WGIR signed on October 2, 1941 as WMUR, owned by former New Hampshire governor Francis P. Murphy and affiliated with the Blue Network and its successor, ABC Radio. An FM sister station on 95.7 MHz was added on December 21, 1947 (plans for an FM station had been in place for seven years); however, FM had a limited audience at the time, and WMUR-FM was shut down December 27, 1950 (the frequency is now occupied by WZID). A few years later, Murphy decided to apply for a television station on channel 9, and after competing against applications from WFEA, WKBR (now WGAM), and the Manchester Union-Leader, WMUR-TV signed on March 28, 1954.
Murphy decided to sell the WMUR stations in the mid-1950s, with the Girolimon family acquiring the station in 1956 and changing the call letters to the current WGIR (the WMUR call letters remain on channel 9, which stayed under Murphy's ownership until a few months after his death in 1958). The Girolimons dropped the ABC affiliation soon after taking over, but picked up CBS Radio in 1957. The Girolimons sold the station to Knight Quality Stations in 1961; around the same time, the station switched to NBC Radio. Under Knight, the station decided to reenter FM broadcasting, and WGIR-FM (101.1 FM) signed on June 5, 1963, largely simulcasting the AM station from then until 1977. By 1973, WGIR had a middle-of-the-road format, mixed with some talk and sports programming, a format it would retain through the decade; the station later evolved its music programming to adult contemporary, and on December 31, 1984, WGIR ended all remaining music programming to become a full-time news/talk station. In 1990, the station swapped affiliations with WFEA and returned to ABC News Radio.
Knight Quality was sold to Capstar Broadcasting in 1997. In 1998, Capstar rebranded the station as the "Action News Network" to reflect the expansion of its programming to Seacoast radio stations WZNN (930 AM; renamed WGIN) and WMYF (1540 AM; renamed WGIP); at the same time, WGIR again dropped ABC and returned to NBC Radio, which was subsequently phased out by Westwood One in favor of CNN Radio. A few months later, Capstar merged with fellow Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst subsidiary Chancellor Media to form AMFM Broadcasting, which itself announced a merger with Clear Channel Communications (now known as iHeartMedia) several months afterward. For a time, Clear Channel added WGIR programming to a fourth station, WTSL (1400 AM) in Hanover. Additionally, the station picked up Fox News Radio in the mid-2000s after Clear Channel signed a larger agreement with the service. WGIP would leave the network in 2009, after it was placed in the Aloha Station Trust and sold off due to the privatization of Clear Channel; that station is now classic hits-formatted WXEX. WGIN would also stop carrying WGIR programming in April 2011, converting to a simulcast of the current WMYF (1380 AM), an all-sports station; it became WPKX in February 2012. Most of WGIR's syndicated programming (though not its local morning show) remains available on the Seacoast through sister station WQSO (96.7 FM).
^Brouder, Ed (January 1, 2009). "WFEA History - 1990s". Man from Mars Productions. Retrieved February 15, 2010. On January first it [WFEA] switched from ABC to NBC, allowing cross-town rival WGIR to sign with ABC News.