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City South Bend, Indiana
Broadcast area Michiana (Michigan & Indiana)
Branding News & Sports Radio 96.1 FM & 960 AM
Slogan Local News, Local Talk, and Notre Dame Football
Frequency 960 kHz
Translator(s) 96.1 W241AD (South Bend)
First air date 1922 (as WGAZ)
Format News/Talk/Sports
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 73985
Callsign meaning W South Bend Tribune
Former callsigns WGAZ (1922-1925)
Affiliations CBS Sports Radio
Owner Mid-West Family Broadcasting
(WSJM, Inc.)
Sister stations WQLQ, WNSN, WZOC
Webcast Listen Live
Website WSBT Radio

WSBT (960 AM), known locally as News & Sports Radio 96.1 FM & 960 AM, is a news/talk/sports radio station in South Bend, Indiana. The transmitter is located in the southern portion of South Bend.

Prior to its current News/Talk/Sports format, WSBT was a Full-Service Adult Contemporary radio station, featuring soft pop and oldies music, personalities, CBS and local news, evening talk programming and play-by-play sports.


WSBT first signed on in 1922 as WGAZ.[1] The call letters stood for World's Greatest Automotive Zone—a nod to Studebaker, which was headquartered in South Bend. The call letters became WSBT in 1925.

Schurz Communications announced on September 14, 2015 that it would exit broadcasting and sell its television and radio stations, including WSBT, to Gray Television for $442.5 million. The sale, which will end 93 years of ownership by the company, will separate WSBT radio from both the station's longtime sister newspaper, the South Bend Tribune (which Schurz will keep), and WSBT-TV (which will be sold separately due to Gray's existing ownership of WNDU-TV).[2][3] Though Gray initially intended to keep Schurz' radio stations, on November 2, it announced that Mid-West Family Broadcasting would acquire WSBT and Schurz' other South Bend radio stations for $5.5 million.[4][5][6] The sale to Mid-West was consummated on February 16, 2016.

96.1 FM[edit]

On March 30, 2012, WSBT began broadcasting on 96.1 through a translator in South Bend. The translator had previously been operated by Friends of Christian Radio, Inc. and repeated the Christian Contemporary programming of WFRN-FM.[7][8] It serves mainly to fill in the gaps in WSBT's nighttime signal, which is marginal at best outside of St. Joseph County. WSBT now emphasizes 96.1 in its branding, even though 960 is the main signal.

WSBT is not licensed to broadcast a digital HD signal.[9]

Call sign Frequency
City of license ERP
m (ft)
Class FCC info
W241AD 96.1 South Bend, Indiana 210 178.3 m (585 ft) D FCC

Past & present personalities[edit]

  • Jon Thompson ("J.T.") is the longtime morning host.
  • Bob Montgomery, John Hoffman, and Jesse Alan currently handle the local news reporting duties.
  • Darin Pritchett (sports director), Rick Carter and Eric Hansen host "Weekday Sportsbeat" every weekday night from 5 to 7 p.m. EST.
  • Larry Hill hosts "Your Financial Fitness" every Saturday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. EST.

Past local personalities have included:

  • Denis Prior and Shelli Harmon host the "Noon News" from Noon to 2 p.m. weekday afternoons.
  • Bob Lux - afternoon news
  • Joan Swanson - middays (Referred to as "Momma Joanie" by Bob Lux.)
  • Brett Kuntz - evenings
  • Chuck Whittaker - production director, fill-in
  • Bruce Kayser - fill-in
  • John Patrick Gall - News Director & morning news anchor
  • Joe Boland - sportscaster; founder of the Irish Football Network[10][11]

Past marketing campaigns & promotions[edit]

  • WSBT Salute to Summer Broadcasts: Station personalities would broadcast live from various sponsor locations and community events, often serving hot dogs and other snacks courtesy of Martin's Supermarkets.
  • Wizzbit: This was a phrase used for various contests.
  • Here's the Recipe for a Great Radio Station...: A marketing slogan used in claymation television commercials used to promote WSBT's programming and personalities. A claymation chef would stand in front of a large mixing bowl, and add various "ingredients" to create WSBT.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ WSBT AM 960 South Bend, IN
  2. ^ "Schurz Communications to sell WSBT and other TV, radio stations". South Bend Tribune. September 14, 2015. Retrieved September 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ Kuperberg, Jonathan (September 14, 2015). "Gray Acquiring TV, Radio Stations from Schurz for $442.5 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 14, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Gray Sells Radio Stations From Schurz Deal". TVNewsCheck. November 2, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ Venta, Lance (November 2, 2015). "Gray Television Divests Schurz Clusters To Three Buyers". RadioInsight. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  6. ^ Allen, Kevin (November 2, 2015). "WSBT Radio Group will have a new owner, again". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ WSBT Radio adds FM signal South Bend Tribune. April 12, 2012. Accessed December 31, 2013
  8. ^ Application Search Details Accessed December 31, 2013
  9. ^
  10. ^ The Golden Voices of Football - Google Books
  11. ^ Welcome to GoLive CyberStudio 4

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°37′00″N 86°13′01″W / 41.61667°N 86.21694°W / 41.61667; -86.21694