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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.
Call Letters WJMO - Wentworth J. Marshall; later, the station said it stoof for We Jam More Often 6/1/47 - WJMO goes on the air with a power of 1000 watts. The call letters reflect the the initials of Wentworth J.  Marshall, formerly head of the Marshall Drug Co. chain. The station is located at 2157 Euclid Avenue, and in its first  days on the air, engineer Larry Shipley is swamped with calls about the signal interfering with reception of WHK and  WGAR within a mile radius of WJMO's transmitter. At first, WJMO operates from sunrise to sunset, with a staff that  includes Gene Carroll (mornings), Howie Lund (afternoons) , and Billy Evans on sports. At that time, it is the only  station not affiliated with a network. It's first broadcast from the Perry - Payne Building starts at 4 p.m., and lasts 45  minutes, as the station's personnel are introduced. Mayor Tom Burke's secretary, Emil A. Bartunek, brought the station  the city's official greeting, and GM David Baylor hoped WJMO would earn the title of "good citizen". The station is  located at 1540 frequency. 4/5/48 - 300 people brave foot high snow and bitter north winds at Cleveland Municipal Stadium to search for a key that  would open a treasure chest of prizes offered in a WJMO promotion. Among the prizes are a ham radio, laundry  service, a wrist watch, dinner for two and a plane ride over Cleveland. Treasure hunters break into the umpire's room,  lockers rooms and even some offices, but come away empty handed. 9/3/48 - WJMO announces plans to broadcast Western Reserve College Red Cat football games from League k, and  on the road. Gil Gibbons calls the action, and the broadcasts are sponsored by McDonohugh Motors. The first  broadcast is on September 25th, as Western Reserve battles Western Michigan at Kalamazoo. 6/5/52 - GM Dave Baylor issues orders to play four songs every 15 minutes, in a move to emphasize music rather than  disc jockeys. A number of DJs, including George Gothenberg and Moon Mullins, decide to leave the station, while Paul  Nagel, Harley Lucas, and Teddy Blackmon stay on. Bud Wendell leaves radio entirely to work in the food business,  and Joe Berg switches to the sales staff. 8/20/52 - United Broadcasting of Ohio sells station to Richard Eaton of Baltimore for $100,000. GM David Baylor  submits his resignation, to be replaced by sales manager Robert S. DeTechon. 6/54 - Among the shows and talent featured at the time are "Rhythm Club" with John Slade from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.,  "Polka ade" with Paul Nakel from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., "Mary's Spirituals" with Mary Holt from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m., and  11:30 to 12:30 p.m. Richard Eaton is president of the company, and Paul Nakel is station manager. 1958 - WJMO buys WSRS-AM 1490, and switches call letters. 7/1/58 - WJMO is notified it must vacate its studios at 2157 Euclid so the building can be demolished, but the 90 day limit cannot be honored because moving the tower at that location needs FCC approval. 6/17/59 - Friendly Broadcasting of Columbus is sued by the Cleveland chapter of the American Federation of Television  and Radio Artists for failing to recognize the union as the bargaining agent for WJMO and sister station WSRS. 10/29/64 - WJMO teams up with Leo's Casino in a drive to raise $5000 for Mrs. Ernest Williams of East 126th Street, a  mother of five, whose cab driver husband was slain in a robbery attempt. Leo's donates the entrance fee to a station  sponsored party to Mrs. Williams, with local merchants also donating goods to be auctioned off for additional funding.  Cleveland Indians pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant, the Browns Jim Browns, local politicians and celebrities out for the  event, with local supper clubs providing entertainment at no charge. WEWS-TV's "Big Five" show also makes an  appearance at the event. 2/25/68 - WJMO supplies the Red Cross with tapes to be played for patients at the Third Field Hospital in Tan Son  Nhut, Viet Nam. Announcer Bill Blackburn hands over the tapes as part of the agency's "Operation Helpmate". 1/12/70 - The Cleveland branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference asks sponsors to withhold  advertising from WJMO, or face a boycott by black community groups. It stems from a "sick out" that day by key  station personnel, which takes the station off the air. The employees calling in sick include announcer Flip Forrest,  news director Dave Burgess, and PD Rudy Green. They give station owner Pierre Eaton of United Broadcasting, and  GM Donald Bruck, 24 hours to implement a list of 21 demands on behalf of black employees and the black community.  Green, Forrest, Ken Hawkins, J.L. Wright, and John Lenear are dismissed by telegram. Picket lines go up outside the  studios at 11821 Euclid Avenue, as the employees protest poor working conditions and absentee management.  AFTRA makes an appeal on the fired employees behalf. 1/13/70 - A truce is called between striking employees and United Broadcasting after dismissal orders against five employees are rescinded. 1/15/70 - Friendly Broadcasting sues AFTRA for $350,000 saying the "sick out" by station employees is a violation of its  contract with the union. GM Donald Bruck submits his resignation after ten years at the station. 2/5/70 - Kennard "Ken" Hawkins is appointed general manager, making him the first black GM in Cleveland radio  history. It's part of an agreement between United Broadcasting and local groups threatening to boycott the station. The  company also agrees to rehabilitate its studios by renovating reception rooms and soundproofing studios. 12/4/70 - WJMO conducts a 30 hour marathon broadcast to benefit the National Association for the Advancement of  Colored People. The broadcast originates from the Freedom House at East 84th and Cedar, and all the station  personalities, including GM Ken Hawkins, are on hand to introduce various entertainers and ask for donations to the  NAACP. 12/11/73 - Station vice president Van Lane, (real name Morris Schecter), and engineer John Rees of  WRC/Washington, plead guilty in federal court to charges of bugging GM Kennard Hawkins office. It is later revealed  that the lines were linked between Hawkins office at the station and Lane's home in Shaker Heights. They are fined  $500 each. Former United Broadcasting controller and VP Morton Silverman of Columbia, Maryland, is also charged  with three felony counts of illegal wiretapping, but the Justice Detment agrees to reduce the charges to a  misdemeanor. 4/25/74 - General Manager Ken Hawkins announces plans to air radio's first black soap opera on WJMO-AM (1490).  The daily drama deals with contemporary black life in the big city, and is produced in New York City. It runs daily from  10 - 10:15 a.m. 12/2/74 - Washington based attorney Roy F. Perkins, Jr., pleads guilty in federal court to a misdemeanor charge of  bugging the office of GM Ken Hawkins. He's fined $2000. Perkins is the former attorney for United Broadcasting.  Perkins testifies that he authorized the bugging because of rumors of payola at the station. 1/ /90 - United Broadcasting buys WRQC-FM 92.3, and rechristens it WJMO-FM.