|Broadcast area||Fostoria, Ohio/Bowling Green, Ohio/Findlay, Ohio|
|Branding||WFOB 1430- Yahoo! Sports Radio/The Sports Giant|
|First air date||December 9, 1952|
|Power||1,000 watts (unlimited)|
|Callsign meaning||W FOstoria Bowling Green|
Cleveland Browns Radio Network
Cleveland Cavaliers Radio Network
Cleveland Indians Radio Network
Ohio State IMG Sports Network
Yahoo! Sports Radio
|Owner||Roppe Corporation (dba TCB Holdings, Inc.)|
WFOB is a commercially licensed AM radio station, broadcasting at 1430 kilohertz at a maximum power output of 1,000 watts, with a three-tower directional antenna pattern, with differing constants day and night. WFOB is licensed to Fostoria, Ohio, which is located in Wood, Seneca, and Hancock counties.
WFOB first went on the air in 1952, and was the third radio station to go on the air serving this immediate area, eleven years after the premiere of WFIN in Findlay, Ohio; the seat of government for Hancock County. At the time, there was no AM radio station on the air serving Seneca and Wood Counties. Its FM sister, WFOB-FM, had been on the air since 1946, but because of its low power and the lack of FM radio receivers available at the time, it would be decades more before it would thrive. For many years, WFOB operated from its transmitter site at 1407 U.S. Route 23 just south of Fostoria, but would move to its present location at 101 North Main Street in downtown Fostoria by 1990.
Seneca Radio Corporation, which was the station's original owner, had decided to sell WFOB AM & FM in 1986. Tri-County Broadcasting, also known as TCB Holdings, purchased WFOB and its sister station, WBVI. TCB Chairman Donald P. Miller, was also president of Roppe Corporation, known for its rubber products, particularly for matting staircases in office buildings and other commercial dwellings. Miller, a loyal Fostorian, purchased the station to assure the community that the mission of WFOB and WBVI would continue to be that of a "community first" radio station, and not turn its back on its community roots to serve Toledo or other area outside of its licensed community.
Under TCB's direction, WFOB thrived more than ever before, thanks to constant re-investment in the station, as technology continued to evolve over the years. Vinyl records and magnetic tape would be replaced by CDs, satellite technology and computer hard-disk audio storage, thus reducing periodic maintenance costs. WFOB's constant presence in the community from its local news coverage and broadcasting of special events further bolstered its position as a full-service station serving Seneca, Wood and Hancock Counties.
The power increase that wasn't
In 1989, WFOB listeners were able to hear their local radio station at a much greater distance. Prior to this time, WFOB's signal transmission would barely be heard in the Toledo city limits, due to the presence of another radio station, WBRB, broadcasting from the Detroit suburb of Mount Clemens, Michigan on the same channel and with the same power and an almost identical antenna pattern propagation. WBRB, having been in financial difficulty for some time, fell silent in 1989. Attempts to find a buyer for the bankrupt station proved futile, and that station was silenced for good after competitor Walter Wolpin (who owned WCAR in Livonia) purchased the license and assets in a 1992 bankruptcy court sale, returning the license to the FCC, with its towers being dismantled the following year, and the razing of its studio building not long after that. After WBRB went off the air, WFOB's signal, no longer inhibited by WBRB, could be heard clearly in the Detroit Metropolitan Area except where adjacent channel interference from AM 1440 WMKM in the Detroit suburb of Inkster was too great.
WFOB serves both Fostoria and Bowling Green, the county seat of Wood County, and once was the home of Bowling Green State University. To better serve the listeners of Bowling Green, TCB built a second studio facility for WFOB on the second floor of a building in downtown Bowling Green. This studio was manned by its own news director, who would also break in with local news and sports from the Wood County area, and also serve as a satellite sales office for reps selling WFOB and WBVI airtime in this area. Transmissions were made from this studio to the main Fostoria facility via FM STL microwave.
WFOB continued into the beginning of the twenty-first century as a full-service news, weather, sports and music station, with the music being a blend of Adult Contemporary and Oldies. The station eventually used ABC Radio's Memories and then Timeless Favorites programming during some day parts.
WFOB on Monday, September 1, 2008 dropped all music programming and began broadcasting ESPN Radio. It also aired local news, weather and sports such as the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Browns. (It had held the local broadcasting rights to the Indians, Browns, and Ohio State University football and basketball prior to the switch.)
On June 1, 2009, WFOB switched to Sporting News Radio and also added The Dan Patrick Show to its lineup along with reinstating a live weekday morning show originating from Fostoria. The morning show is hosted was Josh Hohman and Vic Travagliante (www.wfob.com/mornings) . WFOB also provides local sports programming, including local high school football and basketball along with local shows such as "The Sports Huddle" hosted by Vic Travagliante and "Scoreboard Show" hosted by Burley Stapley, Brian Cooper and Shannon Miller during the football season and Vic Travagliante & Josh Hohman during the basketball season. WFOB broadcasts professional sports including the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toledo Mud Hens and Cleveland Browns as well as the Ohio State University (Football, Men's & Women's Basketball)
WFOB was also one of the first stations in the country to invest in AM stereo technology. The FCC didn't adopt a standard for AM Stereo until 1993. Following the lead of other stations who had given up on it, WFOB dropped its AM stereo transmission in 2005.
WFOB has enjoyed a long history of tenured personnel over the years such as Burley Stapley, Mike Fry, and John Conlin. Donald and Judy Miller currently oversee the operation of the station.
WFOBsports.com is the station's online source for high school sports in the Hancock, Wood and Seneca County region, and generally broadcasts football and basketball. During the fall, WFOBsports.com consists of an online portal, where every Friday night, and many Saturdays as well, local high school sports can be heard through the calls of Trevor Newby, the voice of WFOBsports.com.
On August 1, 2011, Sporting News Radio changed its branding to become Yahoo! Sports Radio. WFOB changed along with the network to be known as WFOB 1430- Yahoo! Sports Radio.
On August 5, 2015, WFOB became again ESPN Radio 1430 WFOB. The station continues to carry Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Toledo Mudhens and Fostoria Redmen, along with other area high schools, sporting events.
- Official Website
- 1949 Broadcasting Yearbook
- 1953 Broadcasting Yearbook
- 1959 Broadcasting Yearbook
- 1963 Broadcasting Yearbook
- 1965 Broadcasting Yearbook
- 1967 Broadcasting Yearbook
- 1971 Broadcasting Yearbook
- 1975 Broadcasting Yearbook
- 1978 Broadcasting Yearbook
- 1981 Broadcasting Yearbook
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WFOB
- Radio-Locator Information on WFOB
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WFOB