KTQT, Forerunner to WJMS begins operation.
KTQT operated with 7-1/2 watts, on a frequency of 1420,
using a long wire antenna strung between the St. James hotel, where the studio was located, to the roof of the McKevitt-Kershner-Patrick furniture store.
"Keep it on the Q.T". was the catch phrase......
appropriate, since KTQT was unlicensed....
an event not terribly unusual as the Federal Radio Commission was newly formed this year as well.
KTQT was started by Marius Johnson (Singer)
Johnson was the , founder of the Singer Agency in 1896,
later the M. Johnson Music Store ( 1919),
and the Johnson Music Store (1924).
Victor Radio was added to the store's product line in 1924.
Several petitions were filed with the FRC ( federal radio commission) signed by area residents to get a broadcast license for Ironwood. The petitions tried to assure the FRC that the "new" station would not "interfere with outside stations" or
"compete with foreign stations".
The FRC was busy cleaning up the unregulated mess that radio had quickly become and issued to make room for more radio stations
Nov 2, 1930:
An Essay contest was held, "Why Ironwood should have a radio broadcasting company", in 500 to 1000 words.
The Winning essay was sent to the FRC in Washington, DC. along with another petition, bearing over 3,000 signatures.
Essay Judges were :
Jean Goudie, Ironwood High School English teacher,
C.W. Bremer, Wakefield High School superintendent,
Mary O'Keefe, Bessemer High School english teacher,
J.E. Murphy, Hurley High School Superintendent.
The winner's name cannot be found!
This time, the attempt was sucessful. In 1931 a license was issued to the Upper Michigan-Wisconsin Broadcasting Company, (Marius Johnson, (with sons Bill and Archie, and wife Mildred.) to construct station WJMS, named for the Johnson Music Store.
Nov 3, 1931:
Wjms signs on the air with 100 watts, on 1420Kc,
The Gates-American 250A transmitter- is still in the stations possession. .
Programs included C. E. Gunderson's "Farm and Home".
"It's a beautiful day in Gogebic County"!
Station Manager was Noel C. Ruddell.
Station Engineer was August Jarvi.
Wjms moves it's studios to the St. James Hotel Annex.
Federal Communications Commission is created.
Wjms constructs a new antenna on the corner of U.S. 2 and Douglas.
Wjms moves to 1450Kc.
Wjms builds it's first sister station, WATW, Ashland, WI.
Wjms builds second sister station, WMIQ, Iron Mountain, MI.
Wjms constructs a new tower and transmitter site on So. Cary Road,
Raises power to 1,000 watts and moves to 630Kc.
This site and it's three towers are still in use today.
Wjms constructs it's third sister station, WIKB, Iron River, MI
Wjms is granted a construction permit for WJMS-TV, channel 12, Ironwood.
The TV station was never built and eventually the permit was sold to WDMJ, Marquette.
Congressman Alvin O'Konski moved the station to Rhinelander, WI as WAEO, now WJFW, channel 12.
A rarity for the Gogebic Range, Tornado blows over WJMS' middle tower.
After reconstruction, a fire promptly destroys the same.
After nearly 10 years of fighting with the F.C.C,
Wjms raises power to 5,000 watts and moves to its current frequency,590.
Johnson family sells the stations to Chuck Heath.
Heath also owns Wjmt am/fm (wxmt, wlin, later wmzk) Merrill WI.
Heath sells the stations to W. Donald Roberts.
Roberts also owns wene, wmrv,Enwell, NY and wmid,wgrf,Atlantic City.
Wjms comissions Tri-State Homes of Mercer to construct i'ts current studio/office building on So. Lawrence st.
Wjms constructs the area's first FM station, WIMI.
A Lightning strike and the resulting fire
destroy WIMI's transmitter building on Trimble hill, Montreal, WI.
Rebuilding is immediate with state of the art digital gear,
Wjms, Wimi, Wjmt, Wmzk sold to Badger Communications.
Badger also owns wmam/wlst, Marinette, WI ,
wsfq, Peshtigo, WI and
wagn/whyb, Menominee, MI.
WJMS Employees through the years:
Rose Isaac, 1932-1957. Host of the Birthday Show,
Homemakers Program, also the hostess and janitor.
Joe Killeen, announcer, later moved to WTMJ.
Tony Marta, "Push 'em up Tony", temperature and weather reports at 20 and top-zero.
Musso, lini and ole. Comedy routines.
Armand Cirilli: "Italian Hour"
John Stahovich: "Polish Hour"
J.W. Huss, Station Manager 1943-
Bob Olson, station manager 1956-1969
Bob Knutson, station manager 1968-1980
student announcer 1955-?
Mike Nelson-Station Manager 1980-1981
Ed Rickard, Station Manager 1981-2002
Scott Jaeger, Station Manager 2002-2004
Sales Manager 1992-2002
Other staff members, in no particular order:
Dorothy Wojchowski Johnson, Helen Svenson, Wayne Smith, Chuck Gervasio, Rich Brown, Jerry Cadwell, DG Pawlicki, Wally Huss, Andy Bednar, Kim Luoma, Harry Rizzie, Mike Sertic, Dane Scott, Mark Silver, Arne Dahlbaka, Joe Blake,
Maureen Wright(Roberts), David Lucas, Alex True, Roger Strom, Larry Logemann
Do You Remember...
Saturday "Meet the Mayors" with Mayors Paul Santini, Elmer Sandin, Al Wright.
Bashful Joe- Live country music
"Open Line" with Bob Knutsen