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WGVU (AM): Wikis


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City of license WGVU: Kentwood, MI
WGVS: Muskegon, MI
Broadcast area WGVU: Grand Rapids, MI
WGVS: Muskegon, MI
Branding Real Oldies 1480 / 850 AM
Slogan The Way Oldies are Meant to be Heard
Frequency WGVU: 1480 kHz
WGVS: 850 kHz
First air date WGVU: May 22, 1992
WGVS: 1926
Format Oldies
Power WGVU: 2,000 watts (Daytime)
WGVU: 5,000 watts (Nighttime)
WGVS: 1,000 watts
Class WGVU: B
Callsign meaning Grand Valley State University
Former callsigns WGVU: (?-7/20/92)
WKBZ (1926-3/1/99)
Affiliations NPR
Owner Grand Valley State University

WGVU is a radio station that serves the Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area and is simulcasted throughout Western Michigan. The main broadcast frequency is 1480 kHz, which is licensed to Kentwood, Michigan, a Grand Rapids suburb. It is simulcast on WGVS 850 kHz, which is licensed to Muskegon. The format is oldies.

WGVU began broadcasting on May 22, 1992. The station since its inception has served as a public broadcaster and is NPR affiliate.

AM 1480 was for many years the home of WMAX, which was in the late 1950s and early 1960s the leading Top 40 music station in Grand Rapids. Afterward the station played mostly middle of the road and adult contemporary music (and briefly used the WAFT calls for a time in the late 1960s), although WMAX did briefly return to a Top 40-style presentation from about 1972 to 1975. The station dropped its music format in 1975/76 for a news/talk format. WMAX operated as an all-news radio format from 1976- 1984. Later the station dropped the news/talk format for Contemporary Christian and also was the radio home for the Detroit Red Wings in Grand Rapids. Later the station went silent until Grand Valley returned the station to the air in 1992. WGVU-AM had broadcast in AM Stereo until they opted for ibiquity Digitals IBOC system (a.k.a HD Radio). Which now makes them the second AM station to adopt this Hybrid digital format in the area.

Until Grand Valley State University took control of the station (and 95.3 FM in Whitehall, Michigan) in late 1998, AM 850 was the home of Muskegon's heritage radio station, WKBZ, which dates back to 1926 when it began at 1500 AM in Ludington, Michigan. WKBZ now broadcasts at 1090 AM (formerly WMUS-AM) with a news/talk format.

On August 27, 2009, WGVU AM and WGVS flipped to an oldies radio format—a first for a public radio station.

Victor Lundberg, a newscaster at WMAX 1480, had a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967 with a spoken-word piece titled "An Open Letter To My Teenage Son."

The WGVU 1480 AM towers are located at Kalamazoo Avenue and M-6.


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