|City||Livonia, Michigan, U.S.|
|Broadcast area|| (Daytime)
|Branding||SB Nation Sports Radio 1090|
|First air date||October 23, 1963|
|Power||250 watts (daytime)
500 watts (nighttime)
|Callsign meaning||Car (a reference to Detroit's automotive industry)|
|Former callsigns||WIID (?-7/18/79)
|Affiliations||SB Nation Radio|
(Birach Broadcasting Corporation)
For the history of the radio station formerly known as WCAR 1130 AM from 1939 to 1978, see WDFN.
1090 AM was originally WERB in Garden City, Michigan, co-owned with the now-defunct WBRB 1430 AM in Mount Clemens and airing a full-service middle of the road/contemporary music format aimed at the western suburbs of Wayne County. The original owner was Malrite Communications. In about 1966, WERB became WTAK, still under Malrite's ownership, notable for being the Detroit, Michigan area's first all-talk radio station; the WTAK air staff included such Detroit radio notables as Tom Clay, Vic Caputo, and Paul Winter. WTAK's talk format went under in about 1970, however, due to many advertisers pulling their business from the station because of the controversial nature of some of the topics discussed. Gil Wuttke was WERB radio station engineer and late afternoon/evening DJ playing easy listening music. Cathy Thiessen was an intern at WERB.
Following a sale to Wolpin Broadcasting in 1969, WTAK changed to WIID and went back to a suburban-oriented MOR format and then to Latin music programming by the mid 1970s.
For years afterward, the bulk of AM 1090's programming, as WIID and later (starting in 1979) WCAR, consisted of ethnic programming and some English-language talk. During the mid 1990s, WCAR 1090 was also briefly the Detroit affiliate station for Radio AAHS, a now-defunct nationwide radio network featuring programming for children, and then (after Radio AAHS shut down in 1998) a simulcast of the Minneapolis-based dance music format Beat Radio (which replaced AAHS on all ten of the company-owned former AAHS stations around the country).
In May 2009, WCAR and WOAP were sold to Birach Broadcasting. Michigan Catholic Radio ended its broadcasts on WCAR on July 31, 2009 when Birach took over the station. Beginning in 2009, the station aired News / Talk with Imus in the Morning, Brian Kilmeade, Robert Wuhl, Jim Bohannon and Red Eye Radio with News content from CNN, Fox and MarketWatch.
A new afternoon drive show featuring local legendary broadcasters Bill Bonds & Rich Fisher (Bonds & Fisher) debuted on October 3, 2011. The show was cancelled in late December 2011. The station considered retooling the talk format, but management decided it would not work, and went in a different direction.
On February 1, 2012, WCAR switched from a talk format to a sports format featuring ESPN Radio programming.  The change was announced on Detroit websites the day before the change. It was also mentioned by Mike Tirico during the Illinois-Michigan State basketball game on January 31, 2012, on ESPN.
The flip signified the return of ESPN Radio to the Detroit market for the first time since 2007.
WCAR began locally produced sports talk programming in April 2012 with a one-hour Detroit Red Wings playoff show. This format eventually expanded into a daily afternoon-drive program with more local shows being added until the station was running local programming from 1 PM to 10 PM on most weekdays.
The locally produced programming abruptly ended on May 3, 2013, and WCAR switched over to 100% syndicated programming.
At 10 PM on July 12, 2013, ESPN Radio pulled their programming off WCAR ending their affiliation with the station. WCAR picked up NBC Sports Radio in its place. WCAR is using 100% of the NBC Sports Radio national programming with no local programming announced.
WCAR is directly competing with WXYT, WXYT-FM, and WDFN as the four sports stations in Detroit. WMGC-FM (which used the ESPN Radio format WCAR dropped, ironically) was a competitor until June 2016, when it dropped the format due to low ratings. On May 9, 2014, WCAR announced it was switching from NBC Sports Radio to Yahoo! Sports Radio (which was renamed "SB Nation Radio" in 2016), effective May 12.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WCAR
- Radio-Locator Information on WCAR
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WCAR
- Michiguide.com - WCAR History
- Michigan Catholic Radio - Programming Guide