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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.
WMMS-FM
Call Letters WMMS - MetroMedia Stereo 8/46 - WHK receives one of the first experimental FM licenses. The station is listed in the Plain Dealer's radio section  as "WHK's FM Station, W8XUB", and features "Great Classics" at 4p.m., includes "Opera" at 7:30 p.m., with sign-off at  10 p.m. The station broadcasts at 107.1 FM. Early 50s - The station is now known as WHK-FM, and broadcasting at 100.7 FM with adult oriented music. 1958 - Forest City Publishing Co. sells WHK AM/FM to Metropolitan Broadcasting Corp. (Metromedia) for  approximately $750,000. 1968 - The FCC mandates that FM "sister" stations may no longer duplicate their AM sister's programming. 8/15 /68 - WHK-FM changes formats to a new progressive rock sound, one of a handful of commercial stations in the  country to try that format. The air staff includes Victor Boc (WRUW), Doc Nemo (WIXY & WXEN), Billy Bass, and Rick  Dr Amico (WREO/Ashtabula). 9/28/68 - The FCC grants a call letter change and WHK-FM becomes WMMS. 1969 - Metromedia switches to the Drake-Chenault automated "Hit ade 70" format. Billy Bass moves to WIXY 1260 AM  to do a Sunday night underground show. 9/11/70 - At 6 a.m., WMMS dumps the syndicated "Hit ade 70" and resumes a contemporary hit format with an air staff  including Lou "King" Kirby (WIXY), Dick (Wilde Childe) Kemp (WIXY), Ted Ferguson (WKGN/ Knoxville), and PD Mike  Griffin (WNAP/Indianapolis). 10/1/71 - Billy Bass rejoins WMMS as Metromedia switches the station back to progressive rock. Other staff members  include David Spero, Martin Perlich, Shauna Zurbrugg and returning account executive Walt Tiburski. Fall, 1971 - Boston disc jockey Denny Sanders joins the staff. He is soon named music director. 3/ /72 - WMMS broadcasts the first "Coffee Break Concert" with performer Carol Hall, live from its studios at 5000  Euclid Avenue. 4/ /72 - Billy Bass is named general manager of WMMS, with Denny Sanders as program director. Former general  manager L. David Moorehead is transferred to KMET -FM in Los Angeles. (CPD) 9/ /72 - With heavy support from WMMS, Davd Bowie sells out his American debut at Cleveland Music Hall. 9/13/72 - Malrite Broadcasting of Ohio tells the Federal Communications Commission it will keep the present format  and staff when it takes over WMMS and sister station, WHK-AM. 10/31/72 - The Federal Communications Communications approves the sale of WMMS WHK-AM to Malrite  Broadcasting of Ohio. 12/4/72 - Malrite Broadcasting of Ohio takes over as the new owners of WMMS and WHK-AM, buying the stations from  MetroMedia, Inc, of New York, for $3.5 million. 12/28/72 - Billy Bass leaves the station, saying "the new owners (Malrite Broadcasting of Ohio) took away my power to  make decisions". Jeff Gelb returns to WNCR, and Operations Manager Patricia Nealis gives her two week notice.  Sales Manager Richard Korn also resigns. Early 1973 - Denny Sanders convinces owner Milton Maltz not to switch the format to "beautiful music", with an  agreement to continue rock music for at least one year. Among the new staff members hired are Steve Lushbaugh,  Jeff Kinzbach, Kid Leo, Matt the Cat, and Betty Korvan, who join holdovers David Spero, Len "The Boom" Goldberg,  Mark Belltaire and John Durham. 1973 - Bruce Springsteen's first two albums are promoted on-air by David Spero. Kid Leo champions Roxy Music and  the New York Dolls. Mark Belltaire and John Durham leave the station. Mid 1973 - Sanders hires Boston radio pal John Gorman as music director. Soon, Gorman is promoted by Sanders to  music director. 1974 - Debbie Ullman is morning show host, Donna Halper is music director, and she promotes the first album by the  Canadian band Rush. David Helton joins as staff artist, and the Buzzard logo has its debut in the fall. (Buzzard in  Zeppelin - date) 1974 - David Spero leaves the station, and Len Goldberg takes a temporary leave as well. Matt the Cat becomes  midday host. Early 1975 - Kid Leo heavily promotes an advance copy of the single "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen. He sells out  two concert at Cleveland Music Hall. 1975 - Debbie Ullman and Donna Halper leave the station. Overnight DJ Bill "BLF Bash" Freeman arrives from Boston.  Charlie Kendall becomes music director and morning host with sidekick Ed "Flash" Ferenc. Kendall discovers an  Francisco sensation "The Tubes". 12/24/75 - The "Buzzard Theater of the Air" does its own take on Dicken's "A Christmas Carol", featuring Murray Sal as  "Iggy Scrooge", Kid Leo as "Little Leo", Matt the Cat as "Matt the Cratchit", Larry ole as "Nephew Fred", Shelly Stile as  "Mrs. Cratchit", Betty Korvan as "Martha Cratchit", Verdell Warren as "Scrooge's fiance", and Ed "Flash" Ferenc as a  "gentleman". In addition, Len "The Boom" Goldberg plays the "Spirit of Christmas Past", Charlie Kendall is the "Spirit  of Christmas Present", Steve Lushbaugh is the "Spirit of Christmas to Come", David Spero as "David Marley", and  Michael Stanley as "the little boy". The play is adapted for WMMS by Denny Sanders and Dan Garfinkel, who along  with Jeff Kinzbach, plays one of two "men about town on the street". The production is followed by Murray Saul leading  the ensemble in a special "Get Down" salute to Christmas. 1976 - Charlie Kendall leaves the station and Shelly Stile becomes music director. Dan Garfinkel joins as promotions  director. Jeff Kinzbach teams with Ferenc on the morning show. 2/14/77 - WMMS moves from 5000 Euclid Avenue to the Statler Office Tower at East 12th and Euclid. 3/ /77 - An unprecedented (and unexpected) crowd of 30,000 show up to hear Alex Bevan perform at the Annual  Buzzard Day in Hinckley, Ohio, which had been promoted by WMMS. 1977 - Shelly Stile leaves, and Kid Leo becomes music director. 1/78 - WMMS airs the marathon "Buzzard Beatles Blitz". 8/9/78 - Bruce Springsteen plays the Cleveland Agora to celebrate WMMS Tenth Anniversary. 1979 - The Coffeebreak Concert moves to the Cleveland Agora. 1981 - Promotion director Dan Garfinkel leaves the station. 1/22/81 - WMMS releases the first volume of "The Pride of Cleveland", an LP of unreleased music by Northeast Ohio  musicians, to benefit the Music Scholarship Program at Cleveland State University. Among the artists are Alex Bevan,  American Noise, the Jerry Busch Group, I-Tal, Don Kriss, Wild Horses, the Generators, Rapscallion, Love Affair, and  Flatbush. 2/18/81 - Mayor George Voinovich declares "Buzzard Day in Cleveland" to celebrate the station being named "Radio  Station of the Year" for the second time the annual Rolling Stone Reader's Survey. 3/11/81 - The station receives the latest in a series of cease-and-desist orders, this time to halt airplay of the yet to be  released "Face Dances" by the Who. 3/83 - John Gorman and Kid Leo decide to add Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean" to the station playlist. 4/24/84 - WMMS and sister station WHK-AM combine operations under one management. 3/16/86 - Betty Korvan leaves WMMS for a job at KSQI-FM in Rapid City, South Dakota. 8/17/86 - Gorman and Sanders quit to form WNCX. They are soon joined by other invited staff members. 1986 - Brian Phillips joins the staff as program director. 8/29/87 - WMMS continues to shock long time fans by playing Michael Jackson's "Bad" LP. 10/87 - Robert Gale joins the Buzzard Morning Zoo. (CPD) 10/2/87 - David Helton returns from New York to oversee creative projects for the Malrite stations from the corporate  headquarters at the Statler. 10/5/87 - Ruby Cheeks takes over the 6 to 10 p.m. slot from Dia. (S) 11/12/87 - Buzzard Morning Zoo hosts Jeff Kinzbach and Flash Ferenc open the "Cadillac Beach" club (formerly  Spanky's) in North Ridgeville. 12/12/87 - Joe Walsh celebrates his 40th birthday with an appearance on "Classic Rock Saturday Night" (P) (A) 2/25/88 - A front page story in the Plain Dealer reports WMMS rigged the Rolling Stone Reader's Poll to win "Station of  the Year" nine times in a row. (CPD) 12/16/88 - Kid Leo leaves WMMS for a position with Columbia Records. Rich arrives as promotion director. 1/20/89 - Program director Jeff McCartney resigns to be replaced by Rich Piombino. 3/1/89 - DJ Maria Farina leaves WMMS for WPHR morning drive slot. 12/7/89 - WMMS, having gradually evolved into a CHR format, changes back to album oriented rock. 7/12/90 - Operations manager Rich Piombino resigns. 7/17/90 - Former Clevelander Mike Luczak replaces Rich Piombino as program director. 7/21/90 - WMMS scores a coup with the only interview Paul McCartney he grants in Cleveland. 4/26/91 - Geffen Records sues WMMS for return of an unauthorized advance copy of the new Guns and Roses CD. 12/ /92 - Matt the Cat leaves the station. 4/15/94 - The final shows for Jeff Kinzbach, Lisa Dillon and Rocco the Rock Dog, as they exit the station (along with  T.R.) to make way for "The Buzzard - The Next Generation" at 4:15 p.m. The new owners are OmniAmerica, which  includes Carl Hirsch, Dean Thacker, Tony Ocepek, and new PD John Gorman. 6/11/94 - WMMS engineer Bill Alford is arrested for cutting satellite transmission wires disrupting the nationwide feed of  the syndicated Howard Stern radio show. 7/9/94 - "The Brian and Joe Radio Show" with Brian Fowler and Joe Cronauer moves from WENZ to WMMS for  morning drive. 9/8/94 - Former WMMS engineer Bill Alford pleads guilty to disrupting Howard Stern's syndicated broadcast from  Cleveland. 2/24/95 - WMMS parent company OmniAmerica pledges $100,000 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame project. 3/13/95 - Promotions director Heidi Kramer (Klosterman) and assistant Greg Smith are charged with disrupting a public  service in the Howard Stern wire cutting. 5/20/95 - WMMS and Scene Magazine present "Buzzard Fest" at Blossom Music Center, featuring the Ramones, Victoria  Williams, Our Lady Peace and others. (CPD) (P) 6/26/95 - Heidi Kramer and Greg Smith plead guilty to helping sabotage Howard Stern's Cleveland appearance. Kramer's  in-court apology is taped and later used in a WNCX promo. 6/28/95 - Confessed wire cutter Bill Alford is sentenced to ten days in jail for sabotaging the WNCX / Stern broadcast.  (CPD) 8/24/95 - WMMS "Buzzard Morning Zoo / Brian and Joe Radio Show" with Brian Fowler and Joe Cronauer, are the first to  inaugurate the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's satellite radio station. (CPD) (P) 12/6/95 - WMMS is named "Rock Station of the Year" by Billboard / Airplay Monitor magazines. 1/13/96 - Joe Cronauer makes good on football bet with tner Brian Fowler and runs nude from Gund Arena to the Tower  City king lot. (S) 6/20/96 - John Gorman resigns as PD at WMMS and WMJI effective July 1st. (CPD) 9/10/96 - After a nationwide search, WMMS hires former WNCX PD Bob Newmann to the same post at the Buzzard  (CPD) 2/16/97 - WMMS dumps the alternative rock format for mainstream hard rock. 9/8/97 - Morning shock jock Liz Wilde (Anne Whitemore) and Sylvain "Sly" Chouinard are fired by WMMS management. 9/29/97 - Liz Wilde and "Sly" sue for $1.5 million dollars in damages, with Wilde claiming she left a Miami, Florida, job to    come to Cleveland. 10/27/97 - Former Clevelander Danny Czekalinski and Darla Jaye debut as the new Buzzard morning team with holdover  Cory Lingus. 8/10/98 - Nationwide Communications transfers ownership of WMMS, WMJI and WGAR to Jacor Communications. 8/16/98 - Crankin Craig Dori, Darla Jaye and Cory Lingus are let go by WMMS new owners. 10/2/98 - At noon, Len "The Boom" Goldberg announces WMMS will drop the Buzzard as its symbol, and scrap the  format, in favor of new programming one month from that date. Word on the street has the station going Top 40, and  calling itself "Kiss 100.7". 10/30/98 - WMMS announces it will keep the Buzzard, call letters and format after all. The station gets widespread  criticism claiming the previous announcement was a publicity stunt.