City of license Detroit, Michigan
Branding NewsRadio 950 WDMI
Slogan "All-News, 24/7"
Frequency 950 kHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date June 6th, 1921
Format All-News
Power 50,000 watts
Class A
Callsign meaning Detroit, MIchigan
Sister stations(s) WDMI-TV 7 & 97.1 WDMI-FM
Affiliations WDMI-TV 7
Owner WMFL Corporation
(WMFL Radio)
Sister Stations WDMI-TV 7 & 97.1 WDMI-FM

WDMI (950 AM, "NewsRadio 950") is Detroit, Michigan's only 24-hour all-news radio station. Broadcasting @ 950 kHz, the station is O&O by WMFL Corporation's subsidiary, WMFL Radio. The station first went on the air on June 6th, 1921. It's believed to be the first station to broadcast news reports regularly as well as the first regularly scheduled religious broadcast & play-by-play sports broadcast.

WDMI provides "Traffic & Weather on the 1's" which features 24/7 coverage by WDMI-TV's "Channel 7 SkyWatch Weather" & "Channel 7 Action Traffic Pulse".

WDMI can be heard in every part of the state of Michigan during the nighttime hours, & much of southern Lower Michigan during the day. WDMI's signal can even be heard in the Upper Peninsula & Mackinac area @ night.

Along with sister station WDMI-FM, WDMI is the flagship station of the Detroit Pistons

Station timelineEdit

On June 6th 1921, the station was granted a limited commercial license & the station started hitting the airways. The station began broadcasting @ 360 meters (833 kHz), with weather reports & other government reports broadcast @ 485 meters (619 kHz).

In 1923, the Commerce Department realized that as more & more stations were applying for commercial licenses, it was not practical to have every station broadcast on the same 2 wavelengths. It was decided to set aside 81 frequencies, in 10 kHz steps, from 550 kHz to 1350 kHz & each station would be assigned 1 frequency, no longer having to broadcast weather & government reports on a different frequency than entertainment. As a result, WDMI was moved to 517 meters (580 kHz). It was later re-assigned, during a re-alignment of stations by the new Federal Radio Commission in 1927-28, to fulltime operation on 920 kHz & allowed to increase it's power in stages, reaching 5,000 watts by the late 1930s.

On March 29th, 1941 as part of the NARBA frequency reassignment, WDMI moved to 950 AM where it remains to this day. The programming throughout this time was focused on variety. During the 1940s, it transmitted most of the NBC "Red" network schedule, as well as locally produced news, entertainment & music programming. After World War II, especially as TV grew in household reach & popularity, music & regularly scheduled local news would make up a larger portion of it's format as TV eroded support for variety programming on radio & the Golden Age of Radio gradually ended. With the advent of FM radio & stereo broadcasting, WDMI dropped it's middle-of-the-road music format in favor of all-news programming in 1970. The all-news format has served WDMI well over the past 4 decades, enabling it to rank consistently among the Detroit area's most popular stations with adult listeners, occasionally finishing in 1st place in recent surveys of overall listenership.

On January 13th 2000, the station once again increased it's broadcast power to 50,000 watts during the daytime, with nighttime wattage matching in August 30th, 2000 after new facilities in Southfield, Michigan, allowed the station to operate with 50,000 watts around the clock. The station has recently began broadcasting an HD signal, which gives an AM broadcast FM-like quality

Frequency & power changesEdit

The following details the changes in frequency & power experienced by WDMI over the years. The data is from the Radio Service Bulletins that were issued periodically by the Commerce Department (the dates are the dates the particular bulletin was issued, not the date of the change):

  • February 1st 1924, 517 meters (580 kHz) @ 500 Watts
  • February 2nd 1925, 352.7 meters (850 kHz) @ 500 Watts
  • January 30th 1926, 352.7 meters (850 kHz) @ 1,000 Watts
  • May 31st 1927, 374.8 meters (800 kHz) @ 1,000 Watts
  • January 31st 1928, 352.7 meters (850 kHz) @ 1,000 Watts
  • February 28th 1929, 326 meters (920 kHz) @ 1,000 Watts

The station's power increased to 5,000 watts in 1937 & it's frequency was permanently set @ 950 kHz on March 29th, 1941. It reached it's current 50,000 watts in 2000

External linksEdit

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