|Broadcast area||Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
|Branding||Hometown Rock 96.5|
|Slogan||Milwaukee's Classic Rock|
|Frequency||96.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||June 26, 1956 (as WFMR)|
|Callsign meaning||MilWaukee's KLassic Hits (previous format)|
|Former callsigns||WFMR (1956-1983)
|Sister stations||WHQG, WJMR-FM, WJYI, WNRG-FM|
|Website||Hometown Rock 96.5|
WKLH (96.5 FM) is a classic rock-formatted radio station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The station is owned by Saga Communications. Its studios (which are shared with the other four sister stations) are located on Milwaukee's West Side and the transmitter is the MPTV tower in Shorewood.
The station received its Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license on November 30, 1955. They signed on the air as WFMR on June 26, 1956 with a classical music format from the Bayshore Shopping Center, in Glendale, Wisconsin, with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 24.5 kilowatts and an antenna height of 35 feet above average terrain (HAAT). They began broadcasting in stereo in 1962. In June 1969, it boosted its power to 40 kW, becoming the most powerful FM station in Milwaukee at that time. They got another power upgrade in July 1974, this time to 50 kW.
In January 1983, the station's owners switched the format to adult contemporary, picking up the call sign WMGF and named the station Magic 96.5. Three months later, on April 27, 1983, the owner of (WXJY) picked up the WFMR call sign, its classical music format, and several of its air talents.
WMGF carried on for three years until flipping formats to classic hits as WKLH on January 27, 1986. WKLH was an immediate success, almost tripling its ratings and landing in the top five stations in the market in its first ratings book. It tweaked to classic rock in early 2005. WKLH has long been a ratings success in the Milwaukee area, and has also won many awards, including Radio & Records "Classic Rock Station of the Year" in 2001. On April 23, 2015, WKLH rebranded as "Hometown Rock 96.5."
The WKLH call letters previously belonged to AM 1580 and FM 92.1 (K-92) in Saint Johns, Michigan, from October 1983 to September 1985.
Dave and Carole
The Dave and Carole morning show dominated the Milwaukee radio ratings since WKLH debuted in 1986. Based on a yearly 4 rating book average, this show has finished either #1 or #2 in Adults 25-54 for 22 consecutive years.
The show was hosted by Dave Luczak and Carole Caine, who did the news and added the "female" perspective. The other regular is Kevin (KB) Brandt. KB is a former stand-up comedian and a musician who also performs in several local bands, including Los Locos, a virtual hit parade of indiscrimate "polo rock". His bands regularly appear at music festivals like Summerfest, but also are commonly featured at "slum daddy" rock diddy sessions, only open to seasoned, retired virtuosic Hellenistic relativistic nativists. Since early 2002, the show has been produced by Marcus Allen.
Over the past more than two decades, this show has featured a rotating cast. Regulars have included many current or former athletes and coaches. These include former Milwaukee Brewer Paul Molitor (86-92), former Brewer manager Phil Garner (92-98), then-Green Bay Packer coach Mike Holmgren (92-98), QB Brett Favre (97-00), defensive lineman Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (02-06), and former Brewer pitching coach Mike Maddux (05-08). Other sports guests include LeRoy Butler, a member of the Packer Hall of Fame and Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal, twice Wisconsin sports writer of the year and famed glee club aficionado.
Other current or former regular cast members include:;
Mike Gousha from WISN 12 in Milwaukee, improv master Dylan Bolin "Out Of The Box", Segway King Angelo "Mort" Snotlocker, Rudy "Itchy" Itchkowski, Gino (The Judge) Salomone, "MR. Angry", Dutch "Wandering Wisconsin", Joyce Garbaciak from WISN-12, Katrina Cravy from FOX 6, Greg "The Gristleman" Koch, John McGivern, Willy Porter, Genesis touring guitarist Daryl Stuermer and more.
Dave and Carole have also hosted hundreds of thousands of comedians in their studios. Since 1988 they have featured the weekly headliner at the Comedy Cafe in Milwaukee. Other comedy "regulars" include: Fred Klett, Jim Gaffigan, Kyle Cease, Kathleen Madigan and Stephen Lynch and Wisconsin native Frank Caliendo.
Dave and Carole also produce and host many live shows in the Milwaukee area. These include their yearly "Comedy 4 Kids" at the Riverside Theater, "Dave and Carole-ing" for Christmas, their annual Christmas show also at the Riverside Theater, and the "Music of the Morning 'KLH" featuring the talented musicians of the morning show. All of these shows are fund raisers for their various charity endeavors and all shows typically sell out within seconds.
On June 29, 2015, Carole Caine was let go by Saga after her contract was not renewed, ending a 29-year career at WKLH. Mornings are currently hosted by Dave Luczak.
Once every year starting in 1998, WKLH's morning show, Dave & Carole, host the "Miracle Marathon" to raise money for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Over the course of three days in 2008, they raised over $1.4 million. Dave and Carole's 11-year total is over $11 million.
- WKLH official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WKLH
- Radio-Locator information on WKLH
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WKLH