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WYOO (U100)
U100-WYOO.png
City of license Richfield, Minnesota
Broadcast area Minneapolis-St. Paul
Branding U100
Slogan Right On Super U!
Frequency 980 AM kHz
101.3 FM MHz
First air date August 26, 1974
off air September 15, 1976
Format Commercial; Top 40
Callsign meaning YOO= U (U 100)
Owner People's Broadcasting Company, Fairchild Industries

WYOO was the set of call letters that resided on a pair of radio station licensed to Richfield, Minnesota and serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Studios were located in Eagan, Minnesota. The station was known as "U100" from August 26, 1974 until September 15, 1976.

Currently, 980 AM is home to Christian-formatted KKMS and 101.3 FM is CHR-formatted KDWB.

Contents

History

After two years of wrangling and obtaining start-up funds, WPBC officially signed on the air on October 18, 1949. The station was owned by the People's Broadcasting Company, founded by former WCCO announcer Bill Stewart and his wife Becky Ann. In contrast to WCCO and KSTP, WPBC carried no network programming, and were live and local all day. The station in the early years played a variety of middle of the road pop music and standards, and was even considered an innovator in the concept of singing jingles.

The Stewarts took a rather conservative approach in programming the station. They shied away from the likes of Elvis Presley and most early rock and roll music, which they described as "junky music with morally degrading lyrics." Their philosophy extended to commercials as well, to the point that they rejected advertising from beer and tobacco companies. Allegedly, the Stewarts would go so far as to use the sharp end of a compass to scratch away the grooves of tracks on albums that didn't meet their standards of "nice" music, in order to prevent rebellious DJ's from playing them. As they were limited by their then-daytime only license at 980 AM, they started up WPBC-FM at 101.3 MHz in August 1959, simulcasting the AM station.

Advertising sales for the stations paled in comparison to the competition, and managing both stations became a burden for the couple, so the Stewarts sold the station in 1972 to Fairchild Industries for $1.5 million. Fairchild subsequently dismissed the entire staff and overhauled both stations. On November 3, 1972, the AM station was relaunched as WYOO, picking up an oldies format (with rock and roll included). A few days later, WPBC-FM became WRAH and programmed an automated album oriented rock format. When the oldies format of WYOO started to slide in the ratings, more MOR music was added, but ratings slid even further. Fairchild contemplated selling the station. The general manager and program director, both hired from established Top 40 station KDWB, felt a major change needed to be made.

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"Super U100"

The decision was made to change to a Top 40/hard rock format, in contrast to what they saw as the rigid, bland presentation of other similar stations in town. They kept the WYOO call letters, to avoid the hassle and long process of changing call letters with the FCC. After being rebuffed in their planned use of "Y100" as the station's moniker, station management went through the alphabet before finally stopping at the letter "U". They liked the sound of that and "U100" was born, only later realizing the coincidence of the "WYOO" call letters and the new branding of "U100". Another oddity was the placement on the dial. The AM broadcast at 980, and the FM at 101.3. Management reasoned that back then, all radios were analog, and it seemed like the only number shown on that part of the dial was a big "100", so it was close enough to 980 and 101.3, close enough to "100" as far as they were concerned.

The changeover occurred on August 26, 1974 during a remote broadcast from the Minnesota State Fair. The program director, Rob Sherwood, used this opportunity to abruptly change the format of both stations, debuting the AM and FM simulcast of "Super U100" with a Joe Cocker song and a two minute montage of the new stations' new jingles. The new U100 quickly became the topic of conversation throughout the area with its rowdy, outrageous mix of Top 40 and hard rock. With a constant bombardment of loud jingles the jocks would scream "YEEEEWWWW ONE HUNDRED!" and "BOOGIE!" when they weren't giving the time, temperature ("it's seventy-two degrees in Frriiidleeeeey!") or bad jokes. "Right on Super U" became a catch phrase on the station and amongst its fans. The presentation was tight, fast-paced and very up-front.

During the next two years, U100 quickly became the most talked-about radio station in town. Competition was fierce in rock 40 radio at the time, and compared to U100, WDGY, KDWB and KSTP seemed a bit tame in their on-air presentation. As an added advantage, U100 was the first Twin Cities top 40 station to broadcast on the FM dial in stereo (in addition to 980 AM).

U100 sold and broken up

In early 1976, Fairchild Industries decided to put both stations on the market. The owner of easy listening FM station WAYL was interested in the AM operation, to simulcast WAYL's signal and expand coverage in parts of the metro area. Since one company could not own more than one AM or more than one FM station in the same market at the time, they needed to find a buyer for the FM station, and sought out the owners of various AM stations in the area. Doubleday Broadcasting, owner of KDWB, wasn't actively seeking an FM station at the time but offered to buy 101.3 FM in February 1976 after they were offered a rather generous deal for $750,000 that included WYOO-FM and the building in Eagan that housed both stations. KDWB's general manager at the time, Gary Stevens, claimed that they did not buy WYOO-FM to shut down a competitor, but rather to take advantage of what they saw as a good deal.[1]

U100 signed off for the last time at midnight on Wednesday September 15, 1976, and KDWB morning personality True Don Bleu launched the new KDWB-FM simulcast the following morning at 6 AM. The following Monday, 980 AM came back on the air as WAYL.

WYOO today

The WYOO call sign has resided on an FM talk station in Panama City, Florida since 1989.

See also

External links


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