WTAQ

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For the La Grange, Illinois station that used this call sign from 1950 to 1998, after this station originally used it, see WRDZ (AM).
WTAQ
WTAQ-FM
WTAQ 975 1360.png
City of license WTAQ: Green Bay, Wisconsin
WTAQ-FM: Glenmore, Wisconsin
Broadcast area Green Bay-Appleton-Oshkosh
Branding 97-5/1360 News Talk WTAQ
Frequency WTAQ: 1360 kHz
WTAQ-FM: 97.5 MHz
First air date WTAQ: September 4, 1923 (at 1180 AM)
WTAQ-FM: February 5, 2010
Format News/Talk
Power WTAQ: 10,000 watts (daytime), 5,000 watts (nighttime)
ERP WTAQ-FM: 3,000 watts
HAAT WTAQ-FM: 143 meters
Class WTAQ: B
WTAQ-FM: A
Facility ID WTAQ: 42086
WTAQ-FM: 164253
Transmitter coordinates 44°25′51″N 88°04′51″W / 44.43083°N 88.08083°W / 44.43083; -88.08083
Callsign meaning W-TAlk(Q)
Former callsigns WTAQ:
WTAQ (1923-1950s)
WBAY (1950s-1970s)
WGEE (1970s-2003)
WTAQ-FM:
WTRW-FM (2006-2009, CP)
Former frequencies WTAQ:
1180 kHz (1923-1930)
1330 kHz (1930-1940)
Affiliations Fox News Radio
Green Bay Packers
Owner Midwest Communications
Sister stations WDKF, WGEE, WIXX, WNCY-FM, WNFL, WYDR
Webcast Listen Live
Website wtaq.com

WTAQ (1360 AM) and WTAQ-FM (97.5 FM) are news/talk-formatted radio stations, licensed to Green Bay, Wisconsin (AM) and Glenmore, Wisconsin (FM), that serve the Green Bay and Appleton-Oshkosh areas. The stations are owned by Midwest Communications.

WTAQ's studios and newsroom are located on Bellevue St. in the Green Bay suburb of Bellevue. The station's AM transmitter is located on Lost Dauphin Road, near the Fox River in De Pere. WTAQ-FM's transmitter is located at the former WFRV-TV analog transmitter site on Scray's Hill, also in De Pere.

WTAQ history[edit]

WTAQ was originally licensed to Osseo, Wisconsin, on September 4, 1923 on the 1180 frequency. In 1930, the Gillette Rubber Co. bought the station and moved it to Eau Claire on the 1330 frequency. The Norbertine Fathers of St. Norbert College in De Pere, then-owners of WHBY, bought the station in 1940, changed its city of license to Green Bay, and moved its frequency to 1360, where it remains today. About a decade later, the call letters were changed to WBAY, corresponding with their television station and FM station. WBAY was an early affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), as was WBAY-TV.

In the mid-1970s, the Norbertine Fathers sold their broadcast properties including WBAY, WBAY-FM (now WIXX), WHBY and WBAY-TV. WBAY & WBAY-FM were sold to what would become Midwest Communications, while WHBY and WBAY-TV would go to separate owners. WBAY-AM's call letters were changed to WGEE and the FM station's calls became WIXX. Midwest also changed the station's network news affiliation to ABC.

For many years after the sale, WGEE played country music as well as local news, ABC network news, and agriculture reports. Due to the declining popularity of music on the AM band, the station began a gradual move towards News/Talk programming in 1996. The station's moniker became "News Radio 1360 WGEE". Music programming, apart from WGEE's Sunday morning polka programs, was completely gone from the station by the end of 1998.

Former WGEE logo

In the year 2000, the nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show moved to WGEE from sister station WNFL, which switched to a hot talk format. WNFL now carries a sports format. WNFL's affiliation with CBS also moved back to WGEE. The CBS affiliation would go back to WNFL, once again, when WTAQ picked up Fox News Radio on April 1, 2009.

WTAQ's logo prior to the start of the FM simulcast

In 2003, the historic WTAQ calls became available and WGEE decided to bring them back. The official change took place on March 17. Midwest Communications gave the WGEE calls to their ESPN Radio affiliate in Duluth, Minnesota, and would in 2014 apply them to its station in New London, Wisconsin when it converted to a classic country format (as WGEE-FM).

WTAQ-FM history[edit]

The original WTAQ-FM began broadcasting August 16, 1948, on 102.5 MHz with 14 W power.[1]

A construction permit was granted in 2008 to Radioactive, LLC to build a class A FM facility, licensed to Two Rivers as WTRW. The station was on the air briefly, mainly for testing. Its frequency was to be 97.1 MHz, but Radioactive applied to have the city of license changed to the Town of Glenmore, with it moving to 97.5 MHz. A deal was struck with WHDG in Rhinelander, which moved to 97.3 MHz, freeing up the 97.5 frequency for use in Glenmore in July 2009.

In Fall 2008 Midwest Communications began negotiatons with Radioactive about buying the construction permit. The sale was finalized on July 29, 2009, with Midwest paying $1.55 million for the station. The WTAQ-FM call letters were applied to the station on August 5, 2009.[1]

In the August 3, 2009 edition of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Midwest Communications President Duke Wright announced that 97.5 would change its call letters to WTAQ-FM and primarily simulcast WTAQ, once it signed on.[2]

WTAQ-FM officially signed on at 4:10 p.m. on February 5, 2010, with Sean Hannity being the first voice on the station.

Programming[edit]

WTAQ airs mainly conservative talk shows including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and Glenn Beck (weekends). The station also has a local "friendly" morning show, hosted by Mike Austin and Matt Zee, called "Mike, Matt, and the Morning News" and a local issues-based talk show hosted by WTAQ's Program Director, Jerry Bader, which is syndicated to sister stations WSAU in Wausau and WHBL in Sheboygan; Bader had been WHBL's news director through the 1980s and most of the 90's. During football season, The Fifth Quarter, hosted by Mark Daniels and Nick Vitrano airs on the next evening after each Packers game. Other programs that air on the station include Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, First Light with Dirk Van, The Kim Komando Computer Show, Moneytalk with Bob Brinker, and The Allen Hunt Show.

Local newscasts are heard on the station every half-hour from 5:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. during the work week and Saturdays from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. WTAQ is an affiliate Fox News Radio, airing their national newscasts as well as audio from Fox within WTAQ's locally-originated casts. Business news from The Wall Street Journal can be heard weekday mornings and afternoons on the station. As Green Bay currently has no traffic reporting presence to speak of, traffic reports are only carried as events warrant.

WTAQ has a news-sharing agreement with Green Bay's WLUK-TV (and airs their local weather forecasts) and radio stations WTMJ in Milwaukee, WHBL in Sheboygan, and WSAU in Wausau. These stations collaborate to provide state-wide news coverage and share audio and other resources.

In addition to WTAQ's news and talk programming, the station is an affiliate of Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers play-by-play broadcasts, which are produced by WTMJ, along with sister station WIXX, providing the team two broadcast homes in Green Bay on FM (Appleton's WAPL also broadcasts from south of Green Bay and carries Packer games, but is not considered a 'primary' station and has to carry national Westwood One coverage of the conference championship and Super Bowl). Brewers day games during the work week are aired on WTAQ's sister station, WNFL. They skip Brewer broadcasts though. Such as 04/02/2014, they are not airing the game.

WTAQ personalities[edit]

  • Mike Austin: Agricultural reports and host of "Mike, Matt, and The Morning News"
  • Jerry Bader: Host of "The Jerry Bader Show" and Program Director of WTAQ
  • Mark Daniels: Sports Director and host of "The Fifth Quarter"
  • Jeff Flynt: News Anchor/Reporter
  • Doug Higgins: Weekend weather (from WLUK-TV)
  • Robert Kennedy: News Director/Anchor/Reporter
  • Chuck Lakefield: Host of "Ask the Expert" and "Here's What's Happening"
  • Terry Lee: News Reporter/Evening Anchor
  • Pete Petoniak: Morning weather (from WLUK-TV)
  • Patrick Powell: Afternoon and evening weather (from WLUK-TV)
  • Andrew Thut: Weather forecasts (from WLUK-TV)
  • Nick Vitrano: Host of "The Fifth Quarter"
  • Matt Zee: Host of "Mike, Matt, and The Morning News"

Controversy[edit]

On October 29, 2009, Jerry Bader began serving a two-week suspension from his Program Director and show-hosting duties for speculating about reasons why Wisconsin Lt. Governor Barbra Lawton dropped out of the 2010 Gubernatorial race in an online blog. He accused Lawton of having an extramarital affair with another woman. Bader later retracted the story and issued an apology to Lawton.

At the end of the two-week period, Midwest Communications management made the decision to let Bader back on the air.[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]