ROAD TRIP: Michigan's U.P. to Milwaukee via Hwy2/US51 and US10: January 2,2016 On a Saturday, tha radio we all got us interested in this hobby was really almost gone! Treated to weekend programming, 80s and 60s syndication, countdowns, endless sweeps, zero talk and the few times I heard a mike crack it was, "like us" on "get the news on our Twitter feed." On top of that, run 5 minutes of commercials or psa's and do not put call letters on before going back into syndication. Unreal. There was one station where the jock talked and never said the calls. This was done twice and not on the bird, as there were local references.
I think the worst effort was recently where someone was talking of a "FB fight" for over 10 minutes. No calls, no nothing. This, on a call in show with of course, no calls! The other thing I have heard is when the caller calls, the get cut off by the host!
It's gotten really bad since I became a radio geek in the 1960's. Now, I can hear the same show on half the AM band, generic programming and no local input. Tight boards, a local playlist is tossed and the pay is down the toilet. The receptionist is answering a phone for a 7 station cluster and there's no CE, no news department and no jock other than morning drive, if that! Wow! There will be more road trip, but I will go on a weekday, hoping for more/better!
What was really sad was there was a station on the air, with an open carrier for over 4 hours! RDS was running and no audio! Unbelievable. More? Two ads: "open until 6 er 5 daily" and this was not a live copy, but an recorded commercial. Heard it twice! Another was an example of horrible copy. "Call ... plumbing" and never ever gave the phone number for the business! Yikes! I just could not believe this! Add to that the talk shows with no call letters over bumper music, no call letters given over songs and it goes on and on!
I did go back on a weekday and the radio was improved. When you had one AM and one FM, one manager, one CE, etc, it was quite different! Now, the pay went down, the poor person is running 2 AMs, 4 FMs and dumping the garbage can on top of it. This is certainly not the radio I grew to love a few decades ago. My hope is the next road trip is better.
ROAD TRIP: Stevens Point,WI to Michigan's U.P.: April 23,2015 96.7 WHTQ Whiting-Wausau and 95.5 WIFC Wausau are both cooking! Hot 96-7 skews younger. Running in the Deep/Adele was noted on WIFC. Tony Waitekus on Hot programs well against WIFC. Both run stop sets at :15 and :45. I see a Chevy Volt on the road. With the lower gas prices, is this the next pet rock? "We know what you want because you don't know..." Starting in Milwaukee and to the UP via US10, I-43, WI 17 and US45 by the way! 97.9 WSPT is Classic Hits and runs 50 minute music sweeps hourly from :00 to :3 or so. I still love the "WSPT" jingles. Must be the sound of a call letter vs a generic Kiss FM, per se. 104.1 WMZK Merrill tossed their HotAC format last fall and is now Classic Rock as "Z104, Wisconsin's Classic Rock!" 103.3 WGLX Wisconsin Rapids, too, is Classic Rock. Good dial position, right next to each other. 94.7 WOZZ Mosinee-Wausau is "Rock 94-7" and there's a translator on 102.7. Another translator is noted for 1390 WRIG Schofield-Wausau. "Fox Sports 1390 & 93.9."
One of the more enjoyable stations, 92.5 WJJQFM Tomahawk runs a nice AC, OLDies mix. "Northwood's 92-5" has come a long way since its old 92.7 days in the 1970s! 900 WATK Antigo has a 98.7 translator. "Classic Hits 98-7" was created when the FM was added last fall. The former NOS format on WATK was tossed. 99.3 WKEB Medford is an Adult Hits station. K99 is the slogan. Station was Classic Hits years ago, and before that it was Cool FM. Remember that? Mid 1990s! 1240 WOBT Rhinelander, "Hodag Classics" is noted on 101.3FM. A Billboard on the left says"Watch for turtles on the road." Years ago, in Florida, alligators were seen crossing the interstate by the Everglades. Rather common. Here though, you're more likely to see a deer. No fan of country, but wow, 98.3 WCQM Park Falls is kickin'! "98Q Country" is well programmed: jingles, sweepers, etc. The Tomahawk area has two sports FMs: 810 WJJQ Tomahawk is on 100.7FM. ESPN Sports. Newer 96.5 WHOH Rhinelander noted carrying the Milwaukee Brewers.
Eagle River, Tomahawk and Merrill all have bypasses. You can stay on the highway or go into town. Well, DQ was in Eagle River and I filled up as I did at the Holiday gas station. $2.44.9. Bought a newspaper, which I still read and like the feel of. One could easily bypass Eagle River, but I didn't. I mean there was a DQ there! 100.7 WOBE Crysal Falls,MI was "Radio Now, 100.7FM" off the bird. Land O'Lakes is the last city in Wisconsin and Michigan, here I am. In Michigan, Paulding has an old "Spur" sign. No gas though. Cenex in Bruce Crossing is $249.9 Cranking up the radio to 98.7 WGLI Hancock. Two excellent songs back to back: Running Down a Dream/Tom Petty and Come Go with Me/Kongos insure I listen to "98-7 the Rockin' Eagle." Rock station. In Watersmeet a brand new Family Dollar is going up! I love Family Dollar, Dollar General and Dollar Tree. I walk 4.2 miles a day at home and am lucky to have two of the three to buy stuff from. Some nice towns along MI 28 after hopping off US 45 were Kenton, Sidnaw and Watton. Covington has many, many rail cars there, parked for years! Excellent eatery there too! From the window you can look at trains or a church down the road. Finally at the driveway. Time to close my eyes for an afternoon nap! I'd fall asleep listening to the Detroit Tigers on 1400 WCCY Houghton's translator 99.3FM.
ROAD TRIP: April, 2015 Stevens Point via US10. For anyone who is a mall buff, the Point Center Mall in Stevens Point is now gone. All that's left is Shokpo, and that was a nice mall! In central Wisconsin, a good Top40 fight! 95.5 WIC Wausau and 96.7 WHTQ Whiting-Wausau. So it's the heritage Top40 (1967) vs the weaker powered start up. Hot 96-7 now has a morning show and jocks in all dayparts. Tony Waitkus is at the helm at Hot 96-7. I have always, always loved his programming, whether WCIL or the old WHTS. He breathes the Top40 format. Both are good. It is fun pushing the buttons between both, just as I did as a child between the Top40s (on AM) of the day! 93.3 WIZMFM LaCrosee is Z93, LaCrosse's #1 Hit Music Station. Local morning show and Top40 since 1975. Well programmed. Nice going through Winona where their K-Mart sadly closed last year. While now fan of C&W, I am a fan of 1380 KAGE Winona. "Kay-Gee Country 1380" is good! As is 95.3 KAGEFM Winona. "KG 95.3" is a HotAC and too, has their own jocks through the day. So many stations have piped in shows for AM drive, nights or just run music after 6pm, it's sad. The new state of radio, I guess, but it's nice that there is good radio out there! 101.3 KDWBFM Ritchield-Minneapolis-St.Paul is a heritage Top40. Listening to piped in Seacrest, do people really care what's going on in H'wood? To stop the music flow for "he said" and "she said" is kinda sad. The music show just flow, not be a continuation of morning drive dribble.
Moving along I-94, two stations stood out and both were good. 104.7 KCLD St. Cloud keeps the flow going. Jingles and long music sweeps. KCLD has never disappointed me in all my years, any road trip. Not once! They have retained true to Top40 formatics through decades! 96.7 KDOG Mankato is Hot 96-7. Jingles and long 40 minute music sweeps. They too sound good. 99.1 KEEZ Mankato, Z99 and a Top40 after in/out of the format for some time, is again a Top40, though to me has pumped it up, at least when I listened lasy year. Jingles, good presentation on both. Stopped for MTS Bus skeds. Expanded service since last time!
Approaching Fargo, 93.7 WDAYFM Fargo, Y94, #1 Hit Music is a heritage Top40, younger skewing. 98.7 KLTA Moorhead,MN is an Adult flavored Top40. Big 98-7 sweeps the music and runs stopsets at :50 and :20 as I remember. Good, truly professional. 96.9 W245CM Moorhead runs as "96-9 Hits FM" to flank sister 98.7. Jingles and commercial free with 33,000+ songs which should takes one into the summer. So, Fargo has 3 good Top40s. If one ads 104.7 KMJO Hope, as 104-7 MixFM there's a nice AC, but really a good flow. A stop at West Acres Mall as it's tight on the interstate. Matbus skeds were had and I remember with maybe 9 routes years ago. Now? 23! Fargo-Moorhead is huge! Greatly expanded from years ago. Along I-94, Jamestown is a nice stop. Buffalo Mall. 93.3 KSJZ Jamestown is Mix 93, a Hot AC that tossed the Kiss monkier a few years back and turned up the pace from AC to HotAC. Jingles, well done as is 101.1 KQDJFM Jamestown. Q101 sounds good and got new jingles in the past year or so. Better stuff! KSJZ is located in the Buffalo Mall, right off of I-94. Out here AMongst the prairies, there's 1490 KOVC Valley City, 1600 KDAK Carrington and KDDR Oakes. Dakota County, all. All of these do run HSFB and sporting events. Excellent coverage and C&W. Well done. Very, very good!
Onward, Bismarck has two good Top40s. 92.9 KYYY Bismarck and 97.5 KKCT Bismarck. "92.9 Y93" is the heritage Top40. In the mid 1970s they flipped from OLDies to a live Top40. This station at the time competed with sister 550 KFYR Bismarck. AMs were skewing older in the 70s and kids were flocking to FM, and KYYY was the fix. So, in "Meyer Plaza" you had KFYR and Y93 in the same building! Through the years, Y93 has gone HotAC and Modern AC, but a few years ago, reverted to what it does best: Top40! Today, the competition is 97.5 KKCT Bismarck. This began years ago at C&W and Cat Country. The boots were tossed for Rhythmic Top40 some years back, but now the station is a straight ahead Top40. Hot 97-5 has a full compliment of jocks starting with one, as I remember. At night, there's Pop Crush nights. 1230 KDIX Dickinson. Nice local, good OLDies station. In 1967, believe it or don't, they were a Top40, going against powerhouse K-Fire! Yes! K-Fire had the Torrid Twenty and KDIX had the Top15 chart! Top12+3! I years ago collected surveys. Nice hobby. But anyway, this is 2015, and I still say KDIX is good stuff!
Along US83, tons & tons of power lines, Lake Sekakewa and approaching oil country. Too, the nice spring temperatures this year vs the cold damp conditions of Milwaukee with the jet stream taking a dip over the Great Lakes and making temperatures less than what we might like after a long winter. 93.7 KIZZ Minot, Z94 is a nice good Top40. Powerful signal. Outlasted the old "K-Hit 97" which tossed the format in the mid 1990s. Wow, that was a long time ago! The Dakota Square mall was still alive and well though I do miss the Chic-Fil-A that I always looked forward to. Along US 2 up here you can hear a few Canadians on AM. Years ago, there was CKY (KY 58) and 1290 CFRW. Both did excellent OLDies format before they both flipped! 580 CKY Winnipeg flipped off the AM switch and 1290 CFRW Winnipeg flipped from a well produced, up tempo OLDies outlet that played tons of Canadian artists to a sports outlet as TSN1290. Nice place is Devils Lake. They still have a nice KMart and a Walmart on Hwy2. Devils Lake is a nice place. Nice city. Clean! 96.7 KQZZ Devils Lake is Mix 96-7 wth a HotAC format. Tesh is on at night after 7. 1240 KDLR Devils Lake is heard easily for 100 miles. C&W and live as in "it's 4:23, good morning from KDLR, 53 degrees..." A live jock on a graveyarder in North Dakota! Wow! There's also an OLDies and C&W outlet, "Double Z Country" in the same building: that is 102.5 KZZY Devils Lake. "Double Z Country" sounds very, very good! Calls and slogan are used. Jingles. Good. KDLR has CBS news on the top of the hour. Going towards North Dakota/Minnesota line, there's a nice 1340 KPOK Bowman,ND. Nice, live, good C&W. Jingles. An excellent product as is 106.7 KYTZ Walhalla. Big 106 is a Top40 that kicks asphalt! Jingles, live jocks through midnight. This station, with a nice coverage area trumps so much of what I hear today: automation, satellite, poor production, a watered down product! Big 106 could compete with anyone and win! How can a station in "small town" North Dakota sound better than so many we've all heard? One station I miss is 100.9 KAUJ Grafton. Used to be Oldies 101, but with the passing of the True Oldies Channel last year, the station is now Classic Rock as "the Rock Farm." To me, the word "oldies" was demonized by consultants. The music is old, not the listener. I've been to church festivals and get togethers and these kids know the words and music better than I ever could! Nobody casually says "classic hits." They'll say oldies. I'm sorry.
Grand Forks. Had to get some Cat Transit stuff at the Columbia Mall. Grand Forks has 92.9 KKXLFM Grand Forks. This is the heritage rocker. Began as 1440 KKXL. Went to XL-93. New Top40, Z94.7 kicked in a few years ago. If you listen to both, XL sounds a tad better. Some OLDies seem a bit out of place on Z. In Minnesota off to another welcome center. More goodies. I only take what I need and there was someone there from the UP and interestingly, we knew the same folk! It is a small world and a good world! Long, long drives and some nice, good, decent people I've met: kind, good. 103.7 KBBJFM Bemidji was Top40 years ago as B104. They went through a satellite phase, but now are an adult flavored Top 40: Mix 103.7! They honestly sounded good, compared to the old bird!
Through the small Minnesota towns, there is nice stuff. One that stands out it 1320 KOZT Grand Rapids. An actual live OLDies station though they use the term Classic Hits. 1570 KAKK Walker is an OLDies station too. They've been oldies for at east twenty years easily. A nice drive and finally I was hearing one of my favorites! 102.5 KDWZ Superior,WI - Duluth,MN. A take off or tip of the hat to KDWB and even the same sounding jingles. Voice tracked, though the casual listener wouldn't know. Truth be told, so much of what we hear is all tracked. 107.7 KBMX Proctor-Duluth is Mix108, Both are good. Still, KDWZ is my favorite just for presenttion, jingles, etc. To me, Mix just isn't a great Top40 handle. Had to stop at the Duluth bus garage. I collect bus schedules and system maps and I got my share! A drive thought and around the downtown area a bar area, Canal Park, off of downtown was a nice drive. Good for the soul! No stop at the Miller Hill Mall this time and all the growth I've seen in that area!
Now off through US2 and I'm still going to listen to KDWZ. Along the way, well, I tuned in to other stuff, though I had to stop at the DQ. This is a must. Every time I head to Ironwood, the DQ is a must stop. That is true actally any time I take a road trip. The DQ is my number one choice and they are based in Minnesota and so there was a few. All orders were correct, etc. Well run! 106.9 WUPM Ironwood,MI has jingles that are old, the station is voice tracked, but you know, this station still sounds good. There used to be a competition when 99.7 WIMI Ironwood was a Top40 "99-7 the Storm." That was around 2003 or so. They still use the TM Century "DRQ" package, but the format seems to run all over the board. Pulling into the drive, I was listening to 98.7 WGLI Hancock. the Rockin' Eagle. An alnum rocker, but the radio in the western part of the UP leaves a lot. If the Detroit Tigers were on, that would make me listen. To, this year they're on 1400 WCCY Houghton's FM translator! Nice to be here. It was nice!
ROAD TRIP:March 1, 1988 New news station, 670 WMAQ up against 780 WBBM Chicago, 1480 WTDY Madison all talk, 1550 WHIT Madison "Oldies Channel",Clyde Coffee, longtime 1480-WISM jock, doing mornings, 1310 WIBA AdCon, 1190 WMAD Sun Prairie NOS, 970 WHA Educational, 92.1 WMAD Sun Prairie Classic Hits, 94.9 WILV Baraboo BFL, 98.1 WMGN Madison AdCon Magic 98", 101.5 WIBA-FM was AoR, 104.1 WZEE Top40 as Z104, 106.3 WWQM Middleton-Madison was country "Q106." 107.3 WSJY Ft Atkinson BFL, Joy107. Only recent changes in Madison area were 1480 FM 92.1 and 94.9.
1580 WTTN Watertown,WI was AC, 94.1 WMLW Watertown AC also as "Mellow 94." 1580 did simulcast 94.1 after 6pm, 1400 WRDB Reedsburg AC, 104.9 WNFM Reedsburg automated C&W, 1240 WIBU Poynette was C&W, 1350 WPDR Portage is C&W, as was 1150 WYNE Kimberly, 1090 WISS Berlin noted with C&W, some AdCon, 102.3 WISSFM was C&W, 980 WCUB Two Rivers was C&W, 940 WFAW Fort Atkinson noted with OLDies, 930 WLBL Aubunale educ talk as AM93, 950 KOEL Oelwein no music in 10 minutes, 850 WAIT Crystal Lake was satellite C&W.
In Central Wisconsin, 800 WDUX Waupaca automated C&W, 740 WRPQ Hudson has satellite AC, tho had a tradio program in the morning, 690 WLKE Oshkosh was SMN satellite OLDies, 550 WSAU Wausau NOS off the bird, 580 WKTY LaCrosse was live C&W, 92.1 WRJC Mauston automated AC, WIZMFM and WLXRFM LaCrosse, both Top40, both seem to have the same format clock: 7 in a row both kick off at :53. Z93 has been Top for a decade and Hit105 has been Top40 for 4 years. Milwaukee years ago had 4 Top40s: WKTI, Z95, B97 and WRKR. Only one, WKTI was left though I always thought WRKR sounded the best!
LaCrosse was a super market: 3 C&Ws, 2 Top40s. Liked smaller markets and UP radio. AM now mostly OLDies, mostly satellite fed, FM is very much alive. AM radio is noted simulcasting FMs. 900 WNNO Wisconsin Dells is //107.1 WNNOFM. AC days, tho Top40 at night. WNNO was C&W years ago. 1460 WTMB Tomah was chatter. Had sold 98.9 WTMBFM, now WVCX to VCY. Now religious. 103.3 WWRW Wisconsin Rapids was live AC as "W103." 104.5 WAXX Eau Claire was one of the best sounding stations around. C&W. 1400 WJJK Eau Claire dumped C&W for AC. Live, not on the bird.
1130 WDGY Minneapolis was satellite C&W, and again, in 974 they were four Top40s: 63-KDWB, U100, WDGY and 15-KSTP. KDWB was now satellite oldies, 980 WYOO Ritchfield is BFL, KSTP was News-Talk. Most from ABC Talkradio. 101.3 once U100, now KDWB and Top40. 1150 WAYY Chippewa Falls was oldies, 1260 WWIS Black River Falls was NOS, 97.1+1290 WCOW Sparta is C&W, tho tradio when heard.
Surprised by 1360 WVRQ Viroua was OLDies as Vintage VRQ. Didn't sound bad. FM was Q102 for WVRQFM Viroqua, though I never heard it. 100.1 WQJY West Salem BFL and only a handful of BFL stations around. 102.3 WHTL Whitehll was C&W, 95.3 KAGEFM Winona was AC, the AM, 1230 KWNO was OLDies.
More into Minnesota: 1270 KWEB Rochester was live AC, 1340 KROC was OLDies, live, not off the bird. 1520 KOLM Rochester was OLDies Channel. I was happy noting that KOLM was simulcast with FM sister 96.7 KWWK -C&W, but now was seperate. 101.7 KRCH Rochester noted with AC. 106.9 KROCFM Rochester was a good, live Top40. "FM107" ments. Was once "Stereo KROC." 97.5 KNXR Rochester was BFL. I noted I was 34 years old.
107.9 KFMW Waterloo, IA was noted with Top40 and "FM 108-KFMW" ids. Minneapolis had a new outlet, 104.1 KJJK St.Louis Park, as "Hot Rockin' 104FM" and this was older Album Rock. 1060 KFIL Preston was C&W, 99.9 KAUS Austin was "100 Country" and live! 660 WVAL Sauk Rapids was oldies as "66 W-Gold" while 970 KGHR Austin was AC. This was off the bird. Noted how I liked hearig music on AM and refreshing not hearing Talknet or ABC Talkradio.
790 WEAQ Eau Claire had Standards/Mor. Nted the town of Minneiaka,MN had a pop of 132! I often wondered what people in these small town do. 1010 KLSS Mason City,IA was simulcasting their FM with AC as "Class 106." 1030 WMIN Maplewood-St.Paul-Minneapolis was satellite (SMN) OLDies. Too, 1050 WISM Eau Claire-Chippewa Falls. WMIN was country hen I last heard it. WISM was AdCon when here last. 1090 WMYD Rice Lake noted with Oldies Channel from Transtar. AdCon was noted on "Stereo KYMN" and 1080 KYMN Northfield was live.
One of the best Top40s I've heard in some time was "99 1/2 WLOL" in Mineapolis. Current heavy and very uptempo. 101.3 KDWBFM Ritchfield-Minneapolis as "101.3 KDWB" had a more adult Top40 approach. I was happy KDWB calls here on 630 or 101.3. The heritage was retained!
1430+95.9 WRDN Durand was still mono on FM. C&W and polkas are heard here. Some farm info: commodities heard and poular on the farm!
102.9 WLTE Minneapolis was soft AC as "Light FM."106.5 FMC Farmont was a live Top40 format and 94.1 WIAL Eau Claire was AC as "I-94" and I94 is the interstate that runs through the city. 680 WOGO Hallie was C&W, 1570 WKBH Holmen-LaCrosse was NOS, 1590 WIKX New Richmond was C&W. 1380 KAGE Winona was C&W, 1360 WMNE Menomonie,WI was "AM 1360" and C&W. 1320 WFHR Wisconsin Rapids was NOS-STDS-Mor. 1220 WTCN Stillwater was "your adult gold station." MN network news was run on WTCN at :55 and Mutual was noted on the hour. WMIN, also Minneapolis metro ran MNN news too, though on the hour. 1190 KWMB Wabasha had Mutual news at :00, and C&W. 810 WJJQ Tomahawk was still C&W.
740 WRPX Hudson,WI was noted silent, though station had just gone on a few years ago. When on the air, it was AC and not a bad station. 730 WJMT Merrill had OLDies played and a Cash Call jackpot of $13.72! The station was simulcast on FM 104.1 WMZK. Only AM calls were used. 1490 WIGM Medford was playing AC tho Hazy Shade of Winter by the Bengals was noted. Promo for AMerican Country Countdown, Sundays at 1pm. This was simulcast on their FM outlet. 1450 WDLB Marshfield was AdCon.
1390 WRIG Wausau was now satellite oldies. Was live OLDies last I heard. 1230 WXCO Wausau was the only live station in Wausau! 101.9 WDEZ Wausau was live C&W. They were automated a few months earlier. 92.1 WJMQ Clintonville was SMN satellite AC. 92.7 WDUXFM seemed OLDies. 800 WDUX Wausau with deregulation (pssa) was on at night now. Automated C&W. Heard near Green Bay. 93.5 WNBK New London an 95.9 WJLW DePere were both C&W. 98.3 WOWN Shawano was OLD/AC as FM99. Automated with jingles as such. 9.7 WSBW Sturgeon Bay was AC as was 105.3 WRLO Antigo-Crandon. 107.1 OCOFM Oconto was running a HS Basketball game. Normally BFL.
104.9 WKFX Kaukauna-Green Bay was satellite OLDies. For years, this was Top40 giant 'KAU! Recently bought by 1440 WNFL Green Bay who kept Top40 for a year and tossed it, sadly. KAU with 3000 watts competed well with 100000 watt WIXX Green Bay. Always was in the Top3 in Arbitron!
1360 WGEE Green Bay was live C&W, 1400 WZUZ Green Bay was live OLDies and 1440 WNFL Green ay was live AC. 101.1 WIXX Green Bay was live Top40, only tossing automation in the past year! 105.7 WAPL Appelton-Green Bay was Album Rock.
I noted so many radio stations in Fox Cities area of WI. Go on US41 and look at all from/near Fond du Lac to/through Green Bay. So many stations, yet most are 3000 watts or AMers who drop to low powers at night. Few stations cover entire Fox Cities area!
1050 WQWM Kaukauna was Oldies Channel. Like the KAU staions as the 105 was common to M 1050 and FM 105! At times, they were "105-KAU." 104.9 was now OLDies and 1050 was OLDies.Both were different sources. 1170 WLKD Waupun also heard loud in area and previously mentioned 690 WLKE Oshkosh were also OLDies.
102.3 WQTC Two Rivers hd basketball at the time. Years ago, thiswas Top40 giant Q102. Before that, this was "Funlovin' 15Q" simulcast with co-owned (at the time) 1590 WQTC Two Rivers. Before that, WQTCAM was a Top40 as, WQTC. A good rockin Top40! We had so many at the time! After 1240 WOMT Manitowoc bought station nd flpped to satellite AC. From Green Bay to Port Washington there was no live Top40 station! 1240 WOMT Maitowoc was AC, 1590 WTRW Two Rivers-Manitowoc-Mishicot is polka! 1570 WRJQ Appelton is also polkas. Both are 24 hours a day!
107.1 WFON Fond du Lac was live AC, 1330 WHBL Sheboygan was live AC, 980 WCUB Two Rivers was live C&W and 2.7 WAUN Kewaunee was polkas. Got home. Drove 784.3 miles in one day. I was beat and tired, ready for some ZZZ's!
ROAD TRIP: October 1997 Eastern WI-Upper Peninsula-NW Wisconsin & points South.
Gas price 94.9 in South Milwaukee. Last year: 64.9. This trip would be Marqueete-Houghton Hancock and for the firs time in my life, NW Wisconsin. I've been to 26 sttes and Canada, but never here!
1400 WRJN Racine was AdCon, 1460 WHBT + 100.7 WHBTFM Racine AdCon as Heartbeat 101, 92.1 WHKQ Racine AC, 1050 WLIP Kenosha was AC, but Larry King at night. Nice oldies show on Saturday Night. 95.1 WJZQ Kenosha was automated Top40, though average listener couldn't tell. Kenosha recently hit by bad times with AMerican Motors being taken over by Chrysler. Racine so-so economy.
540 WYLO Jackson is REL/ETH, 620 WTMJ Milwaukee was talk./AC, 920 WOKY Milwaukee was NOS, 1130 WISN Milwaukee AC, Talk at night incl Larry King. 1250 WEMP Milwaukee is satellite OLDies, 1290 WMVP Greenfiels-Milwaukee satellite Urbab OLDies, 1340 WLZR was //FM 102.9 WLZRFM Milwaukee. Album Rock. 1370 WKSH Sussex-Milwaukee was Contemp Christian music, 1510 WAUK Waukesha was satellite C&W and 1590 WAWA West Allis was Black with some GOS middays.
88.9 WYMS Milwaukee all jazz, 91.7 WMSE Milwaukee is new wave, 93.3 WQFM Milwaukee is Album Rock, 94.5 WKTI Milwaukee Top40, 95.7 WBGK Milwaukee is soft AC, 96.5 WKLH Milwaukee was Classic Hits, 97.3 WLTQ Milwaukee is Soft AC as Light 97, 98.3 WFMR Menononee Falls is classical, 99.1 WMYX Milwaukee is AC, 102.1 WLUM Milwaukee was Urban, 102.9 WLZRFM is Album Rock, 103.7 WEZW Wauwatosa-Milwaukee is BFL. 106.1 WMIL Waukesha-Milwaukee is C&W as FM106, 107.7 WVCY Milwaukee is REL.
1470 WBKV West Bend is AC, 92.5 WBKVFM is Ad/OLDies, V-92 is their slogan, 1560 + 100.1 WGLB is Top40 as "Hits 100.1." Station is now stereo. Not bad for a small town rocker! 104.9-1540 WTKMFM/AM hartford are polkas, and known as the polka place-WTKM.
99.7 WSBW Surgeon Bay now AC off the bird, just moved here from 100.1.
96.3 WMBN Petoskey,MI noted running ads for Marinette County WI MBN stands for MIchigan's Beautiful North. 7.1 WGLQ Escanaba-Marquette-Iron Mountain was cooking with their Adult oriented Top40 as Magic 97. By that I meant toned down jocks, older (1970s) oldies.
950 WKTS Sheboygan was OLDies as AM95, 1330 WHBL Sheboygan was OLDies with an MoR presentation: chatter tween songs, 97.7 WWJR Sheboygan is WHBLs sister: SMN AdCon. I remember WKTS as a rockin' Top40 years ago as KT-95. WWJR only went on the bird this February as before that they were Top40 "All Hit 98!"
1240 WOMT Manitooc was AC, 1420 WPLY Plymouth is OLDies, 1530 WMBE Chilton is polkas, 92.1 WLTU Is Transtar satellie AC "Lite 92" and 102.3 WQTC Two Rivers-Manitowoc tossed Top40 ealier this year for satellite AC! 1590 WTRW Two Rivers is polka as is 92.7 WAUN Kewaunee. WAUN still in mono, not stereo yet!
Lamented the loss of small town Top40s: 100.7 WRKR Racine, B97 WBTT Milwaukee Z95 Milwaukee, which I never cared for, WKTS, All Hit 98, Funlovin' 15Q (WQTC 1590) and now Q102 in Manitooc. If I wanted to go back further, 1240 WOMT Manitowoc, 920 WOKY and 1340 WRIT Milwaukee were all good Top40s!
1440 WNFL Green Bay is AdCon and to me, one of the best in the stare. 95.1 WLST Marinette-Menominee,MI is AC as "95FM." To me, this format was just very bland. 100.1 WEMI Neenah-Menesha is REL, 101.1 WIXX Green Bay taped Top40. 104.9 WKFX Kaukauna is still Top40, though now the former WKAU is Fox 105. Way-way back in 1970, this was Top40 as WVLE, standing for the Fox River Valley. Long tradition as WVLE, WKAU and now WKFX. 105.7 WAPL is the only 100000 watt station in the Fox River Valley. All others are 3000 watts. 1570 WRJQ Appleton is polkas, 1360 WGEE Green Bay is C&W, while 1400 WDUZ Green Bay was OLDies. All live. 1280 WNAM Neenah-Menasha is AC, tho with an MoR presentation.
690 WLKE Oshkosh and 1170 WLKD Waupun-Fond du Lac-Beaver Dam were simulcast SMN OLDies as "the Lake: 690 and 1170." 1230 WHBY Appleton is AC and always sounded good to me. 1150 WYNE Kimberly-Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah-Green Bay was now C&W. This station used to kick when they signed on in 1970. Later, they still kicked as Y-115! Small town Top40's sounded good! 103.1 WKTT Cleveland-Manitowoc-Two Rivers runs C&W as "T103" and came on the air 3 years ago.
94.3 WROE Nenah-Menesha is BFL, 96.7 WAHC Oshkosh is now C&W. Was All Hit 96.7 of recent! 98.5 WDUZFM Green Bay is BFL, 103.9 WMGV Oshkosh is AC as Magic 104 while 107.1 WFON Fond du Lac is AC as is 1450 KFIZ Fond du Lac. The last two are not co-owned.
960 WTCH Shawano-Clintonville is Big Country. Twangier country than heard in Milwaukee. More country was found at 95.9 WJLW DePere-Green Bay. Known as J-96. Automated, as was 800 WDUX Waupaca. Country. Happy with new blacktopped roads as 600 WCHT Escanaba was Transtar OLDies. 93.1 WIMK Iron Mountan Album Rock with all 8 minutes of Slow Ride/Foghat. WIMK was once "sloppy sounding" K-93, but that was years ago. Passing near the Pine tree Mll, 98.9 WJML Petoskey,MI was now AC //1110 AM, WJML. Once a great Top40, "the Music Station - J-M-L." 96.5 WOMA Algoma is the newest FM station in Wisconsin and it's live!
Now in Mchigan, 570 WMAM Marinette-Menominee is taped C&W, 1300 WCJL Marinette-Menominee was C&W and 1340 WAGN Menominee is OLDies, live as "Wagon Radio." Running OLDies Channel. 103.9 WCJLFM Marinette-Menomonee is Top40 as Power 104. This was Hits 106, but they moved here from 106.3. 1380 WFCL Clintonville is C&W and 104.7 WYKX Escanaba is taped C&W. Kicks Country. 107.5 WQMT Ishpeming-Marquette is still Top40 and doing a super job! Running CBS:FM news hourly at :00, which I didn't like. 105.9 WKHQ Charlevoix "106FM-K-H-Q" sounded good! While Q107 is simulcast on 970 WUPY Ishpeming, 106 KHQ is simulcast on 1270 WKHQ Chalevoix.
940 WIDG St Ignace was //102.9 MKE St Ignace. Taped C&W as KC 103. Passing the Eastern Time Zone sign I was here in the clear air and away from the stress zone of Milwaukee. Escanaba has the Delta Plaza and Mead Paper. 101.5 WJNR Iron Mountain is Top40, though toned down during the day. Colorful tall trees on US2. A few abandoned railroad rights of way noted. 97.1 WGLQ Escanaba-Marquette-Ion Mountain is Top40, though not as "up" as Q107. Adult approach. 1240/92.3 WJPD Isheming-Marquette is the best sounding C&W in the UP to me.
Sun shining in Marquette and more to hear! 98.3/1400 WQXO Munising now satellite AC. Tigers baseball. Station is still in mono. 103.3 WRUP Marquette is AC. The only AC around.. 1320 WDMJ Marquette is now News-Talk, ABC Talkradio and CNN news. AM-PM drives are done locally, but I didn't know if area could support a NewsTalk outlet. I remember WDMJ as a good sounding uptempo AC. Jingles, et al. Q107 and Magic97 are the Top40 rockers up here.
I noted how I truly, truly loved the area. Yes, one works, but got have that place to relax and enjoy and this truly was it! Lakes, clean air, nicer people! Truly enjoyable. Some stations noted at night: 1380 CKBC Bathrust,ON, 1410 KSL London,ON and 1430 CJCL Toronto,ON. CKSL had 6 hours on non-stop commercial free music! 1380 CKBC was still a Hot Rockin' Top40 on AM!
So nice to hear 99.5 WYSS Sault Ste Marie. "Yes FM" was automated Top40 a few years ago. Now live. Moving around Negaunee I noticed Linclon Avenus. Yes, Linclon. I still have a picture of the street sign. That was by the Standard gas station downtown. 95.3-1450 WNBY Newberry ran Talknet after 10pm. Used to sign off at 10PM. 105.1 WQLZ Cheboygan "105-QLZ" was running a good op40 with 12 in a row! 104.3 CJQM Sault Ste Marie was C&W. I noted 101.3 WSUE with 8 songs in a row, no calls, no nothing. Album Rock. WSUE is AC.
On the way home to South Milwaukee, I'd go home from Marquette via Houghton-Hancock and NW Wisconsin. I've never, ever been here, nor to Duluth. Still want to get to North-South Dakota for some reason. I've been many, many places in my life, but nothing is as beautiful as Michigan's UP! I mean it! I have found Heaven on Earth and I knew it!
Nice billboard on US41 for ONT. New 98.3 WONT Ontanagon was now on the air! Wow! The adrenalin was going! That dog gone radio blood! "You're in WONT Country" said the sign. SMN satellite country. Was disppointed it was on the bird. But still, it was new. News on the hour was local. Hilly region of Houghton-Hancock means WONT really doesn't compete with Houghton-Hancock stations. 97.7 WHUH Houghton had a super morning team. Sounded big market! AdCon leaning to Top40 as Stereo 98. Automated after 10am. ABC Direction news. 93.5 WZRK Hancock //920 WMPL Hancock and is REL/Talk through 10am. "Wimple and Z93" then. AC off the bird after 10, and I was truly ticked as Z93 dumped their great lively Top40 format, just two years earlier. 1400 WCCY Houghton is live C&W. Mr Norm was playing Boxcar Willy, Tex Ritter and Tennessee Ernie Ford. I hate C&W music, but WCCY was good as was Mr. Norm! WCCY aired the Detroit Tigers games.
Loved the towns of Houghton-Hncock. Smll, NMU Northern Michigan University and the Copper Country Mall, built in 980. Loved the games in the arcade in the mall. Both downtowns were very alive. One way street in each. I truly loved the traffic flow.
98.9 WAKX Duluth was Top40 as 99 Wax. I didn't hear any jingles here. 105.9 WBWA Washburn was Top40 with jingles and didn't sound bad! Promos for a nighly Classical Music radio show: 10pm-Midnight! Different! 560 WEBC Duluth was AC as was 1400 WATW Ashland. WATW was 24 hours and ran ABC news. WATW used the slogan North Country Radio. As I drive through Mass City, a "Fresh Up with 7Up" sign was seen. That was from the 60s! Saw a railroad abandonment near Ewen Michigan. Had a nice Ford dealer there and an AMaco station. Not much else! 590 WJMS Ironwood,MI was live C&W. Bruce Crossing,MI had freshly tarred over railroad tracks. Gone! 99.7 WIMI Ironwood,MI was sadly, automated AC. This station, I thought, should be live! Slogan was "99-7 WIMI." 106.9 WUPM Ironwood seemed to be a bland AC. In the mid 1970's they were Top40 "U-107" and I wondered what happened. 1450 WHRY Hurley was NOS. WHRY was one of Wisconsin's newest radio stations. 93.9 WTBX Hibbing,MN was Top40 and used "the Hot FM" slogan on occasion. Good selection of current hits. 95.7 KDALFM Duluth was "96 Lite FM" while 94.9 KQDSFM Duluth was good Album rocker.
Sad to see the Gambles store in Ironwood out of business. $103.9 for unleaded. Ouch! As I left Milwaukee, it was $0.94.9! 96.7 WJJH Ashlad was all over the road musically. AC,Old Rock and ABC-FM news t :15. Back to Duluth, 102.5 KZIO Duluth ran 10 in a row beginning at :40. No jingles. 680 WOGO Hallie was C&W. 910+101.7 WHSM Hayward was small town radio. 710 WDSM Superior was C&W as "71 WDSM", 850 WWJC Duluth was REL, 92.1 WRLS Hayward,WI was playing 1-2 commercials after every 1-2 records. No calls. Never identified station! WRLS was a Brewers network station. Driving on Hwy trunk "O" due to a detour was a pain. 1090 WMYD Rice Lake was OLDies Channel, 1240 WJMC Rice Lake was live AC, 96.3 WJMCFM was taped C&W. 97.7 WAQEFM was live AC. UPI news rn at :20 on WAQEFM. 92.7 WLDYFM Ladysmith carried 1340 WLDY programming. Format was AC. Frequencies were never mentioned for AM nor FM.
980/98.3 WNBIFM/AM Park Falls were good sounding, AC and sounded good. Jingles too! 97.9 WSPT was Top40, but to me, has sounded better. Lack of jingles. Way etter, more upbeat years ago. 92.1 WJJQFM Tomahawk simulcasts 810 with C&W. 107.9 WYCO Wausau was still satellite AC. 106.5 WLJY Marshfield-Stevens Point-Wisconsin Rapids was still BFL as "Joy 107." Sad that the only good sounding station in Wausau area was WIFC, which began as a Top40 in 1969! 95.9 WWMH Minocqua sounded good. "96FM" came on the air in 1972 I believe! 100.3 WRHN Rhinelander was BFL. 1570 WFBZ Minocqua was player older, softer AC music. SMN's satellite OLDies were to be found on 1240 WOBT Rhinelander. Was once a live OLDies station, but things change I guess. 97.5 WZTT Rhinelander not on air yet, but I as checking! 1390 WRIG Schofield was "Wausau's one and oldie" and live OLDies. Talknet runs at night. ABC Direction news runs at :00. 96.7 WYTE Whitehall who had been on air less than 5 years had a staff meteologist on 5pm newscast. A 12 WJFW Rhinlander billboard was noted in Wausau. 1010 WXYQ Steven Point was C&W, 107.5/1370 WCCNFM/AM Neilsville was C&W. Still mono. Too, there was a lot of personality on WCCN. 102.7 WRVM Suring was REL. 94.9 WILV Baraboo-Madison, "Love Stereo" was BFL music. 92.7 WDUXFM was AC. 100.1WDDC Portage was AC, though Top40 at night, though automated, 95.9 WYUR Ripon was all love songs, 1600 WCWC Ripon was AC. Muh personality. 1350 WPDR Portage had C&W, 1070 WTSO Madison, too, was C&W. 940 WFAW ort Atkinson was OLDies, 92.1 WRJCFM Mauston was live AC and 96.7 WSEY Sauk City-Madison was light AC and NBC Source news at :15. 1400 WRDB Reedsburg was AC, though had a Brewers game this evening. 1430 WBEV Beaver Dam is AC, though had the Brewers on tonight. 104.9 WNFM Reedsburg is automated C&W. 1240 WIBU Poynette was polkas. Years ago, this was a nice small town Top40, Calls:Wind Is Being Used, as a windmill once ran the transmitter. 95.3 WXRO Beaver Dam is automated C&W.
Odometer read 76189 when I pulled into drive way. Began at 74944. Wow, did I drive! I'd had 38 pages of scratches of radio notes on legal pads. Lotta stuff. Will I go to Marquette/Houghton-Hancock again? You bet! This hobby has taken me so far. Things I've never, ever dreamed of! Thanx so much for reading!
ROAD TRIP: June 1987 1400 WDUZ Green Bay was mostly OLDies tho a few currents were tossed in, 1440 WNFL Green Bay was AC, United Stations news on the hour, 96.5 WOMA Algoma was AC and sounded good for a small town station! 93.9 WDORFM Stuegeon Bay was AC, though taped, 910 WDOR Sturgeon Bay was a refreshing sound on AM! Talk, trivia, recipies, jokes. Nice! 107.1 WOCOFM Oconto was BFL, while 1260 WOCO Oconto was C&W, and live! 1380 WFCL was "Country 1380" and Mutual news on the hour. The FM, 92.1 WFCL Clintoville hasn't come on yet. Still looking though! 103.9 WCJLFM Marinette-Menominee MI was 4 in a row, no talk Power 104. Wished it was more lively. 1300 WCJL is C&W, while 1340 WAGN Menominee is OLDies. This station always sounds good!"Wagon" radio plays obscure stuff too, not only the Top 300 or so. Wagon Radio is an excellent OLDies station!570 WMAM Marinette is C&W tho taped. Disappointed that the best signal in the area had taped vs live programming.
Going north on 141, saw a DX gasoline station. Those seem to be few and far between. This was right after entering Michigan. Sunoco was starting to replace the DX name. 107.7 WYKX Escanaba was taped C&W as Kicks. Liked the 97.1 WGLQ Escanaba still was a good Top40. 600 WCHT Escanaba was Transtar OLDies. 680 WDBC Escanaba was AC, off the bird.
Now listened to 92.3 WJPDFM Ishpeming-Marquette is an excellent C&W station, personality about. Now I was up North!107.3 WMQT Ishpeming-Marquette was a high energy Top40, heavy on currents, jingles and personality. Sounded big for the market! Q107 was simulcast on 970 WUPY Ishpeming-Marquette. Only if every Top40 sounded this good! 103.3 WRUP Marquette is AC. "we're UP on the U P" is often used on this live station. 95.7 WHWL Marquette was REL. Marquette was a well balanced market. Something for everyone. I bemoaned the loss of music on 1320 WDMJ Marquette. was an AC station. Now talk. I still remember years ago a PAMS "Philadelphia" jingle into Hush by Deep Purple! This station cooked! Sometimes I think AM radio is putting the nails in its own coffin.
101.1 WJNR Iron Mountain is still Top40, though I just ish it was more uptempo, 98.9 WJML Petoskey and AM1110 are AC. Sadly "99JML" tossed the Top40 years ago. It was ok then! It was sad to see "J M L - the Music Station" go away. Now, there are two Top40 giants: 105.9 WKHQFM Charlevoix. 106-KHQ is simulcast on 1270 WKHQ Charlevoix. Too, there's 106.7 WKPK Gaylord. Excellent dial positions: right next to each other! 98.3 WQXOFM/AM 1400 Munising was AC, tho was a nice little Top40 just a few years back. I'm giving away my age when I remember when every small town had a nice little Top40, record charts in the local record store, Woolworth's, Sears, WT Grants.
U P language: soda is "pop" and there are pasties, a meat and potato treat. Lumber and forests about, some railroad abandonment since only last year!
Fox River Valley/Eastern Shores of WI. April, 1987. 92.1 WHKQ Racine,WI is the old WFNY. Taped AC replaced the old NOS/STDS format, 102.9/1340 WLZRFM/AM Milwaukee tossed WBCS and C&W for Album Rock. 1250 WEMP Milwaukee tossed live OLDies for the satellite. 100.7 WHBT Racine tossed Top and the WRKR calls. WRKR AM at this time still was simulcasting 100.7. Format now AC. 1510 WAUK Waukesha now taped C&W vs live. WEMP Mlwaukee too was Mutual news, 920 OKY Milwaukee was ABC Entertinment news. THis was on WEMP. Now, Milwaukee had no CBS news affiliate. 800 WDUX Waupaca was now taped C&W, tossing the FM simulcast. All this, and I hadn't left Milwaukee yet!
9.7 WAHC Oshkosh was now C&W, tossing Top40, 690 WLKE Oskosh now OLDies, tossing WCKK calls and NOS. WCKK was "Cake on the Lake." Now WLKE Oskosh was using Transtar OLDies // with 1170 WLKD Waupun. For years, 1170 was WLKE. "Lucky 11-70 radio." 1050 WQWM Kaukauna now SMN OLDies Channel. 105.7 WAPL Appleton was Album Rock (AoR) and had a noon oldies show. Loved haring Stay With Me/Faces. Always liked hearing this song since the Rock of Chicago played the heck out of it years ao. 99.3 WGGO Waupun was satellite Top40, a 99Q. Kinda boring 4 in a row, no talk presentation, 1150 WYNE Kimberly is C&W, 104.9 WKFX Kaukauna till Top40, though the best pd was B J Crocker when this was WKAU! Excuse me...K-A-U! 1280 WNAM Neenah-Menesha had AC and a lot of tele-talk. 92.7 WDUXFM Waupaca wasa noted as Mid-Wisconsin's Hit Music Station" with their uptempo AC format.
Loved checking out the malls and transit systems. I am a bus geek and have been since I was a child. More! 1530 WMBE Chilton tossed AC for polkas! 1570 WAPL Appelton is "Q Lite" or "Lite 1570." AC sounded taped. I might add that WMBE sounded good and really got out of the crowded AC arena. 93.9/910 WDORFM/AM turgeon Bay were AC as "The Big 94!" 96.5 WOMA Algoma was new o the airwaves! AC. Wish them well! 96.9 WJLW DePere still C&W though no longer calling itself J-96. 1240 WOMT Manitowoc sill AC and BS. 1590 WTRW Two Rivers-Manitowoc back on the air after having been silent! Polkas and a station with great personality! Great for WTRW, who has a CP for night operation!
Highway 42 from Manitowoc to Two Rivers was nothing short of beautiful and scenic! Wow! Just breathtaking! 92.7 WAUN Kewaunee was polkas with some NOS noted! 99.5 New Holstein has a CP. Hopes to be on soon. In Manitowoc, I was saddened to see the closing of the downtown SSKresge store. Kresge was the forerunner of today's K-Mart.
1987 has to go down as a year with tons of radio changes. I mean a ton of them! Polka radio might be the savior of AM radio in Wisconsin! Witness: 1570 WMYM Minocqua, 1540 WTKM Hartford, 1590 WTRW Two Rivers, 92.7 WAUN Kewaunee. 1570 WRJQ Appleton just dropped polkas recently.
Nice to get home and he KMart here closes at 11PM. Got a few transit maps, schedules and walked though malls looking for record surveys, but those are hardly being published anymore. Nice. Home, sweet home!
Western Wisconsin, March 1987, to be added soon.
ROAD TRIP: AMazing Wisconsin, January 12,1987 1050 WLIP Kenosha, upon leaving, was a good, healthy AC. 1400 WRJN Racine is a more subdued AC with personality. ABC news on the hour, local at :30. Both stations sound good. 1460 WRKR Racine now SS w/"Radio Hit" vs 100.7 WRKRFM who is Top40 as Hit Radio and cookin! The shotgun jingle, sports at :52 sweeping through :40 the next hour. Pow! This station has never sounded this good! 1460 WRKR was once Top40 WRAC. 920 WOKY Milwaukee is MoR and doesnt sound bad.860 WNOV Milwaukee is BLK, with GOSpel in the morning. 1130 WISN Milwaukee is AC, personality. Sports Talk at 6pm, Larry king later on. 1250 WEMP Milwaukee is OLDies and they sound good! 1290 WMVP Greenfield-Milwaukee is Heart & Soul R&B. 1590 WAWA West Allis runs 7w until 6pm sign off. Blck programming with GOSpel from 10am-2pm. WNOV runs 2.7 watts until midnight. 1340 WBCS Milwaukee //102.9 WBCSFM Milwaukee. Music Country Network and Admirals hockey is carried here.
1510 WAUK Waukesha-Milwaukee is country off the bird, I couldn't figure how WAUK was C&W. It's a daytimer. There's also C&W on 1340, 102.9, FM106 and WMAQ!
1470 WKBV West Bend is AC and personality. HSFB, Tradio, etc. 1560 WGLBFM/AM are simulcast. I was impressed with how good WGLB sounded. Very hard AC! Figured they had some very good record service. WGLB is "your hometown radio station" Like I said, sounded good! 540 WYLO Jackson-Milwaukee is now REL/ETH. Schedule is 6am-Midnight. Once a C&W giant, I can still remember the "Way-Lo" record surveys and the Top54 chart put out weekly and the "Way-Lo Country" jingles! It was a good radio station!
1430 WBEV Beaver Dam was an excellent example of a small town station. AC days, OLDies at night. ABC Information on the hour and local on the half hour. 1170 WLKE Waupun-Fond du Lac-Beaver Dam is satellite OLDies. I always preferred live vs satellite. I got into the dx'ing hobby by making lists of Top40 stations I could hear, plus the stuff at night! Picture a kid now and all they had was News/Talk, REL, ETH. Ouch! No wonder people hve moved to FM. AM seems to be a dumping ground and I remember how good it once was! End of sermon.
1420 WPLY Plmouth is live, local OLDies. Jingles abound, CNN news on the hour. Plymouth is near Sheboygan where 950 WKTS Sheboygan is NOS. 1330 WHBL Sheboygan is AC, though heavy on sports.
1370 WKSH Sussex is contemporary Christian and during the day, "KS 14" carries news at :50. Theyre on until midnight, though you cannot hear them once the pattern change kicks in. Once WCQL with an AC format. Too little, too late I guess.
1280 WNAM Neenah-Menesha now AC tossing Top40 a few years back. Two more former Top40's: 690 WCKK Oshkosh now is NOS:MYL, 1150 WYNE Kimberly-Appelton-Oshkosh-Green Bay is C&W, though they sounded good. 1440 WNFL Green Bay is a good, consistent sounding AC. It's almost Top40. Tight sounding. They've sounded good for 10 years! 1090 WISS Berlin is a treat with a capitol T! WISS now has a new jingle package. "AM 11-FM 102." 800 WDUX Waupaca is an AC. "AM 800-FM 92" has a good signal. Another former Top40.
Down US 10, westbound and 730 WJMT Merrill pops through. AC. Local sounding. Good! I was critical of songs with no IDS or jingles between. At least say the calls.
680 WOGO Hallie seemed to be softer C&W. Talk of big snow storm coming. Time to head for the hills! 1150 WAYY Chippewa Falls tossed OLDies for C&W. 790 WEAQ Eau Claire is AC. Was NOS. Too, WEAQ was once a Top40 giant! "79Q" handle a little. Instant request: "Do you ave any Beach Boy songs?" "No" said the jock. Ouch. 1090 WMYD Rice Lake is satellite OLDies. WAQEFM was once simulcast on WAQE, but no more.
900 WNNO Wisconsin Dells is now in with C&W and "AM 900" non-ids. WNNO stood for their frequency of Nine Nine Oh! Like 1070 WTSO Madison is Ten Seven Oh! This chnge just happened a few years ago. 740 WRPQ Baraboo is now on the bird. Using the Star Station and AC. Sounded so good as a live AC. Tight money I guess.
I bemoaned stations simulcasting: WBCS, WGAR, others.
Now along I-94 toward Madison I was going to beat the snow storm. 1070 WTSO Madison is C&W. Number one in the Capital City. "AM 1070" slogans. 1310 WIBA Madison is strong on news and sports. CBS news. AC days and they play OLDies at night. 1550 WHIT Madison is automated 5 in a row, no talk OLDies. Was once a better oldies station: WWQM. 1480 WTDY Madison, another one time Top40 giant, now AC as "Today Radio." NBC News runs on the hour. To me, TDY sounded bland as AC trying to compete with longtime AC WIBA. Still, half the old king, big time Top40s are gone. Growing pains I guess.
940 WFAW Fort Atkinson had a fishing report and an ad. "Lon's Fishing Store is open New Years day! and it's um, January 12th? Tons of ads, AC and a good news commitment on WFAW. The station years ago was a nice Top40. Weekly record surveys printed. Still, WFAW sounded good.
12330 WCLO Janesville was a good AC, HS basketball promo. 1490 WGEZ Beloit played Stand/Sly & Family Stone & After Midnight/Eric Clapton and the "Stateline Oldies Station" sounded good! 1350 WPDR Portage is C&W and news runs on the hour. 1550 WMIR Lake Geneva is AC. "Radio 15" though had a lot of advertising! Daytimer.
Lots of good radio stations! A few AMs are taped, satellite or FM simulcasters. I don't think AM can be written off yet. As a dx'er I'll listen to AM, but everyone I ask listens to FM. AM to them is something like shortwave or something! Seems when people AM, they say dying in the same sentence!
ROAD TRIP: Appleton-Oskhosh, Manitowoc-Sheboygan,more. Early February 1984. 1250 WEMP Milwaukee seemedc to be abandoning their "Hitparade" format for OLDies. News at the top of the hour. Seemed to be going after the WLZZ Greenfield "Solid Gold 13Z" and 1340 WMKE audience:OLDies. Up the road on 41, 1170 WLKE & 99.3 WGGQ (both) Waupun were simulcasting the C&W format. Only WLKE calls were used."Lucky 11-70" in the stations Top40 heyday: 1966-1970. 1450 KFIZ Fond du Lac now 24 hours a day with CNN nx overnights. 107.1 WFON Fond du Lac AC. Medium market sound. Jingles on both on occasion. Jingles and uptempo presentation and the longest id heard was on 96.9 WAHC Oshkosh-Neenah-Menesha-Appelton (whew) and "All Hit 97" or "FM97" was the FM of 1280 WNAM Neenah-Menesha. WNAM was a tired old Top40 with news on the top/bottom of the hour. Nobody does that anymore! Tons of Top40 competition in the Fox River Valley: WNAM WOSH WIXX WKAUFM/AM and WAHC. 104.9/1050 WKAU Kaukauna sounded tired, sadly. Years ago, there were even more Top40 signals in the valley! 690 WAGO Oshkosh, 1600 WCWC Ripon (and 95.9FM) and 800 WDUX AM/92.7 FM Waupaca all had good signals in the area. 1400 WDUZ Green Bay, once a giant Top40 was now AC. The AM Top40s. which have really been dying since 1974 or so as folks went to FM, were sounding like they were on their last gasp for air! WKAU once stood out. No more! 690 WCKK Oshkosh is NOS:MYL. In 1975 they ran an "Olde Gold" format hich I liked. Guess nobody else did. 1570 WVMS Appleton is NOS. Valley's Music Station for VMS. This was once 1570 WAPL Appleton. 105.7 WAPLFM Appleton sold WAPL. 94.3 WROE Neenah-Menesha then bought WAPL-AM. 94.3 WROE (as in fish eggs:roe...right,good) is BFL. They compete with 100000 watt 98.5 WDUZFM Green Bay, lso BFL. This was on 98.3 many years ago. 1230 WHBY Appleton is the AC in the area! CBS plus expanded news in morning/noon/afternoon. WHBY now owns WAPL-FM. If someone came in with a good FM AC outlet, WHBY might be given a run for their money!
Off to the Valley Faire and Northland malls. The downtown of Appleton was going full tilt! Mothers Ice Cream was a treat and WIXX played in most stores. Country Kitchen for a good quick meal. 1490 WYTL Oshosh is C&W. Til 1978 they were WOSH, a Top40 rocker. 103.9 WOSH Oshkosh is the old WYTL. WOSH now: no jingles, no personality, just a ghost of the glory days on AM! Automated to boot. WYTL was the lone C&W until 1150 WYNE Kimberly went fulltime with C&W in 1980. WYNE had applied for an FM: 100.3 Menasha, but never got the license. 100.3 WEMI Menesha is an REL/Contemporary Christian format. Found it nice to listen to. Different. 1090 - 102.3 WISS WISSFM Berlin was C&W/polka/soft hits. Fun sounding, small market, fun. As an aside, I called WISS once and requested to hear a jingle as they asked for requests! The jock played 3! Along Highway 10. 1240 WOMT Manitowoc sounded good as an AC. Was Top40 until 1970 or so. 102.3 WQTC Two Rivers has applied for a change to Manitowoc. "Q102 WQTC" was now bing said vs the old non-id of Q102. WQTC was the FM of 1590 WRTR Two Rivers since 1965 inception, but that changed a few years ago. 1590 WRTR, once WQTC was the #1 station in the area through 1977! Top40 as WQTC or "Funlovin' 15Q." WRTR stood for Radio Two Rivers. They're waiting for fulltime tatus. They went automated OLDies, then to NOS:MYL. 980 WCUB Manitowoc is "98 Country" and their FM is 92.1 WKKB with the NOS "Unforgettable." Was WKUB with BFL music, then AC. Now automated. "Cub Country" was once the name for WCUB and lesser WKUB, as I remember.
1330 WHBL Sheboygan was AC though they had a "music line" show at night and skewed younger. ABC Entertainment news was run. Sign off nightly at 1am. 97.7 WWJR Sheboygan is WHBLs FM. "FM98" is bland, automated. 950 WKTS Sheboygan has tried a few formats. Now they are NOS. A daytimer. Used to hear them more before 950 WJPC Chcago went fulltime. 100.1/1560 WGLBFM-AM Port Washington are simulcast C&W. FM is mono. AM is a daytimer. They tried 24 hours a few years back, but the dj quit! Ouch. Had a few all night sponsors and took a ton of requests as I remember. Sundays are ETHnic.
If I noticed one thing, it was more live radio then satellite or tape. More professional sound. Not as hokey as heard years ago. Manitowoc has a few nice places to hop. SS Kresge is downtown and Copps and Shopko are here too. local bus route in Manitowoc. GMC RTS buses.
Still, I've been to 26 states and Canada and still love WI/Michigan's UP. So close, so beautiful. Twisting roads, lakes, hills.
ROAD TRIP: Michigan's UP from June, 1982. June 19th and it was time for vacation! The brand new bridge over Green Bay on I-43 hightened the view of Green Bay/Lake Michigan. A stop at the A&W in Oconto. On through Peshtigo, to M35 and Escanaba with Green Bay (the Bay, not the city) off to the right for miles and miles! On 41 to Marquette! From Rapid River-Marquette there was really not much. KI Sawyer AF Base, Sugarloaf Mountain, Mount Marquette, Marquette Mall, Downtown, Presque Isle and the Zoo awaited in Marquette! Escanaba: 600 WBDN was C&W as Country 60, 680 WBDC was AC and CBS news. Nightly sign off at 12008am. 97-GLQ was lie from 6am-6pm, taped otherwise. Adult Top40. Years ago, this was Z97! 104.7 WFNN was taped. Live assist at times. "Fun 104" was simulcast with WDBC in AM drive. They run CBS "radio radio" news at 20 after. Runs 24 hours as does WGLQ. Marquette has a bunch of stations! Good radio too! 92.3 WJPDFM/AM Ishpeming simulcast C&W as "Stereo 92 Country" and carries the Milwaukee Brewers. Nightly sign off after Midnight newscast from NBC. 107.1 WMQT Ishpeming was 24 hours and lively Top40. Q107 is simulcast on 970 WUPY Ishpeming. While the station is listed as an ABC Information affiliate, only the commercials, and not the news are run. I'd take a our of the Ishpeming studios. DJ Steve Moss gave me the Royal treatment! Kinda messy and cluttered, but Q knew what it was doing! 1320 WDMJ was AC but rocked harder at night. Nightly s/off at 12:07am. The WDMJ towers were kinda close to the motel. Still, I could dx if so inclined. 95.7 WHWL signs off at 11pm. REL. 100.1 WUUN is AC. Runs RKO news on the hour.Live assist. Taped. Runs "Overnight AMerica" but a nice station.
From Presque Isle Park one could hear a ton! The Zoo, on the other side of the park one could hear a different direction, plus looking at all that Lake Superior water. Always stopped at KFC and ate well! Lisa (my sister) was with me and she loved her chicken! From the park... 98.3/1400 WQXOFM/AM Munising was AC. Tigers baseball was carried. Nightly sign off at Midnight. ABC Information news was noted. 93.5/1450 WNBYFM/AM Newberry were simulcast. Nightly sign off at 11pm. Small town Top40. 1490 WTIQ Manstique carried CBS news. 1230 WSOO Sault Ste Marie was AC, ABC news on the hour and an 11pm sign off. 99.5 WLXX had UPI news, tho I didn't know format. 101.3 WSUE Sault Ste Marie ran ABC Entertainment news at :30. AC music. 940 WIDG St.Ignace was AC as Radio 94. 102.9 WMKC St.Ignace. New calls here. C&W and 24 hours.
From the Western UP, 920 WMPL Hancock ran news in the morning. Z93 was simulcast from 6pm-6am. 93.5 WZRK Hancock was a nice, neat, tight Top40 known as Z93. Z93 and Q107 in Marquette are co-owned: Taconite Broadcasting. Upper Michigan's Hottest Hits! 97.7 WHUH Houghton was AC. Stereo 98 was automated. ABC Direction news. 1400 WCCY Houghton was C&W and good! There's an old bus stop in town with "1400 WHDF Radio" stenciled on it! Previous calls for WCCY. Calls were flipped in 1979. I hadn't been past Escanaba until going to Marquette in 1980. I've never looked back.
1450 WMIQ Iron Mountain was Top40 though a bit softer during the day. Still a good rocker with jingles! 101.5 WJNR Iron Mountain is the city's FM Top40. 24 hours and albums are previewed nightly at 9pm. 93.1 WIMK Iron Mountain is the new kid on the block. Newest station. C&W and 24 hours. 590 WJMS Irnwood was a true up North radio station with fishing reports, AC music, etc. Nightly sign off at 12:07. 99.7 WIMI Ironwood is live. AC and Stereo 99.7. 106.9 WUPM Ironwood was Top40 as "Stereo U-107." First heard this station when camping in Rib Mountain/Wausau in 1978. Was 24 hours then. Still is.