WLWK-FM

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WLWK-FM
City of license Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Broadcast area Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Branding 94.5 The Lake
Slogan It's All About The Variety!
Frequency 94.5 MHz FM (also on HD Radio)
First air date June 1959
Format

Adult Hits

[4]
ERP 14,000 watts
HAAT 291 meters
Class B
Facility ID 74095
Callsign meaning The calls suggest "LaKe Michigan" or even "MiLWauKee"
Former callsigns WTMJ-FM (1959-1974)
WKTI (1974-1982)
WKTI-FM (1982-2008)
Owner Journal Communications
(Journal Broadcast Corporation)
Sister stations WTMJ (AM), WTMJ-TV
Webcast Listen Live
Website 945lakefm.com

WLWK-FM (94.5 The Lake) is a radio station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin broadcasting at 94.5 MHz. The station is owned by Journal Communications, a telecommunications company of Milwaukee. The company owns WTMJ (AM) radio, WTMJ-TV and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The Lake broadcasts adult hits. WLWK-FM maintains studio facilities located on Capitol Drive in Milwaukee (this Art Deco facility is known as "Radio City" in tribute to the New York complex of the same name), and its transmitter is located approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) north of downtown Milwaukee.

History[edit]

1940s and 1950s[edit]

The owner of the Milwaukee Journal was a pioneer of FM broadcasting. In early 1940, an experimental station, W9XAO started broadcasting. In 1942, the station was called W55M. It broadcast from a 50 kW transmitter located in Richfield, Wisconsin. For a short time in the mid 40's, the station was known as WMFM.[1] After World War II, the station was renamed WTMJ-FM and it moved to the 88-108 MHz band. Initially, WTMJ-FM used the 102.1 FM frequency but struggled for many years, especially when the company began to focus on its new television station. In 1950, the station stopped broadcasting. It returned in 1959 at 94.5 FM, running automated programming for many years.[2]

1970s and 1980s[edit]

In 1974, the station changed to a stand-alone automated Top 40 format with the nickname, "I-94" (named after the main east-west interstate highway that runs through Milwaukee). To support the new brand, the owner wanted to change the station's call sign but could not decide on the two middle letters of a new name. The station manager, Jack Lee, proposed WWWI, but DJs were not comfortable about using the tongue-twisting call letters on-air. A sales manager suggested two letters from Katie, his wife's name and so, the call sign was changed to WKTI. I-94 was an automated station promoted as "nonstop stereo rock.

In 1981, live air personalities were employed. In 1982, Bob Reitman anchored WKTI's morning show. The program director, Dallas Cole, added Gene Mueller to the morning show in mid-1982. Lips LaBelle later became the afternoon DJ and promotions director. In late 1982, Danny Clayton became the night DJ and music director. These people worked as a team at WKTI for the next fifteen years. The station experienced steady ratings and growth.

1990s and 2000s[edit]

In about 1999, WXSS-FM began to compete for WKTI's predominantly female audience with music from younger artists. WKTI had a long standing, popular morning show and so, the station did not make changes in response to the competition. However, slow adjustments were made to WKTI's playlists, changing to the Hot AC format to attract new and younger listeners. The changes included contests and a Friday playlist called Flashback Friday, which featured music from the 1980s.

In late 2005, WKTI adopted an Adult Top 40 format while continuing to play some vintage artists. In September 2006, the station no longer voiced the "W" in its call sign, and the branding changed to 94-5 'KTI, Milwaukee's Hit Music Channel. In late 2006, Bob Reitman retired. Gene Mueller continued the morning show with Amy Taylor and Gino Salamone as "Gene, Amy and Gino", until Taylor resigned in April 2007. On May 15, 2007, WKTI and its sister station WTMJ moved Gene Mueller to WTMJ's "Wisconsin Morning News". A new show, Mathew Blades in the Morning, with Blades, Erin Austin, and AJ was launched on WKTI. The station's evening lineup was also changing. Cindy Huber hosted the evening program for two years, but then left the station in a reshuffle and moved to WLDB. The station then chose to air syndicated programming after 7pm, airing John Tesh's Intelligence for Your Life show, which had a WKTI-programmed playlist interspersed with Tesh's segments of trivia.

In September 2008, WKTI broadcast play-by-play reports for teams normally on the am station, WTMJ which had had their broadcasts displaced by radio coverage of another sport. For example, the Milwaukee Brewers broadcasts moved to WKTI to allow Green Bay Packers radio play-by-play reports to air on WTMJ. On September 28, 2008, for the first time in Milwaukee radio history, the station aired a Green Bay Packers game. The Green Bay Packers played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[3] On July 22, 2010, WLWK aired a Brewers game, due to WTMJ's coverage of a sudden flash flood situation.[4]

At twelve minutes past noon on November 6, 2008, the Sophie B. Hawkins song "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover" gave way to "Hello, Goodbye" by The Beatles.[5] After this, Journal Broadcast Group general manager, Steve Wexler, stepped in to introduce listeners to a complete makeover for 94.5 FM. The station launched a new adult hits format, branded as "The New 94.5 Lake FM". Chicago's "Beginnings" was the first song to be broadcast. Lake FM broadcast automated programs (apart from some broadcasting by Matthew Blades) until December 29, 2008.[6][7]

On November 13, 2008, the FCC approved the station's new Call sign WLWK-FM. The company warehoused the WKTI call sign at its adult standards station in the Knoxville, Tennessee. Currently they reside on the Sturgeon Bay/Door County translator for WGBA-TV in Green Bay.

From July 8, 2009 to October 1, 2011, Lake FM had a television component, a digital subchannel network, TheCoolTV for WTMJ-DT3, marketed as TheCoolTV, powered by 94-5 Lake FM. In 2012, WLWK altered its name to "94-5 The Lake."

Former WKTI DJs[edit]

  • Gene Mueller: morning show host until May 2007, morning co-host at WTMJ (AM) in Milwaukee.
  • Bob Reitman: morning show host until December 2006, host of It's alright, ma, it's only music."[8]
  • Amy Taylor: morning show co-host until April 2007.
  • Jim "Lips" LaBelle: nights and afternoons 1982 - 2008, patron services manager at Bel Canto Chorus
  • Danny Clayton: program director, nights, afternoons and middays, rejoined 94.5 on February 18, 2013 as host of Mornings with Danny Clayton." [9]
  • John "Woody" Harrison: middays, general sales manager Double O Radio. [10]
  • Kelly Wallace: nights, music director.
  • John Grant: middays, music director (1981 - 1983), host The 405 radio, Los Angeles, California. [11]
  • John Reynolds: middays, promotions, operations director WNKS and WKQC, Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Leonard Peace: middays, music director, public affairs officer for Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Jeff Monosso: host (1998 - 2003), national news corresponent FOX News Radio, New York, New York.
  • Cindy Huber: nights until May 2007.
  • Hollywood John Harlow: weekends and swing until November 2005, chief of public affairs at the Natick Soldier Systems Center, Natick, Massachusetts.
  • Kyle Kristofer: weekends and swing (1993 - 1997), weekends and swing on KBEQ & KCKC Kansas City.
  • Luke Sanders: nights (1994 - 1997)
  • Dick Alpert (Drake Chenault): weekends and swing until 2007, traffic reporter and director for Clear Channel's Madison and Milwaukee radio clusters, and for television partners WMTV (Channel 15) and WITI (Channel 6) respectively.
  • Kidd O'Shea: nights (2001 - October, 2004), morning co-host on WMYX in Milwaukee.
  • Dan Kyle: middays until March 2008, host Clear Channel, Milwaukee.

Program Directors[edit]

  • BJ Hunter (1979 - 1982); former VP/GM Fox Sports Radio; died November 10, 2008.
  • Dallas Cole (Jeff Rowe), (1982 - 1985); digital media executive.
  • Tim Fox (1985 - 1988); program director at KIOA, Des Moines.
  • Todd Fisher (1988 - 1990); senior partner at Global Cause Solutions, Minneapolis, Mn
  • Mike Berlak (1990 - 1991): program director WOXL, Asheville, NC
  • Danny Clayton (1991 - 2001): manager of media, social media and public relations at Kapco, Inc.
  • Bob Walker (2001 - 2008): program director at WCTK Cat Country in Providence, RI
  • J. Pat Miller (2008 - 2010): director of marketing and business development at Journal Broadcast Group.
  • John Roberts (2010 to present)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bellamy R. K. "Riding the Airwaves." Milwaukee Journal 7 September 1944. Accessed 2 December 2013.
  2. ^ [1] Fybush.com 2006.
  3. ^ Local news Todays tmj4
  4. ^ [2] JS online blog.
  5. ^ [3] JS online blog.
  6. ^ "Newswatch" JS online.
  7. ^ "Blades will slip some chat into a sea of music on 'The Lake'" Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, December 5, 2008
  8. ^ "It's Alright, Ma, It's Only Music" WUWM.
  9. ^ "Mornings with Danny Clayton" The Lake website.
  10. ^ Double O Radio doubleoradio
  11. ^ The 405 Radio Los Angeles California The 405 Radio website.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°05′28″N 87°54′07″W / 43.091°N 87.902°W / 43.091; -87.902