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WKRK (FM)
Radio 92.3 logo (black).gif
City of license Cleveland Heights, Ohio[1]
Broadcast area Greater Cleveland[2]
Branding Radio 92.3[3]
Slogan Radio 92.3[3]
Frequency 92.3 (MHz)[1]
92.3 HD for Alternative[4]
92.3-2 HD2 for Rock[4]
First air date December 1, 2008
(as Radio 92.3)[5]
October 3, 2007
(as WKRK)[6 ]
June 1954
(as WSRS-FM)[7]
Format Alternative[1]
ERP Horizontal: 40,000 watts[8]
Vertical: 36,000 watts[8]
HAAT 167 meters[8]
Class B[8]
Facility ID 74473[8]
Callsign meaning W "K-RocK"[5]
(former branding)
Former callsigns 2007 WKRI[6 ]
2006-2007 WXRK[6 ]
2001-2006 WXTM[6 ]
1994-2001 WZJM[6 ]
1990-1994 WJMO-FM[6 ]
1986-1990 WRQC[6 ]
1971-1986 WLYT[9][10]
1960-1971 WCUY[11]
1959-1960 WJMO-FM[12]
1954-1959 WSRS-FM[7]
Former frequencies 1954-1959: 95.3 (MHz)[12]
Owner CBS Radio[13][8]
Sister stations WDOK[13]
WNCX[13]
WQAL[13]
Webcast Listen Live
Website Radio923FM.com

WKRK (92.3 FM)[1] — branded Radio 92.3[3] — is a radio station serving Greater Cleveland.[2] Licensed to Cleveland Heights, Ohio,[1] Radio 92.3 studios are located in Downtown Cleveland, and the station's transmitter resides in the Cleveland suburb of Warrensville Heights, Ohio. Radio 92.3 is currently owned by CBS Radio[13][8] and broadcasts an automated alternative rock format,[1] mostly without disc jockeys or any other live on-air talent. Currently using its tenth unique set of call letters (WJMO-FM was used twice), Radio 92.3 has had more callsign changes than any other radio station in Cleveland. The WKRK callsign was assigned in October 2007 when the station was branding itself as "K-RocK Cleveland."[5]

Radio 92.3 remains the home of The Inner Sanctum, a weekly showcase featuring Cleveland's local music talent. The show airs Sunday nights at 10PM.[14][15]

Contents

Early years

The station debuted in June 1954 on 95.3 MHz as WSRS-FM, founded by Sam R. Sague - and simulcast sister station WSRS 1490 AM, also licensed to Cleveland Heights. WSRS AM/FM billed itself as the "Community Information Voice of Cleveland".

On February 1, 1959, Friendly Broadcasting of Columbus assumed control of WSRS 1490 AM and 95.3 FM from Sam R. Sague, switching call letters, licenses, studios and facilities. The AM and FM stations took on separate identities: WJMO took over the former WSRS offices at 2156 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, and WSRS-FM became WJMO-FM, later WCUY. The 1540 and 106.5 frequencies were sold off to Tuschman Broadcasting Company; with the AM station becoming WABQ (whose format and call letters currently reside at 1460 kHz, the 1540 kHz frequency is currently WWGK) while the FM station instead signed on as WABQ-FM before becoming WXEN.

WCUY maintained an eclectic mix of beautiful music, jazz and ethnic fare independent of the AM station - a rarity at the time. WJMO adopted a rhythm-and-blues format, focusing primarily on the African-American community, which it still does to this day. WCUY vacated 95.3 and moved to 92.3 MHz in the early 1960s, while WDGO in Cleveland signed on the 95.5 frequency and WLKR-FM in Norwalk on the 95.3 frequency.

The station's music format turned to all jazz in the mid-1960s. Voices at WCUY's microphones in the mid-60s until the station dropped jazz in 1971 included Chris Columbi, who also wrote about jazz for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ray Allen, Dave Smith, Gary Stark, Len Anthony, Phil Fink, David Mark, and Joanie Layne.

In 1971, WCUY changed calls to WLYT, standing for "We Love You Truly," and chosen through a station contest. WLYT first held a gold-based oldies format, but then bounced about between AOR (as "92 Rock"), automated Top 40, and then disco (as "Disco 92") until the early 1980s. WLYT was beset by a poor signal, a limited budget, constant staff turnover, and low ratings during this period.

Jam'n 92.3

WLYT changed its call letters to WRQC in 1986 and switched to new wave music as "92Q, the Rock of the 80s," using consultant Rick Carroll of Los Angeles' KROQ. Partly due to a fallout with Carroll, WRQC gradually migrated to contemporary hits, a format it kept throughout the remainder of the decade.

United Broadcasting changed WRQC's call sign to WJMO-FM on January 22, 1990, matching the calls of WJMO, marking the second time around with these call letters. The station was re-branded "Jam'n 92.3," and kept the contemporary hits format, except this time around they shifted towards a Dance-leaning direction, a move that would pay off ratings-wise for the station.

In 1992, as FCC ownership rules were relaxed, United Broadcasting sold WJMO and WJMO-FM to Zebra Communications, owned by three key figures from local urban contemporary station WZAK: Owner Xenophon Zapis, program director Lynn Tolliver, and on-air personality Bobby (Otis) Rush. Although Tolliver and Rush were both African Americans, Zapis, a Greek, was a key party in the new ownership. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) contested the sale.

The sale was approved by the FCC in 1993 [1], and WJMO became the first radio station with significant African American ownership in the Cleveland area. On February 25, 1994, as a result of the legal battles, the SCLC gained significant control of WJMO, which was seen as the less desirable station [2].

The SCLC kept the WJMO call letters for their AM station, and WJMO-FM became WZJM, a combination of WZAK and WJMO. WZJM's format evolved into Rhythmic CHR and it became one of the highest rated stations in Cleveland during the late 1990s, even though the station was listed as a Top 40/CHR reporter in music reporting trades like Billboard Radio Monitor (now defunct), because of WZJM's inclusion of mainstream pop/rock product into its playlist, and at the same time keep from overlapping WZAK when it came to playing R&B/Hip-Hop product and targeting the African American audience.

Jammin' Oldies

From 1998 to 2001, WZJM suffered through multiple ownership changes and different formats. This started when WZJM, WJMO and WZAK were purchased Chancellor Media in January 1999, along with WDOK, WQAL, and WRMR in a $275 million deal [3]. It was, at the time, the largest radio deal in Cleveland broadcasting history. On July 13, 1999, Chancellor Media merged with Capstar Broadcasting, owners of WKNR (then at 1220 AM), becoming AMFM Inc., becoming, at that time, the nation's largest radio station owner with 465 stations. When AMFM merged with Clear Channel Communications in August 2000, Clear Channel was forced to sell off WZJM along with the other Cleveland AMFM properties to comply with market ownership restrictions. WZJM, WDOK and WQAL were sold to Infinity Broadcasting, now CBS Radio.

On the air, WZJM abruptly dropped its contemporary hits format at 5:00 p.m. on April 19, 1999. In its' place was the AMFM-branded "Jammin' Oldies" format as "92.3 The Beat." While "Jammin' Oldies" was popular in the short term in other markets across the country, WZJM's attempt was not successful in comparison. As WZJM was sold to Infinity, speculation grew about a potential format change, particularly when all but two of the station's disk jockeys were let go early in 2001.

Rock years

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WXTM: 92.3 Xtreme Radio

WXTM logo.jpg

On May 25, 2001 (Memorial Day weekend), WZJM flipped to active rock as "Xtreme Radio" with the call letters WXTM (adopted on June 7, 2001). The rock format helped fill the gap after WENZ flipped from modern rock to urban music in 1999. WXTM's "Xtreme" format and on-air presentation were originally quite different from the old WENZ, and was, in fact, a nationally-programmed format developed by Infinity Broadcasting. WXTM was the Cleveland affiliate for WNEW-FM New York-based shock jocks Opie and Anthony from July 2001 until their firing by CBS Radio in August 2002.

Rover's Morning Glory

Rover's Morning Glory, hosted by Shane "Rover" French, debuted on WXTM on March 24, 2003 (and received its' title just days beforehand). It would become the first radio show in modern history to have even been syndicated out of Cleveland.

In 2005, the "Xtreme" label was shed in favor of "923X", and former WENZ disk jockeys re-emerged on WXTM during several "Smells Like the End" reunion weekends. The playlist was slowly expanded as the station became a full-fledged alternative rock station. Rover made national headlines when he was selected by CBS Radio to be one of four shows to replace Howard Stern (the other three being now-canceled Adam Carolla, The Junkies and now-canceled David Lee Roth) with CBS Radio's "Free FM" experiment. Rover had his show's flagship relocated to Chicago on sister station WCKG in order to accommodate this switch.

K-Rock Cleveland

K-Rock Cleveland (res low).jpg

On January 1, 2006, sister station WXRK in New York changed its format and became "92.3 Free FM" WFNY-FM. Owner CBS Radio moved the WXRK call letters to 92.3 in Cleveland. The 'new' WXRK was suddenly "set" on "random play", essentially a wide-sweeping commercial modern rock playlist without any dee-jays. On-air promos hinted of "92.3: It just Rocks," before becoming "92.3 K-ROCK" that January 17. "K-ROCK" is a name used by several other CBS Radio stations, most notably KROQ in Los Angeles. KROQ was also the station that 92.3 (as WRQC) tried to emulate back in the 1980s.

Opie and Anthony rejoined the station's lineup on April 26, 2006, when they were hired back to replace David Lee Roth on CBS Radio stations in select markets in morning drive. However, WXRK - and not local Roth affiliate WNCX - picked up the FreeFM-based (now WXRK) portion of the show, on tape delay from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. WCKG would cancel Rover, due to extremely low ratings, on July 31, 2006, and Rover's show returned to WXRK's studios as its' flagship. K-Rock launched it's HD2 station "K2", on July 31, 2006, on the station's secondary HD signal. "K2" featured bands like Godsmack, Slipknot, Static-X, Disturbed and other harder-edged acts. On November 14, 2006, K-Rock began an online stream, accessible at its official site, www.krockcleveland.com.

Meanwhile, the former WXRK in New York changed formats on May 25, 2007 from Hot Talk back over to alternative rock under the "92.3 K-Rock" name, and FMQB reported that the WXRK call letters would be relocating back to that station[16]. The Cleveland station has retained the format and name but on May 31 took a new callsign of WKRI. The station gained its tenth set of call letters that October 3 when they obtained the WKRK-FM calls from the Detroit station now known as WXYT-FM.[17]

Rover's Morning Glory would be abruptly cancelled from WKRK on February 15, 2008 after a new contract between Rover and CBS Radio could not be reached. Rover ended up signing a deal with WMMS; as a result, WKRK moved Opie and Anthony to morning drive[18] and started to lean the active rock route by adding artists such as Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, and Guns 'N Roses onto the rotation to better compete with WMMS. WKRK ultimately suffered a significant decline in ratings.

Radio 92.3

On December 1, 2008, 92.3 dropped the K-Rock moniker and switched to Radio 92.3, continuing in its alternative rock format. All of the deejays were dropped or reassigned to off-air roles, and Opie and Anthony were canceled[19]. The format was altered back to alternative rock, this time leaning toward the adult album alternative route. Most of the active rock songs were dropped.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Fall 2009 Station Information Profile (SIP) on File with Arbitron: WKRK". Station Information Profiles. Arbitron Inc. 2009. http://www1.arbitron.com/sip/displaySip.do?surveyID=FA09&band=fm&callLetter=WKRK. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  
  2. ^ a b "Service Area Contour Map (54 dBu): WKRK". FMQ FM Radio Database Query. Federal Communications Commission. 2009. http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/FMTV-service-area?x=FM135926.html. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  
  3. ^ a b c "Radio 92.3 FM Cleveland: WKRK". Radio 92.3 official website. CBS Radio, Inc. 2009. http://www.radio923fm.com/. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  
  4. ^ a b "Station Guide: Cleveland, OH". HDRadio.com. HD Radio. 2009. http://www.hdradioalliance.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=25&utm_source=Station+Guide+Proper&utm_term=Cleveland%2C+OH&utm_medium=Widget&utm_campaign=Station+Guides+on+hdradio.com. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  
  5. ^ a b c "Breaking News: "K-Rock" Broken". Ohio Media Watch: Blogger.com. Google. 2009. http://ohiomedia.blogspot.com/2008/12/breaking-news-k-rock-broken.html. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Call Sign History: WKRK". Media Bureau Electronic Filing and Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. 2009. http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/call_hist.pl?Facility_id=74473&Callsign=WKRK-FM. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  
  7. ^ a b "Station Guide: WSRS-FM". Cleveland Broadcast Radio Archives. Mike Olszewski & SofTrends, Inc. 2002. http://www.cleve-radio.com/index2.htm#WSRS-FM. Retrieved 16 January 2010.  
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "FM Query Results: WKRK". FMQ FM Radio Database Query. Federal Communications Commission. 2009. http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/fmq?call=WKRK. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  
  9. ^ "1971 Broadcasting Yearbook" (PDF). AmericanRadioHistory.com. David Gleason on the Web. 2010. http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive%20BC-YB/1971/B%202%20Radio%20YB%201971.pdf. Retrieved 16 January 2010.  
  10. ^ "1972 Broadcasting Yearbook" (PDF). AmericanRadioHistory.com. David Gleason on the Web. 2010. http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive%20BC-YB/1972/B-2%20YB%201972%20All-12.pdf. Retrieved 16 January 2010.  
  11. ^ "1960 Broadcasting Yearbook" (PDF). AmericanRadioHistory.com. David Gleason on the Web. 2010. http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive%20BC-YB/1960/B%202%20Radio%20Yearbook%201960.pdf. Retrieved 16 January 2010.  
  12. ^ a b "1959 Broadcasting Yearbook" (PDF). AmericanRadioHistory.com. David Gleason on the Web. 2010. http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Broadcasting%201959%20Yearbook%20Page%20Range%20Guide.htm. Retrieved 16 January 2010.  
  13. ^ a b c d e "Radio Stations: Market Cleveland, OH". CBSRadio.com. CBS Radio, Inc. 2009. http://www.cbsradio.com/stations/index.html?station_map=true&station_market=Cleveland,%20OH. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  
  14. ^ "Radio 923 FM - The Inner Sanctum". Radio 92.3 official website: The Inner Sanctum. CBS Radio, Inc. 2010. http://www.radio923fm.com/pages/3915477.php. Retrieved 16 January 2010.  
  15. ^ "About - Inner Sanctum". Inner Sanctum - Cleveland's Music Showcase. WordPress.com. 2010. http://www.innersanctumcleveland.com/about/. Retrieved 16 January 2010. "The Inner Sanctum is an award winning weekly local and regional music showcase in Cleveland, OH that airs live every Sunday night at 10pm eastern on Radio 92.3 FM"  
  16. ^ FMQB (2007). "K-Rock Returns To 92.3 FM In NYC". FMQBs. http://www.fmqb.com/Article.asp?id=412351. Retrieved 2007-05-24.  
  17. ^ Call Sign History
  18. ^ O&A to mornings in Cleveland; Rover is out! - The Unofficial Opie and Anthony Message Board - Wackbag.com
  19. ^ Breaking News: K-Rock Broken - Ohio Media Watch

External links


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