Monday, February 10, 2014

W-WIZ Ad – Feb. 3, 1959

Here's a newspaper ad for 1380 W-WIZ, Lorain's first radio station. It ran in The Lorain Journal on February 3, 1959 – 55 years ago this month.

October 24, 1958 ad from The Lorain Journal
The ad promoted some of the station's personalities, including Bob Lockwood, Gwyn Whiting, Alan Mink and Jeff Baxter.

The daytime only station went on the air on Sunday, October 26th, 1959 at noon with an official dedication program. Programs originated from a five-room studio on the second floor of the Central Lorain Commercial Building at 1615-33 Broadway. The transmitter tower and building was located at E. 38th Street and Dunton Rd. in Sheffield Township.

The station initially had a staff of 10, and its reception was "strong and clear for about a 50-mile radius," according to an article in the Journal that appeared on October 25th.

This Wiki entry discusses the complicated history of the ownership of the station, and the legal problems that eventually drove it off the air.

It seems that The Journal tried to circumvent some legal restrictions that would have kept it from owning the radio station by initially being a minority shareholder. It then bought the station outright in 1961. The Federal Communications Commission objected, and a long court fight followed.

Sept. 1961 ad
Eventually, W-WIZ's license was not renewed and it was forced off the air on July 14, 1967.

The Journal downplayed the announcement by burying the news item in the back of the July 14, 1967 edition. Under the heading, "WWIZ in Lorain Goes Off Air," the article noted that the station "went off the air last night at 7 p.m. and did not resume broadcasting this morning." It added that the FCC "ordered the station off the air because it didn't conform to regulations."

The article also stated that three broadcast companies with local Lorain people as officers were in contention for the broadcast license.

The station was later relaunched as the well-remembered WLRO.

Today the 1380 spot on the radio dial is owned by WDLW Kool Kat Oldies.


Anonymous said...

I used to work a station WHIZ. We had similar ownership problems.

--Billy Batson

-Alan D Hopewell said...

I remember listening to both WWIZ and WLRO when I was younger; one thing I liked about both stations was that they played a little bit of everything.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan, Any idea what the "KC" meant in the "1380 KC"?
Chuck Short - Jackson MI

Dan Brady said...

Hi Chuck!
I think it's kilocycles.

-Alan D Hopewell said...

I still call in requests to Wally at KoolKat Oldies, at least once a week; been doing that the last five years.