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WJRW
WJRW.png
City of license Grand Rapids, Michigan
Branding 1340 AM WJRW
Slogan We're talking West Michigan
Frequency 1340 kHz
First air date 1940
Format News/Talk
Power 1,000 watts
Class C
Facility ID 41679
Former callsigns WLAV (1940-1979)
WTWN (1980-1984)
WLAV (1984-1994)
WBBL (1994-2009)
Owner Citadel Broadcasting
Sister stations WBBL, WHTS, WKLQ, WLAV-FM, WLAW, WTNR, KLQ.com
Webcast Listen Live
Website wjrw.com

WJRW (1340 AM, "1340 AM WJRW") is a radio station broadcasting a News/Talk format in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It first began broadcasting in 1940 under the call sign WLAV. The station is currently owned by Citadel Broadcasting. WJRW had previously been Grand Rapids' affiliates of Fox Sports Radio as WBBL. Three months after simulcasting on 107.3 FM, 1340 AM was changed to a talk radio format and the call sign was changed to WJRW.

History

The station first began broadcasting in 1940 under the WLAV call sign (which stood for Leonard Allen Versluis, the station's original owner). WLAV became a full-time Top 40 music station in the summer of 1963, and was originally consulted by Mike Joseph, who later went on to develop the Hot Hits format in the late 1970s. It soon overtook rival stations WGRD and WMAX as the dominant popular music station in the market, but its market share declined in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the popularity of FM stations such as 95.7 WZZM ("Z96"), WGRD, and WLAV's own album-rock FM sister station at 96.9. "MUSIC RADIO 1340, WLAV" went to a more adult contemporary sound in 1974, which continued until 1980, when the station tried a talk format as the "1340 Townhouse", WTWN.

The heritage WLAV-AM calls were restored in 1984, and the station tried a variety of oldies formats for several years. Although WLAV-AM was a modest success with oldies, it was hurt when WODJ debuted in 1989 as an FM oldies station with a stronger signal and swept the ratings.

In late 1992, the format changed to a modern rock-based format called "1340 Underground". This happened shortly after an experiment with changing the format to modern rock on WLAV-FM from the heritage classic rock and AOR format had failed. WLAV-FM then reverted their format back to classic rock. The "1340 Underground" format gained a considerable cult following in the Grand Rapids area, even though the night-time signal was very poor. The WBBL calls and sports-talk format debuted in 1994 when ownership of the radio station had changed; by that time, Grand Rapids had an FM modern rocker in the form of WGRD.

WBBL was briefly the Grand Rapids home of Howard Stern's syndicated morning show after it was dropped by sister station WKLQ. However, WBBL stopped airing Stern for several weeks after CBS Radio discovered that they were hacking away at the show, such as airing New York ads instead of local spots, K-Rock liners and cutting the show at 10 a.m. sharp for low-rated sports programming.

WBBL-FM began as country station WPLB-FM. Then in 1989 it switched its format to oldies and call sign to WODJ until the switch to WKLQ (Previously located at 94.5) in 2004.

On May 28, 2009, WBBL began simulcasting on 107.3 FM in Greenville, which became WBBL-FM. On July 27, 2009, the call sign on 1340 AM was changed to WJRW and the format was changed to news/talk on Monday, August 10, 2009.

Sources

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