WICC (AM)

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WICC
City of license Bridgeport, Connecticut
Broadcast area Bridgeport/New Haven/Long Island
Branding WICC 600
Slogan "Your News and Information Station"
Frequency 600 kHz
First air date 11/8/1926
Format News
Power 1,000 watts (day)
500 watts (night)
Class B
Callsign meaning "Industrial Capital of Connecticut"
Owner Cumulus Media
(Cumulus Licensing LLC)
Website wicc600.com

WICC (AM 600) is a news and information radio station in Bridgeport, Connecticut, owned by Cumulus Media. Its signal reaches down into Long Island, New York.

History[edit]

WICC is Bridgeport Connecticut's first radio station,[1] and one of the first in the state, signing on the air on November 8, 1926. Its call letters W-I-C-C stands for "Industrial Capital of Connecticut", which well described Bridgeport throughout the early and mid-20th century.

In the early days, as radio assignments were being formalized, WICC broadcast from various places on the AM dial, including 1060 kHz, 1400 kHz, 1130 kHz, 1190 kHz and 1430 kHz until finally settling down at 600 kHz on the AM dial in 1930.

WICC originally broadcast with 250 watts. In 1937 it raised authorized power to its current license limits of 1000 watts days, 500 watts nights, using a directional antenna at night. Because of its low dial position and its heritage transmitter site on Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport Harbor, WICC's signal covers Southern Connecticut extremely well, has many listeners on Long Island, can be often heard up and down the East Coast, and has received reception reports from as far away as Finland and Portugal.

WICC was Bridgeport's leading radio station throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s with programs of popular music and news. Famous alumni include Hogan's Heroes star, Bob Crane, who did the morning show on WICC right before heading out to Hollywood.

The station was constantly innovative and successful, featuring a "Service 6" format, with various experts in their field updating reports throughout the day, such as theatre critic Susan Granger, Meteorologist Walt Devanis, wine experts, vets, garden specialists and experts in their field.

As "Top 40" radio became the format of choice, WICC was a popular outlet in the 1970s, yet always with a full news commitment and newscasts at the top of every hour.

In 1976 the Tribune Corporation brought in new General Manager Vince Cremona from WQIV and WPIX in New York City. Together with Program Director Gary Peters, the station refined its format to huge market dominance and 18 shares in the late 70s.

Two years later, in 1978, the first regular airplane traffic coverage was inaugurated with veteran pilot Morgan Kaolian, who had been doing airborne beach reports since the late 1960s. A night time telephone talk show with Tiny Markle was also initiated, which quickly became the talk of the town.

In the 1980s WICC held up remarkably well as many AM stations lost a lot of listeners when FM radio became more popular. In 1989 WICC was purchased by ML Media Partners, the same company which owned WEBE (FM), which was then led by former WICC General Manager Vince Cremona.

Curt Hansen from WEBE became Program Director, and hired WICC morning talent Tony Reno to do the morning show, which has become extraordinarily successful as "The Family Breakfast Show".

WICC moved increasingly into the talk radio arena in the 1990s, and maintained #1 audience ratings throughout most of the decade.

With the purchase of WICC by Cumulus Media in 2002 the station switched fully to an all-talk news and information format, and under the leadership of Market Manager Ann McManus the station has grown to ever higher revenue and ratings shares.

Nights on WICC feature many sports programming like all Yankee baseball games, and Sacred Heart University athletics. Clark Howard and Jim Bohannon are usually on during late nights.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Collins, Michael. "Time Line For Connecticut Broadcasting". Connecticut Broadcasters Association. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°09′36″N 73°09′53″W / 41.16000°N 73.16472°W / 41.16000; -73.16472