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WBAL (AM): Wikis


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City of license Baltimore, Maryland
Broadcast area Baltimore, Maryland
Branding Maryland's News, Talk, Sports station
Frequency 1090 kHz
First air date 1925
Format News/Talk/Sports
ERP 50,000 watts
Class A
Facility ID 65679
Transmitter coordinates 39°22′33.″N 76°46′21″W / 39.37583°N 76.7725°W / 39.37583; -76.7725Coordinates: 39°22′33.″N 76°46′21″W / 39.37583°N 76.7725°W / 39.37583; -76.7725
Callsign meaning W BALtimore
Owner Hearst Corporation
Webcast Listen Live

WBAL is a news-talk radio station located in Baltimore, Maryland. It broadcasts on 1090 kHz and is a clear channel station on the AM band with 50 kW of power. Its transmitter is located in Randallstown and uses three mast radiators. It has the highest signal strength of any radio station in Maryland and its directional nighttime signal reaches as far as Nova Scotia and Bermuda. WBAL employs the largest number of news staff of any radio station in the state. The station is owned by the Hearst Corporation. WBAL and sister station WIYY (FM) are the only two radio stations still owned by Hearst.

WBAL is the sister station of local NBC affiliate WBAL-TV (channel 11).



WBAL began broadcasting after being dedicated on November 2, 1925, as a subsidiary of the Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company, a predecessor of Constellation Energy.[1] WBAL's initial broadcasting studio was located at the utility's offices on Lexington Avenue, and it operated as part of the Blue Network of the National Broadcasting Company.[1] On January 12, 1935, with radio becoming more commercialized, there was little justification for public service company ownership of a radio station, and WBAL was sold to the Hearst-controlled American Radio News Corporation.[1]

In the 1930s, WBAL became the flagship station for the international broadcast of radio evangelist G. E. Lowman, which originated in Baltimore until 1959.[2] During the 1960s and 1970s, the station had an adult contemporary music format in most day-parts.[3] Among its personalities during that period were program host Jay Grayson, Harley Brinsfield (who had a long-running Saturday night jazz music program, The Harley Show), and White House-accredited newsman Galen Fromme. By the 1980s, WBAL had transitioned to its current news-talk format, winning 19 national Edward R. Murrow Awards since then – the most of any local U.S. radio station.[3] Since the mid-1990s, the station has become increasingly conservative, both in terms of its on-air personalities and its editorial disposition.


WBAL reporter Robert Lang at a Governor O'Malley press confernece in 2009


WBAL is the co-flagship station (with WIYY) of Baltimore Ravens football and the flagship station for Navy football.

WBAL is also an affiliate of Sporting News Radio which it broadcasts late nights and weekends.


  1. ^ a b c King, Thomson (1950). Consolidated of Baltimore 1816-1950: A History of Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore. Baltimore: Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Co.. pp. 246, 274.  
  2. ^ O'Connor, Thomas H. Baltimore Broadcasting from A to Z (1985), p. 23.
  3. ^ a b Zurawick, David (July 24, 2009). "WBAL radio manager is leaving". The Baltimore Sun: p. 3.  

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