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WMJJ
Logo for Magic 96.5
City of license Birmingham, Alabama
Branding Magic 96.5
Slogan "Birmingham's Biggest Variety"
Frequency 96.5 MHz
First air date June 1, 1961
Format Adult Contemporary
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 313 meters
Class C0
Facility ID 2111
Callsign meaning MJJ = Magic[1]
Former callsigns WCRT-FM (1961-1973)
WQEZ (1973-1982)
Owner Clear Channel Communications
(Capstar TX Limited Partnership)
Sister stations WDXB, WERC-FM, WERC, WQEN
Webcast Listen Live
Website magic96fm.com

WMJJ (96.5 FM), "Magic 96.5") is a Clear Channel-owned Adult contemporary radio station that broadcasts from Birmingham, Alabama. Other stations in the Birmingham market owned by Clear Channel include WDXB-FM (102.5), WQEN-FM (103.7), WERC-FM (105.5), and WERC (960 AM). It is consistently one of the highest rated stations in the Birmingham market.

Contents

History

This station began licensed broadcasting with 49,000 watts of effective radiated power on the 96.5 MHz frequency on June 1, 1961, as WCRT-FM.[2] Under the joint ownership of Chapman Radio & Television Company, WCRT-FM was the sister station of WCRT (1260 AM, now known as WYDE).[2]

In 1973, the station was sold to Magic City Broadcasting, moved to a taller antenna, increased power to an even 50,000 watts, and changed callsigns to WQEZ to reflect the station's shift to beautiful music.[3] In the late 1970s, the station increased its broadcast power to the present 100,000 watts.[4] Throughout the 1970s, there was very little choice in FM programming in Birmingham; most stations were either easy listening or album rock stations. 96.5 FM was the home of WQEZ "your 'Q' to E-Z listening". The format consisted of instrumental music and soft vocals.

The station was sold in 1982 to Capitol Broadcasting, a company owned primarily by radio group owner Ken Johnson. Ray Quinn, who had been Johnson's General Manager at his property in Louisville, KY (WRKA) moved to Birmingham and built a new management team and changed its format to adult contemporary on December 26 of that year.[5] Until this time there were no FM stations in the market with this format. The stations that came closest to filling this niche were WSGN-AM, WAPI-AM and Top-40 station WKXX. The new name of the station was Magic 96, and it has retained that name and format since then.

Quinn's original team included program director Bill Thomas and original sales manager Chris Gallu. Later, the sales team leadership included Steve Streiker who was General Sales Manger from 1983 until 1985. Burt and Kurt hosted the morning show during the station's early years, Charlie Walker did middays, and Jeff Tyson handled evenings, both crossing the street from top-ranked (at the time) WKXX to join the station. When Bill Thomas left the programming chair to become VP/Programming for Capitol Broadcasting in the mid-80's, Smokey Rivers became program director and broadened WMJJ's playlist to even dabble in classic rock at night for several years. John Jenkins became PD in the early 90's and returned the station's focus to mainstream adult contemporary music. Thomas began a promotion in the early 1980's that remained a fixture on the station for nearly a decade, the "Magic Alabama Lottery". The promotion involved the mailing of numbered tickets to hundreds of thousands of Birmingham residents each Spring and Fall. One listener won $96,000, one of the largest cash prizes ever given away by a Birmingham radio station.

Magic 96 was one of the seminal "A/C" (Adult Contemporary) radio stations of the 1980s. Innovations in programming, audience promotion, advertising sales management, advertising inventory management and pricing, were pioneered at WMJJ and were widely emulated by stations in other radio markets.

Current programming

From 2000 until 2002, the station had a harder edged format, leaning towards hot adult contemporary. Until recently, the playlist of Magic 96.5 relied heavily on oldies from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as 1980s music, with very few current soft rock hits. Since Christmas of 2008, Magic 96.5 has returned to a more Mainstream Adult Contemporary approach. WMJJ continues to feature an all-disco show from 7 PM to Midnight Saturday.

WMJJ also switches its programming to all-Christmas music each year, usually starting around Thanksgiving Day and returning to regular programming on December 26.

References

  1. ^ Nelson, Bob (October 18, 2008). "Call Letter Origins". The Broadcast Archive. http://nelson.oldradio.com/origins.call-list.html. Retrieved October 31, 2008.  
  2. ^ a b "Directory of AM and FM Radio stations in the U.S.". 1963 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc.. 1963. p. B-4.  
  3. ^ "Directory of AM and FM Radio Stations in the United States and Canada". 1974 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc.. 1974. p. C-4.  
  4. ^ "Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada". Broadcasting Yearbook 1979. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc.. 1979. p. C-6.  
  5. ^ Carlton, Bob (2007-12-05). "Ray Quinn returning to Birmingham to manage Clear Channel radio stations". The Birmingham News (Birmingham, Alabama). http://www.al.com/birminghamnews/stories/index.ssf?/base/business/119684708665810.xml&coll=2. Retrieved 2008-01-03. "Ray Quinn came to Birmingham in 1982 to help launch radio station Magic 96.5 (WMJJ-FM). Now, Quinn is back in town to run Clear Channel Radio's cluster of five stations, including his old station. He started here Tuesday."  

External links

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