• This article is about the AM radio station currently known as WWJ
    • For the FM radio station formerly known as WWJ, see WXYT-FM
    • For the TV station currently known as WWJ, see WWJ-TV
    • For the TV station formerly known as WWJ, see WDIV-TV
City of license Detroit, Michigan
Branding Newsradio 950
Slogan "All News All the Time" "Live, Local & Committed to Detroit"
Frequency 950 kHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date August 20, 1920
Format News
Power 50,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 9621
Callsign meaning none
Sister stations(s) WOMC, WVMV, WXYT, WXYT-FM, WYCD
Former callsigns WBL (1921-1922)
8MK (1920-1921)
Affiliations CBS Radio Network
Owner CBS Radio
Webcast Listen Live to Newsradio 950 WWJ
Website Newsradio 950 WWJ's Website

WWJ (950 AM, "Newsradio 950") is Detroit, Michigan's only 24-hour All-news Radio station. Broadcasting @ 950 kHz, the station is O&O by CBS Corporation subsidiary CBS Radio. The station 1st went on the air on August 20, 1920 with the call sign 8MK. It's believed to be the 1st station to broadcast news reports regularly as well as the 1st regularly scheduled religious broadcast & play-by-play sports broadcast.

WWJ is committed to keeping listeners informed with useful information, including "Traffic & Weather on the 8's" which features 24/7 coverage by the best Detroit Traffic Reporters & AccuWeather forecasts. Although WWJ is the only commercial all-news radio station in Michigan, co-owned WWJ-TV is the only CBS O&O station without a local news presence.

Station timelineEdit

On August 20 1920, The Detroit News started the station with the call sign 8MK, assigned to it by the United States Department of Commerce Bureau of Navigation, the government bureau responsible for radio regulation @ the time. The 8 in the call sign means the station is located in the 8th Radio Inspection District, while the M in the call sign means the station operated under an amateur license. It's not clear why the Detroit News applied for an amateur license instead of an experimental license.As an amateur station, it broadcast @ 200 meters (the equivalent of 1500 kHz).

On October 13 1921, the station was granted a limited commercial license & was assigned the call letters WBL. With the new license, the station began broadcasting @ 360 meters (833 kHz), with weather reports & other government reports broadcast @ 485 meters (619 kHz).

On March 3 1922, for reasons that are not known, the call letters, WWJ, were assigned to the station. Some believe the new call letters are an abbreviation for stockholders William & John Scripps, but on page 82 of a book published by the Detroit News in 1922, WWJ-The Detroit News, the station writers write "WWJ is not the initials of any name. It's a symbol. It was issued to the Detroit News by the government in connection with the licensing of this broadcasting plant."

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, WWJ 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 29 1941, as part of the NARBA frequency reassignment, WWJ 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, WWJ dropped it's middle-of-the-road music format in favor of all-news programming in 1973. The all-news format has served WWJ well over the past 3 & a 1/2 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.

In 1987, Federal Broadcasting Corporation, run by David Herriman, purchased WWJ & WJOI (now WXYT-FM) from the new owner of The Detroit News, Gannett, now the owner of The Detroit Free Press, which was required to sell the stations immediately by the FCC because of crossownership rules in effect @ that time. On March 9 1989, CBS bought the station, with it's ownership being transferred to Infinity Broadcasting after CBS's 1996 acquisition of that group... although further corporate reorganization has put the station directly under the CBS corporate brand name once again in recent years. On January 13 2000, the station once again increased it's broadcast power to 50,000 watts during the daytime, with nighttime wattage matching in August 30, 2000 after new facilities in Southfield, Michigan allowed the station to operate with 50,000 watts around the clock. (The new facilities are located less than a mile from the WKBD/WWJ studios.) In March 2005, WWJ began offering a 24-hour live webcast. In August 2005, the station began offering podcasts of newsmakers, interviews & some of the station's feature programming. The station also recently began broadcasting an HD signal, which gives an AM broadcast FM-like quality.

Staff Edit

Anchors Edit

  • Joe Donovan
  • Roberta Jasina
  • Greg Bowman
  • Jayne Bower
  • Bill Stevens
  • Paul Snider
  • Pat Vitale
  • Marie Osborne
  • Bill Rapada
  • Mike Campbell
  • Rob Sanford
  • Michael Collins
  • Jeff DeFran

Studio Traffic Reporters Edit

  • John Bailey
  • Alisa Zee
  • Lance Howard
  • Brooke Allen
  • Terry T. Brown
  • Liz Decker
  • Jim Daniels
  • Chuck Roberts
  • Marty Bufalini

Chopper 950 Reporters Edit

  • Bill Szumanski
  • Lance Howard

Weather Edit

  • Sonny Elliot
  • Dr. Joe Sobel
  • Bob Larson
  • Jim Kosek
  • Heather Zehr
  • Carl Babaniski
  • Eric Wilhelm
  • Dave Bowers
  • Bernie Rayno
  • Dean DeVore
  • Kerry Schwindenhemmer

Sports Edit

  • Tony Ortiz
  • Rob Pascoe
  • Jeff Lesson
  • Pete Spivak
  • Ryan Wooley
  • Jeff Riger

Speciality Reporter Edit

  • Ed Coury
  • Matt Roush
  • Murray Feldman
  • John McElory
  • Tim Skubick
  • Vickie Thomas
  • Ron Dewey
  • Florence Walton
  • Jeff Gilbert
  • Beth Fisher
  • Pat Sweeting

Frequency & power changesEdit

The following details the changes in frequency & power experienced by WWJ 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 1 1924, 517 meters (580 kHz) @ 500 Watts.
  • February 2 1925, 352.7 meters (850 kHz) @ 500 Watts.
  • January 30 1926, 352.7 meters (850 kHz) @ 1,000 Watts.
  • May 31 1927, 374.8 meters (800 kHz) @ 1,000 Watts.
  • January 31 1928, 352.7 meters (850 kHz) @ 1,000 Watts.
  • February 28 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 29, 1941. It reached it's current 50,000 watts in 2000.

External linksEdit

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