|City||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Branding||Newstalk 1340 WJRW|
|Slogan||West Michigan's Live & Local Leader|
|First air date||1940|
|Callsign meaning||WJR in Western Michigan|
|Former callsigns||WLAV (1940-1979)
|Affiliations||Westwood One News|
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBBL-FM, WLAV-FM, WTNR, WHTS, WLAW, WJR|
WJRW (1340 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a News/Talk format in Grand Rapids, Michigan. WJRW is branded as NEWSTALK 1340 WJRW, West Michigan's LIVE & LOCAL Leader. WJRW is owned by Cumulus Media.
1340 WJRW features comprehensive news coverage from Westwood One, WJR in Detroit, and WXMI 17, a local FOX television affiliate. Fox 17 meteorologists provide weather forecasts and breaking weather coverage for the station.
1340 WJRW is programmed by Dave Jaconette, who hosts the "Sound Off West Michigan" talk show. The News Director is James Gemmell.
1340 WJRW's weekday lineup also includes: Steve Gruber Mark Levin, Michael Savage (commentator), John Batchelor, and Red Eye Radio. Weekend programs and hosts include: Kim Komando, Larry Kudlow, Bob Brinker, Meet The Press, and The C.A.R. Show. Local programming includes: Travel Michigan, Wild Michigan (outdoors show), USA Financial Radio, Greening of the Great Lakes, and The Internet Advisor.
The station first began broadcasting in 1940 under the WLAV call sign (which stood for Leonard Allen Versluis, the station's original owner). WLAV became a full-time Top 40 music station in the summer of 1963, and was originally consulted by Mike Joseph, who later went on to develop the Hot Hits format in the late 1970s. One popular WLAV personality was Larry Adderley, who would later work as a sportscaster at various radio and TV stations in the Detroit market as well as an announcer for the Detroit Tigers. WLAV soon overtook rival stations WGRD and WMAX as the dominant popular music station in the market, but its market share declined in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the popularity of FM stations such as 95.7 WZZM ("Z96"), WGRD (which had added an FM simulcast outlet), and WLAV's own FM sister station which found success as an album rocker after a period as an oldies station. "MUSIC RADIO WLAV" went to a more adult contemporary sound in 1974, which continued until 1980, when the station tried a talk format as the "1340 Townhouse", WTWN with Lee Harris.
The heritage WLAV-AM calls were restored in 1984, and the station flipped to oldies, which lasted for the next eight years. Although WLAV-AM was a modest success with oldies, it was hurt when WODJ debuted in 1989 as an FM oldies station with a stronger signal and swept the ratings.
In late 1992, the format changed to a modern rock-based format called "1340 Underground". This happened shortly after an experiment with changing the format to modern rock on WLAV-FM from the heritage classic rock and AOR format had failed. WLAV-FM then reverted their format back to classic rock. The "1340 Underground" format gained a considerable cult following in the Grand Rapids area, even though the night-time signal was very poor. The WBBL calls and sports-talk format debuted on May 25, 1994, when ownership of the radio station had changed.
WBBL-FM began as country station WPLB-FM. Then in 1989 it switched its format to oldies and call sign to WODJ until the switch to WKLQ (Previously located at 94.5) in 2004.
On May 28, 2009, WBBL began simulcasting on 107.3 FM in Greenville, which became WBBL-FM.
On July 27, 2009, the call sign on 1340 AM was changed to WJRW and the format was changed to news/talk on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.
On January 8, 2011, The Kim Komando Show switched to 1340 WJRW after airing for a decade on a competing station. Shortly thereafter, Kim's weekly technology column began appearing weekly, in Sunday editions of The Grand Rapids Press.
On March 31, 2011, it was announced that local radio veteran Michelle McKormick would be joining 1340 WJRW as host of "The Buzz with Michelle McKormick". Her show debuted on June 6, 2011.
- Stark, Phyllis (June 4, 1994). "Vox Jox". Billboard. 106 (23): 129.
- "Citadel Broadcasting launches 24-hour news-and-talk format at 1340 AM on WJRW Radio".
- ""The Kim Komando Show" debuts on WJRW 1340 on Saturday".
- "Stories from Columnist Kim Komando". USA Today.
- "Michelle McKormick returns to Grand Rapids radio, joins Newstalk WJRW-AM 1340".
- Michiguide.com - WBBL History
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WJRW
- Radio-Locator Information on WJRW
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WJRW