A brief history and highlights of WIXY 1260, including Coverage Map....
11/65 - After quitting their jobs as account executives at WHK-AM in July 1964, Bob Weiss, Norman Wain and Joe Zingale form the Westchester Corporation and purchase WFAS radio in White Plains (Westchester County), New York. They take control in December 1964, and in November the following year, they assume control of WDOK-AM & FM.
12/12/65 - WDOK-AM becomes "WIXY 1260". The call letters are inspired by Detroit's WXYZ, and the similarity in sound between the call letters and the frequency. The original lineup includes Al Gates (6-10 am), Howie Lund (10-1 pm), Johnny Michaels (1-4 pm), Johnny Canton (4-7 pm), and Mark Allen (7-11 pm). Then comes "The World Tomorrow" from 11 to 11:30, followed by "Project 1260", a news/public affairs program hosted by Fred Griffith, from 11:30 to midnight. Bobby Magic has the all-night show, from midnight to 6 am. Mark Allen later takes the name Bob Dearborn when he moves on to WCFL / Chicago, and Bobby Magic programs WDMT-FM for a time in the 1980's. WIXY's original pop music format is called "chicken rock", but that label is quickly dropped, and after one month WIXY goes typical Top 40. Among the news staff are Bob Engel, Fred Griffith, Garry Ritchie, and Mike Dix..
8/14/66 - The station sponsors the Beatles at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, though John Lennon's remark suggesting the group is "bigger than Jesus Christ" keeps attendance at just 20,000. Fans tear down a snow fence and storm the stage, halting the show until order is restored.
8/22/66 - The staff lineup includes Jerry Brooke (6-10 am), Johnny Canton (10-1 pm), Johnny Walters (1-4 pm), Al Gates and "Feathers" (4-7 pm), Jack Armstrong (7-midnight), and Bobby Magic (midnight to 6 am). WIXY also begins running the classic "Chicken Man" show once an hour.
9/1/67 - The staff lineup includes Mike Reineri (5:30 - 10 am), Larry "the Duker" Morrow (10-1 pm), Jerry Brooke (1-4 pm), Lou "King" Kirby (4-8 pm), Dick "Wilde Childe" Kemp (8-midnight), and Bobby Magic (midnight-5:30 am).
9/13/71 - The staff lineup includes Mike Reineri (5:30-10 am), Larry Morrow (10-2 pm), Chuck Dunaway (2-4 pm), Steve Hunter (4-8 pm), Chip Hobart (4-midnight) and Bobby Knight (midnight-5:30 am).
12/71 - Wain, Weiss and Zingale merge Westchester Corporation with Globetrotter Communications for $14.3 million dollars. Jeff McKee has since taken over the 8-midnight slot, and Mike Kelly has replaced Bobby Knight on the overnight shift.
5/75 - Combined Communications (later Gannett) purchases all the Globetrotter properties. The staff lineup includes Mike Reineri (6-10 am), Mike Collins (10-2 pm), Paxton Mills (2-6 pm), Randy Robbins (6-10 pm), Greg "Groover" Cleveland (10-2 am) and Mark Allen (2-6 am).
7/18/76 - WIXY's final air staff includes Tom Murphy (5-10 am), Bill Bailey (10-2 pm), Paxton Mills (2-6 pm), Randy Robbins (6-10 pm), Brother John (10-2 am), and Tom Smith (2-5 am).
7/19/76 - WIXY changes call letters and format to "adult rock" WMGC-AM, or "Magic." Its slogan, "Get Your Rock Soft," raises eyebrows as it appears in ads and billboards around town. The original WMGC lineup includes Ed Brady (6-noon), Wayne Shane (noon-6), Kris Phillips (6-midnight) and Dan Bradford (midnight-6am). The format lasts less than three years.
4/17/79 - 1260 station became WBBG and switched to talk radio, under the name "SuperTalk 1260". The original lineup included several veteran Cleveland radio personalitiesóBill Gordon, Merle Pollis, Ted Alexander, Bill Randle, Ed Fisher, Bruce Drennan with Sportstalk, and Cynthia Smith with the overnight program NightFlight 1260.
WBBG's talk format never caught on, so the station turned to an oldies format briefly before finding success with a big band-based music format programmed by local radio veteran Jim Davis. The station enjoyed much success including "Billboard Station of the Year" (for its format) in 1983 with a nomination of "Program Director of the Year" going to Davis. During its glory years (July 1981-October 1987) on-air talent, in addition to Davis included Al James, Tom Armstrong, Bill Randle, Carl Reese, Ronnie Barrett, Dick Conrad, John Webster, Ted Alexander, Joe Black and Jack Renyolds.
Ownership of WBBG and sister FM station WWWM passed from Embrescia Communications (led by Tom Embrescia) to Robinson Communications (led by local civic leader and jeweler Larry Robinson) on October 27, 1981. (WWWM's calls changed to WMJI six months later.) Robinson, in turn, sold the stations to media giant Jacor Communications on September 19, 1984.
11/24/87 - WBBG's call letters (originally stood for "Boys from Bowling Green") soon took the meaning "Big Band Grandstand." After an attempt by Robinson to repurchase WBBG so that Jacor could buy WWWE collapsed, the big-band format was dumped on October 29, 1987, and Jacor simulcast the air signal of WMJI-FM 105.7 on the AM station. The AM call sign was changed to WMJI on November 24, 1987 to match the FM station's (which legally became WMJI-FM for the interim). The big band format - and program director Jim Davis - soon migrated over to cross-town station WRMR.
7/1/88 - After a few months of FM simulcasting, Jacor sold the station to Gore-Overgaard Broadcasting (led by Harold W. Gore and Cordell J. Overgaard), a Christian organization who brought a format of religious programming and gospel music. The call sign was changed to WRDZ on July 1, 1988. Under Gore-Overgaard ownership, the station received permission to double its daytime power from 5,000 to 10,000 watts, although the upgrade was not accomplished until Divine Mercy Communications, Ltd. purchased and installed the new transmitter provided for in the license change.
Coincidentally, the WRDZ call letters are now attached to two Radio Disney stations...AM 1300 serving Chicago, and FM 98.3 serving Indianapolis.
2/23/95 - In early 1995 the station was purchased by Divine Mercy Communications Ltd., and it brought the format of Catholic programming. Under new call letters WMIH (for Mary's Immaculate Heart), which were adopted on February 23, 1995, the station was purported to be the first commercial Catholic radio station in the country.
The station inaugurated its new format on February 22 by broadcasting a noon mass live from St. John's Cathedral celebrated by Bishop Anthony Pilla. Regular programming centered on a live morning drive-time program called "Genesis", hosted by Fr. Wally Hyclack and Cleveland broadcast veteran Bob Tayek, which featured NBC Radio news and local newsmaker interviews, and an evening drive program, named "Homeward Bound", with a local call-in format on current topics.
Mid-day programming included a live local two-hour talk show called "Ave Maria", a local information and spiritual support program called the "Living Word" with Cleveland nun Sr. Juanita Sheely, broadcasts of various Catholic speakers, in a program called "Catholic Classroom", which included Bishop Fulton J. Sheen's programs from the 1950s. In addition, the station produced live daily Mass from St. John's Cathedral and carried regular installments of the English versions of Vatican broadcasts.
WMIH also produced live play-by-play coverage of Cleveland St. Ignatius high school football and basketball games, both home and away, as well as live remotes from Cleveland-area Catholic events, such as the Feast of the Assumption in Cleveland's Little Italy. The station also provided its own live, on-location coverage of Pope John Paul II's entire trip to New York and Baltimore in 1995, with coverage anchored by owner Steve Kurdziel and local reports from Cuyahoga County Commissioner Lee Weingart.
5/1/98 - Despite the innovative programming produced by WMIH, and the devoted listenership from the Catholic community in Cleveland, Divine Mercy ended up having serious financial trouble in maintaining that original programming, which emphasized local hosts and remote coverage of sports and other events.
At the same time, ABC Radio was looking for an outlet for its Radio Disney in the Cleveland market, and it purchased the station. It took over the station on May 1, 1998. and the call sign was changed to WWMK on December 4. Since then, the station has relayed the network on a 24-hour basis. The only local show of note on WWMK is the public-affairs show The Backyard Show, at 7 a.m. on Sunday mornings. WWMK is also one of two AM stations in the Cleveland area that is currently broadcasting in IBOC HD Radio, the other one being WTAM. WWMK has occasionally suffered from audio problems since the installment of their HD Radio equipment in 2006.
A far cry from the days of WIXY!!
Information provided, in part, as a courtesy from www.cleve-radio.com
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A COOL ARTICLE ABOUT WIXY!!
I found this recently on the
Internet.....don't know who wrote this, but it's pretty inclusive and
informative. Apparently it was written sometime in 1998.