|City of license||St. Ignace, Michigan|
|Broadcast area|| (Daytime)
|Slogan||The Catholic Light for Northern Michigan|
|First air date||1966|
|Format||Religious- Catholic talk and teaching|
|Power||5,000 watts (Daytime)
4 watts (Nighttime)
|Callsign meaning||The Widge by the Bridge|
|Former callsigns||WLVM (7/30/82-5/6/85)
|Affiliations||EWTN Global Catholic Radio
Ave Maria Radio (originating station WDEO in Ypsilanti)
|Sister stations||WTCK (originating station)
W236BZ(FM translator at 95.1 mHz)
WIDG (940 AM) is a radio station licensed to St. Ignace, Michigan, broadcasting a Catholic religious format. Until October 2008, the station was owned and operated by Northern Star Broadcasting and had aired ESPN Radio under the brand name AM 940 The Fan. The station then went silent for a short period and returned to the air in December 2008, simulcasting originating station WTCK 90.9 FM in Charlevoix. WIDG was previously owned by Northern Star Broadcasting and now owned by Baraga Broadcasting. The sale was approved by the FCC in October 2008. (see WIDG history page). Its main studio is located at Indian River.
Founded in 1966 by Donald E. Benson's Mighty-Mac Broadcasting Company, the station was known for many years as "Widge by the Bridge" and aired mainly middle of the road music, at times a blend of top 40.
The nickname "Widge by the Bridge" was coined by a longtime friend of station founder Donald E. Benson, a Lansing-based dentist who thought WITL-Lansing's slogan "Whittle while you work" was something that WIDG needed. The original CP for the station had the call letters WSTI, "St. Ignace" but Benson felt the call letters looked like "Stye". In 1979, Benson obtained a dark license and kept the station dark until April 1981. WIDG returned with an MOR format until a format change to Big Band and standards and the call letters WLVM ("We Love Michigan", with the station's music format provided by TM's "TMOR" package). In 1985, the station returned to the WIDG calls with a top 40 oldies format until 1988, when WIDG simulcast sister FM's WMKC St. Ignace and WCKC-Cadillac's country music format.
Eventually, in the early 1990s, WIDG once again adopted separate programming from WMKC, airing first oldies (as "Cool 940") and then classic country (as "Classic KC Country") before the sports-talk format was introduced. WIDG was initially an affiliate of One-on-One Sports (which later became Sporting News Radio) before switching to the ESPN Radio feed.
WIDG operates with an omni-directional antenna and with very low power after local sunset to avoid interference with the now-defunct CINW (formerly CBC Radio-owned CBM-AM) in Montreal. In WIDG's heyday, it constantly fought for a good signal into the north and was stymied by 10 kW CKCY-920 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. WIDG's signal was obliterated by CKCY north of Rudyard. When CKCY went dark, WIDG finally got the full potential of its 5 kW signal and can be heard well into the province of Ontario.
Though CINW (the former CBC Radio-owned CBM) has been silent since 2010, WIDG must still power down from 5,000 watts to 4 watts at sunset per FCC rules.
Baraga Broadcasting's other stations
- WTCY 88.3 FM in Greilickville which also serves Traverse City
- WGZR 89.1 FM in Alpena
- WTCK 90.9 FM in Charlevoix (originating station) which also serves Harbor Springs
- WGJU 91.3 FM in East Tawas (the former WRQC)
- W221CA 92.1 FM in Gaylord
Baraga's main studio and offices are located at Indian River, Michigan near The Cross in the Woods Catholic Shrine. It also airs national programming from EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Ave Maria Radio based at WDEO in Ypsilanti.
- Official Baraga Broadcasting site (with streaming audio)
- Official site of EWTN Global Catholic Radio
- Official Ave Maria Radio site (with streaming audio)
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WIDG
- Radio-Locator Information on WIDG
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WIDG
- Picture of studio 1973