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WEW is also the abbreviation for Women's Extreme Wrestling
City of license St. Louis, Missouri
Broadcast area Greater St. Louis
Frequency 770 kHz
First air date 1912 (Morse code)
10:05, April 26, 1921 (1921-04-26T10:05) (audio transmission)
March 23, 1922 (1922-03-23) (WEW license)[1]
Format Brokered programming
Power 1,000 watts day only
Class D
Facility ID 1088
Transmitter coordinates 38°37′18.2″N 90°4′34.4″W / 38.621722°N 90.076222°W / 38.621722; -90.076222Coordinates: 38°37′18.2″N 90°4′34.4″W / 38.621722°N 90.076222°W / 38.621722; -90.076222 (NAD83)
Callsign meaning We Enlighten the World[1]
Former callsigns 9YK (1912–1922)
Former frequencies 760 kHz (1928–1941)
850 kHz (April 1927–1928)
1210 kHz (April 1927)
360m (833.3 kHz, ?–1927)
485m (618.6 kHz, 1922–?)
Owner Birach Broadcasting
Webcast HTTP stream (MP3, 24kb/s)
Website www.wewradio.com

WEW is the oldest broadcast station west of the Mississippi River, and claims to be the second oldest in the United States.[2] It broadcasts on AM at 1000 watts on 770 kHz daytime only. In July, 2012 it was granted an FCC construction permit to raise its daytime power to 10,000 watts and introduce nighttime operation with 200 watts but still protecting clear-channel station WABC (AM) at New York City.[3][dated info]

WEW features a brokered ethnic format, except for a midday show which features easy listening Standards and big band music. WEW's daily broadcast schedule consists largely of foreign language programming, mostly targeting area Mexicans and Bosnians, and weekend programming featuring Croatian, German, Italian, Polish.


Gordon Sherman, chief engineer of WEW at the controls, 1933

Saint Louis University established the station 9YK around 1912, using Morse code to communicate seismological and weather information. Brother George E. Rueppel, assistant director of the Meteorological Observatory at SLU, worked with 9YK before he founded WEW in 1921.[4] Audio transmissions began at 10:05 a.m. on 26 April 1921; the first voice heard was SLU president Rev. William Robison.[1] The station received radio license #560 to broadcast on 618.6 kHz (wavelength 485 meters) as WEW on 23 March 1922;[5] KSD had been licensed on March 8.[1]

The station has claimed to have broadcast the first quiz show, Question Box Hour, in 1923.[1]

The station later moved to 833 kHz (360 meters). In April 1927 it was changed to 1210 kHz then 850 kHz; and changed in 1928 to 760 kHz, which was moved to 770 kHz on 29 March 1941[5] when NARBA took effect.

WEW became the first radio station in the St. Louis area to receive a permit for FM broadcasting around 1945,[6] and began work on an FM transmission tower in 1947.[7] The station was housed on the top floor of SLU's Law School (currently O'Neil Hall).[8] The tower, which was located roughly where Pius XII Memorial Library now stands, was torn down in 1954,[9] when Saint Louis University sold WEW to Bruce Barrington, a news director at 630 KXOK. Barrington sold WEW five years later. In 1964, it was bought by Charles Stanley, who moved the station to various locations, including a location in the (original) new Busch Stadium upon completion of the stadium; the only radio station located in a major sports stadium. Charles Stanley, aka, Charlie, and was known for trading merchandise for commercial time.[5]

It was later owned by the Broadcast Center, then by a rich Texan named Gary Acker[10] through his Metropolitan Radio Group, Inc. Metropolitan Radio Group, Inc. transferred the station to Birach Broadcasting Corporation on 6 January 2004.[3]

The station has been located in several places, including "The Hill", Busch Stadium, Soulard,[citation needed] and Clayton.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e "There Were Several "Firsts" At WEW". St. Louis Journalism Review. 4 2006. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  2. ^ "Welcome to WEW Radio AM 770 in St. Louis". St. Louis, Missouri: WEW. 2009-02-04. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  3. ^ a b Query the FCC's AM station database for WEW. Retrieved 2010-05-25. Transfer to Birach Broadcasting was application BAL-20030926AGA; original night-time construction permit is application BP-20090113ABT.
  4. ^ 1941 Saint Louis University Yearbook, p. 112. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  5. ^ a b c "WEW's Roller Coaster History Began In March, 1922". St. Louis Journalism Review. 6 1997. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  6. ^ 1945 Saint Louis University Yearbook, p. 101.. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  7. ^ "Breaking ground for an FM tower". Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  8. ^ 1939 Saint Louis University Yearbook, p. 43. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  9. ^ http://cdm.slu.edu/u?/wew,31, retrieved 2011-06-22  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ a b Auble, John (c. 1996). Auble at Large (Television production). St. Louis, Missouri: KTVI. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 

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