|Broadcast area||Jackson, Michigan|
|Branding||1540 The Message|
|First air date||August 15, 1985|
|Power||450 watts day
219 watts critical hours
|Affiliations||Strong Tower Radio|
|Owner||West Central Michigan Media Ministries|
KTGG (1540 AM) is a radio station broadcasting from Okemos, Michigan with a Christian contemporary music and talk format. Until August 2014, it was simulcast on WJKN (1510 AM) in Jackson, Michigan. WJKN has since been sold to Jackson-Lansing Catholic Radio and is a member of the Strong Tower Radio network.
Unusual call sign
Call signs beginning with K are only supposed to be issued to stations west of the Mississippi River, so it was surprising that the calls KTGG were issued for the new station in 1980; some believe this occurred when someone at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) read "MI" (the postal abbreviation for Michigan) on the station's application and mistook it as the abbreviation for Missouri or Minnesota. KTGG thus became the first new station east of the Mississippi with a "K" call in decades; the river was first used as the divider between K and W calls in 1922. (Stations such as KYW in Philadelphia (originally in Chicago) and Pittsburgh's KDKA have retained their heritage calls since before 1922). However, KTGG wasn't the last broadcaster with this distinction: a new station in Napeague, New York was originally dubbed KCBE in 2008 by the FCC, before changing to WEGB in 2009, and a Catholic radio station in Rhinelander, Wisconsin with the call letters KSPP was licensed in May 2015.
AM 1510 was a country music station for over three decades under several call signs, including WJCO, WDJD, and WHBT. The WJKN calls were adopted in 1995 and the format changed to a full-service combination of news, talk and adult contemporary music. In 1998, WJKN phased out music programming and became a predominantly news station. Then, in September 2000, the station went dark after owner Coltrace Communications (the owner of WUPS-FM in Houghton Lake) sold the land on which the station's towers were located to a developer. Shortly afterward, Coltrace donated WJKN to its current owner, Spring Arbor University, which returned the station to the air briefly in late 2001 and early 2002 with a simulcast of WSAE-FM. WJKN was then again dark for several months, and then resurfaced in March 2003 simulcasting KTGG, whose 450-watt signal does not make it far outside of Spring Arbor.
WJKN broadcasts during daytime hours only. KTGG remains on after sunset with 185 watts during critical hours.
WJKN sale and KTGG format change
In April 2014, it was announced that Spring Arbor University was selling WJKN 1510 to Jackson-Lansing Catholic Radio (d/b/a Good Shepherd Radio). This was the Catholic broadcaster's second go at getting a radio station in the Jackson area, as they had been in the process of buying the now-defunct WJKQ 88.5 FM when that station's license was revoked by the FCC. The sale was completed in August 2014. WJKN and FM translator 93.3 W227BY now simulcast a Catholic talk format identifying as Good Shepherd Catholic Radio. W227BY was also formerly owned by Spring Arbor University and operated out of Somerset, Michigan as a translator of WSAE 106.9 FM.
Effective November 12, 2015, Spring Arbor University consummated the sale of KTGG to West Central Michigan Media Ministries for $230,000. In December 2014, KTGG dropped its previous Christian inspirational music format and became the new home of "The Message," the Christian music and teaching format formerly heard on sister station WJKN-FM 89.3, which at that time became a simulcast of WSAE's "Home.FM" programming. Like the former inspirational music format, 'The Message" features music programming hosted by Spring Arbor students.