Wednesday, March 14, 2007

850 History

I have now added my fourth station history and this fourth one is really good.

Here is the history of AM 850, the station that was once home to one of America's most popular country music stations, WIVK:

850 History

WIVK-AM 850 signed on March 1953 at 860 on the AM dial with a variety format. The station carried many programs including Claude The Cat, The Cas Walker Show, The Mulls Singing Comvention, and various programs. In 1961, WIVK adopted the top 40 format. Many of the jocks at WIVK included Bobby Denton, a legend in Knoxville media. In 1964, WIVK brought the country format to Knoxville and in November 1966, WIVK-AM moved from 860 to 850 which would be the future home of WKVL, a news/talk station. On February 1, 1984, WIVK-AM changed calls letters to WHIG but changed formats to AC to compete with "U-102". The WHIG call letters and format were short-lived when the WIVK call letters and country music format returned on October 1, 1984.

On September 1, 1988, WIVK changed calls to WUTK and the 850 signal was donated to UT when WIVK moved to 990 on the AM dial. AM 850 also changed formats from the country simulcast heard on WIVK-FM 107.7 to news talk. WUTK would keep the news/talk format until January 22, 1977 when WIOL became the new call letters for AM 850.

On July 1, 1998, WIOL changed formats from news/talk to southern gospel. Over a month after WIOL started simulcasting 96.3's southern gospel format, WIOL became WJBZ-AM. Over a year after WJBZ-AM started its simulcast of 96.3's southern gospel format, the calls were changed to WKVL and since then, WKVL has carried a news/talk format that continues to this day.

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