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Cleveland Broadcast Radio Archives Project This collection is being maintained for use by researchers, broadcasters, and other parties.  Your participation is encouraged and welcomed.
WGAR-AM
Call Letters WGAR - George A. Richards 12/15/30 - WGAR goes on the air with an hour of congratulatory messages, followed by "Amos n Andy" on the NBC  (Blue) Network. The station is founded by millionaire George A. Richards, and broadcasts from the penthouse of the  Statler Hotel. Richards also owns Detroit's WJR-AM. The station was formerly known as WFJC. (See WDBK-AM &  WFJC-AM.) Power is increased from 250 to 500 watts. John F. Patt is vice-president and general manager, overseeing  a staff of 19 people. 1931 - The station is now owned and operated by the WGAR Broadcasting Company, at 500 watts, and heard at 1450  kilocycles at 206.8 meters. 8/31 - WGAR moves to Harvard Avenue in Cuyahoga Heights, and erects two new broadcast towers. 1932 - The station begins transmitting at 1000 watts during the day, and 500 watts at night. A new tower is built, new  mobile units are equipped, and new offices are staffed for the growing operation. 1934 - Wayne Mack joins WGAR as a staff announcer. (CP) 1935 - WGAR joins the NBC Blue Network. Shortly after that affiliation, the station builds a new 385 foot high  transmitting tower. 1936 - WGAR drops NBC to affiliate with Mutual Broadcasting. 1937 - WGAR becomes a CBS affiliate, and adopts the slogan "Cleveland's Friendly Station". 1938 - The station increases its power to 5000 watts during the day, and 1000 watts at night. 10/30/38 - Staff announcer Jack Paar is at the controls when the Mercury Theater's "War of the Worlds" panics  Cleveland and the rest of the country. 1941 - The station applies for an increase to 50,000 watts, but is denied due to the war time "freeze order". 6/4/44 - WGAR changes frequency from 1480AM to 1220AM at 12:20 p.m. 8/24/45 - The station re-applies for a power increase to 50,000 watts. 2/1/46 - The Federal Communications Commission approves WGAR's request for a power increase. 3/19/46 - Work begins on a new transmitter building in Broadview Heights, Ohio. 7/4/47 - Station increases power from 5000 to 50,000 watts. (A) 7/4/48 - Bob Hope stars in the 10th annual Festival of Freedom at Cleveland Stadium. The show is authored and  narrated by announcer Wayne Mack. (CPD) 7/4/49 - Wayne Mack writes the script for the 11th annual Festival of Freedom at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. It  features "pageantry, military units, music, entertainment, and the most elaborate ground and air fireworks" to be seen  in the city that year. (CPD) 4/13/52 - WGAR broadcasts Easter Services. 1953 - People's Broadcasting assumes control of the station. 1954 - People's Broadcasting becomes Nationwide Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Nationwide Insurance, Co. Sale price  to Nationwide is $1,700,000. 1962 - After 25 years with CBS, WGAR signs on with NBC for the next three years. 10/6 - WGAR newsman Robert Kozlowski is first to break the story that Nikita Kruschev has been deposed. (This is  verified as a world wide scoop for Kozlowski and the WGAR news detment.) (A) 1965 - WGAR drops NBC as its network affiliation to sign on with ABC. 1970 - The station moves from the Statler - Hilton Hotel to the transmitter site in Broadview Heights. 6/25/70 - Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Herbert R. Whiting issues a temporary restraining order against  overnight jock Bob Cory keeping him from working at WGAR. Cory came from WSLR on June 15th, and the non-  compete order states he cannot broadcast from anywhere within 35 miles of the WSLR transmitter for the remaining  18 months of his contract. (CPD) 6/27/75 - Music director and midday jock Chuck Collier leaves the station's 1 to 4 p.m. shift for an overnight gig at New  York's WCBS-FM. (CP) (CPD) 7/1/78 - Newsman Eric Braun wins the National Media Award for Radio from the American Psychological Foundation  for his documentary "The IQ Label". 1984 - WGAR switches its "adult contemporary" format to "country". 7/15/84 - WKSW-FM becomes WGAR-FM; AM station adopts country format. 7/24/84 - Station donates its entire collection of jazz recordings to WCPN-FM, the public radio outlet going on the air  the following September. 1986 - WGAR's AM signal is simulcast on WGAR-FM 99.5. The AM station is sold to Douglas Broadcasting, and  becomes sports/talk WKNR-AM.