WEBC

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WEBC
City of license Duluth, Minnesota
Broadcast area Duluth-Superior
Branding 560 ESPN
Slogan The Twin Ports Sports Leader
Frequency 560 AM (kHz)
First air date 1924
Format Commercial; Sports
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 49689
Callsign meaning Edwina & Barbara Clinton
Affiliations ESPN Radio
Owner Townsquare Media
Sister stations KBMX, KKCB, KLDJ
Website webc560.com

WEBC (560 AM, "560 ESPN") is a radio station located in Duluth, Minnesota, airing programming from ESPN Radio and NBC Sports Radio is owned by Townsquare Media.

The studios and offices are with its three other sister stations at 14 East Central Entrance, in the Duluth Heights area of Duluth, MN.

WEBC primarily competes with KFAN affiliate KQDS 1490. ESPN 560 broadcasts Minnesota Timberwolves games.

History[edit]

WEBC is the oldest radio station in the Duluth-Superior market. It signed on the air on June 1, 1924 in Superior, using 50 Watts on AM 1240. Duluth studios were established in 1926 and the community of license was later changed to Duluth, though WEBC's transmitter has always remained on the Wisconsin side of the bridge. The station ended up on 560 in the mid-1950s after a series of upgrades and frequency changes.

The station was temporarily raised to 500 watts in 1928 in order to provide radio service to President Calvin Coolidge who was vacationing nearby. The New York Times nicknamed it "The President's Station." WEBC joined NBC at this time, so as to provide the vacationing president with coverage of the national political conventions.

WEBC's owners founded WMFG in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1935 and WHLB Virginia, Minnesota in 1936. The three stations were linked for local programming as part of the Arrowhead Radio Network. WEBC's influence in regional programming was strengthened in 1942 when WMFG and WHLB switched to NBC from CBS.

WEBC and its NBC programming dominated the market in the 1930s and 1940s. Like most other stations in the "Golden Age of Radio", WEBC carried a general entertainment format as the local affiliate of the NBC Radio Network. In 1955, with radio losing listeners to TV, WEBC dropped NBC and adopted a hot new format—Top 40. WEBC featured announcers such as Lance "Tac" Hammer, Lew Latto, and "Doctor" Don Rose, among many others.

WEBC founded an FM station in Duluth in the 1940s, WDUL, but the project was a financial failure. This probably contributed to WEBC's decision to not go into television. Instead, WDSM and KDAL were able to finally overcome their longtime rival by going into TV in 1953. WDSM-TV's being an NBC-TV affiliate contributed to WEBC's 1955 switch to Top 40 programming.

WEBC began carrying ABC Radio newscasts in 1964.

WEBC was a top-rated station until the mid-1970s, when FM began to attract more listeners. WEBC briefly switched to country music and then became one of the first stations to program a classic hits format. Talk programming was added to the lineup by the late-1980s and took over the entire schedule by 1990. The format was then changed to Sports in 2003 after a sale to Clear Channel Communications, which syndicated the "FAN" radio network from KFAN in Minneapolis to a number of its stations in the region. After the station was sold to GapWest Broadcasting in 2007, WEBC joined ESPN Radio station (with "FAN" programming soon moving to rival KQDS). GapWest was folded into Townsquare Media on August 13, 2010.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Townsquare Media completes roll-up of GAP". Radio Business Report. August 13, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010. 

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 46°38′43″N 91°59′11″W / 46.64528°N 91.98639°W / 46.64528; -91.98639