|City||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Broadcast area||Baton Rouge metropolitan area|
|Branding||WJBO Newsradio 1150 AM & 98.7 FM|
|Slogan||Depend on it!|
Fox News Radio
|Owner||iHeartMedia, Inc. |
(Capstar TX LLC)
|KRVE, WFMF, WLRO, WYNK-FM|
First air date
|1922 (in New Orleans as WAAB, moved to Baton Rouge as WJBO in 1934)|
Former call signs
|Power||15,000 watts day|
5,000 watts night
|Translator(s)||98.7 MHz (K254DM - Baton Rouge)|
WJBO (1150 AM), branded as "WJBO Newsradio 1150 AM & 98.7 FM", is a commercial radio station licensed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and serving the Baton Rouge metropolitan area with a talk format. Owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., its studios are located east of downtown Baton Rouge, and the transmitter site is in nearby Port Allen.
1150 AM is a Regional broadcast frequency.
Weekday programming on WJBO includes the regionally syndicated duo of Walton & Johnson, in addition to The Glenn Beck Program, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Sean Hannity Show, The Mark Levin Show, Michael Berry, Clyde Lewis, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and This Morning, America's First News with Gordon Deal. Weekend hosts include Kim Komando, Joe Pags, Bill Handel and Bill Cunningham.
WJBO was first licensed, with the sequentially assigned call letters WAAB, in April 1922 to the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper. It was one of the first stations to receive a 4-letter call sign starting with "W". WAAB made its debut broadcast on the evening of April 6, 1922. A few months later ownership was transferred to the station's primary operator, Valdemar Jensen, at 137 South Saint Patrick Street. Jensen operated and experimented with the station from his house's basement.
In early 1926 the call letters were changed to WJBO and it was announced that the station was adopting a policy of selling airtime. Following a few days of test transmissions, the station made its formal debut as "the first commercially operated radio station in the South" on February 28, 1926. WJBO was one of the first stations to regularly broadcast news, working in tandem with The Times-Picayune. Jensen broadcast from the Roosevelt Hotel and Orpheum Theater. In 1932, he sold WJBO to the Manship family, who relaunched the station in December 1934 in Baton Rouge at 1420 kilocycles, powered at 100 watts, as a daytimer, required to sign off at night.
By the early 1940s, the station's frequency had moved to 1150 kHz and its power increased to 500 watts. In 1941, WJBO's power got a big boost to 5,000 watts. Originally, the station broadcast from Highland Road in South Baton Rouge, but in 1941, a new studio was built on Florida Street to accommodate the growing station.
WJBO was Baton Rouge's first commercial radio station and was affiliated with the NBC Blue Network from 1937 until 1948. (NBC Blue later became ABC.) In 1948, with the launch of radio station WLCS (precursor to now defunct station WUBR), WJBO affiliated itself with the NBC Red Network. It stayed an NBC affiliate until 1979. From 1976 until it folded, WJBO was also affiliated with the Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS), and in the late 1970s, was also affiliated with APR.
In 1941, WJBO signed on an FM counterpart on 44.5 megacycles, originally as W45BR. In 1959, the call letters changed to WJBO-FM. WJBO-FM later moved to 102.5 MHz, and its call letters changed to WFMF in 1974. (The original 98.1 frequency is now occupied by WDGL.)
As network programming moved from radio to television in the 1950s, WJBO switched to a full service middle of the road music format, including news, sports and talk. In the 1970s and ‘80s, as listeners tuned increasingly to FM for music, WJBO added more talk programming.
In the 1980s, music programming was eliminated and WJBO became a full time talk station. In 1989, the Manship family sold WJBO and WFMF to station manager George Jenne. Following the sale, WJBO affiliated itself with an array of talk radio and news networks including: ABC Talkradio, CBS Radio News, NBC Radio News, Associated Press Radio, NBC Talknet, Transtar, United Stations Radio Network, and Westwood One. Under the ownership of Jenne, the WJBO and WFMF studios moved from their location on Florida Street in downtown Baton Rouge (where they broadcast since 1941) to new studios in Mid-City. In 1995, Jenne sold the stations to Gulfstar Communications. The station came under ownership of Clear Channel Communications when Gulfstar folded.
The station was an affiliate of the New Orleans Saints radio network until the 2009 season. For decades, it also served as the flagship station for the LSU Tigers college football and basketball games.
- "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, May 1, 1922, page 4.
- United States Callsign Policies: Dawn of the Four-letter Calls by Thomas H. White
- "Times-Picayune Starts Radio Service", New Orleans Times-Picayune, April 7, 1922, page 1.
- "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, July 1, 1922, page 9.
- "Valdemar Jensen, Pioneer of Radio Circles, Expires", New Orleans Times-Picayune, November 17, 1934, page 2.
- "Broadcasting Stations, Alphabetically by Call Signals" (complete up to Jan. 30, 1926), Radio Service Bulletin, January 30, 1926, page 18.
- "Newest Station Goes on Ether", New Orleans Times-Picayune, February 28, 1926, Section 4, Page 5. From 1931–1976 the WAAB call letters were used by a Boston station, now WVEI in Worcester.
- "Oldest Local Broadcast Station Celebrates Birthday", New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 4, 1926, page 14.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1935 page 32
- "Local radio era ending with WJBO move" by George Morris, Baton Rouge Advocate, February 27, 1993, page 1-B.
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1990 page B-134
- "Texas firm to buy BR radio stations" by Chilombo Mwondela, Baton Rouge Advocate, May 11, 1995, page 1-F.
- "Saints switch Baton Rouge radio spot". Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
- WJBO Newsradio Facebook
- Official website
- WJBO in the FCC's AM station database
- WJBO on Radio-Locator
- WJBO in Nielsen Audio's AM station database
- FCC History Cards for WJBO (covering 1927-1979)
- FM Translator