Thursday, March 15, 2007

1340 History

This is post #15 of the Knoxville AM and FM radio station histories.

This next history profiles 1340 which was once a popular top 40 and disco station.

1340 History

In 1946, WKGN signed on the air. The station carried a lot of great programming before they became a top 40 station. In the early 1960s, WKGN adopted the top 40 format. Many of the DJs heard on WKGN were Gary Drake, Jack Etzel, Ted Ferguson, Mick Rizzo, Larry Stevens, Dave Nichols, and Happy Day (Bill Coffield) who launched a career at WLAF-AM 1450 in LaFollette, Tennessee.

In 1976, WKGN transitioned from top 40 to album rock. In Summer 1978, WKGN changed formats from album rock to disco. By the summer of 1979, they became a top 40 station once again but by 1980, the station would transition from top to AC as "Love 13".

The station changed formats from AC to news/talk a year or two later. The news/talk format at WKGN would last until August 17, 1987 when the new call letters were WLIQ with a new name known as “13Q”. The station carried an AC/oldies format through the week with an all gold format every weekend.

The station also had a DJ on every weekday afternoon by the name of Ashley Adams. She is now the morning DJ on WJXB-FM 97.5 with Brad Jefferies. The call letters were changed back to WKGN on August 1, 1988. The oldies format stayed on 1340 until a few weeks later when WKGN adopted the current urban format.

1 comment:

Steve Howard said...

I heard Gary Drake in 1972 doing mornings in Asheville NC on 1310 "Big WISE." Interestingly, in the 70s WISE came under the ownership of Basic Media Ltd., which was the company that in 1976 bought WETE and transformed it to WRJZ.

Also, in the late 1990s after I changed careers from radio to TV audio sports mixing, I freelanced at Sunbelt Video in Charlotte NC. One of their sales/marketing guys was Dave Nichols, of WKGN and WHBQ fame, among others. Great guy.