases WJBK 1490 Detroit from Fred Hopkins for $750,000 (see 1946 too - which is correct?)
1948: FCC, by 4-to-2 vote in WHLS-AM Port Huron case, holds Section 313 of Communication Act to comprise "absolute" prohibition against a station's censoring political broadcasts; states this federal prohibition will relieve station of responsibility for libelous material in political broadcasts.
1948: FCC orders investigation of news policies of KMPC Los Angeles, WJR Detroit and WGAR Cleveland, stations owned by G. A. (Dick) Richards. Later in the year, a hearing is ordered.
1948: Court of Appeals for District of Columbia rules that FCC must grant hearing to any station that claims it will be harmed by a grant of another application, even if interference would occur outside the normally protected contour, in decision reversing a nonhearing grant to put a 1 kw daytime station at Tarboro, N. C., on the 760 kw I-A clear channel of WJR Detroit.

8/8/49: WCEN 1150 Mt. Pleasant signs on

8/14/49: WGRO 1260 Bay City signs on, owned by Gail D. Griner and Ed Dillon

1950: Hearing on news policies of G. A. Richards stations opens in Los Angeles.
1950: WATC 900 Gaylord signs on (later WZXM, WSNQ)
1950: WSGW 790 Saginaw signs on, owned by John Lord Booth

6/7/51: WMTE 1340 Manistee signs on
12/7/51: WKHM Jackson signs on
12/10/51: WDOG 1590 Marine City signs on (later WSMA, WIFN, WHYT, WHLX)
1951: Three-year-old hearing on renewal of licensee of the Richards stations, WJR Detroit, WGAR Cleveland, and KMPC Los Angeles ends with FCC accepting assurances of Mrs. G. A. Richards that the stations would not broadcast biased or slanted news and granting the license renewals.

1953: WION Ionia signs on

8/16/53: WGRO Bay City goes dark. The station had been purchased by James Gerity in 1952 and went off the air when Gerity applied for TV 5 which would later become WNEM-TV.

12/54: WPON Pontiac signs on (station is now licensed to Walled Lake)
1954: WHGR Houghton Lake signs on
1954: WJBK Detroit shifts from 1490 to 1500
1954: WMRP Flint (now WWCK) shifts from 1510 to 1570

1955: WAMM Flint (now WFLT) signs on
1955: WBSE Hillsdale (now WCSR) signs on, 100 watts

7/12/56: WMIC 560 Monroe (later WQTE, WHND, WLLZ, WRDT) signs on
8/25/56: WCER 1390 Charlotte (later WGWY, WLNF, WNNY, WLCM) signs on
11/26/56: WXOX 1250 Bay City signs on (station eventually goes silent, but returns as WKNX when that station changes frequency from 1210)
11/56: WCHB 1440 Inkster signs on. Michigan's first black-owned-and-operated radio station

1957: WFDF Flint increases power to 5,000 watts

1958: WOIB 1290 Saline (later WNRS, WMAX, WDEO, WYBN, WCAS, WHNE) signs on
1958: WIOS 1480 East Tawas signs on

1959: WKNX 1210 Saginaw increases power from 1,000 to 10,000 watts

1/13/60: WBBC 1330 Flint increases power to 5,000 watts, changes calls to WTRX

6/1961: WFDF Flint is now owned by WFDF Flint Corp.

1962: WBSE Hillsdale increases power to 500 watts, changes calls to WCSR

1964: WERX 1530 Wyoming signs on (later call signs include WYGR, WTKG)

6/27/68: WMIC 1560 Sandusky signs on (later moves to 660)
1968: WSDS 1480 Yspilanti signs on

1971: WMRP 1570 Flint (along with FM 105.5) is sold by Methodist Radio Parish after support is withdrawn by the United Methodist Church.

1980: WJLB 1400 Detroit swaps bands / formats with WMZK-FM 97.9

10/1/81: WDEE 1500 Reed City signs on, owned by David Carmine

9/20/82: WXLA 1170 Diamondale signs on. Station later shifts to 1180
12/23/82: WLJN 1400 Traverse City signs on.

8/15/85: KTGG 1540 Spring Arbor signs on. Note the 'incorrect' call sign (beginning with a 'K' instead of a 'W').
10/12/85: WNZK 690 daytime, 680 nighttime Dearborn Heights signs on as the only dual-frequency station in the USA.
11/15/85: WACY 1160 Fenton (later WWON, WCXI) signs on

1987: WMIC Sandusky changes frequencies from 1560 to 660

1990: WCHB Detroit changes frequencies from 1440 to 1200
1990: WBMX 640 Zeeland signs on (later WROR, WISZ, WMFN)

12/2/94: 'Honey Radio' Oldies format on WHND Monroe is replaced by ethnic programming

10/9/96: WABX-AM 990 Clare has its license cancelled (at owners request) by FCC

1/97: WJZZ 1250 Bay City and WKNX 1210 Frankenmuth swap frequencies (WJZZ to 1210 Frankenmuth, WKNX to 1250 Bay City). WJZZ later moves to Kingsley (SE of Traverse City) and later becomes WLDR.

1/98: WQSN 1470 Kalamazoo gets a construction permit to move to the AM expanded band at 1660
3/98: Goodrich Radio is granted a construction permit for a new station in the AM expanded band at 1680 serving the Grand Rapids area
3/98: Martha Jean Steinberg takes control of WQBH 1400 Detroit
5/98: WJZZ 1210 is granted its license in Kingsley (now WLDR)
8/98: WCHB 1200 Detroit goes silent in order to upgrade facilities for a 50,000 watt daytime signal
9/98: WQSN 1470 Kalamazoo begins simulcast on expanded band at 1660
10/98: WBHD 1680 Ada signs on in expanded band (calls later switched to WJNZ, WDSS)
11/98: WOLY 1500 Battle Creek is notified by the FCC that their license has been cancelled due to renewal paperwork not being filed

Dates unknown for these changes:
WFBC 1490 Fremont moves to Whitehall (now WUBR)
WESK 1490 Escanaba moves to Manistique, new calls are WTIQ
WGRY Grayling moved from 1590 to 1230 (1980's)

Unconfirmed changes:
WILS Lansing moved from 1430 to 1320

 

 


 

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