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|Broadcast area||Warren, Ohio|
|Branding||AM 1440 The Word|
|Slogan||"Cleveland's Christian Talk"|
|First air date||November 11, 1941
|Callsign meaning||WHKW simulcast|
|Former callsigns||2001-2005: WHKW
2001: WFHM (41 days only)
2001: WHKW (113 days only)
|Affiliations||Michigan IMG Sports Network|
|Owner||Salem Media Group
(Salem Media Group, LLC)
WHKZ (1440 AM) is a radio station in Warren, Ohio, United States. The station carries religious programming from the Salem Network. The bulk of WHKZ's programming is simulcast from WHKW on 1220 kHz in Cleveland, Ohio.
WHKZ simulcasts WHKW throughout much of the broadcast day, but does break away in the late evenings to air Warren native Hugh Hewitt's talk show, which is based at KRLA in Los Angeles and syndicated by Salem Communications. Some other infomercials and religious programming air separately between the two stations.
In February 2008, an agreement was reached for Pittsburgh's Pentecostal Temple Church to acquire WHKZ for a reported sale price of $550,000 and was eventually approved by the FCC, but eventually fell through. The station is still currently owned and operated by Salem Communications.
The station originally signed on November 11, 1941 as WRRN, the call letters being a contraction of "Warren." In 1948, it was purchased by Helen Hart Hurlburt, publisher of the Tribune-Chronicle, and the call sign was changed to WHHH, to reflect her initials. Under her ownership, a construction permit was obtained for a television station, WHHH-TV on channel 67 in the early 1950s, but the station never made it onto the air, probably because of the vagaries of operating a UHF station at the time.
Hurlburt sold the station to Warren Broadcasting Co. in 1981, and the call letters were changed to WRRO (for "WaRRen, Ohio") on May 4, 1981.
The station was subsequently purchased in February 1996 by Star Communications, Inc., headed by Art Greenberg and Phil Levine of Cleveland. Under Star Communications, WRRO flipped to a sports talk format. Dan McDowell, Dave Denholm, Daryl Ruiter and Eric Boland are some of the personalities to grace the airwaves during this time.
The call sign was changed to WRBP on September 25, 1998 (calls that were warehoused from the 101.9 facility in Hubbard, Ohio after that station was leased out by then-owner Stop 26/Riverbend to Jacor/Clear Channel, and operated it as WBTJ).
Star Communications sold the station to Salem Communications in early 2001, and the calls were changed to WHKW on March 15, 2001. The new call letters where adapted from the calls of WHK in Cleveland which Salem had purchased five years earlier, with the second "W" either standing for Warren or for WHK's "The Word" slogan.
It operated briefly as WFHM from July 6 to August 16, 2001, when Salem parked the WFHM call letters here while operating its newly obtained 95.5 FM station in Cleveland as WHK-FM, then changed back to WHKW. When Salem Communications moved the WHKW calls to Cleveland for its station on 1220 kHz (due to the WHK callsign moving back to its original home of 1420 kHz) the call letters of the Warren station were changed to WHKZ on April 13, 2005.
- Fybush, Scott (2008-03-03). "This Week's Bloodbath: Citadel". NorthEast Radio Watch.
- "Helen Hurlbert, 94, Ex-Warren Publisher". January 27, 1987.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WHKZ
- Radio-Locator Information on WHKZ
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WHKZ