WSSP

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This article is about the station that held the WEMP calls from 1935-2004. For the New York radio station that held the WEMP calls in 2011 and 2012, see WFAN-FM. For the Two Rivers, Wisconsin station which currently holds the call letters, see WEMP. For the Somali NGO, see Worldwide Somali Students & Professionals.
WSSP
City of license Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Wauwatosa (WXSS HD2 simulcast)
Branding 105.7 The Fan
Frequency 1250 kHz
Translator(s) 105.7 W289CB (Milwaukee)
Repeaters 103.7-2 WXSS-HD2 (HD Radio)
First air date March 24, 1948 (1250 AM frequency, as WMAW);
October 14, 1935 (at 1340 kHz)
Format Sports
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 27030
Callsign meaning WiSconsin SPorts
Former callsigns WMAW (1948-1952)
WCAN (1952-1955)
WEMP (1955-2004)
Affiliations CBS Sports Radio
Owner Entercom
(Entercom License, LLC)
Sister stations WMYX, WXSS
Webcast Listen Live
Website 1057fmthefan.com

WSSP (1250 AM) is a Milwaukee-based sports talk station owned by Entercom. Its studios and transmitter are co-located in Hales Corners.

The station is the secondary home station for any play-by-play sports coverage on WTMJ-AM (620) which conflicts with another event; for instance the Milwaukee Bucks air on WSSP if a Milwaukee Brewers game airs. If a Green Bay Packers game airs at the same time as a Brewers game, the Brewers game aired on WSSP. Packers games are almost without exception first priority and never pre-empted on WTMJ except in playoff situations for the other teams depending on how far either team advanced. Since September 2008 however, the secondary rights for Brewers and Packers games have moved to WTMJ's FM sister WKTI (94.5).

WSSP is also the play-by-play home of Milwaukee Admirals hockey. The station has been simulcast on WXSS-FM (103.7)'s HD2 HD Radio subchannel since October 2010. WSSP also aired syndicated programming from Fox Sports Radio until January 2013, when they switched to CBS Sports Radio.

In July 2014, the station began broadcasting on an FM translator station using the WXSS-HD2 signal, W289CB, from Shorewood on 105.7 FM.[1] This became the primary signal for branding on October 1, 2014, as the station rebranded as "105.7 The Fan".[2]

History[edit]

The 1250 AM facility went on the air as WMAW on March 24, 1948.[3] On August 16, 1948, the 5,000 watt station became the area's affiliate of the ABC Radio Network. In June 1952, the call sign changed to WCAN. Station owner Lou Poller eventually started WCAN-TV (Channel 25), one of the earliest UHF stations in the United States and an affiliate of the CBS Television Network, before CBS itself purchased a rival UHF facility.

In 1955, Poller sold the 1250 AM license to the owners of WEMP, which had been operating as a 250-watt signal on 1340 AM. The new owners moved the WEMP call sign to 1250 AM, where it stayed for many years afterward. The station at 1340 AM, under new ownership, became WRIT.[4]

Over the years, WEMP aired a variety of formats, including Top 40, Country music and adult contemporary. In the 1980s, WEMP switched to oldies, featuring personalities such as John Gardner, Dick Alpert and Ernie Bottom. During the 1990s WEMP ran Westwood One's oldies format with Gardner doing the morning drive. In August 1998 WEMP switched its format to brokered religious/Christian AC, retaining the WEMP calls. This format continued until WSSP launched in December 2004.

The station launched the all-sports format on January 1, 2005 and stunted using Bobby Bear's "Drop Kick Me Jesus Through The Goalposts of Life." Longtime area broadcaster Chuck Garbedian anchored the morning show with Chicago native Johnny Vonn. Veteran sports talk show host Peter Brown was tabbed to do afternoon drive. The WEMP calls were used for a year in New York City by an all-news radio station between 2011 and 2012 (the current WFAN-FM), before returning to Wisconsin towards the end of 2013 for the new station WEMP in Two Rivers.

Changes[edit]

In late 2006, the station underwent a period of change. Program director Chip Ramsey, who had been with the station since it signed on in the sports format, was fired on August 9, 2006 and replaced by Ryan Maguire, who directed a series of moves soon after. Weekday afternoon talk show host Peter Brown was fired on December 7, 2006. Mid-day hosts Cliff Saunders and Gary Ellerson were moved into Brown's slot. Morning show host Chuck Garbedian was let go in early January 2007. He was replaced by former WTMJ and Sporting News Radio personality Doug Russell, a Milwaukee native. The station also acquired the rights to University of Wisconsin–Madison hockey games and coaches shows. ≠Mike Wickett, who worked closely with Maguire when both were on the air at WTKA in Ann Arbor, MI, was hired to co-host mornings with Russell. Steve Fifer was tabbed to host mid-days from 9a-11a.

In June 2007, the station acquired the rights to Milwaukee Admirals hockey, taking them away from cross-town rival WAUK.

The station modified its lineup in September 2008 using existing hosts in new positions. Cliff Saunders was moved into the morning slot after Doug Russell and Mike Wickett. Gary Ellerson stayed in the afternoon drive slot where he is joined by Josh Vernier and former morning host Steve Fifer as part of the "Big Show". In October 2008, Saunders was replaced by the nationally syndicated Dan Patrick Show

In January 2009, Maguire left WSSP for Entercom sister station KCSP in Kansas City, Missouri. Former WTMJ program director Tom Parker replaced Maguire at WSSP. Jim Rome's syndicated show was replaced by Bill "The Big Unit" Michaels, formerly of WTMJ and the pre-game and post-game shows of the Packers Radio Network, in the summer of 2011. Entercom syndicates The Bill Michaels Show across the state for live or tape-delayed airing the same day.

From 1984-1990, the WSSP call letters were assigned to 104.1 FM in Orlando (Cocoa Beach, Florida). "WSSPer 104" was as an easy listening station.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°56′44″N 88°03′39″W / 42.94556°N 88.06083°W / 42.94556; -88.06083