From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see WOC.
City of license Davenport, Iowa
Broadcast area Quad Cities
Branding WOC Talkradio 1420 AM
Slogan The Quad Cities News Leader
Frequency 1420 AM (kHz)
First air date February 18, 1922 (experimental under various calls from 1907-1922)
Format Commercial; News/Talk
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 60360
Transmitter coordinates 41°33′0″N 90°28′37″W / 41.55000°N 90.47694°W / 41.55000; -90.47694
Callsign meaning Wonders Of Chiropractic
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
Webcast Listen Live!
Website http://www.woc1420.com/

WOC is a radio station licensed to Davenport, Iowa, and has a news and talk radio format. The station's frequency is 1420 kHz, and broadcasts at a power of 5 kW. Its transmitter is located in Bettendorf, Iowa near the Scott Community College Campus. WOC is the only AM station to transmit from this site as the remaining stations at the Bettendorf antenna farm are either FM Radio stations or Television stations.

WOC is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.. Studios are located at 3535 East Kimberly Road in Davenport, Iowa. Other stations located in the same complex are KMXG, KUUL-FM, WLLR-FM, KCQQ-FM and WFXN.

History of 1420 kHz[edit]

WOC is widely known as the radio station where future U.S. President Ronald Reagan got his start re-creating Chicago Cubs baseball games.

WOC traces its roots to 1907, when Robert Karlowa began an experimental station in Rock Island, Illinois. The station was known under several callsigns, including 9-BC, 9-XR and 9-BY.

On February 18, 1922, the government assigned the fledgling station the WOC call letters, and full-time broadcasting commenced. Historians believe WOC to have been the first commercial radio station west of the Mississippi River, and certainly the first in Iowa.

Karlowa continued to operate the station, but the costs quickly became too great. In March, he sold the station to Col. B. J. Palmer, who operated the Palmer School of Chiropractic, later the Palmer College of Chiropractic, in Davenport. The equipment was moved to a small studio on Palmer's Brady Street campus, and a family connection was started that lasted almost 75 years.

WOC was known for many firsts in the radio industry. A short list might include:

  • Broadcasting from the Iowa Legislature.
  • On-air and studio personnel being required to keep logs of such things as electrical consumption and on-air programming (to the second). The programming log also helped the station begin programs on an absolute "minute-and-second" schedule.
  • Use of a fader panel, allowing use of several microphones in the studio at one time.

On January 26, 1925, WOC formed a network and joined forces with radio station WEAF. In September 1927, WOC became a charter member of the new NBC radio network.

In 1933, Ronald Reagan got his first broadcasting job at WOC as a sportscaster.[1] Reagan returned to WOC in 1988, when WOC and FM-affiliate KIIK 104 dedicated its new studios on East Kimberly Road.

When the FRC's General Order 40 reallocated frequencies in 1928, Des Moines radio station WHO was forced to share time on WOC's frequency. This continued for several years, even after B.J. Palmer purchased WHO. For about four years, the two stations operated together as WOC-WHO. In November 1933, a 50 kW transmitter near Mitchellville went into service. WOC ceased broadcasting, but in November 1934, the station separated from WHO and returned to a new frequency - 1370 kHz. The station's power was boosted to 5 kW in 1942, the same time WOC moved to its current 1420 kHz home.

WOC's FM affiliate, WOC-FM, signed on the air in October 1948 at 103.7 MHz. The FM station has changed formats three times, and currently has a country music format as WLLR-FM and is the highest-rated station in the Quad Cities market. WOC-TV, the first television station in Iowa, began broadcasting on October 31, 1949; after the Palmer family split its radio and television holdings in 1986, the TV station became KWQC-TV.

The AM frequency, meanwhile, has undergone several format changes since the end of the Golden Age of Radio. Its current news/talk oriented format started in 1979.

WOC and its FM affiliate were purchased from Palmer Communications, Inc. by Vickie Anne Palmer and her then husband, J. Douglas Miller in 1986. In 1989 Mr. Miller entered the motion picture business as a producer and Ms. Palmer took over complete control of the properties then known as Signal Hill Communications, Inc. until 1996, when it was sold. The station was purchased by Clear Channel Communications in 2000.

Local programming[edit]

WOC currently boasts a five-person news staff, and shares its services with its sister stations.

Local personalities who host talk shows include Dan Kennedy who host "The Morning Report"; Jim Fisher, who fronts an afternoon call-in show; and a number of advice-type programs. The station also carries University of Iowa sports and National Football League games.

Syndicated talk shows include those hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

In December 2007 Jim Albrecht, the host of the morning show, was fired from WOC, leaving Sean Patrick and Dan Kennedy to host the morning show. Mr. Albrecht is now hosting a television commentary segment called "The Quad Cities' According to Jim" three nights a week during the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts on local television station WQAD.

Starting in February 2012, Mark Manuel and Steve Ketalaar began hosting WOC's morning show. The move came with the demise of the oldies format at KUUL-FM, where the two had hosted the morning program for five years.


  1. ^ "Davenport History 2". Quad City Memory. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  • Stein, Jeff. "Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting." WDG Communications Inc., Cedar Rapids, 2004. ISBN 0-9718323-1-5
  • "Scott County Heritage," Scott County Heritage Book Committee, Taylor Publishing, Dallas, 1991.

External links[edit]