Infobox Radio Station
name = WMJI
branding = Majic 105.7
slogan = Life's Good... Sing Along.
airdate = July 7, 1982
(December 6, 1948 as WTAM-FM)
frequency = 105.7 (MHz) HD Radio
105.7 HD-2 for 50's and 60's
erp = 16,000
haat = 344
class = B
facility_id = 73268
Clear Channel Communications
webcast = [http://www.wmji.com/pages/listen_live.html Listen Live]
website = http://www.wmji.com
former_callsigns = WMJI-FM (1987-1988)
WAKS, WGAR, WMMS, WMVX, WTAM
callsign_meaning = MaJIc
WMJI is an American commercial FM
radio stationin Cleveland, Ohiobroadcasting at 105.7 MHz. Calling itself "Majic 105.7", the station was best known for playing songs from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Currently they have switched to a "Classic Contemporary" format, playing songs from the 60's, 70's, and 80's (shifting the 50's and some 60's songs to their secondary HD Radiofeed, 105.7 HD-2).
The station was founded by
NBCon December 6, 1948 as WTAM-FM, and it simulcast the programming of sister station WTAM. Both radio stations were also paired with WNBK-TV, which signed on that same year. When NBC traded its radio and television holdings in Cleveland with Westinghouse's in Philadelphia on February 13, 1956, it became KYW-FM, taking the callsign of Westinghouse's radio station.
When the NBC-Westinghouse trade was reversed on June 19, 1965, the station reverted to NBC ownership. The call letters were changed to WKYC-FM to match those of the AM station, which kept the popular "KY" slogan and identity Westinghouse brought into Cleveland. NBC eventually sold off WKYC-AM and WKYC-FM in 1972 to Ohio Communications, owned by
Nick Miletiand Jim and Tom Embrescia. The station became WWWM, and it identified itself as "M105."
"M105" originally was an easy-listening station not unlike its AM sister WWWE, minus the sports coverage and talk shows found on the AM side. But by 1975, "M105" was passed into different ownership, and the format was changed to
album-oriented rock. The station was programmed by long-time programmer Eric Stevens, and competed aggressively with later-sister station WMMSfor ratings.
WWWM and WBBG were sold to Robinson Communications, headed by famed jeweler Larry "J.B." Robinson, in 1981. The station changed to an
adult contemporaryformat as WMJI ("Majic 105.7") on July 7, 1982. The station was sold to Jacor Communications of Cincinnati along with AM station WBBG on September 19, 1984. John Lanigan began his morning show with former WHK newscaster John Webster on September 17, 1985, coming over from WGAR (AM). He replaced husband-and-wife team Dan Deely and Kim Scott after they resigned, citing that the job had put strains on their marriage.
When WBBG 1260-AM dumped its big band format on October 29, 1987, it simulcast WMJI's programming for a time - and took the WMJI calls - until it was sold off. Therefore, 105.7-FM technically was WMJI-FM for several months in 1988. When 1260 became WRDZ with a religious format, the FM station simply became WMJI. Jacor Communications soon LMA'ed WMJI to Legacy Broadcasting, headed by former Malrite executive Carl Hirsch in 1988, with Legacy buying WMJI outright in 1990.
That same year, the station soon adjusted their format to rock 'n roll oldies featuring much of the music made famous by Top 40 legends WHK and WIXY-1260. WHK, which dropped the rock and roll format in the mid 1960s, had re-established itself as an oldies station in the 1980s, but had dropped that format by November 1988. WIXY was --ironically--the previous identity of former sister station WBBG, and held the same studio space that WIXY once did. In addition, much of WMJI's music library already consisted of former WIXY tapes and jingles.
An oldies station on FM seemed a natural. John Gorman, formerly program director of legendary Cleveland rock station
WMMS, was brought in to redesign WMJI as a 100% rock oldies format. Under his guidance, the station immediately posted major ratings increases and became one of the top performing stations in Cleveland.
Gorman also reunited with former WMMS artist and co-creator of the station's "Buzzard" mascot, David Helton to create a new logo and early print ads and billboards for WMJI. The "Majic 105.7" font was chosen by Gorman as a tribute to Boston's WRKO/680 AM logo in 1967, which, under the direction of Program Director Mel Phillips, was an influence on Gorman's programming.
WMJI owner Legacy Broadcasting was later renamed OmniAmerica in 1994, and sold the station to
Nationwide Communicationsin 1997, then back to Jacor in 1998. By 1997 WMJI had established consistent ratings dominance in the Cleveland market under Program Director Denny Sanders, a market legend who replaced John Gorman (who relocated to CBS in Detroit). The station was led by its highly-rated morning show featuring Lanigan, Webster, and local comedian Jimmy Malone. Webster left the station amid a health scare in 1997, while the "Lanigan & Malone Show" has remained intact ever since.
During this period, WMJI achieved the highest total weekly listenership of any Cleveland radio station in the decade of the 1990s. It later became the FM flagship for
Cleveland Brownsbroadcasts in 1999 through 2001. In May 1999, Clear Channel Communications completed its $6.5 billion purchase of Jacor and its 454 stations, including WMJI. Denny Sanders departed WMJI in 2001, and is currently General Manager of Telos Systems, a Cleveland-based international broadcast equipment design company.
Other "Majic" Stations
The popularity of WMJI in the late 1990s allowed Clear Channel to "franchaise" WMJI's format and "Majic" nickname on several FM oldies stations, most in the Midwest. These stations included, at its' height:
WYNT-FM in Marion, WIMJ-FMin Findlay, WMJK-FM in Sandusky, WZOM-FMin Defiance (then also branded as "Majic 105.7"), WMKJ-FMin Louisville and WKEQ-AM in Somerset.
Of those stations, only
WMKJ-FMand WYNTstill uses the "Majic" name. WYNT itself since changed formats to adult contemporary, but still shares a similar logo to WMJI.
Early in November 2006, a station owned by "Davidson County Broadcasting" in Greensboro, North Carolina, changed formats to "Majic 94.1" - replete with a similar logo to WMJI's, according to the station's website [http://www.majic941.com] .
* [http://www.wmji.com WMJI Official Web Site]
* [http://www.cleve-radio.com/index2.htm#WMJI-FM WMJI Timeline from Cleveland Broadcast Radio Archives]
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