|City of license||Sussex, Wisconsin|
|Frequency||1640 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||October 1979 (on 1370 kHz)
March 23, 1998 (On 1640 kHz)
|Power||10,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
|Callsign meaning||WauKeSHa (Sussex is located just outside of Waukesha)|
|Former callsigns||WAZI (1998-1998)|
|Owner||The Walt Disney Company
(sale to Wilkins Parent Corporation pending)
(Radio Disney Group, LLC)
The station originally signed on in 1979 as WCQL (Waukesha County Quality Listening), a highly directional daytime-only station at 1370 AM. After a failure to generate adequate ratings or revenue, the station's owners, George and Mary Scoufis, experimented with a Contemporary Christian Music format in the early 1980s until it was sold to a group of investors. Those investors turned the station into a 24 hour a day station (requiring the change in city of license to Sussex), changed the call letters to WGNW and launched a news-talk format. However the low power prevented the station from ever seriously competing against power houses like WTMJ and WISN.
In 1985, the owners ended the news talk format, and entered into a local marketing agreement with Wisconsin Petra Productions, which changed the call letters to WKSH, re-branded the station as KS-14 and programmed an adult contemporary Christian music format. Later, a group called "Heir Force Ministries" operated the station for a number of years. In the 1990s the station's programming was taken over by "Life Message" who changed the format to a more conservative mix of teaching and inspirational music. The owner of WKSH shut down the 1370 kHz frequency and moved programming to 1640 kHz, a new station on the expanded AM band, in 1998.
In late 2002, WKSH's owner shut down their business, and Disney's ABC Radio Networks division bought the station in order to convert the station to Radio Disney. WKSH carried the network's entire schedule except for some local-specific public affairs prgramming on Sunday mornings, and automated station identifications, although the station maintained a local staff which promoted the station through public events, live remotes and contests and did so on air from time-to-time. In June 2013, Disney put WKSH and six other Radio Disney stations in medium markets up for sale, in order to refocus the network's broadcast distribution on top-25 markets. Disney does not own the studio building, nor the transmitter site, which may complicate any sale. A lease remains in effect for several years.
In September 29, 2013, WKSH was taken off-the-air. It returned to the air for a short time in late October 2013 with a continuous loop of Broadway tunes and easy listening music between station identifications due to its special temporary authority to remain silent having not had action taken upon it by the FCC. This allowed the station to maintain its license by having some content air in a thirty-day period and would likely be repeated if the STA remains unactioned.
- Graser, Marc (June 4, 2013). "Radio Disney Stations Up for Sale (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
- Radio Disney Places Stations On The Market (September 30) - RadioInsight.com
- "APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE (WDZY)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 20, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- Wilkins Acquires Two From Disney - Radio Insight
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WKSH
- Radio-Locator Information on WKSH
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WKSH
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