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WHAS (AM): Wikis


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City of license Louisville, Kentucky
Broadcast area Louisville, Kentucky
Branding 84 WHAS
Slogan Depend On It
Frequency 840 kHz (AM) +
HD Radio
First air date July 18, 1922
Format News/Talk
Power 50,000 Watts
Class A
Transmitter coordinates 38°15′40.6584″N 85°25′42.9852″W / 38.261294°N 85.428607°W / 38.261294; -85.428607
Callsign meaning We Have A Signal (a backronym, as the call was randomly assigned by the FCC)
Owner Clear Channel

WHAS, known by the on air branding as "84 WHAS", is an AM radio station broadcasting in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a 50,000 Watt clear channel radio station assigned to frequency 840 kHz. With clear channel status, its nighttime signal can be heard in most of the continental U.S. and much of Canada, and even in other countries at times.

Its first broadcast was on July 18, 1922. It was originally assigned the frequency of 350 kHz.

On May 16, 1925, the first live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby was originated by WHAS and was also carried by WGN in Chicago.[1] The call of the Derby featured an announcer who watched from the windows of one of the famous twin spires of Churchill Downs.

During the 1937 Flood the station aired 115,000 messages. On March 29, 1941 the station moved to its current frequency of 840 AM. On March 30, 1970 WHAS began 24-hour operation.

The station was originally part of the local media empire ruled by the Bingham family, which also published Louisville Courier-Journal (now owned by Gannett) and operated television station WHAS-TV (now owned by Belo), originally a CBS affiliate, now with ABC. WHAS Radio is currently owned by Clear Channel Communications

The station has been broadcasting on a full time basis in the IBOC digital radio mode, using the HD Radio system from iBiquity, since September 2007 after an initial testing period which started in 2006. Prior to 1995, WHAS broadcast in C-QUAM AM stereo.[2]



WHAS modernized in the early 1970s from an old-line MOR music outlet into an early form of Hot Adult Contemporary music format, featuring adult-appeal Top 40 hits and rock oldies; one longtime slogan was "Good and Gold" (as in "good music", or adult contemporary, and "golden" oldies). The station continued to feature a full-service Hot AC format through the 1980s (and was the last 50 kW AM station with a full time AC format), and by 1995, most of the remaining music programming was oldies-based; this made WHAS one of the last 50,000-watt clear-channel radio stations to feature music programming on a regular basis.

Today the station features The Rush Limbaugh Show on its daily lineup. Some other personalities on the weekday lineup include Terry Meiners on "Terry Meiners and Company" and Lachlan McLean on "Sports Talk 84". Francene Cucinello hosted "The Francene Show" until her death on January 15, 2010; a replacement has not been named.

Weekend programming includes The Dave Ramsey Show and The Mutual Fund Show with Adam Bold.

WHAS is the flagship station for University of Kentucky athletic broadcasts, carrying Wildcat football and men's basketball games.

Public Service

WHAS is the flagship radio station of the annual WHAS Crusade for Children telethon. The station also broadcasts The Moral Side of the News, one of the oldest public affairs programs in American broadcasting, dating back to the 1940s. The show has also been shown on WHAS-TV since the 1950s. The show's panel of clergy members have been involved in distributing the proceeds of the Crusade for Children among local charities since the telethon's beginning.[3]

WHAS radio has solidifed its reputation over the years as a leader in coverage of crisis situations, particularly severe weather.

During the flood of 1937, the station gained nationwide notice for its coverage of the disaster, which included broadcasting Louisville flood bulletins over the facilities of WSM in Nashville after Lousiville authorities were forced to cut electrical power to the city because of the rising flood waters (thus forcing WHAS' own signal off the air).

On the afternoon of April 3, 1974, Louisville was hit by an F4 tornado that developed during the "Super Outbreak". WHAS broke away from regular programming to track the storm as it passed through the Louisville metropolitan area. In the hours immediately following the storm, the station delivered important information about what areas had been directly impacted by the storms, and traffic reporter Dick Gilbert followed the tornado in his helicopter, reporting on the damage as he flew at a safe distance behind the storm. The station stayed with continuous coverage of the disaster in Louisville and across the state of Kentucky and the southern portion of Indiana until well into the early morning hours of April 4. For their efforts, the station's personnel earned thanks from then-Kentucky Governor Wendell Ford and President Richard Nixon.

Notable WHAS alumni

  • Beth Andrews, meteorologist
  • Foster Brooks
  • Joe Donovan, overnight "oldies" DJ
  • Dr. Stan Frager
  • Dick Gilbert, traffic reporter
  • Cawood Ledford, sports
  • Don McNeill, national morning radio host
  • Milton Metz, talk show host
  • Jane Norris, talk show host
  • Wayne Perkey, morning DJ
  • Gary Rizzo, meteorologist
  • Ken Schulz, morning meteorologist
  • Hugh Smith
  • Chuck Taylor, meteorologist
  • Fred Wiche, farm reporter
  • Reed Yadon, meteorologist
  • John Ziegler
  • Joe Elliott, weeknight DJ

See also


  1. ^ "Derby To Go On The Air", The New York Times, 16 May 1925, p. 11
  2. ^ Offenders of The Faith
  3. ^ Crusade for Children » Who We Are

External links



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