|City of license||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Broadcast area||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Slogan||Sports, Food & Fun|
(also on HD Radio)
|First air date||1925 (as WSMB)|
|Power||5,000 watts fulltime|
|Callsign meaning||W W W L (sister station)|
|Former callsigns||WSMB (1925–2006)|
|Affiliations||NBC Sports Radio|
(Entercom New Orleans License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WWL, WWL-FM, WKBU, WLMG|
WWWL is a sports radio outlet based in New Orleans, Louisiana, historically with the call letters WSMB. The Entercom station is an NBC Sports Radio affiliate. WWWL broadcasts at 1350 kHz with 5,000 watts of power fulltime. The station's studios are located at the 400 Poydras Tower in New Orleans' downtown area, and the transmitter site is in the Gulf of Mexico.
The station's 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 programing produced by the United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans with the staff of sister station WWL. Normal programming was resumed on December 19, 2005.
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 60's and more of an adult contemporary format by the 70's. 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 defunct New Orleans Brass minor league hockey team 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 most recently (until November 2006) carrying 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 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, TN (which also carries a sports/talk format).
- 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