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|Slogan||Real Classic Rock For The Northland|
|Translator(s)||106.5 W293CT (Duluth)|
|First air date||1924|
|Callsign meaning||Edwina & Barbara Clinton|
|Owner||Townsquare Media |
(Townsquare Media Duluth License, LLC)
|Sister stations||KBMX, KKCB, KLDJ|
WEBC (560 kHz, Sasquatch 106.5) is an AM radio station located in Duluth, Minnesota owned by Townsquare Media. It airs a classic rock format branded as "Sasquatch 106.5." (Sasquatch or Bigfoot is a mythical ape-like creature said to inhabit the northern woods of the U.S. and Canada).
The AM station feeds an FM translator W293CT at 106.5 MHz. While the FM station is limited in its coverage area, the AM station can be heard through much of Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin. It is powered at 5000 watts around the clock. The studios and offices are shared with its three other sister stations at 14 East Central Entrance, in the Duluth Heights area of Duluth, MN.
WEBC is the oldest radio station in the Duluth-Superior market. Founded by W. C. Bridges, it signed on June 1, 1924 in Superior, Wisconsin, using 50 watts of power on AM 1240. For its first year, WEBC was operated out of Bridges's home. Duluth studios were established in 1926 and the community of license was later changed to Duluth, though WEBC's transmitter has always remained on the Wisconsin side of the bridge.
The station was temporarily raised to 500 watts in 1928 in order to provide radio service to President Calvin Coolidge who was vacationing nearby. The New York Times nicknamed it "The President's Station." WEBC joined NBC at this time, so as to provide the vacationing president with coverage of the national political conventions.
WEBC's owners founded WMFG in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1935 and WHLB in Virginia, Minnesota in 1936. The three stations were linked for local programming as part of the Arrowhead Radio Network. WEBC's influence in regional programming was strengthened in 1942 when WMFG and WHLB switched to NBC from CBS.
WEBC and its NBC programming dominated the market in the 1930s and 1940s. Like most other stations in the "Golden Age of Radio", WEBC carried a general entertainment format as the local affiliate of the NBC Radio Network. The station ended up on 560 in the mid-1950s after a series of upgrades and frequency changes. In 1955, with radio losing listeners to TV, WEBC dropped NBC and adopted a hot new format: Top 40. WEBC featured announcers such as Lance "Tac" Hammer, Lew Latto, and "Doctor" Don Rose, among many others.
W. C. Bridges was an early adopter of frequency modulation, and created a sister station in 1940, WEBC-FM. Ultimately the station was not a financial success, and it went off the air in 1950. Although Bridges and Head of the Lakes Broadcasting Company applied to construct a television station in June, 1949, this never came to pass. Instead, WDSM and KDAL were able to finally overcome their longtime rival by going into television first in 1953. WDSM-TV (now KBJR-TV) became an NBC-TV affiliate, which contributed to WEBC's 1955 switch to Top 40 programming.
WEBC's first ownership change came in 1958, when W. C. Bridges, as general manager of Head of the Lakes Broadcasting Company, sold the station to George Clinton of Clarkesburg, West Virginia for $250,000. At the time of the purchase, Clinton also owned WTMA and WTMA-FM in Charleston.
WEBC began carrying ABC Radio newscasts in 1964.
WEBC was a top-rated station until the mid-1970s, when FM began to attract more listeners. WEBC briefly switched to Country music and then became a forerunner to the Classic hits format. Talk programming was added to the lineup by the late-1980s and took over the entire schedule by 1990. The format was then changed to All-Sports in 2003 after a sale to Clear Channel Communications, which syndicated the "FAN" radio network from KFAN in Minneapolis to a number of its stations in the region. After the station was sold to GapWest Broadcasting in 2007, WEBC joined ESPN Radio (with "FAN" programming soon moving to rival KQDS). GapWest was folded into Townsquare Media on August 13, 2010.
At 6 p.m. on September 30, 2015 WEBC dropped its sports format and began stunting with Christmas music, branded as "Ho Ho 106.5" (now simulcasting on FM translator W293CT 106.5 FM Duluth). At 1p.m. on October 6, WEBC flipped to classic rock as "Sasquatch 106.5" after a 23-hour marathon of the 1975 song "Bigfoot" by Bro Smith.
- AP (1958-11-03). "Report Sale of Radio Station at Superior". Wausau Daily Herald. p. 10. Retrieved 2018-05-23 – via Newspapers.com.
- AP (1949-06-27). "Television Station Asked For Superior". Green Bay Press-Gazette. p. 15. Retrieved 2018-05-23 – via Newspapers.com.
- AP (1958-12-11). "Radio License Grant at Tomah Suspended". Marshfield News-Herald. Retrieved 2018-05-23 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Townsquare Media completes roll-up of GAP". Radio Business Report. August 13, 2010. Archived from the original on January 21, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- WEBC Duluth Stunting With Christmas
- Sasquatch Squashes Santa on Duluth Radio Dial
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WEBC
- Radio-Locator Information on WEBC
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WEBC
- FCC History Cards for WEBC
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W293CT
- Radio-Locator information on W293CT
- A Technological History of WEBC Radio