WMC (AM)

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WMC
City of license Memphis, Tennessee
Broadcast area Memphis, Tennessee
Branding ESPN 790
Frequency 790 kHz
First air date 1923
Format Sports
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 19185
Callsign meaning "We're The Memphis Commercial Appeal"
(former sister newspaper)
Affiliations ESPN Radio
CBS Sports Radio
Owner Entercom Communications
(Entercom License, LLC)
Sister stations WMC-FM

WMC is a radio station in the Memphis, Tennessee market, broadcasting at 790 AM. It is one of the city's oldest radio stations and presently programs a sports format.

The station currently runs a direct satellite feeds of ESPN Radio and CBS Sports Radio. In addition to sports talk shows, WMC-AM features longtime Memphis disc jockey George Klein's weekly tribute program to Elvis Presley. Klein and Presley were close friends and confidantes during the latter's lifetime and the former's long stint on WHBQ-AM.

The station's license is currently held by Entercom Communications, which it purchased from CBS in September 2006; WMC-AM and sister WMC-FM were for many years owned and operated by Scripps Howard Broadcasting, along with then-TV sister WMC-TV, before SHB sold the latter property in 1993. It is one of six radio properties in the Memphis market held by Entercom; the others are WMC-FM, WRVR-FM, WMFS, WLFP, and WMFS-FM.[citation needed]

Entercom purchased WMC-AM, WMC-FM and WMFS in 2006.[1]

WMC-AM maintains studios in the Entercom complex in Southeast Memphis, and has a transmitter towers (four-tower array) in Northeast Memphis.

History[edit]

WMC is one of the few surviving radio stations in the United States to use its original call letters; the station first broadcast on January 19, 1923. Among its unique features was late night concerts from blues singers. Although Memphis was segregated, Bessie Smith performed at WMC on October 5, 1923 ("Hit On Radio," Chicago Defender, October 6, 1923, p. 8)

It was reported that explorers from Great Britain heard WMC in the Arctic.[2][3]

In the 1930s, WMC was still owned by The Commercial Appeal and carried the NBC Radio Red Network, while WMPS, owned by the Press-Scimitar, aired the Blue Network.[4]

During the 1960s, WMC had a MOR format. In 1973, WMC became the first 24 hour full time country station in Memphis and was often #1 in the ratings. KIX 106 went country in 1983 and was the first full signal FM country competition. By 1989, WMC switched to News/Talk.

In 1997, "News/Talk 790" gave up Rush Limbaugh to WREC as well as its morning news show.[5]

In July 2001, WMC-AM was called "SPORTSPLUS 790," with a sports radio format. The GoodTimes Show, with news about casino gambling in Tunica, Mississippi, made its debut on the station at that time.[6]

In December 2005, CBS Radio changed WMC to a classic country format, since there were so many sports stations.[3] Most programming was provided by Jones Radio Networks' Classic Hit Country network, which subsequently became Dial Global's Classic Country network. The station returned to an all-sports format on October 17, 2011, taking the Fox Sports Radio affiliation from KQPN; additionally, Entercom will move The Jim Rome Show from WMFS to WMC.[7]

On May 1, 2014 WMC picked up the ESPN Radio affiliation (rebranding as "ESPN 790") in addition to its current CBS Sports Radio affiliation.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hicks, Ed (2006-08-21). "Entercom Buys 3 CBS Radio Stations in Memphis". Memphis Business Journal. 
  2. ^ http://www.historyorb.com/day/january/19, Retrieved on 2009-02-26.
  3. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (2005-12-30). "Legendary Station Brings 'Country Legends' to Memphis". Radio Monitor. 
  4. ^ http://www.radiocenterflats.com/RCF_history.pdf, Retrieved on 2009-02-27.
  5. ^ http://www.memphisflyer.com/backissues/issue466/media466.htm, Retrieved on 2009-02-26.
  6. ^ Robison, John (2001-07-01). "GoodTimes Radio Moves to SportsPlus 790 WMC". Casino City Times. 
  7. ^ "Confirmed: "Country Legends" WMC-AM (790) in Memphis to flip to sports". Radio-Info.com. October 14, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2011. 
  8. ^ Entercom Expands ESPN Brand in Memphis

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°10′07″N 89°53′06″W / 35.16861°N 89.88500°W / 35.16861; -89.88500