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WJR
WJR-AM.jpg
City of license Detroit, Michigan
Broadcast area {click for map}
Branding NewsTalk 760 WJR
Slogan "The Great Voice of the Great Lakes"
"From the Golden Tower of the Fisher Building"
Frequency 760 kHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date May 4, 1922
Format News/Talk/Sports
Power 50,000 watts
Class A
Facility ID 8626
Transmitter coordinates 42°10′5″N 83°12′54″W / 42.16806°N 83.215°W / 42.16806; -83.215
Callsign meaning Jewett Radio & Phonograph Co. (original owners)
Former callsigns WCX (1922-1925)
Affiliations ABC Radio News
Premiere Radio Networks
Michigan State Spartans Sports Network (flagship)
Owner Citadel Broadcasting
(Radio License Holding I, LLC)
Sister stations WDRQ, WDVD
Webcast Listen Live
Website http://www.wjr.com/

WJR (760 AM) is a radio station in Detroit, Michigan, United States. It broadcasts a news/talk format. It is a class A clear channel station whose broadcasts can be heard throughout most of the Midwest, eastern United States and Canada at night, making it one of the most powerful radio stations in the United States. News/Talk 760 is the home of morning personality Paul W. Smith, the flagship station of drive home personality Mitch Albom, Michigan State University athletics, and is the highest rated talk station in Michigan. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Bob Brinker, Dr. Laura, Adam Bold and the Midnight Radio Network also make up WJR's weekly syndicated lineup.

Contents

History

WJR began as WCX on May 4, 1922, owned by the Detroit Free Press newspaper, operating at 580 kHz. It shared this frequency with WWJ, another station owned by the Detroit News newspaper. In 1925, WCX was bought by the Jewett Radio & Phonograph Company in Pontiac, Michigan, and the station became known as WCX/WJR. Also by 1925, WWJ was at 850 kHz, and both stations were broadcasting at 5000 watts of power. On November 11, 1928 it moved to 750 AM as a result of the FRC's General Order 40.

On December 16, 1928, the station moved from the newspaper's offices to the Fisher Building and began its callsign, "WJR Detroit, from the Golden Tower of the Fisher Building," which soon became famous across the country (and is still used to this day). Goodwill Stations Inc., formed by George A. Richards (who also owned the Detroit Lions), acquired WJR in 1929, and it became known as "The Goodwill Station" (along with WGAR in Cleveland and KMPC in Los Angeles). WCX ceased to exist as all the assets are acquired by WJR. In 1931, the station raised its power to 10,000 watts; four years later, it would broadcast at 50,000 watts. On March 29, 1941, WJR moved from 750 to 760 kHz in accordance to the NARBA frequency reallocations. Before North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement of 1941, 750 kHz was a clear channel under 1928 rules.

Richards died in May 1951, and in 1964, Goodwill Stations was sold to Capital Cities Communications which later merged with ABC and later with the Walt Disney Company. Upon the sale, WJR's air slogan became "The Great Voice of the Great Lakes," which is also still in use today. Also in 1964, WJR acquired full rights to Detroit Tigers baseball games, with announcers Ernie Harwell and George Kell, who had begun broadcasting Tiger games in 1960. Previously WJR had carried only night games with day games on WKMH and WJBK. The station became the flagship of the "Tiger Baseball Network." In the late 1960s, WJR also became the flagship station for Detroit Red Wings hockey.

The station is also remembered among many Metro Detroiters for its advertising campaigns and jingles including "W-J-R ... Radio 76 ... Cares About Detroit." Another: "This is America's finest - AM stereo 76." Regularly on his show, J.P. McCarthy would state in a nonchalant way "This is the world's greatest radio station, WJR Detroit," with a manner that made it seem like the most obvious of facts. WJR broadcast in "AM Stereo" from 1982 to 2006, and was received in (C-Quam) stereo AM at great distances at night. WJR's Detroit Tigers home games were broadcast in stereo, as were the Thanksgiving Day Parades.

Most of WJR's broadcast studios, along with its newsroom and offices, are in the Fisher Building. The station also has a satellite studio in the Wintergarden of the GM Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. The station also has a mobile unit, formerly known as "The Spirit of 76". In addition to JP McCarthy, other WJR personalities included Jimmy Launce, Warren Pierce, Joel Alexander, Jay Roberts and many others. WJR Program Directors during the Capital Cities era included Joe Bacarella, Curt Hahn and AC radio consultant Gary Berkowitz.

WJR signed on an FM outlet in 1948 at 96.3 MHz. The station was known as WJR-FM until 1982 when it became WHYT. It is now WDVD.

For many years, WJR was a powerhouse in Michigan sports radio. However, in recent years, the station lost the flagship rights to the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, both of whom moved to WXYT. Then in 2005, the 30-year-old flagship relationship with the Michigan Wolverines' football and basketball programs were dropped (WOMC and CKLW won the flagship rights).

Early in the summer of 2006, WJR management announced several program changes, including Murray Gula not re-signing the popular long time running "Home Improvement with Murray Gula" show. Gula announced he will sign with WXYZ TV, Detroit to host the new Murray Gula’s Home Improvement Team on wxyz.com, and host the Home Improvement with Murray Gula show on WDFN AM1130. A new schedule was announced, some of which still can't be streamed live on the WJR website at the request of the program distributors, and also programming may be pre-empted due to special events or sports programming.

Current programming

In 2005, WJR signed a five-year contract with the Michigan State Spartans - whose flagship had been WJR prior to 1976. When asked why the switch occurred, WJR responded that Michigan's football broadcasts brought in listeners 13 days a year with meager ratings for the basketball broadcasts. In contrast WJR is gambling on Spartan basketball to bring in a higher number of listeners.

WJR has dropped much, but not all, of its news programming (mainly during the overnight period) leaving WWJ as the main AM source for radio news in southeast Michigan. Music programming on WJR has also been phased out almost entirely over the past two decades. Middle-of-the-road and adult contemporary music was for decades an integral part of WJR's broadcast day; as of July 2006, the only music-oriented show on the station is the Renfro Valley Gatherin', aired early Sunday mornings. WJR's current schedule is dominated by nationally-syndicated personalities such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin , Laura Schlessinger and Adam Bold. WJR is the flagship station of author and Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom's radio show .

In October 2006 WJR picked up the nationally-syndicated "Handyman Show" with Glenn Haege, which originates from Detroit, and previously aired on WXYT and WDFN. "The Handyman Show" is a nationally syndicated show, originating from WJR's own studios, as is also the case with several other weekend shows such as "The C.A.R. Show" and "The Real Estate Insiders."

WJR was sold with other ABC Radio stations to Citadel Broadcasting in January 2006.

WJR tried HD Radio for about a two-year period (2006-2008), eventually eliminating night time HD radio use, then dropping HD radio broadcasts completely, returning to their 50,000 watt analog broadcasting only. It is hoped that WJR might return to stereo AM broadcasts once again, as their sister station, WLS-AM, does during their night time broadcasts.

Fall 2007 (Phase 1) Arbitron rating: #3

Personalities at WJR

Sources

External links

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