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|Broadcast area||Minneapolis-St. Paul|
|Frequency||740 kHz C-QUAM AM stereo|
|Translator(s)||92.1 W221BS (St. Paul)
103.7 W279DD (Hudson)
|First air date||December 14, 1983 (as WRPX)|
|Power||5,000 watts (day)|
|Former callsigns||WAOZ (1982-1983, CP)
WDGY (740 AM, "Wee-Gee") is a daytime-only oldies radio station serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota. It is licensed to and transmits from Hudson, Wisconsin, three miles east of its studios in Lakeland, Minnesota.
The Original WDGY
WDGY was founded in 1923 by Dr. George Young, an optometrist who dabbled in radio as a hobby. It was one of the first radio stations in the Twin Cities area. The original call letters were KFMT, located at 1300 kHz. The following year, the station moved to 1140 kHz. After several call letter changes, including WHAT and WGWY, Young settled on WDGY, which was based on his initials. The WDGY call letters remained on the station from 1925 until 1991, first at 1140 kHz, then to its longtime home at 1130 kHz in 1941. Following his death in 1945, Young's estate sold the station.
The station went through several ownership changes until 1956, when they were purchased by Todd Storz' Mid-Continent Broadcasting, an Omaha-based owner of a five-to-seven-station group (the maximum number allowed in those days). Storz quickly changed the format to Top 40, taking advantage of the early rise of rock and roll music. The station was often nicknamed "WeeGee," and dominated the local ratings for many years.
In 1959, WDGY gained a formidable challenger when KDWB arrived on the scene. From KDWB's sly introduction to Twin Cities radio by way of a teaser ad campaign in newspapers and on other Twin Cities radio stations as "Formula 63" (for 630), WDGY and KDWB seesawed back and forth in ratings supremacy for area teen and young adult audiences throughout the raucous 60s and 70s. The competition, sometimes friendly, sometimes not at all, resulted in some of the best merchandising promotions and concerts ever sponsored by local radio stations.
Generally, WDGY came in a regular second in overall audience ratings (everyone came in second to market-dominant, clear-channel WCCO-AM back then). WDGY seemed to appeal to slightly older teens and the 18- to 35-year-olds while KDWB held a fair share of the teen audiences - considered hot properties during this period.
WDGY's longtime Top 40 format came to an end in 1977 when, faced with much stronger competition on the FM dial, they adopted a country music format, which they continued well into the 1980s, prior to a flip to a news/talk format and finally, the adoption of sports talk as KFAN in 1991. Ironically, the abandoned WDGY call letters were quickly picked up by their former rival at 630 kHz.
History of 740 AM
The original call letters for the station's construction permit were WAOZ, but the station was never on the air with those calls. AM 740 began broadcasting as WRPX, featuring a locally based MOR/adult contemporary format targeting the Hudson/St. Croix Valley area, on December 14, 1983.
After a brief shutdown in 1993, due to business failure and a sale of WRPX to new owners, the station later picked up the vacated WMIN calls, which had a long history in the market. WMIN aired a pop/rock Spanish-language station as "La Nueva Ley" until November 14, 2005. They also aired sports talk at various times during the previous two decades. In recent years, WMIN leased time to two groups that eventually purchased their own full-time frequencies: "Straight Talk Radio" (now on KTNF) and Relevant Radio (now on WLOL).
In 2008, the station became WDGY after sister station 630 AM switched to WREY.
The WMIN calls are now on a station northwest of the Twin Cities in Sauk Rapids. The station is known as "Uptown 1010", and broadcasts a Big Band and Standards format. It is owned and operated by Tri-County Broadcasting.
In May 2016 WDGY began simulcasting on FM translator W279DD 103.7 FM in Hudson, Wisconsin.
On March 7, 2017 WDGY dropped HD and began broadcasting in C-QUAM AM stereo. This makes it the 4th station in Wisconsin to do so, and the second station receivable in the Twin Cities to broadcast in AM stereo.
- http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=16 HD Radio Guide for Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
- http://northpine.com Upper Midwest Broadcasting
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WDGY
- Radio-Locator Information on WDGY
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WDGY
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W221BS
- Radio-Locator information on W221BS
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W279DD
- Radio-Locator information on W279DD
- Radiotapes.com Historic Minneapolis/St. Paul airchecks dating back to 1924 including WDGY and other Twin Cities radio stations
- TwinCitiesRadioAirchecks.com features many 1970s' radio airchecks, including the old WDGY. There are also old photos of the WDGY studios in Bloomington MN.
- Oldiesloon.com, featuring information about former Twin Cities Top 40 stations