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For the AM radio station in Moore, Oklahoma, United States, see KWPN (AM). For the FM radio station in Chicago, Illinois, United States, see WLS-FM.
WWLS-FM logo.png
City The Village, Oklahoma
Broadcast area Oklahoma City Metro
Branding The Sports Animal
Frequency 98.1 MHz
First air date June 28, 1962 (as KWHP at 97.7)
Format Sports talk
ERP 28,870 watts
HAAT 467 meters (1,532 ft)
Class C1
Facility ID 37435
Transmitter coordinates 35°33′37″N 97°29′7″W / 35.56028°N 97.48528°W / 35.56028; -97.48528Coordinates: 35°33′37″N 97°29′7″W / 35.56028°N 97.48528°W / 35.56028; -97.48528
Callsign meaning WW Larry Steckline (owner when station obtained this callsign in 1981)[1]
Former callsigns KWHP (1962-1978)
KCFX (1978-1979)
KKLR (1979-1988)
KTNT-FM (1988-1999)
KCYI (1999-2000)
KKWD (2000-2006)
Former frequencies 97.7 MHz (1962-1999)
97.9 MHz (1999-2008)
Affiliations CBS Radio, Westwood One, Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)
Owner Cumulus Media
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
Webcast Listen Live
Website thesportsanimal.com

WWLS-FM (98.1 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a sports talk format.[2] Licensed to The Village, Oklahoma, USA, the station serves the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, area. The station is currently owned by Cumulus Media and features programming from CBS Radio, ESPN Radio and Westwood One.[3] Its studios are in Northwest Oklahoma City, and the transmitter is on the Northeast side.


Early years[edit]

The station was put on the air in a small house on 1305 South Boulevard Street in Edmond, Oklahoma, (radio station in his home, transmitter in the bedroom, studio in the garage) his wife threatened to leave unless the radio station was moved out of the house. In 1964, the station moved to Kelly street at a frequency of 97.7 MHz, with call letters KWHP (from the initials of William "Bill" Haydon Payne, its owner). It was top 40, one of the first AOR station in the nation/underground rock, country, oldies and a variety of other formats throughout its earlier existence. (Bill Payne moved on to Tulsa to buy KTFX 103.3 in 1978, and still owns stations in Eastern Oklahoma. In 1978, call letters change to KCFX (representing the change to country and the station mascot "the Fox"). In 1979, Payne sold the station.*PAYNE website It later became KKLR and then KTNT. Porter Davis (whose family owned Davis Foods distributors) brought Jazz into the market as a Smooth Jazz outlet in the early 1990s as KTNT "97.7 The Trend". In the late 1990s, the station changed. Citadel Broadcasting purchased the station, along with "SportsRadio 640" WWLS-AM and "Sports Talk 1340" KEBC, in 1998.

The City 97.9, and Wild 97dot9 (1999–2006)[edit]

In February 1999, the station changed its call letters to KCYI and became "The City 97.9" retaining the Smooth Jazz format, but on January 27, 2000, it was changed to KKWD ("Wild 97.9") with a Rhythmic Top 40 format.

The Sports Animal (2006–present)[edit]

Former logo used between July 9, 2008 and April 2, 2012

On October 23, 2006, WWLS (then at 104.9) switched signals with sister station KKWD and moved to the 97.9 frequency. On July 9, 2008, WWLS upgraded its signal to 31,000 watts ERP and moved from 97.9 to 98.1 FM.

In addition, WWLS is the hub for the "Sports Animal Network" that simulcasts selected programming on stations throughout Oklahoma including: AM 1550 KYAL in Sapulpa and Tulsa, 97.1 FM KYAL-FM in Muskogee and Tulsa, AM 1490 KBIX in Muskogee and Tulsa, AM 1240 KADS in Elk City, AM 1450 KSIW in Woodward, Oklahoma.

WWLS is also the radio home of Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA.[4] It is also an ESPN Radio affiliate despite not carrying Mike and Mike in the Morning.


  1. ^ "Call Letter Origins". Radio History on the Web. 
  2. ^ "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Summer 2009. Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. 
  3. ^ "WWLS-FM Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  4. ^ Mayberry, Darnell (July 30, 2008). "NBA team reaches deal with local radio station". The Oklahoman. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 

External links[edit]