|Broadcast area||Toledo, Ohio|
|Branding||News Radio 1370 WSPD|
|Slogan||Toledo's Home for News, Talk, and Weather|
|Translator(s)||W225AM Toledo, 92.9 MHz|
|Repeater(s)||101.5-2 WRVF-HD2 (Toledo)|
|First air date||August 24, 1923|
|Call sign meaning||W SPeeDene Oil|
|Former call signs||WTAL (1923–1928)|
|Affiliations||Cleveland Indians Radio Network|
Fox News Radio
Rocket Sports Radio Network
|Owner||iHeartMedia, Inc. |
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
WSPD (1370 AM) is a news-talk radio station licensed to Toledo, Ohio. WSPD broadcasts on a full-time basis with 5,000 watts, including a directional signal pattern at night. The station is currently owned by iHeartMedia, Inc..
WSPD's studios are located in downtown Toledo at Superior and Lafayette Avenues, and their transmitter is located on Oregon Road near Wales Road in Perrysburg Township. The transmitter site still contains a small DJ booth - reportedly the original broadcast studio - and features three unique free-standing towers.
Current programming on WSPD features local hosts Fred LeFebvre (morning drive) and Scott Sands (afternoon drive), as well as syndicated programs such as The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Sean Hannity Show, The Glenn Beck Program and Coast to Coast AM.
WSPD is affiliated with Fox News Radio, which provides live top-of-the-hour newscasts, actualities, and breaking national news coverage. WSPD features local newscasts on the top and bottom of the hour during morning drive.
WSPD is Toledo's longest running radio station, and was first authorized (by telegram) on August 24, 1923 to the Toledo Radio & Electric Company at 433 Superior St., with the sequentially issued call letters of WTAL.
On July 11, 1927 George B. Storer formed the Fort Industry Oil Co., which initially sold petroleum products in Toledo and Cleveland. The company became an advertiser over WTAL, and in 1928 Storer and brother-in-law J. Harold Ryan arranged to become investors in the station, which was renamed WSPD after the "Speedene" brand of gasoline. The initial broadcast as WSPD was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on February 21, 1928, and a contemporary report stated that "we are informed that the management has also changed and some very elaborate programs are promised". The Station also moved in 1928 to The Commodore Perry Hotel where the stations master antenna system became a landmark along with the hotel's rooftop signage.
In 1931 Fort Industry Oil sold its petroleum holding to concentrate on radio, and "Oil" was dropped from its corporate name. Fort Industry gained full control of WSPD in 1937, and in 1952 became the Storer Broadcasting Co.
In 1935, the WSPD radio transmitter site on Oregon road went on the air and the antenna system on the roof of the Commodore Perry Hotel remained a part of the Toledo city skyline.
On March 29, 1941, under the provisions of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement, WSPD moved to 1370 kHz, and for decades the station was commonly known as "Speedy 1370". Some locals still refer to the station as "Speedy" although that nickname is no longer officially used on the air (recently, traffic reports on WSPD were renamed "Speedy Traffic," a nod to the heritage slogan). For much of its history WSPD was an affiliate of the NBC Radio Network and its primary "Red" network, as a full service station.
In October of 1941, the original towers atop the 18-story Commodore Perry Hotel were dismantled. The broadcast towers had become a familiar Downtown Toledo landmark but had not been operated since 1935 when the stations present transmitter location went on the air.
WSPD was the flagship of Storer Broadcasting until late 1979, when it was spun off to "WSPD, Inc." Toledo Broadcasting Inc. acquired the station in 1986; eventually it would be sold to Jacor, which sold the station in 1999 to iHeartMedia, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel Communications). In the early 1990s as well as across the country radio consolidation affected the small independent stations, WSPD transitioned from a full-service adult contemporary/MOR station to its current corporate news/talk format - mainly with an slight partisan conservative focus - and became known as "News Radio 1370 WSPD." The station went by the slogan "News/Talk 1370" from late 2005 until the winter of 2011. The station has since reverted to the "News Radio 1370 WSPD" slogan.
The WSPD call letters were once shared with TV channel 13, when both were commonly owned by Storer Broadcasting. The TV station's call letters changed to WTVG in 1979 when the radio stations were sold off to Wood Broadcasting, and Storer Broadcasting retained control of the TV station, due to an FCC regulation in place then dictated that TV and radio stations in the same market, but with different ownership had to have differing callsigns.
WSPD has been the flagship station of University of Toledo football and men's basketball since the mid-1960s, heading a network of seven affiliate stations across Ohio, Michigan and Indiana as of December 2016, carrying all home and away games as well as the coach's shows for both sports. The station is also the chief Northwest Ohio affiliate of Cleveland Indians baseball. WSPD carries all weeknight and weekend Indians games that do not conflict with U-T broadcasts. Weekday afternoon games are heard on sister sports station WCWA.
Although only 5,000 watts it had enormous influence in the Toledo market due to unusually high ratings. Some on-air alumni of WSPD include: Connie Desmond, Art Barrie, Jim Ubelhart, Jeanne Overton, Bob Seybold, Randy Huston, Jean Shepherd, Bob Martz, Don Edwards, Neal Carmean, Chuck Parmelee, Ed Hunter, Jerry Keil, Eddie Kootz, Frank Venner, Ron Tindall, Bill Nordstrom, Ted Dalaku, Jim Donkel, Kent Slocum, Jack Mitchell, Mary Beth Zolik (Mitch & Mary Beth in the morning) Ed Burns (who had the station's first overnight country show), Gene Packard, Lee Conklin, Jim Harpen, Bill Stewart, Jude LaCava, Joe Gunderman, Dave Macy, Lee Kirk, Mike Shepherd, Pat Brogan, Deborah Boyce, Roy E. Blair - News Announcer & Broadcast Standards Manager, Rich Hoffer, Jerry Anderson, Larry Weseman, Art Edgerton, Lou Hebert, Mike Stanley, Paul Stowers, Paul W. Smith, Jim (Ted) Bayer, Doug Bermick, Maggie Moore, Paula Pennypacker, Sean Baligian, Scott Sloan, City Councilman Dennis Lange, Mark Standriff, Dick Scott, Bob Frantz, Denny Schaffer and Brian Wilson.
WSPD was also instrumental in the very early show business days of Toledo-native Teresa Brewer, who sang on the radio station as a child in the 1930s. Deborah Boyce hosted the first, nightly, evening drive-time jazz show in the country on AM radio from 1977-1979.
On September 14, 2007, WSPD began 24-hour HD radio broadcasting. WSPD formerly broadcast in AM Stereo from the 1980s into the 1990s.
On October 21, 2015, WSPD added an FM simulcast on translator W221BG/92.1. While the transmitter was in the testing and measurement phase, it was on and off-air. The former location of this station was in Rudolph, Ohio. The translator is owned by Educational Media Foundation (EMF), owners of Air one and K-Love radio networks. iHeart media leased the translator from EMF. The translator is now W220EM/91.9, simulcasting EMF's WPAY, and iHeart has since moved to a new translator on 92.9 (W225AM).
- FCC History Cards (FCC.gov)
- "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, September 1, 1923, page 3.
- "G. B. Storer Started Radio in 1928", Detroit Times, September 16, 1956, page 43.
- "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, January 31, 1928, page 5.
- "Heard on the Radio" by Charles W, Rife, Columbus Dispatch, February 19, 1928, page 21.
- "Broadcast Magazine 1941" (PDF). www.americanradiohistory.com. October 27, 1941.
- 1370 WSPD
- WSPD in the FCC's AM station database
- WSPD on Radio-Locator
- WSPD in Nielsen Audio's AM station database
- FCC History Cards for WSPD (covering 1923-1980)
- FM translator
- W225AM in the FCC's FM station database
- W225AM on Radio-Locator
- Toledo Blade Ad for several WSPD personalities, 1970s: http://vintagetoledotv.squarespace.com/vintage-radio-station-print-ad/single-gallery/15240163