|City||St. Joseph, Michigan|
|Branding||Rock 107 WIRX|
|Slogan||Everything That Rocks|
|Frequency||107.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Callsign meaning||Music WIRX (Works)|
|Former callsigns||WSJM-FM (1965-1969)|
|Owner||Mid-West Family Broadcasting
|Sister stations||WCSY-FM, WCXT, WSJM, WSJM-FM, WYTZ|
WIRX (107.1 FM, "Rock 107 WIRX") is a mainstream rock radio station owned by Mid-West Family Broadcasting located in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The station's city of license is St. Joseph, Michigan broadcasting in HD from a tower at the edge of Benton Township, Michigan. The station features The Plan B Morning Show, The Grind with Hunter, Cutout Kaytie afternoons, and HardDriveXL 7p-12a.
According to the "History of 107.1 FM St. Joseph", the 107.1 frequency was started as a music outlet to sister station WSJM in 1964 by Mid-West Family Broadcasting (MWF), which is based in Madison, Wisconsin. WSJM-FM began broadcasting in stereo on 107.1 MHz in 1965 and regularly provided stereo remote broadcasts by the Twin Cities Symphony and other events.
In 1969, the station changed its call letters to WIRX(FM) and switched to a completely jockless, automated Country format, tagged "WIRX Country."
1979 began the "Rock 40" format for the station, then dubbed "ROCK 107 WIRX - The Music Works" playing artists from both the current and past years of rock.
The station switched its format slightly to a more AC-leaning rock format and was rebranded as "Magic 107 WIRX" with Jim Gifford and the Champions of Breakfast as the morning show.
WIRX returned to "Rock 107 WIRX" in 1991 and began running a mainstream rock format, which it continues to do to this day.
The station is managed on a local level to this day, much as it was when it first came on the air.
The station has had several morning shows, including most recently the Free Beer and Hot Wings show syndicated from Grand Rapids. Previously, the station had aired local shows from Jim Gifford and the Champions of Breakfast, Brian Maloney with Bob Dewitt (news) John Jay, Kluck and The Jason Lee Show. In June 2011, the station made a switch back to local content, culminating with Drew Scott.
Engineering and design
It is thought that WSJM-FM was one of the world's first completely automated radio stations, built and designed by Brian Brown in 1963 when Brown was only 10 years old. The station broadcast in a classical format, called "More Good Music (MGM)" and five-minute bottom-of-the-hour news feeds from the Mutual Broadcasting System. The heart of the automation was an 8 x 24 telephone stepping relay which controlled two reel-to-reel tape decks, one twelve-inch Ampex machine which provided the main program audio and a second RCA seven-inch machine which provided "fill" music. The tapes that these machines played were originally produced in the MWF's Madison, Wisconsin production facility by WSJM Chief Engineer Richard E. McLemore (and later in-house at WSJM) with special sub-audible cue tones used to signal the end of a song. The stepping relay was "programmed" by slide switches in the front of the two relay racks which housed the equipment. The news feeds were triggered by a microswitch which was attached to a Western Union clock and tripped by the minute hand of the clock. and then reset the stepping relay. Originally, 30-minute station identification was accomplished by a simulcast switch in the control booth for sister station WSJM, whereupon the disc jockey in the booth would announce "This is WSJM-AM and... (then pressing the momentary contact button) ...WSJM-FM, St. Joseph, Michigan." This only lasted about six months, however, and a standard tape cartridge player was wired in to announce the station identification and triggered by the Western Union clock.
- Mid-West Family Broadcasting
- WSJM, Inc. / Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Michigan's Great Southwest
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WIRX
- Radio-Locator information on WIRX
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WIRX