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Author Topic: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them  (Read 28289 times)

GeekJedi

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #200 on: June 24, 2018, 09:20:19 PM »

Just found this thread - it's exactly in my area of expertise, being in the industry for 30 years...

Most call letter "meanings" are actually "backronyms", or acronyms given to the call letters after the fact. Stations such as WBBM received sequential call letters - they weren't chosen - so the meaning was given to them after the fact.

Of course nowadays the FCC makes it easy to change call letters so pretty much everyone picks them to fit whatever slogan they want to use.

As for the "decimal", early on not only did it have to do with analog vs. digital tuning, but also with Arbitron ratings. If you were "FM95" and you were at 94.7, someone may think that you are the station at 95.5 (if one existed), which wasn't a good thing in the ratings world, since (unless FM95 was clearly determined on the listener's diary) "FM95" could get credited to the wrong station.

With the new PPM technology in the top radio markets, that isn't a thing anymore, so that isn't as much of a thing as it uses to be.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 12:37:27 PM by GeekJedi »
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abefroman329

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #201 on: June 25, 2018, 10:13:22 AM »

Most call letter "meanings" are actually "backronyms", or acronyms given to the call letters after the fact

My personal favorite belongs to WGST in Atlanta - when a fire broke out in their broadcast booth at the old Fulton County Stadium, the backronym was "World's Greatest Stadium Torch."
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MikeSantNY78

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #202 on: June 27, 2018, 01:34:53 AM »

WBUF - Buffalo, NY

More from the B=lo:
WGR: AM - World's Greatest Radio. WGRQ-FM (Q-FM-97, now WGRF) - unsure. (TV changed to WGRZ in 1983.)
WBEN: from the original owners, the Buffalo Evening News (TV changed to WIVB in 1977 - and thus, the slogan We're 4 Buffalo).
WKBW: A number of acronyms: Well-Known Bible Witness; We Know Buffalo Weather (more modern promotional TV tagline).
WBBZ (MeTV): from a local program no longer extant, the Daily Buzz. Was formerly WNGS (Wings, as in Chicken), with UPN.
WNED: Western N-y EDucational TV.
WNLO: Western N-y/buffaLO. Originally WNEQ, sibling to WNED.
WNYO: Western NY/Ontario. Originally Fox, then WB, now MyTV.
WUTV: from original owners UlTraVision.  Long-standing indy station that went to Fox (permanently) in the late 1980s. 
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bing101

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #203 on: November 13, 2018, 08:08:22 AM »

https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171898/amp-radio-98-7-detroit-drops-chr-for-the-rudolph-network/


https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171891/wisx-really-stunting-with-christmas-music/


https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171869/iheartmedia-to-launch-soft-ac-92-5-the-breeze-sacramento/


3 radio stations renamed themselves as "The Breeze" 


The Detroit Breeze is owned by Entercom
 The Sacramento and Philadelphia editions of the Breeze are owned by IheartRadio and is named after the San Francisco edition of the Breeze


https://981thebreeze.iheart.com/


Here is the San Francisco edition of the Breeze.
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jon daly

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #204 on: November 13, 2018, 01:42:47 PM »

I'm not sure if channel 40 in Springfield, Mass. is still WGGB, but I know that that was a backronym "Good Guys Broadcasting."

But some of these are frontronyms. WTIC in Hartford, Conn. stood for the already existing Traveler's Insurance Company. (someone's gonna tell me it's actually Corporation; not Company.)
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KEVIN_224

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #205 on: November 13, 2018, 06:20:22 PM »

WGGB-TV letters are still there. It may have stood for Guy Gannett Broadcasting, a prior owner of channel 40. I think they once owned WGME-TV (CBS) channel 13 of Portland, ME.

As for WTIC-TV...old channel 3 version...I'm certain the "C" stood for corporation.
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CNGL-Leudimin

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #206 on: November 13, 2018, 06:26:39 PM »

Call letters are no longer used in Spain. Radio Huesca, a station in my area, was EAJ22, EAJ was the letters all early radio stations in Spain had, and 22 meant it was the 22nd radio station created. Radio Barcelona was the very first radio station in Spain, and thence got EAJ1.
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jon daly

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #207 on: November 13, 2018, 07:32:43 PM »

WGGB-TV letters are still there. It may have stood for Guy Gannett Broadcasting, a prior owner of channel 40. I think they once owned WGME-TV (CBS) channel 13 of Portland, ME.

As for WTIC-TV...old channel 3 version...I'm certain the "C" stood for corporation.

Heh. I wasn't sure and too busy to look it up. Our workflow system at work has been slow enough for me to make posts while waiting for docs to appear. But it isn't slow enough to allow for well-researched posts.
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #208 on: November 13, 2018, 09:45:16 PM »

As for WTIC-TV...old channel 3 version...I'm certain the "C" stood for corporation.

Nope.

WTIC was named after its original owner, Travelers Insurance Company.
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iowahighways

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #209 on: November 13, 2018, 10:25:23 PM »

There has to be quite a few call letters that are based on their location. A few that come to mind are WQAD in the Quad Cities and WLNS in Lansing, MI. KWQC in the Quad Cities also has makes regional sense (I don't know if this is true, but the K and W seem to represent the two sides of the Mississippi and QC stands for Quad Cities).

WHBF (CBS affiliate) stood for Where Historical Black Hawk Fought, a reference to Chief Black Hawk.

KCRG in Cedar Rapids stood for its original owners, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and KRNT radio stood for the Des Moines Register and Tribune.

One of the more creative ones for radio stations around here is for KXNO 1460 AM in Des Moines, a sports talk station, which is derived from the "X's and O's" in football playbooks.
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Henry

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #210 on: November 15, 2018, 09:35:01 AM »

https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171898/amp-radio-98-7-detroit-drops-chr-for-the-rudolph-network/


https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171891/wisx-really-stunting-with-christmas-music/


https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171869/iheartmedia-to-launch-soft-ac-92-5-the-breeze-sacramento/


3 radio stations renamed themselves as "The Breeze" 


The Detroit Breeze is owned by Entercom
 The Sacramento and Philadelphia editions of the Breeze are owned by IheartRadio and is named after the San Francisco edition of the Breeze


https://981thebreeze.iheart.com/


Here is the San Francisco edition of the Breeze.
IIRC, the heritage ACs in those respective markets are WNIC, B101, Mix 96 and KOIT. It's going to be interesting how the new ones will stack up against their competitors.
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bing101

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #211 on: November 17, 2018, 09:01:07 PM »

https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171898/amp-radio-98-7-detroit-drops-chr-for-the-rudolph-network/


https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171891/wisx-really-stunting-with-christmas-music/


https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171869/iheartmedia-to-launch-soft-ac-92-5-the-breeze-sacramento/


3 radio stations renamed themselves as "The Breeze" 


The Detroit Breeze is owned by Entercom
 The Sacramento and Philadelphia editions of the Breeze are owned by IheartRadio and is named after the San Francisco edition of the Breeze


https://981thebreeze.iheart.com/


Here is the San Francisco edition of the Breeze.
IIRC, the heritage ACs in those respective markets are WNIC, B101, Mix 96 and KOIT. It's going to be interesting how the new ones will stack up against their competitors.






https://www.iheart.com/live/the-breeze-8143/


An update Iheart has just released a national feed for "the Breeze" on their app. So far I've heard rumors that other parts of the country will have Iheart owned station flip to "The Breeze" after Christmas or New Years. Not sure how that will play outside of Sacramento or San Francisco.
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Henry

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Re: Radio Station Call Letters- Where did they come up with them
« Reply #212 on: November 19, 2018, 10:05:41 AM »

https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171898/amp-radio-98-7-detroit-drops-chr-for-the-rudolph-network/


https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171891/wisx-really-stunting-with-christmas-music/


https://radioinsight.com/headlines/171869/iheartmedia-to-launch-soft-ac-92-5-the-breeze-sacramento/


3 radio stations renamed themselves as "The Breeze" 


The Detroit Breeze is owned by Entercom
 The Sacramento and Philadelphia editions of the Breeze are owned by IheartRadio and is named after the San Francisco edition of the Breeze


https://981thebreeze.iheart.com/


Here is the San Francisco edition of the Breeze.
IIRC, the heritage ACs in those respective markets are WNIC, B101, Mix 96 and KOIT. It's going to be interesting how the new ones will stack up against their competitors.






https://www.iheart.com/live/the-breeze-8143/


An update Iheart has just released a national feed for "the Breeze" on their app. So far I've heard rumors that other parts of the country will have Iheart owned station flip to "The Breeze" after Christmas or New Years. Not sure how that will play outside of Sacramento or San Francisco.
Well, obviously they'd have to be branded as Lite, Magic, Soft Rock, whatever for this to happen, meaning that my hometown station could be known as 93.9 The Breeze in 2019. But I guess we'll find out when the last Christmas song has been played.
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