|Broadcast area||Sheboygan, Wisconsin|
|Branding||950 The Game|
|Power||500 watts day
11 watts night
|Callsign meaning||The CLuB (for station's pre-sports adult standards format)|
|Former callsigns||WSHE-AM, WKTS (1957-1993),
|Affiliations||Fox Sports Radio
|Owner||Mountain Dog Media/Randy Hopper
(RBH Enterprises, d/b/a Yellow Dog Broadcasting)
|Sister stations||KFIZ, WFON|
WCLB (950 AM) is a radio station in Sheboygan, Wisconsin which airs a sports talk format and is a full affiliate of Fox Sports Radio. WCLB is owned by Mountain Dog Media, a company owned by former State Senator Randy Hopper.
The station came on the air in the mid 1950s as WSHE. They would soon ask for a call change to WKTL to stand for the Kettle Moraine range west of Sheboygan, but WHBL filed an objection to the calls, asserting the new calls sounded too alike and would cause issues with ratings diaries and branding. The station then chose the less-confusing WKTS calls in response. They would carry a general MOR format mixed with local talk, along with being a part of the Chicago Cubs Radio Network for several years. Launching from a former gas station building at Sheboygan Falls, the station eventually moved its studios located to the second floor of the Walgreens building in downtown Sheboygan at 814 North Eighth Street. WKTS moved to the corner of Union Avenue and South 12th Street in the early 1980s. The station stayed on the air as WKTS until 1991, when the ownership group was foreclosed by a local bank and the station was forced to go dark.
Early owners included David A. Bensman, a prominent Sheboygan business man, who created THE FREE PRESS in Two Rivers, Wi, B&B Sound System, Radio and Record Center store, and who created the Polkaland Record label. Upon David A, Bensman's death the station was sold to long-time owners R. Karl Baker and his wife Jane, later sold to First Concord of Minnesota, headed by Steven T. Moravec for a short time, next to Sheboygan Broadcasting, headed by long-time Sheboygan announcer, Julian Jetzer.
Night service was granted in 1987. The station uses a three-tower directional facility at Sheboygan Falls, near the interchange between Highways 23 and 32. The station receives heavy interference due to the factors of cell phone traffic from towers nearby interfering with the signal, and the need to reduce the signal at night in order to protect WWJ of Detroit and Chicago's WNTD, also both at 950. Nighttime license power is eleven watts.
The station's license was next picked up by Don Jones' Star Cablevision (unrelated to the larger Cablevision corporation), the city's cable provider and a precursor company to Charter Communications. The station came back on the air on June 11, 1993 as WCNZ, airing an audio simulcast of CNN Headline News and local news updates during the network's local affiliate update time (25/55 after the hour), along with broadcasts of Sheboygan A's semi-pro baseball games and some high school sports, with coverage usually provided via simulcasts from Star Cablevision (later Marcus Cable)'s WSCS TV8 public access station. For a short time, WHBL's news director Jerry Bader moved to WCNZ as its news director and main on-air personality before being lured back to WHBL with a new contract which expanded his role with the station (and eventually springboarded him into a local daily talk show that eventually saw him moved to sister station WTAQ in Green Bay).
In 1997, the station was sold to Mountain Dog Media, the owners of WXER (104.5) upon the merger of Marcus Cable into Charter Communications, which had no interest whatsoever in maintaining radio stations. Studios were merged with WXER's Falls Plaza facilities, and the station ended the Headline News simulcast and brought the station back to its former MOR format. On May 4, 2000, WCNZ changed their calls to WCLB, and then switched to an adult standards format as 950, The Club. Later, the station changed to oldies as "Cool 950". The station would remain so until January 3, 2004, when WCLB took an affiliation with ESPN Radio.
Local programming consists of an afternoon sports show based from Fond du Lac, while the station did not air ESPN Radio play-by-play broadcasts except for coverage of the Bowl Championship Series and NBA Finals due to a non-compete clause with Midwest Communications resulting from their sale of WXER and lasted until September 2010; with the end of the clause WCLB aired the 2010 MLB Playoffs for the first time. The station's offices are based at Fond du Lac sister operation KFIZ, and there is no local presence of station staff outside of some remote broadcasts. The station currently carries NFL and NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament coverage from Westwood One.
In March 2011, WCLB was dropped by ESPN Radio due to the network requesting monthly fees and clearance of their afternoon show and the refusal of Mountain Dog to do so to air their Fond du Lac-based afternoon program. The station was rebranded as 950, The Game and became an affiliate of Fox Sports Radio, replacing WHBL's weekends-only affiliation.