|City||St. Ignace, Michigan|
|Broadcast area||Straits of Mackinac
|Slogan||The Catholic Light for Northern Michigan|
|First air date||1966|
|Format||Religious- Catholic talk and teaching|
|Power||5,000 watts (Daytime)
4 watts (Nighttime)
|Callsign meaning||The Widge by the Bridge|
|Former callsigns||WLVM (7/30/82-5/6/85)
|Affiliations||EWTN Global Catholic Radio
Ave Maria Radio (originating station WDEO in Ypsilanti)
|Sister stations||WTCY (originating station)
W264CF(FM translator at 100.7 mHz)
|Website||The Catholic Light dot com|
WIDG (940 AM) is a radio station licensed to St. Ignace, Michigan, broadcasting a Catholic religious format. Until October 2008, the station was owned and operated by Northern Star Broadcasting and had aired ESPN Radio under the brand name AM 940 The Fan. The station then went silent for a short period and returned to the air in December 2008, simulcasting originating station WTCK 90.9 FM in Charlevoix and later WTCY 88.3 FM in Greilickville and serving Traverse City.. WIDG was previously owned by Northern Star Broadcasting and now owned by Baraga Broadcasting. The sale was approved by the FCC in October 2008. (see WIDG history page). WIDG then became of a repeater of WTCK (then based at Indian River) from 2008 until the spring of 2015. Its main studio is now located in Traverse City...as such the originating station is now WTCY.
WIDG is simulcast locally on FM translator W264CF at 100.7 mHz.
Founded in 1966 by Donald E. Benson's Mighty-Mac Broadcasting Company, WIDG was just the second radio station to launch in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan (following WSOO in Sault Ste. Marie.) The station was known for many years as "Widge by the Bridge" and aired mainly middle of the road music, at times a blend of top 40.
The nickname "Widge by the Bridge" was coined by a longtime friend of station founder Donald E. Benson, a Lansing-based dentist who thought WITL-Lansing's slogan "Whittle while you work" was something that WIDG needed. The original CP for the station had the call letters WSTI, "St. Ignace" but Benson felt the call letters looked like "Stye". In the late 1970s, Benson obtained a construction permit for an FM station that would become WMKC.
Construction on the new FM station began shortly after the license was granted on July 30, 1979; and in December of that same year, Benson also obtained a dark license for WIDG and kept the station dark until April 1981, when he was required to return WIDG to the air in order for WMKC to come on the air. WIDG returned with an MOR format until a format change to Big Band and standards and the call letters WLVM ("We Love Michigan", with the station's music format provided by TM's "TMOR" package). In 1985, the station returned to the WIDG calls with a top 40 oldies format until 1988, when WIDG simulcast sister FM's WMKC St. Ignace and WCKC-Cadillac's country music format.
Eventually, in the early 1990s, WIDG once again adopted separate programming from WMKC, airing first oldies (as "Cool 940") and then classic country (as "Classic KC Country") before the sports-talk format was introduced. WIDG was initially an affiliate of One-on-One Sports (which later became Sporting News Radio) before switching to the ESPN Radio feed.
WIDG operates with an omnidirectional antenna and with very low power after local sunset to avoid interference with the now-defunct CINW (formerly CBC Radio-owned CBM-AM) in Montreal. In WIDG's heyday, it constantly fought for a good signal into the north and was stymied by 10 kW CKCY-920 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. WIDG's signal was obliterated by CKCY north of Rudyard. When CKCY went dark, WIDG finally got the full potential of its 5 kW signal and can be heard well into the province of Ontario.
Though CINW (the former CBC Radio-owned CBM) has been silent since 2010, WIDG must still power down from 5,000 watts to 4 watts at sunset per FCC rules.
Baraga Broadcasting's other stations
- WTCY 88.3 FM in Greilickville (originating station) which also serves Traverse City
- WGZR 89.1 FM in Alpena
- WTCK 90.9 FM in Charlevoix which also serves Harbor Springs, Indian River and Grayling
- WGJU 91.3 FM in East Tawas (the former WRQC)
- WMQU 1230 AM in Grayling (the former WGRY)
New studios, offices in Traverse City
Baraga's main studio and offices were originally located at WTCK's studio at Indian River, Michigan near The Cross in the Woods Catholic Shrine. It also airs national programming from EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Ave Maria Radio based at WDEO in Ypsilanti.
In the fall of 2014, Baraga Broadcasting announced plans for a new website The Catholic Light Dot Com which is now online and was used in transition from its former Indian River location to new studios in Traverse City, Michigan thus making WTCY (licensed to Greilickville) which serves Traverse City the new originating station.
- Official Baraga Broadcasting site (with streaming audio)
- Official site of EWTN Global Catholic Radio
- Official Ave Maria Radio site (with streaming audio)
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WIDG
- Radio-Locator Information on WIDG
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WIDG
- Picture of studio 1973