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WBBL-FM
WBBL-FM.jpg
City of license Greenville, Michigan
Broadcast area Grand Rapids, Michigan
Branding 107.3 WBBL-FM
Slogan "West Michigan's Sports Leader"
Frequency 107.3 MHz
First air date 1979
Format Sports
ERP 50,000 watts
HAAT 150 meters
Class B
Facility ID 24639
Callsign meaning The B a L L
Former callsigns WPLB-FM (1979-1989)
WODJ (1989-2004)
WKLQ (2004-2009)
Affiliations Fox Sports Radio
Owner Citadel Broadcasting
Sister stations WHTS, WLAV-FM, WLAW, WTNR, WJRW, KLQ.com
Webcast Listen Live
Website wbbl.com

WBBL-FM (107.3 FM, "The Ball") is a radio station broadcasting an all-sports format in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It first began broadcasting in 1979 under the call sign WPLB-FM. The station is currently owned by Citadel Broadcasting. WBBL-FM is currently Grand Rapids' affiliates of Fox Sports Radio. The station has been touted as the area's first FM sports station. The format originated on the 1340 AM frequency, but after many years, was moved over to 107.3 FM during May 2009. Three months later, the AM frequency was changed to a talk radio format and the call sign was changed to WJRW.

Contents

History

The station was first assigned the call sign WPLB-FM on May 24, 1979 and was originally licensed to Greenville, Michigan. It was sister station to WPLB-AM (1060 and later 1380). The station became oldies-formatted on November 15, 1989 and the call sign was changed to WODJ. The WPLB-FM call sign was subsequently moved to 106.3 FM in Lakeview, Michigan (the AM and FM are now known as WGLM).

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WODJ

WPLB-FM became WODJ, an oldies station targeting the Grand Rapids market, in 1989, and was an immediate success, reaching number one in the 12+ Arbitron ratings for Grand Rapids the following year. The station's success was built on its visibility at community events, such as the Grand Center Boat Show, which took place at the Grand Center in downtown Grand Rapids. By 2000, however, the station was struggling to make the top ten in 12+ ratings. Oldies 107.3 also featured the syndicated Dick Clark documentary series entitled "Rock, Roll and Remember", which aired on Sunday afternoons.

WKLQ

On October 11, 2004, WODJ and the oldies format was replaced by Active rock station WKLQ, which had been replaced by country music station WTNR after 20 years on 94.5 FM. The WODJ calls were most recently used by Citadel Communications on talk-radio station 1490 AM in Whitehall, Michigan which was also replaced by the WKLQ call sign in 2009.

Shortly before KLQ's move to 107.3, They hired Justice and Jim for mornings. In Summer 2005, the duo created controversy when they announced on the air that they were going to drown a dog. The announcement persuaded several listeners to call 911. A day later, they announced that it was only a stunt.

On July 19, 2006, Justice and Jim were fired and replaced by The Opie and Anthony Show.

WKLQ launched Grey & Kluck mornings featuring Grand Rapids market veteran, Michael Grey, and Warren Kluck on July 17, 2008. Grey served as the Program Director of WKLQ. Kluck spent three years previously doing morning drive at WRKR-FM in Kalamazoo, MI.

Repeater station WKOQ (92.5 FM) signed on the air on August 15, 2005, the WODJ call sign that was abandoned by WKLQ in 2004 had been parked on this frequency prior to going on the air. It transmitted from the same tower as television station WZZM in Newaygo County, near Grant. The simulcast was terminated on May 1, 2006 when the station became WLAW-FM, "The Outlaw," airing a blend of country music and Southern Rock.

WBBL-FM

On May 28, 2009, WKLQ was replaced with sister station WBBL, which was previously on the AM dial (now WJRW), and WKLQ was made an exclusive web-station. The Grey and Kluck Morning show was pulled off the air. Warren Kluck went to do the Kevin Matthews Morning Show. Michael Grey went on to The Starting Line Up with Bret Bakita.

This move left a current void in the West Michigan area for new active rock enthusiasts and left its competitor (97.9 WGRD) the main source for new rock in this area. However, competitor WBFX 101.3 FM, owned by Clear Channel Communications, reacted to the loss of WKLQ by adding more music from the 1990s and later to its rotation, tweaking from a pure classic rocker to a gold-based mainstream rock outlet.

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