WMJI

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For the Cleveland AM radio station which carried the WMJI callsign from 1987 to 1988, see WWMK.
WMJI
WMJI logo.png
City of license Cleveland, Ohio
Broadcast area Greater Cleveland
Northeast Ohio
Branding Majic 105.7
Slogan Cleveland's Greatest Hits
Frequency 105.7 MHz
(also on HD Radio)
First air date December 6, 1948
Format Classic hits
HD2: Oldies
ERP 16,000 watts
HAAT 344 meters
Class B
Facility ID 73268
Transmitter coordinates 41°23′2.00″N 81°41′44.00″W / 41.3838889°N 81.6955556°W / 41.3838889; -81.6955556
Callsign meaning MaJIc
Former callsigns WTAM-FM (1948–56)
KYW-FM (1956–65)
WKYC-FM (1965–72)
WWWM (1972–82)
WMJI (1982–87)
WMJI-FM (1987–88)
Affiliations City Club of Cleveland
iHeartRadio
Premium Choice
Total Traffic and Weather Network
Owner Clear Channel Media and Entertainment
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
Sister stations WAKS, WGAR-FM, WHLK, WMMS, WTAM
Webcast Listen Live
Website wmji.com

WMJI (105.7 FM) – branded Majic 105.7 – is a commercial classic hits radio station licensed to Cleveland, Ohio, serving Greater Cleveland and much of surrounding Northeast Ohio. Owned by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, WMJI is the Cleveland affiliate for nationally syndicated radio personality Gary Bryan, and the home of local personality Jimmy Malone. The WMJI studios are located in the Cleveland suburb of Independence, while the station transmitter resides in nearby Parma. Besides a standard analog transmission, WMJI broadcasts over two HD Radio channels, and is available online via iHeartRadio.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The station was founded by NBC on December 6, 1948 as WTAM-FM, and it simulcast the programming of sister station WTAM. Both radio stations were also paired with WNBK-TV (later WKYC-TV), which signed on that same year. When NBC traded its radio and television holdings in Cleveland with Westinghouse Broadcasting's stations in Philadelphia on February 13, 1956,[1] it became KYW-FM, taking the callsign of Westinghouse's radio station.[2]

When the NBC-Westinghouse trade was reversed on June 19, 1965, the station reverted to NBC ownership. The call letters were changed to WKYC-FM to match those of the AM station, which kept the popular "KY" slogan and identity Westinghouse brought into Cleveland.[3][4]

"M105"[edit]

NBC eventually sold off WKYC and WKYC-FM in 1972 to Ohio Communications, owned by Nick Mileti and Jim and Tom Embrescia.[5] The station became WWWM, and broadcast a syndicated beautiful music format. In 1975 the format was changed to album-oriented rock and the station identified itself as M105. The station used the slogan, "The Home of Continuous Music" and was programmed by former WIXY program director Eric Stevens, and competed aggressively with later-sister station WMMS for ratings. In 1980, M-105 began billing itself as "Cleveland's Classic Rock", playing a mix of rock music from the mid-1960s to the present.[6][7]

Majic Radio[edit]

WWWM and WBBG were sold to Robinson Communications, headed by famed jeweler Larry "J.B." Robinson, in 1981. The station changed to an adult contemporary format as WMJI on June 14, 1982, branded Majic Radio.[8] The station was sold to Jacor Communications of Cincinnati along with AM station WBBG on September 19, 1984. John Lanigan began his morning show with former WHK newscaster John Webster on September 17, 1985, returning to Cleveland after a brief stint at Magic radio in Tampa, Florida. He replaced husband-and-wife team Dan Deely and Kim Scott after they resigned, citing that the job had put strains on their marriage.

When WBBG dumped its big band format on October 29, 1987, it simulcast WMJI's programming for a time - and took the WMJI calls - until it was sold off. Therefore, 105.7-FM technically was WMJI-FM for several months in 1988. When 1260 became WRDZ with a religious format, the FM station simply became WMJI. Jacor Communications soon LMA'ed WMJI to Legacy Broadcasting, headed by former Malrite executive Carl Hirsch in 1988, with Legacy buying WMJI outright in 1990.

Majic 105.7[edit]

By 1990, the station adjusted their format to rock 'n roll oldies featuring much of the music made famous by Top 40 legends WHK and WIXY. WHK, which dropped the rock and roll format in the mid-1960s, had re-established itself as an oldies station in the 1980s, but had dropped that format by November 1988. WIXY was (ironically) the previous identity of former sister station WBBG, and held the same studio space that WIXY once did. In addition, much of WMJI's music library already consisted of former WIXY tapes and jingles. John Gorman, formerly program director of legendary Cleveland rock station WMMS, was brought in to redesign WMJI as a 100% rock oldies format. Under his guidance, the station immediately posted major ratings increases and became one of the top performing stations in Cleveland. Gorman also reunited with former WMMS artist and co-creator of the station's "Buzzard" mascot, David Helton to create a new logo and early print ads and billboards for WMJI. The "Majic 105.7" font was chosen by Gorman as a tribute to Boston's WRKO/680 AM logo in 1967, which, under the direction of Program Director Mel Phillips, was an influence on Gorman's programming.

WMJI owner Legacy Broadcasting was later renamed OmniAmerica in 1994, and sold the station to Nationwide Communications in 1997. By then, WMJI had established consistent ratings dominance in the Cleveland market under Program Director Denny Sanders, a market legend who replaced John Gorman (who relocated to CBS in Detroit). The station was led by its highly rated morning show featuring Lanigan, Webster, and local comedian Jimmy Malone. Webster left the station amid a health scare in 1997, while the "Lanigan & Malone Show" remained intact until Lanigan's retirement on March 31, 2014. During the period when Lanigan and Malone hosted mornings, WMJI achieved the highest total weekly listenership of any Cleveland radio station in the decade of the 1990s. It later became the FM flagship for Cleveland Browns broadcasts from 1999 to 2001.[9]

The popularity of WMJI in the late 1990s allowed Clear Channel to "franchise" WMJI's format and "Majic" nickname on several FM oldies stations and one AM station, mostly in the Midwest. These stations included, at its height: WYNT in Marion, WIMJ in Findlay, WMJK in Sandusky, WZOM in Defiance (then also branded as "Majic 105.7"), WMKJ in Louisville and WKEQ in Somerset. Of those stations, only WYNT still uses the "Majic" name and shares a similar logo to WMJI, although they changed formats to adult contemporary. Early in November 2006, WTHZ-FM in Lexington, North Carolina, a station owned by "Davidson County Broadcasting", changed formats to "Majic 94.1" - replete with a similar logo to WMJI's. This continued until March 2010, when the station changed formats.

In August 1998, Nationwide Communications merged operations with Jacor, reuniting WMJI with its former owner (and also was paired up with WTAM again, bringing the two stations' original relationship full circle). This was followed in May 1999 by Clear Channel Communications' $6.5 billion purchase of Jacor and its 454 stations, including WMJI. Denny Sanders departed WMJI in 2001, and is currently General Manager of Telos Systems, a Cleveland-based international broadcast equipment design company.

Under the oldies format, WMJI has been recognized at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards. The station has been named Large Market Station of the Year twice (1998, 2003), and three times as Oldies Station of the Year (2002, 2004, 2006). Longtime morning team John Lanigan and Jimmy Malone were also named Large Market Personality of the Year in 2005.[10]

Current programming[edit]

WMJI's lineup features the Nolan, Malone, and Kullik Morning Show hosted by longtime WMJI personalities Mark Nolan, Jimmy Malone, and Chip Kullik along with Tracey Carroll. Other local DJs include Kat Jackson (middays), and Don "Action" Jackson (afternoon drive).[11] WMJI also plays Christmas music throughout the holiday season.[12] The HD2 digital subchannel airs oldies under the brand Real Oldies.[13] WMJI also airs Premium Choice content during weekday evenings, overnights and select weekend shifts.[14] Additionally, American Top 40 - The 70s airs on Sundays, distributed by Clear Channel subsidiary Premiere Networks.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NBC, WBC trade properties in Cleveland, Philadelphia." Broadcasting, May 23, 1955, pp. 65-66, 68. [1][2][3]
  2. ^ "NBC, WBC outlets change calls today." Broadcasting, February 13, 1956, pp. 98. [4]
  3. ^ "The great swap takes place June 19; Westinghouse, NBC return to original properties." Broadcasting, June 14, 1965, pg. 83. [5]
  4. ^ "Philadelphia circle is complete," and "Nine-year history of that trade in Philadelphia." Broadcasting, August 3, 1964, pp. 23-25. [6][7][8]
  5. ^ "First NBC radio properties go." Broadcasting, January 17, 1972, pg. 38. [9]
  6. ^ Scott, Jane. "The Happening" The Plain Dealer June 13, 1980: Friday 30
  7. ^ http://www.cleve-radio.com/index2.htm#WWWM-FM
  8. ^ Ewinger, John. "M-105 to switch to soft-rock beat" The Plain Dealer June 12, 1982: 5-C
  9. ^ O'Connor, Clint (September 22, 2002). "At the Controls: Clear Channel Programmer Rules Radio in Cleveland". The Plain Dealer (Plain Dealer Publishing Co.). p. J1 - Sunday Arts. 
  10. ^ http://www.nab.org/events/awards/pastAwardWinners.asp?id=1928
  11. ^ http://www.ohio.com/news/local/lanigan-s-colorful-radio-career-coming-to-an-end-1.475810
  12. ^ "Once again this year Majic 105.7 will be Cleveland's Christmas Music Station - Cleveland's Greatest Hits". Wmji.com. 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  13. ^ "Stations | More Music. More Stations. More Features. Digital Sound. No Subscription". HD Radio. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  14. ^ "Corrections and Clarifications". The Plain Dealer. August 1, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2013. "The Cleveland Clear Channel stations using the Premium Choice programming package are WAKS, WGAR, WMJI and WMMS. Each station uses it overnight on weekdays, and for selected hours on weekends." 
  15. ^ http://www.wmji.com/onair/sunday

External links[edit]