|City of license||Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
|Slogan||"80s, 90s, & More!"|
|First air date||June 1958|
Bill Lynett (co-owner)
Willie Davis (co-owner)
|Former callsigns||WQFM (1958-1996)
|Owner||Milwaukee Radio Alliance
(Milwaukee Radio Alliance, LLC)
WLDB (branding as B93.3) is a commercial radio station located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, broadcasting on 93.3 FM. Owned and operated by the Milwaukee Radio Alliance, a partnership between Shamrock Communications and All Pro Broadcasting, WLDB airs an adult contemporary/Hot AC music format branded as "B93.3". Its studios are located in Menomonee Falls and the transmitter site is in Milwaukee's North Side near Estabrook Park.
The original call letters were WQFM, beginning in 1958. The station had various formats, including classical music, big band music, jazz and ethnic programming before a short-lived automated Top 40 format. For many years, starting in 1973, this was Milwaukee's dominant Album Oriented Rock station. They competed with the eclectic free-form WZMF until 1979, and WLPX until 1983.
"93QFM" was the top rock station in town for over a decade, but faced its stiffest competition in 1986, when WBCS dropped their country music format and became hard-rocker "Lazer 103". They shifted to a more heavy metal/hard rock direction, similar to that of Lazer, then switched to a more "adult" rock feel in 1992, then became heavier again. In addition, the station had a seemingly endless succession of morning shows over the years, including an ill-fated attempt at airing Wisconsin native Jonathon Brandmeier's show from WLUP in Chicago, which backfired when WLUP shuffled their on-air lineup, moved Brandmeier to afternoons, putting Kevin Matthews in morning drive. At one point, WQFM put together one short-lived morning show that consisted of people who had never done radio, which included Lori Minetti, the hostess of the Wisconsin Lottery's Money Game television show.
After years of poor and hasty decisions and falling ratings, the owners of WQFM pulled the plug in March 1996 and flipped the station to smooth jazz as WJZI.
WJZI's smooth jazz format never dominated the local ratings, but remained competitive in the middle portion of the Arbitrons. In the winter of 2005, the station tied for 9th place with WJMR among listeners 25 to 54, but rose to 7th place in the winter of 2006.
On March 5, 2007, WJZI began a transition in its format, gearing the station towards a slightly younger female demographic. This involved adding more adult contemporary music. De-emphasizing the smooth jazz music that was a staple of the station, WJZI changed its branding to "Smooth 93.3," as it slowly began to make the transition to full-fledged soft rock.
By June 18, 2007, the transition was complete, with revamped on-air imaging, station logo and website ("The All New Smooth 93.3"). A new morning show would also be added, featuring Milwaukee radio veteran Ellen Stout and station program director Stan Atkinson; that change was seen as a counter-move to the morning show changes on competing AC station WKTI-FM.
As a response to WJZI's flip to AC, competing station WFMR changed its format from classical music to smooth jazz on June 26, one week after WJZI's move. That station changed their call letters to the similar WJZX. On July 30, WJZI adopted new positioning, as they changed their call letters to WLDB, with the new moniker "B93.3", matching the imaging used by a popular station with the same format in Philadelphia, WBEB, but using the decimal number to avert confusion with Sheboygan's country-formatted WBFM, which brands as "B93.7" and has fringe reception in the central reaches of Ozaukee County. The station's weather forecasts are prepared and delivered by WDJT-TV's First Alert Weather staff.
In June 2009, WLDB tweaked its format from AC to a mix of AC/Hot AC, playing music from the 1980s, 1990s, and the 2000s. This type of format was on WKTI before it flipped to an adult hits format and changed the calls to WLWK-FM in November 2008. WLDB's tweak positions itself to compete with WMYX-FM, although "The Mix" plays more new music than old. As of 2011, the station plays music from the 1970s through present, with a typical adult contemporary playlist. The station's schedule all weekend between 5 PM on Fridays and 5 AM on Mondays consists solely of 80s music.
- WLDB official website
- 93QFM: The Halcyon Daze
- Tribute page on Facebook
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WLDB
- Radio-Locator information on WLDB
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WLDB
- Image of classic WQFM billboard
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel articles from March 2007
- June 2007 on WJZI's change to "Smooth 93.3"