WTMJ (AM)

WTMJ (620) is an AM radio station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin carrying a news/talk format, along with several local professional sports teams' play-by-play. WTMJ also simulcasts on an FM translator, W277CV (103.3). The station is owned by Good Karma Brands along with ESPN Radio affiliates WAUK and WKTI. Established in 1927 by The Milwaukee Journal, the station was the flagship radio station of the Journal Broadcast Group until April 2015, when it came under the ownership of the E. W. Scripps Company. JBG also owned the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WTMJ-TV and sister radio station WKTI, along with other media assets across the U.S. (WTMJ remained owned with WTMJ-TV and WKTI until Good Karma acquired the radio stations in 2018, with the Journal Sentinel owned by the Journal Media Group spin-off until its April 2016 merger with Gannett).

WTMJ maintains studio facilities located on Capitol Drive in Milwaukee (this Art Deco facility is known as "Radio City" in tribute to the New York complex of the same name), and its transmitter is located in Union Grove. As of February 22, 2018, WTMJ's HD Radio simulcast on WKTI-HD2 (which launched after Scripps' assumption of ownership) is translated within the core Milwaukee metro in analog form on W277CV (103.3), which is licensed to Milwaukee and transmits from the WTMJ-TV/WKTI tower just north of Radio City. WTMJ and WKTI are the two stations in southeastern Wisconsin responsible for Emergency Alert System alerts as a primary entry point for the state's EAS system.[1]

The station also has served as the flagship outlet for Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers games for most of the teams' histories, with Packers broadcasts airing on WTMJ since 1929.

WTMJ
WTMJ Radio Logo
CityMilwaukee, Wisconsin
Broadcast areaGreater Milwaukee
BrandingNewsradio WTMJ
SloganWisconsin's Radio Station
Frequency620 kHz
Translator(s)W277CV 103.3 MHz, Milwaukee
Repeater(s)WKTI-HD2 94.5-2 MHz, Milwaukee
First air dateJuly 25, 1927
FormatNews/Talk
Power50,000 watts daytime
10,000 watts nighttime
ClassB
Facility ID74096
Transmitter coordinates42°42′28″N 88°03′57″W / 42.70778°N 88.06583°WCoordinates: 42°42′28″N 88°03′57″W / 42.70778°N 88.06583°W
Callsign meaningWe're The Milwaukee Journal (original name of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the newspaper which founded the station)
Former callsignsWKAF (1927)
Former frequencies1020 kHz (1927-1928)
AffiliationsABC News Radio
OwnerGood Karma Brands
(Good Karma Brands Milwaukee LLC)
Sister stationsWAUK, WKTI
WebcastListen Live
Websitewww.wtmj.com

Technical details

The station's AM signal broadcasts a 50,000-watt signal during daytime hours, and 10,000 watts during nighttime hours. Because of its signal strength, as well as Wisconsin's flat land (with near-perfect ground conductivity) and its location near the bottom of the AM dial, WTMJ boasts one of the largest coverage areas in the nation. Its daytime "city-grade" signal reaches most of the eastern third of Wisconsin, including Madison and Green Bay, and it provides at least grade B coverage to most of the eastern two-thirds of the state. Additionally, the station provides at least grade B coverage to most of the Chicago area, as well as Grand Rapids, Michigan. From 2006 until 2018, the station broadcast in HD Radio, but the low adoption of AM HD Radio technology and the launch of W277CV allowed Scripps to choose to end HD Radio service at that time.

W277CV's FM signal is licensed as a translator station transmitting at the standard 250 watts, but with its location atop the WTMJ-TV tower, sits upon a taller location than most translators (at 847 feet (258 m)), thus its radius is able to cover much more terrain and covers not only Milwaukee County, but most of Waukesha, Racine, Washington and Ozaukee counties (ranging from as far north as Cedar Grove to as far south as Kenosha). In addition, since most of its programming is spoken-word talk radio and sports coverage rather than music, it is carried in monaural sound rather than the standard stereo of most FM stations, which allows the signal to radiate further from the tower without stereo-caused degradation on the fringe of its signal radius.

History

In May 1922, The Milwaukee Journal sponsored its first radio program on Milwaukee's first radio station, WAAK, which was owned by the local division of the Gimbel's department store chain. The Journal bought radio station WKAF in April 1927 and built a new transmitter in Brookfield, west of Milwaukee. Then in June 1927, The Federal Radio Commission allowed the assignment of WTMJ to the station, to stand for The Milwaukee Journal.

On July 25, 1927, WTMJ Radio went on the air at 1020 AM to complement the Journal. WTMJ's first broadcast featured music by the WTMJ Orchestra and included a remote broadcast featuring Bill Carlsen's orchestra. Carlsen was later hired by WTMJ and went on to become Wisconsin's most widely known radio and television weather forecaster.

In 1928, The Federal Radio Commission reassigned WTMJ to 620 kHz. Some listeners began encountering interference from radio stations that shared frequencies in other parts of the country. Engineers solved the problem by developing directional radio signals, which are created by using multiple towers and controlled phasing. This allowed stations on the same frequency to protect each other, while providing strong signals to their intended coverage areas. In 1932, it was WTMJ's protected status on 620 kHz that led to the development of the very first modern AM directional antenna system, as WFLA in Tampa, Florida created a directional signal pattern in order to protect Milwaukee's WTMJ (WFLA moved to 970 in 1941, with WSUN taking its place in Tampa, followed by the current-day WDAE). Directional signals for AM stations continue to be used to this day.

In 1942, a new facility, the Milwaukee Journal's Radio City, opened for WTMJ-AM and FM, in addition to the yet-to-come WTMJ-TV. An article in the trade magazine Broadcasting reported that the building was the "first ever designed to house all three types of broadcasting."[2]

WTMJ spent much of its life operating at 5 kW from Brookfield, which was still powerful enough to cover much of eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. However, when the 5 kW power limit on regional channels was lifted, WTMJ was the very first station in line for an upgrade. WTMJ was granted permission in 1995 to upgrade to 50 kW days and 10 kW nights from a new six-tower site in Union Grove, south of Milwaukee; the Brookfield site's real estate was sold for development in the suburban community. The station's signal is directed generally north during both daytime and nighttime operation. During the day, four-towers are used. At night, all six towers are used, creating a tighter northward beam.

WTMJ aired a full service MOR format featuring a mixture of music, news and local personalities along with sports play-by-play before switching to its current news and talk format in the early 1990s. WTMJ has long had a heavy sports presence, and has been the flagship station for Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers (the only times WTMJ did not air Brewers games were the 1970, 1981 and 1982 seasons, with WEMP airing them in 1970 [also the Brewers' first season of play], and WISN airing them in 1981-82[3]) games for most of the teams' histories. The Packers have been on WTMJ since 1929, the longest relationship between a station and an NFL team.

From 1927 to 2014, WTMJ served as the Milwaukee outlet for Wisconsin Badgers football and men's basketball. It was the flagship station until 1993, when a station employee filed the paperwork for renewing its contract just minutes after the deadline (The WIBA/WIBA-FM stations in Madison took the flagship rights, with Learfield Media beginning to produce all Badger sports programming). The broadcasts moved to WOKY and WRIT-FM in 2014, after WTMJ elected to not renew its contract with Badgers rightsholder Learfield Sports.[4][5]

WTMJ is one of the few stations in the market to feature mostly live and local programming. WTMJ airs news programming in the morning with Gene Mueller and Jane Matenaer and in the afternoon with John Mercure. Doug Russell and Greg Matzek provide sports updates for those shows, respectively. During the midday, the station airs live and local talk shows with Jeff Wagner and (Steve) Scaffidi along with (Erik) Bilstad, host talk shows - and during the evenings Matzek hosts a sports program known as Sports Central. Late evenings (when WTMJ is not airing sports play-by-play) and overnights, WTMJ airs syndicated personalities Clark Howard, Jim Bohannon, Red Eye Radio and Gordon Deal. During the weekend the station airs a mixture of local how-to programming, talk shows, local sports talk programs, sports play-by-play and national talk shows. WTMJ's talk programming offers listeners content from current events to politics, as well as humor, lifestyle information and sports talk. The station also continues its commitment to news with Milwaukee's only 24/7 staffed newsroom, while also partnering with sister TV station WTMJ-TV for additional news and weather coverage.

Journal Communications and the E. W. Scripps Company announced on July 30, 2014 that the two companies would merge to create a new broadcast company under the E.W. Scripps Company name that will own the two companies' broadcast properties, including WTMJ-AM, WTMJ-TV, and WKTI-FM. The deal separated the WTMJ stations from the Journal Sentinel after nine decades, as the two companies' newspapers will be spun off into a separate company under the Journal Media Group name (that company merged with Gannett itself in April 2016; both WTMJ entities eventually partnered with the Milwaukee Business Journal after the sale for business coverage). The transaction was completed on April 1, 2015; E.W. Scripps will also continue to originate the Packers and Brewers radio networks.[6]

On February 22, 2018, WTMJ began simulcasting on a monaural FM translator, W277CV (103.3), from the WTMJ-TV/WKTI tower.[7] The transmitter, individually licensed to Frank Glass McCoy and leased to Scripps (who owns the physical tower and transmitter assets), was formerly licensed to Waukegan, Illinois and translated Kenosha public radio station WGTD before the move of the translator to Milwaukee.[8][9]

On July 27, 2018, as part of its exit from radio, Scripps announced the sale of WTMJ and WKTI to Good Karma Brands. The stations became part of a cluster with ESPN Radio affiliate WAUK.[10] Morgan Murphy Media and other local groups have made investments in Good Karma Brands to back the purchase.[11] Good Karma took control of WTMJ and WKTI on November 1, 2018.[12] Full control of WTMJ's web presence was transferred to GKB over the 2018 holiday period, including new mobile/tablet apps.

References

  1. ^ http://www.sbe24.org/eas/AP-J0915.pdf
  2. ^ "Fifth Anniversary" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 1, 1947. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  3. ^ http://archive.jsonline.com/entertainment/tvradio/brewers-wtmj-radio-a-winning-combination-131560733.html
  4. ^ Dudek, Duane (November 22, 2013). "After 86 years, WTMJ-AM to end Wisconsin Badgers broadcasts". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  5. ^ Kirchen, Rich (December 2, 2013). "Wisconsin Badgers games move to AM 920, Oldies 95.7". The Business Journal. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  6. ^ "E.W. Scripps, Journal Merging Broadcast Ops". TVNewsCheck. July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  7. ^ Venta, Lance (23 February 2018). "WTMJ Launches FM Signal". RadioInsight. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  8. ^ Ellis, Jon (25 July 2017). "Broadcasting News-July 2017". Northpine.com. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  9. ^ "WTMJ's FM Expansion Plans Threatened By Translator Dispute". 24 July 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Good Karma Pays Off For Craig Karmazin". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  11. ^ "Morgan Murphy Media Invests In Good Karma Brands' WTMJ-WKTI/Milwaukee Purchase". All Access. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  12. ^ "Scripps Completes Two More Pieces Of Radio Division Sale". Inside Radio. November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 2, 2018.

External links

1992 United States Senate election in Wisconsin

The 1992 United States Senate election in Wisconsin was held on November 3, 1992. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Bob Kasten ran for re-election to a third term, but was defeated by Russ Feingold.

Arthur Olszyk

Arthur L. Olszyk (1923–1996) was a pioneer in Milwaukee television news.

Olszyk was born in Milwaukee in 1923. He graduated from Pulaski High School and afterward studied journalism at Marquette University. Immediately after graduation from Marquette in 1944, Olszyk began his career in broadcast journalism at WTMJ-AM. He remained with WTMJ, working in both radio and in television at WTMJ-TV, until his retirement in 1980. Olszyk received the By-Line Award from Marquette's School of Journalism in 1978, and in 1987 was inducted into the Milwaukee Press Club Hall of Fame. After retirement from WTMJ Olszyk taught broadcast journalism at Marquette University for seven years until his second retirement in 1987. Arthur Olszyk died on November 29, 1996 at age 73.

Olszyk began his career in television news before many people even knew about the medium. Some the earliest TV shows he produced were the weekly program Around Town, which was launched in 1948; Milwaukee Newsreel, in the 1950s; and the later daily documentaries, Special Assignment.

While at WTMJ Olszyk served as assistant news editor under Jack Krueger from 1953 to 1963. Promoted to news editor for WTMJ-TV in 1963, he remained at that position until his retirement. In 1993 he published the book, Live At the Scene: Local TV News in Milwaukee, 1944-1980.

Craig Karmazin

Craig Karmazin (born July 11, 1975) is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Good Karma Brands (GKB), and the son of Mel Karmazin, former CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio and former CEO of Viacom.

Jim Peck

James Edward Peck (born June 5, 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American television and radio personality based in Milwaukee and is perhaps best known for his time as a game show host.

KFRU

KFRU (1400 AM) is a radio station located in Columbia, Missouri, broadcasting with 1 kW of power. Its programming format consists primarily of news, talk and sports. The station is licensed to Cumulus Media.

Larry McCarren

Larry Anthony McCarren (born November 9, 1951 in Park Forest, Illinois) is a former American football player for twelve seasons in the National Football League with the Green Bay Packers. McCarren had a long career as the Packers' starting center. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1982 and 1983. After his playing career ended, he was inducted in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

He began a television and radio broadcasting career in 1988 at WFRV-TV and he was named the Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year four times. McCarren has been working on the Packers Radio Network as the color commentator for the Packers' radio broadcasts since 1995.

Len Kasper

Len Joseph Kasper (born January 21, 1971) is a play-by-play announcer for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (2005–present) on WGN-TV, WPWR-TV, WLS-TV and NBC Sports Chicago.

Kasper works alongside color analyst Jim Deshaies on Cubs telecasts. He also joins the team's radio network for the fifth inning of games that are televised nationally (including playoff games), working with regular radio announcers Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer.

List of Green Bay Packers broadcasters

The Packers are unique in having their market area cover two media markets, both Green Bay and Milwaukee, and blackout policies for the team apply within both areas, though they rarely come into effect due to strong home attendance and popularity.

The Packers' flagship radio station is Milwaukee-based WTMJ-AM (620), with the games airing in Green Bay on WTAQ (1360) and WIXX-FM (101.1). Wayne Larrivee is the play-by-play announcer and Larry McCarren is the color analyst. Larrivee joined the team after many years as the Chicago Bears' announcer. Jim Irwin and Max McGee were the longtime radio announcers before Larrivee and McCarren.

The preseason rights for games not nationally broadcast and Packer Shows like The Mike McCarthy show are held by WGBA (Channel 26) in Green Bay and WTMJ (Channel 4) in Milwaukee, WAOW 9 in Wausau, WQOW 18 Eau Claire, WXOW 19 in LA Crosse, WKOW 27 in Madison, KQDS 27 in Dulth/Superior, NBC 6/Fox UP in Escanaba/Marquette, MI. Also, on various stations in Iowa, Northwest IL, Nebraska, SE South Dakota and Alaska. The previous preseason rights for games in Green Bay belonged to WFRV (Channel 5), which was previously owned by CBS Corporation until April 2007, when the station was purchased by Liberty Media.

Preseason coverage was produced by CBS, using the NFL on CBS graphics package with the CBS eyemark replaced by the Packers logo. The graphics are currently used from NBC Sunday Night Football, with the Packers TV Network logo. The TV play-by-play announcer, Kevin Harlan , is the son of former Packers president Bob Harlan. In the 2008 pre-season, all of the Packers preseason games on the statewide network were produced and aired in high definition, while two games on WTMJ instead aired over WVTV (Channel 18) due to Channel 4's obligations to 2008 Summer Olympics coverage in Milwaukee.

ESPN Monday Night Football games, both pre-season and season, are broadcast over the air on ABC affiliates WBAY (Channel 2) in Green Bay and WISN (Channel 12) in Milwaukee, while the stations airing Packers games in the NFL Network Run to the Playoffs package have varied.

The team's intra-squad Lambeau scrimmage at the beginning of the season, which is marketed as Packers Family Night, is broadcast by WITI (Channel 6) in Milwaukee, and produced by WLUK (Channel 11) in Green Bay, both Fox affiliates which broadcast the bulk of the team's regular season games. The scrimmage is also broadcast by the state's other Fox affiliates.

List of NFC Championship Game broadcasters

The following is a list of the television and radio networks and announcers who have broadcast the National Football Conference Championship Game throughout the years. The years listed concentrate on the season instead of the calendar year that the game took place. The forerunner to the NFC Championship Game (prior to the 1970 AFL–NFL merger) was the NFL Championship Game.

List of NFL Championship Game broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks and announcers that broadcast the National Football League Championship Game from the 1940s until the 1969 NFL season (after which the NFL merged with the American Football League). The National Football League first held a championship game in 1933, it took until 1948 before a championship game would be televised. The successor to the NFL Championship Game is the NFC Championship Game.

Luther Olsen

Luther S. Olsen (born February 26, 1951) is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 14th District since 2004. Olsen was elected to the Senate unopposed in 2004 and 2008. He was previously a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1994 through 2004. In August 2011, Olsen faced a recall election, but he defeated the Democratic challenger, Fred Clark, 52 percent to 48 percent.

Michael Cudahy (electronics)

Michael John Cudahy (born March 24, 1924) is an entrepreneur, business executive and philanthropist.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1924, Cudahy is the son of John Cudahy, United States ambassador to Ireland, Poland and Belgium. His grandfather is Patrick Cudahy, founder of the Patrick Cudahy meat company.On Thursday, August 2, 2007, WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee reported that Michael Cudahy was one of several private investors considering purchasing Midwest Airlines.

Nicolet High School

Nicolet High School is a public secondary school located in Glendale, Wisconsin. It is the only school in the Nicolet Unified School District, which serves Glendale, Fox Point, Bayside, and River Hills. Primary schooling is administered by three feeder districts. The Nicolet Unified School district is one of the few school districts in Wisconsin to be made up of only one school. Its main feeder schools are Glen Hills Middle School, Maple Dale Middle School, and Bayside Middle School.

Suzanne Le Mignot

Suzanne Le Mignot (born January 25, 1970) is a television news anchor and reporter for WBBM-TV in Chicago.

The Mike Schneider Polka Band

The Mike Schneider Polka Band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a Slovenian-style polka group that performs at approximately 100 events annually in Wisconsin and throughout the United States. Founded in 1996 by Mike Schneider, the band is a four-time award winner and 16-time nominee from such organizations as the National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame, the Wisconsin Polka Boosters, the Wisconsin Polka Hall of Fame, the Wisconsin Polka Music Awards, and the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI).

The Mike Schneider Polka Band was the featured subject of the September 15, 2005-edition of the show Positively Milwaukee on WTMJ-TV for its work on the Wisconsin Polka, a benefit project for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. It was also featured on "Food Nation with Bobby Flay" on the Food Network in 2002. Bandleader Schneider was the subject of the lead story "Kids Dig Polka" in the October 24, 1997 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.The Mike Schneider Polka Band was influenced musically by Frankie Yankovic and Verne Meisner.

Tom Langmyer

Tom Langmyer is an author, broadcast executive and media consultant.

He is currently President & CEO of Great Lakes Media Corp.

Langmyer was previously Vice President, News/Talk/Sports Radio Programming for E. W. Scripps Company and he also served as Vice President and General Manager of Scripps' Milwaukee radio stations WTMJ (AM) and WKTI. Langmyer joined Scripps in 2013. He previously was Vice President and General Manager of WGN (AM) in Chicago and KMOX (AM) in St. Louis. He also served as National VP, News/Talk Formats for CBS Radio.

He began his career in his hometown of Buffalo, New York and later worked for stations in Youngstown, Ohio, Syracuse, New York, New York City and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Trenni Kusnierek

Trenni Kusnierek (born April 30, 1977) is a sports anchor & reporter for NBC Sports Boston.Kusnierek is a graduate of Muskego High School and Marquette University. She has previously worked at WDJT-TV (2001-2002), FSN Pittsburgh (2003-2007), ABC Sports (2005), and FSN Wisconsin (2008), and as a reporter and former studio host for the MLB Network as well as some work for the Big Ten Network and the NFL Network. For one season, she worked with Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon as a sideline reporter for Green Bay Packers preseason. From 2011 to 2013, she worked for WTMJ (AM) & ESPN 540 in Milwaukee as a sports reporter & talk show host. Kusnierek was hired by NBC Sports to work as a curling reporter during the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics, and also covered tennis for NBC Sports at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Kusnierek has also worked at WEEI-FM in Boston as a weekend and substitute program host.She appeared as herself on the TV show Change of Heart in around 1999.

WTMJ

WTMJ may refer to:

WTMJ-TV, a television station (channel 4 analog/28 digital) licensed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

WTMJ (AM), a radio station (620 AM) licensed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

WKTI, a radio station (94.5 FM) licensed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, which formerly used the call sign WTMJ-FM

WLUM-FM, a radio station (102.1 FM) licensed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, which now occupies the frequency used by WTMJ-FM until 1950

Wayne Larrivee

Wayne Larrivee is an American sportscaster. Larrivee is currently the radio play-by-play voice of the Green Bay Packers on the Packers Radio Network alongside color commentator Larry McCarren and calls college football and basketball for the Big Ten Network on television. Despite his current job with the Packers, Larrivee has long been associated with Chicago sports, having spent time as the voice of the Chicago Cubs, over a decade as the voice of the Chicago Bears and nearly twenty years as the television voice of the Chicago Bulls.

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