Logo of WILB (AM), the Living Bread Radio Network
|Broadcast area||Canton, Akron, Cleveland|
|Slogan||Proclaiming the Truth|
|First air date||July 1, 2004|
|Power||15,000 watts day|
|Callsign meaning||I am the Living Bread|
|Owner||Living Bread Radio Inc.|
|Webcast||WILB Live Feed|
WILB, the Living Bread Radio Network, is an AM radio station in Canton, Ohio, USA, that offers Catholic programming to the Canton, Akron and Cleveland areas. The station broadcasts daytime only with a power of 15,000 watts on 1060 kHz, making it the largest Catholic radio signal in the state of Ohio. Much of the station's programming is supplied by EWTN Radio. The station also produces many local programs and features.
Because WILB shares the same frequency as "clear channel" station KYW in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it broadcasts only during the daytime hours. However, listeners in the Canton vicinity can turn to the stations translator, 94.5 FM, to listen to programming. The station also has streaming audio online and on their mobile app.
The station was founded in 1946 by Stark Broadcasting Co. as WCMW, which established WCMW-FM at about the same time on 94.9 MHz. The FM station went off the air around 1953, and the frequency went unused until 1960 when WDBN (now WQMX) signed on. By 1961 the AM station had become WHOF, and it was a Top 40 outlet in the early 1960s.
In 1967 the call letters were changed again, this time to WOIO. After going through several more format changes, it once again became a Top 40 station in the fall of 1976 as WQIO (using the slogan "Q-10") and was successful for the next few years in the waning days of AM Top 40 radio, drawing the highest ratings in the history of the station, and driving competitor WINW-AM (also a daytime station) out of the format. When 106.9 FM in Canton (co-owned with WINW) changed to WOOS with an automated Top 40 format in 1978, WQIO's days as a Top 40 radio station were numbered, and by the fall of 1979 it began to head in a more adult contemporary direction.
In 1980, WQIO filed an application with the FCC to move the station from Canton to Canal Fulton, and broadcast full-time on 1070 kHz with 1,000 watts daytime and 500 watts nighttime. While this would have allowed WQIO to operate 24 hours a day, a Pittsburgh station also applied for the same frequency, and neither of the applications were granted, nor was WQIO able to acquire an FM station (it had passed on the chance to acquire 106.9, which went to WINW, and later pursued 95.9 in New Philadelphia, Ohio with an eye towards moving its tower closer to Canton, but was unsuccessful). Faltering in the ratings, WQIO switched to a short-lived country music format in 1981, but soon was put up for sale.
The station was purchased by Arcey Broadcasting, which changed the call letters to WRCW on June 14, 1982. The RC in the Arcey name and the call letters came from the initials of owner Ronald D. Colaner, who had joined the station in 1965 as a part-time engineer. Over the years, WRCW ran a varied mixture of talk shows and adult contemporary music, as well as specialty programming on weekends, most notably an oldies show hosted by local personality Ricco that ran for 18 years (Ricco later landed at WDPN) and a live Sunday-morning broadcast featuring the South Land Gospel Boys that had aired since the early 1960s.
In 1998 Arcey tried to sell the station to Otter Communications, headed by Dan Ott of Youngstown, but the sale did not go through. The call sign was briefly changed to WTOF on December 7, 1998, but it was changed back to WRCW on February 1, 1999. After 22 years, Arcey Broadcasting finally sold the station to Living Bread Radio for $300,000 in April 2004 , and it became WILB on July 1, 2004, adopting a Catholic-oriented format.
In 2016, WILB purchased an FM Translator, W233CE. On September 8, 2016, 94.5 FM went on the air. This provides 24 hour Catholic radio to the Canton area.
- Living Bread Radio
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WILB
- Radio-Locator Information on WILB
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WILB