|Broadcast area||Bridgeport/New Haven/Fairfield County|
|Slogan||"Your News and Information Leader"|
|First air date||November 8, 1926|
1,000 watts (day)|
500 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||W Industrial Capital of Connecticut"|
Westwood One Network|
Westwood One News
New York Yankees Radio Network
Cumulus Media |
(Cumulus Licensing LLC)
WICC (600 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station in Bridgeport, Connecticut, owned by Cumulus Media. It airs a News/Talk radio format featuring a local morning show with Tony Reno & Mike Bellamy and nationally syndicated programs, primarily from the co-owned Westwood One Network. Syndicated hosts include Laura Ingraham, Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey, Michael Savage, John Batchelor and Red Eye Radio. Most hours begin with world and national news from Westwood One News. WICC features some sports programming including Yankee baseball games, and Sacred Heart University athletics.
WICC's offices and studios are located in Bridgeport and its transmitter is on Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport on a peninsula extending into Long Island Sound. WICC's signal is heard in much of Southern Connecticut and reaches into Long Island, New York.
WICC is Bridgeport's first radio station, and one of the first in the state, signing on the air on November 8, 1926. Its call letters stand for "Industrial Capital of Connecticut," which described Bridgeport, Connecticut throughout the early and mid-20th century.
In the early days, as radio assignments were being formalized, WICC broadcast from various places on the AM dial, including 1060 kHz, 1400 kHz, 1130 kHz, 1190 kHz and 1430 kHz until finally settling down at 600 kHz on the AM dial in 1930.
WICC originally broadcast with 250 watts. In 1937 it raised authorized power to its current license limits of 1000 watts days, 500 watts nights, using a directional antenna. Because of its low dial position and its heritage transmitter site on Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport Harbor, WICC's signal covers Southern Connecticut extremely well, has many listeners on Long Island, can be often heard up and down the East Coast, and has received reception reports from as far away as Finland and Portugal.
WICC was Bridgeport's leading radio station throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s with programs of popular music, dramas, comedies and news. It even had its own orchestra in its early days. Famous alumni include Hogan's Heroes star, Bob Crane, who did the morning show on WICC before heading out to Hollywood.
In 1953, WICC put a TV station on the air, Channel 43 WICC-TV, which was an ABC TV and DuMont Television Network affiliate. In 1960, WICC also started an FM station, 99.9 WJZZ, originally a Jazz station but later simulcast with 600 WICC when it failed to produce sufficient revenue to sustain operations.
WICC was innovative and successful, featuring a "Service 6" format, with various experts in their field updating reports throughout the day, such as theatre critic Susan Granger, meteorologist Walt Devanis, wine experts, veterinarians, garden specialists and experts in their field.
In the 1970s, WICC became a Top 40 radio station, yet always with a full news commitment including newscasts at the top of every hour, and headlines at the bottom of every hour.
In 1976 Tribune Broadcasting brought in new General Manager Vince Cremona from WQIV and WPIX-FM in New York City. Together with Program Director Gary Peters, the station refined its format to adult contemporary music along with news, talk and lively personalities.
Two years later, in 1978, the first regular airplane traffic coverage was inaugurated with veteran pilot Morgan Kaolian, who had been doing airborne beach reports since the late 1960s. A night time telephone talk show with Tiny Markle was also initiated, which quickly became popular.
In the 1980s WICC held up remarkably well as many AM stations lost a lot of listeners when FM radio became more popular. John Labarca and Tim Quinn were doing mornings. In 1989 WICC was purchased by ML Media Partners, the same company which owned WEBE (FM), which was then led by former WICC General Manager Vince Cremona. At that time WICC and WEBE were brought under one roof at 350 Fairfield Avenue (2 Lafayette Square) on the 7th Floor in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Curt Hansen from WEBE became Program Director.
WICC moved increasingly into the talk radio arena in the 1990s, and maintained a large audience throughout most of the decade.
With the purchase of WICC by Cumulus Media in 2002, the station switched fully to an all-talk, news and information format. The stations continue to be popular and profitable.