WJML's History:

40 Years Serving

Northern Michigan

The Early YearsWJML-AM 1110 was born on December 6, 1966. WJML-AM was at the time the strongest AM station in northern Michigan with a daytime power of 10,000 watts.  WJML-FM has long since been sold off, but WJML-AM 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. It was one of northern Michigan's first-ever FM stations, and since many people didn't have an FM radio at the time, the AM station was added a year later. In the beginning, the station had a  "middle-of-the-road" format, with Bill Supernaw doing the morning show. The station was owned by Chicago broadcaster John Harrington, who named his station after his three children, John, Michael and Linda.

J-M-L The Music Station. The 1970s saw several changes for WJML-FM/AM as the Harrington family sold the station to Muskegon Broadcasting of Muskegon, the owners of WMUS. In 1977, WJML flipped from a "middle-of-the-road" format to Top 40, becoming an instant success in the ratings. The station also adopted an easily-remembered slogan: "The Music Station."  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. 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 syndication years later.

Lite Rock...Less Talk...to All TalkIn 1983, due to increased competition, WJML flipped to adult contemporary with a "Lite Rock...Less Talk" slogan. In 1991, WJML was sold to Northern Broadcasting which owned WKLT in Traverse City. The plan was to boost WKLT's coverage by simulcasting WKLT's signal on WJML-FM 98.9. Call letters for the FM were changed to WKLZ. Northern Broadcasting, however, was not interested in AM radio.  Local broadcaster Rick Stone, who built WAIR 92.5 FM and its sister station 94.3 in Traverse City, bought the station and moved it from its Click Road studio to the WAIR studios at 322 Bay Street in Petoskey. The station inaugurated an all news format using CNN Headline News plus local news. As talk radio developed in the early 90's, WJML added additional talk radio programs to the schedule. Early talk shows included Chuck Harder, Larry King, Michael Reagan and "Bits of Life" with Bj Mogg. Stone also upgraded the station with a license for 24-hour broadcasting. In 1993, Northern Broadcasting was again buying stations and bought WAIR 92.5 & 94.3 from Stone. In the purchase agreement, Northern agreed to move its WKLZ 98.9 from Click Road to WAIR's Bay Street location and gave the Click Road studio complex to Stone. WJML thus returned to its original place of birth.

Adding Traverse City and the World. In 2007 the opportunity became available to add significant coverage in the Traverse City-Cadillac region. Fort Bend Broadcasting, owner of WLDR AM-1210 in Traverse City agreed to swap its AM-1210 for Stone's WWKK AM-750 in Petoskey. AM-750 became WLDR-AM, simulcasting "Sunny Country" WLDR-FM. WJML's Talk programming can now be heard on 50,000-watt AM-1210 from its transmitter site located in Kingsley, just south of Traverse City, as well as on the original AM-1110 from Petoskey which covers the north into the Upper Peninsula. In addition, WJML can now be heard worldwide on the internet on WJML.com.

Our thanks to the various contributors of Wikipedia for some of the history of the early years.

A KOOL sisterIn 2000, Stone built a second AM in Petoskey giving WJML a sister. That station was WWKK "KOOL-750", and at first, it was a "Good Times...Great Oldies" station. As more and more great talk programming became available nationally, WJML's talk format "overflowed" on to KOOL-750 with talk shows that did not fit into the WJML schedule. In 2004 KOOL-750 became a fulltime "Progressive"/liberal talk station on the left side of the dial, and on the right was WJML-1110 with an all conservative/libertarian program schedule.

Two new towers were added in 2000 as WWKK AM-750 was constructed.

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