It is the oldest radio station in West Michigan and one of the oldest in the world, having signed on September 16, 1924 as WEBK as a marketing tool for the C.J. Litscher Company, a seller of radio receivers. The station's original owners were backed by the Furniture Manufacturers Association of Grand Rapids. At their suggestion, the station became WOOD on January 13, 1926.
It broadcast on Sundays and Wednesdays at 1170kHz during its early years in order to avoid competition with stations in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland--all of which could easily be heard in West Michigan.
It went through numerous owners over the years before being bought by John King (known as John Kunsky until 1936) and George Trendle, owners of WXYZ-AM 1270 in Detroit, in 1930. They bought Grand Rapids' second radio station, WASH, a year later; the two stations had shared the same frequency, 1270, for four years. The station operated as WOOD-WASH (with WASH on the air during the day and WOOD at night) until 1942, when the WASH license was dropped. At about the same time, WOOD's broadcast power was increased from 500 watts to 5000 watts.
In 1946, the fledgling American Broadcasting Company bought the King-Trendle stations, but the FCC forced ABC to sell WOOD since it had been an NBC affiliate since 1935. After a two-year dispute between competing buyers, the station was finally sold to Harry Bitner, former general manager of the Hearst newspaper chain, in 1948. Time, Inc. bought WOOD in 1957 and owned it until 1972, when a local group bought the station. After a series of ownership changes over the next quarter-century, Clear Channel bought WOOD in 1996. Over the years the station's format evolved from full-service Middle of the Road into standard News/Talk.
Today, WOOD's Program Director Angie Vuyst leads an airstaff that includes the area's only all-news morning program, "West Michigan's Morning News" with Gary Allen, Steve Kelly & John Bry, the locally hosted "Rick & Scott Show" with Rick Beckett & Scott Winters, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Paul Harvey, Neal Boortz, Jerry Doyle, and Coast to Coast AM. Local programming runs weekdays from 5:00am to 11:45am, and national programming runs weekdays from 11:45am to 5:00am.
NEWSRADIO WOOD 1300's award winning local newsroom provides local, regional and national news every day of the week, plus top of the hour newscasts from Fox News Radio from 8pm-4am weekdays It also utilizes reports and breaking news coverage through an ancillary affiliation with CBS Radio News. The WOOD newsroom is led by News Director Rod Kackley, and two full time anchors/reporters including morning anchor John Bry, and afternoon anchor/reporter John C. Smith.
Weekend programs and hosts are: Mike McConnell, Neal Boortz, Cigar Dave, Bob Costas, Coast to Coast AM, Kim Komando, Monica Crowley, Dave Ramsey, Bruce Dumont, Bill Cunningham and local how-to programming covering cars, home improvement, gardening, mutual funds, health, law, pets, and military. The station also airs Paul Harvey "News & Comment" weekdays at 8:30am and 11:45am, and 12:05pm Saturdays; The "Rest Of The Story Feature" airs at 6:59pm weekdays. The weekly presidential radio address airs Saturdays at 12:20pm.
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