This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (December 2007)
|City||Bowling Green, Ohio|
|Broadcast area||Toledo, Ohio|
|Branding||Son Life Radio|
|First air date||December 1964|
|Power||1,000 watts (day)
359 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||JYMmy Swaggart Ministries (owner)|
|Owner||Jimmy Swaggart Ministries
(Family Worship Center Church, Inc.)
WJYM is an American radio station licensed to broadcast from Bowling Green, Ohio. Its studios and transmitter are located in Lime City near Perrysburg, and the station serves the Toledo metropolitan area.
Presently, WJYM is a Christian radio station, and is owned by the ministry of noted evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. It operates 24 hours a day with 1 kW during daylight hours, and reduced power of 250 W and 359 W during post-sunset, nighttime, and pre-sunrise hours, using a four-tower directional antenna system.
Beginnings as WHRW
WHRW first went on the air in December 1954 under the call letters selected as the initials of its then-owner and founder, Howard R. Ward. The station first went on the air with a power of 250 watts using two towers located East of Bowling Green, Ohio, just off US 6. The station operated daytime only, but by the end of the 1950s, the station was given permission to increase its power to 1,000 watts. For almost the first decade of its existence, the station broadcast from the station's transmitter facility.
Ward was famous for stunting including a fight he had with General Telephone (GTE) concerning a teletype circuit which they could not provide to his station in rural Bowling Green. Ward purchased an old truck and painted "WTLG Carrier Pigion news service" on the side and made a ceremony each day of driving it through the streets of Bowling Green to supposedly return his birds for dispatch of news releases out to his station from downtown. The local papers and wire services picked up on the story which embarrassed GTE. When GTE still would not budge he announced that he was giving away a free savings bond to the 10th caller to his station. He did not answer the phones during the contest and successfully locked up the GTE system in Bowling Green several times until they obtained an injunction against him.
On July 1, 1961, Ward sold WHRW to H. Max Good.
After WHRW was sold to Max Good, the studios and offices were moved to the Waldorf Hotel in Toledo, as the recent power increase afforded the station with full market signal penetration. However, this would not last long and the station would return to the Bowling Green area, taking space along Main Street. The call letters were then changed to WMGS, to reflect the positioning statement "with more good sounds", though some station insiders referred to "we're Max Good's Station" as the more accurate translation.
The station was off air until moved to the present location in Lime City and returned to the air with 1,000 watts day and four towers with the calls WHRW, Ward's initials. He then sold to Max Good who changed calls to WMGS for "With more good sounds." The Program Director was George Mishler who did the Midday personality slot. The Morning Drive announcer was Roy Blair, and the afternoon music host was Jim Hamilton. The music was comparable to a MOR format - only much broader. When the format changed to country, George Mishler went to work for the Voice of America in Washington DC where he ultimately became a manager of the Special English programming. Jim Hamilton headed for Chicago, and Roy Blair went to Bowling Green State University to complete his B.A. in English. During this time, Roy announced for WFOB AM/FM, Fostoria and began work at WSPD AM after graduation. After WSPD AM, Roy was next heard on WJBK-TV 2, Detroit.
Under the country format, the station sported DJs including Jim Bonnett as "Big Jim", who also was the station manager until 1966; Roger Price as "Pistol Pete" and program director from 1962 to 1966, Johnny Dauro as "Lonesome John" and manager from 1966 to 1970; Roy Blair as "Cousin Roy", George Lubgate as "Tiny Tim"; Ron Kitchen as "Ron the Dude" and program director in 1966; Lowell Thomas (Not the famous newscaster) as "L.T."; Bob Zrake as "Buffalo Bob"; Jerry Kiefer as program director in 1972; Earl Sharninghouse as "Rick Allen" and program director and Chief engineer from 1972 to 1973; Ken Robey as "Ken Roberts"; Dennis Rutherford as Chief engineer and part-time air talent in 1973; Klaus Helfers as "J.P. Jones"; and The Reverend Max Good, who preached daily.
On October 14, 1976, WMGS was sold to the Jimmy Swaggart Evangelistic Association, and became WJYM "Son Life Radio." The call letters are evocative of the name "Jim", after owner Jimmy Swaggart. For many years the station operated locally with a full staff of approximately 12. During this time WJYM carried Bowling Green State University football and basketball games.
By 1980, the station's on-air operations moved to its transmitter facility along Fremont Pike in Perrysburg, where they remained for the rest of the 20th Century. With great advances made in hard-disk computer-based automation and following passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which relieved many stations of the main studio rule that required a studio and management presence within close proximity of the community of license, on-air functions were moved to the ministry's headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Though station signage remains outside the transmitter facility, it is, for the most part, unattended.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WJYM
- Radio-Locator Information on WJYM
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WJYM