|Power|| 10,000 watts (Daytime)|
10 watts (Nighttime)
WJML (1110AM) is a news/talk-formatted radio station licensed to Petoskey, Michigan. The station is owned by Rick Stone's Stone Communications, and simulcasts with WJNL (1210AM) in Traverse City, Michigan.
Progressive talk programmingEdit
The station carries a mix of conservative, liberal and nonpartisan talk.
WJML's sister station, WWKK, formerly carried a mostly all-progressive talk format featuring programming from Air America Radio, including Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes. Stone Communications sold WWKK in 2006. The programming of the two stations were combined. Shortly thereafter, Stone purchased WLDR. Currently, their only progressive talk offerings include Ed Schultz and Alan Colmes.
The stations' lineup includes Citadel's The Big Show morning program, as well as Neal Boortz, Glenn Beck, Steve Malzberg, Michael Savage, and Free Talk Live. The two stations do carry some weekly local shows such as BJ Mogg's "Bits of Life" show and "The WJML Shopping Spree," which both air on Saturday mornings.
During the 1970s and 1980s, WJML was one of the most successful AM/FM radio combos in northern Michigan. The FM station has long since been sold off, but WJML/WJNL remains one of the most-popular talk stations in northern Michigan.
In somewhat of a rarity, WJML-FM 98.9 started first, on December 7, 1965, since in most situations, the AM station is usually the first to sign on. In the beginning, the station was an automated MOR format, with one live DJ, Bill Supernaw, in the morning (Supernaw is now the owner of the Cinema III movie theatre in Charlevoix). The station was owned by a Chicago broadcaster who named his station after his three children, John, Michael and Linda. It was one of northern Michigan's first-ever FM stations, and since many folks didn't have an FM radio at the time, an AM station, WJML-AM 1110 was born on December 6, 1966. WJML-AM was at the time the strongest AM station in northern Michigan during the daytime at 10 kW. However, the station was daytime only.
The 1970s saw several changes for WJML-FM/AM as the Harrington family sold the station to the Achterhoff family of Muskegon, the owners of WMUS. In 1977, WJML flipped from MOR to Top 40, becoming a success in the ratings. The station also adopted an easily-remembered slogan: "The Music Station." American Top 40 aired on this station in starting in 1979.
JML was the first highly structured station in northern Michigan, heavily formatted using liner cards, strict positioning statements, tight playlists, 'big city' sound with Lyle Dean (WLS) and Del Hull doing liners and "Time Bomb" legal ID's: "It's 12noon at The Music Station(sung or spoken)... WJML-FM/AM Petoskey." From '77 until 1980 JML used jingles from Gwinsound of Dallas (Series 23), later switching to JAM Creative Production's Class Action (WLS) package. The station had influences from WBBM-Chicago in the news presentation with the standard liner between local news and ABC News: "Tempurature 50, that's 10 Celsius, JML NewsTime 11:56."
If WJML was to be remembered on a national level, it would be the fact that it was the first station ever to pair up Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold for mornings, aka Bob and Tom (before Jim Scollin). The two met at a Petoskey bar in the late 70's and have been friends since. However, in 1983, Indianapolis radio station WFBQ lured them away, where they landed in sydication years later. In many peoples' opinions, this was the last nail on WJML's coffin.
In 1983, due to increased competition from upstart rivals WKHQ and WKLT, WJML flipped to adult contemporary. Some of their DJs would answer the phone saying "WJML, The MUZAK Station!". This AC format featured spoken legal ID's and Tuesday Production's "Whisper" jingles. The jingles made the station sound as if it were embarrassed to say who it was. Several format alterations included a "Light Rock 99" phase. In 1989, the final nail was nailed as WJML was sold to Langer Gokey, the North Dakotan Dr Pepper bottler who also owned WKLT. Gokey's plan was to boost WKLT's power many folds over by moving its signal from 97.7 to 97.5 and have 100 kW WJML-FM, now WKLZ, simulcast WKLT's signal. Gokey, however, was not interested in AM radio at all, so he donated Kalkaska's WKLT-AM 1420 to Kalkaska Schools (the station has since been silenced) and WJML-AM was silenced and put up for sale.
However, shortly after WJML-AM was silenced, local broadcaster Rick Stone (originally started WAIR, was first GM/VP for WMKC) bought the station and flipped it to talk. The rebirthed station was an early success. Stone also upgraded the station's power to 10 watts overnight - barely enough power to cover Petoskey.
In 2000, Stone decided to start a second AM in Petoskey giving WJML a sister. That station was WWKK "Kool 750", and at first, it was an oldies outlet. Petoskey lost its oldies station, WAIR 92.5 FM (now WFDX, a simulcast of classic hits WFCX), when the station, owned by Langer Gokey, flipped unsuccessfully to country "The Bee". Eventually, Petoskey got oldies again on the FM dial as Ross Biederman's WCCW-FM 107.5 Traverse City started simulcasting on WCZW-FM 107.9 in nearby Charlevoix. Therefore, it allowed WWKK to become more of a liberal talker while WJML became more conservative.
Recently, Stone traded WWKK in exchange for Roy Henderson's WLDR-AM 1210 in Traverse City, MI, which will allow WJML to have a stronger signal in the Cherry Capitol. In preparation for the change, WJML asked listeners what shows they wanted to keep, since both WJML and WWKK could no longer co-exist. The former WWKK is now WLDR-AM 750, simulcasting the country format of WLDR-FM 101.9 in Traverse City.
- Label for WJML at ltradio.blogspot.com
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WJML
- Radio Locator Information on WJML
- Query Arbitron's AM station database for WJML
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