|City||Glen Burnie, Maryland|
|Broadcast area||Baltimore, Maryland|
|Power||1,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
|Callsign meaning||First Baltimore Radio|
|Former callsigns||WJRO WISZ|
(Way Broadcasting Licensee, LLC)
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The station signed on in 1961 as WISZ, with 500 watts and owned by Butch Gregory, a Vice-President at Westinghouse. He lovingly and expertly built much of the equipment including an antenna phaser unit, and the main studio control console. R. J. ("Bob") Bennett was the first station manager; Program Director was Matt Edwards. The initial format was what is now called Adult Standards or Nostalgia, but was identified by the station as a "Big band Sound". Within two years the format had gravitated to "Country" with the addition of legendary country DJ Ray Davis, whose show was broadcast as a remote from Johnny's New and Used Cars (the "Walking Man's Friend). WISZ-FM 95.9 Mhz was added as a simulcast in 1962, broadcasting from a 90 foot tower in Brooklyn Park, MD. The transmitter was in a garden shed.
WISZ-AM's antenna installation was in a swamp off Crain Highway in Glen Burnie and consisted of seven towers (4 daytime, and four nighttime, with a common base tower). The directional pattern protected WINX in Washington, DC on 1600 kHz, as well as other 1590 stations to the northeast. The "null" towards Washington was so pronounced that at certain points only a mile away, the towers could seen but not heard.
The station's mascot was an owl- "The WISZ Old Owl"
WFBR callsign history
The WFBR call letters have a long and storied history in the Baltimore media market. Beginning in the 1920s, they were assigned to the 1300 kHZ signal, which was originally known as WEAR. "WFBR" stood for "World's First Broadcasting Regiment", and was organized by the officer's association of the 5th Regiment, Maryland, in whose Armory on Preston St. it broadcast from. It was the first broadcast radio station in the state of Maryland.
That station became WLIF in 1990, then WJFK (AM) in 1991, then WJZ (AM) in 2008.
Currently, the WFBR call letters are used by the former WJRO, a small AM radio station on 1590 kHz in Glen Burnie, Maryland, which coincidentally, was the home of the late Charley Eckman.