Infobox Radio Station
name = WMCS
frequency = 1290 (kHz)
African-Americantalk, blues, gospel
owner = Milwaukee Radio Alliance
power = 5,000
branding = "1290 WMCS"
slogan = "Community First"|"The Talk Of The Town"
class = B
website = [http://www.1290wmcs.com/ www.1290wmcs.com]
callsign_meaning = W Milwaukee's Community Station
"This article is about the radio station, for the school, see
West Memphis Christian School"
WMCS (1290 AM) is an
African-American-oriented talk and music radio stationin Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The station is owned by All-Pro Broadcasting, and are part of the Milwaukee Radio Alliance, along with co-owned WLUM-FMand WLDB.
Under previous ownership, the station was
Top 40as WZUU, sister to WZUU-FM. At one time, they were oldiesas WLZZ ("Solid Gold Wheels"), prior to the station's sale to All-Pro Broadcasting.
The station has been playing
R&B oldiesor urban adult contemporarymusic, with some local talk shows since 1985. The changeover to an all-talk format happened in 2004. The station's call letters were WMVPfor many years ("MVP" referred to owner Willie Davis' pro football years with the Green Bay Packers). ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago purchased the call letters from Davis, and 1290 became WMCS in December. 1993. The WMCS call sign stands for "Milwaukee's Community Station", to emphasize the station's heavy community involvement.
In December 2004, WMCS began airing the syndicated
ESPN Radiobroadcast after sunset, in partnership with daytime-only sports station WAUK(then at 1510 AM) as "Milwaukee's ESPN Radio...1510 days, 1290 nights." [ [http://www.northpine.com/broadcast/archive/news0105.html Broadcasting News-January 2005 ] ] The sports format later became home to play-by-playbroadcasts for Marquette Universitymen's college basketballand the AHL's Milwaukee Admiralsvia WAUK. [ [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=482255 JS Online: WAUK-AM adds MU to marketing mix ] ]
January 22, 2008, Good Karma Broadcasting, owner of WAUK, purchased Jackson-based religious station WRRD-AM (540) from Salem Communications, and moved WAUK's sports talkformat to the full-time signal on February 12, casting doubt on the nighttime simulcast agreement with WMCS. [ [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=710223 JS Online: Pack prepares, just in case ] ]
On June 30, WMCS began airing their own content, consisting of
bluesand gospel musicprogramming, in addition to Al Sharpton's daily talk show. [ [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=765643 JS Online: WMCS-AM radio ends ESPN feed, goes talk and music ] ]
Prior to its purchase of WMCS in 1988, All-Pro Broadcasting owned WAWA-AM (1590), a daytime-only AM station licensed to
West Allis, Wisconsin. WAWA aired a traditional R&Bformat that was popular with Milwaukee's African-American community, and was a serious rival to WNOVduring the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. They also simulcast with their FM sister station at 102.1 FM, and at various times from 1979 until 1988, they carried the WLUM call letters, as did their sister station. When All-Pro purchased the much-stronger 1290 frequency in 1988, they signed WAWA 1590 off for good and returned the station's license to the FCC.
* [http://www.1290wmcs.com/ 1290 WMCS]
* [http://www.onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/milwradio.html Milwaukee radio: a retrospective]
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