|City||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Broadcast area||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Slogan||New Orleans' Hottest R&B|
|Frequency||1350 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||103.7 W279DF (New Orleans)|
|First air date||1925 (as WSMB)|
|Power||5,000 watts full-time|
|Callsign meaning||W W W L (sister station)|
|Former callsigns||WSMB (1925–2006)|
(Entercom New Orleans License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WWL, WWL-FM, WKBU, WLMG|
WWWL is a radio station licensed and broadcasting to the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, historically with the call letters WSMB. WWWL broadcasts at 1350 kHz with 5,000 watts of power full-time. The station's studios are located at the 400 Poydras Tower in New Orleans' downtown area, and the transmitter site is in Algiers, near the city limits of Gretna and Terrytown.
WSMB was founded in 1925 as New Orleans' first professional radio station, a joint commercial venture by the local Saenger Theatre and the Maison Blanche Department store. Programming provided by the Saenger allowed Maison Blanche to sell radios (national networks would not provide programming for years to come). The studios were located on the thirteenth floor of the Maison Blanche Building on Canal Street, a few blocks from the theater for most of its history.
WSMB was a very successful full service MOR and news/talk outlet in the 1960s and 1970s primarily on the strength of morning drive personalities, Roy Roberts and Jeff Hugg, known as "Nut and Jeff" and midday political talk show host, Keith Rush. Musically, the station was a mix of easy listening and softer sounds of rock and roll in the 1960s and more of an adult contemporary format by the 1970s. The station played moderate amounts of music during morning and afternoon drive times while being music intensive and leaning oldies overnights and weekends. But by the 1980s its ratings had dropped. The station gradually cut back on music from about 1981 to 1984. By 1985, WSMB was strictly news and talk. Moving to all talk still did not bring ratings up. In 1988, it was auctioned off and by the 1990s it became the sister station to WWL-AM, first under the ownership of Sinclair Broadcast Group, and then Entercom. Since that time WSMB has broadcast a number of sporting events that were bumped from WWL due to scheduling conflicts, including basketball and football from LSU and Tulane University. The station was the radio home of the New Orleans Brass from 1997 to 2002 and has sometimes been a local radio outlet for national broadcasts of NFL football.
WSMB's only notable format detours were between 1999 and 2001, when it flipped to all-sports-talk. Programming at that time included syndicated shows from ESPN Radio and an afternoon show hosted by local sports commentator Kaare Johnson. Other local personalities heard on the station included noted sports trainer Mackie Shilstone. A period where programming consisted of on-air psychologists, and until November 2006, carried a progressive talk radio format as an affiliate of Air America Radio. The Food Show with Tom Fitzmorris remained on the air through all these format changes. It is the longest-running talk show of any kind in New Orleans, airing daily since July 18, 1988.
The station's previous studios adjacent to the Louisiana Superdome were destroyed in August 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. Its frequency, as well as all other operational Entercom and Clear Channel frequencies, was used to simulcast the programming produced by the United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans with the staff of sister station WWL. Normal programming was resumed on December 19, 2005.
The WSMB call letters were relinquished in November 2006, when the programming was switched to repeats of shows originated on WWL, becoming "WWWL – WWL On Demand." The WSMB call sign was picked up by another Entercom station located in Memphis (which also carries a sports/talk format).
On October 14, 2013, WWWL changed their format to a hybrid sports/lifestyle talk format, branded as "3WL".
On February 9, 2017, WWWL began running liners redirecting 3WL listeners to WWL-FM-HD2, where the format would be moving full-time. The next day at Noon, WWWL flipped to Urban AC as "Hot 103.7", utilizing new FM translator W279DF to enable its signal to be heard with FM quality. The first song on "Hot" was "Rude Boy" by Rihanna. The new format directly attacks market-leading WYLD-FM and KMEZ with a younger skewing take on the format, focusing solely on R&B hits from the 1990s through today, as opposed to the 1970s through today playlists of its two competitors.
- Article on WWWL's format flip
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WWWL
- Radio-Locator Information on WWWL
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WWWL
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W279DF
- Radio-Locator information on W279DF