WJCM - A History
WJCM-AM 1340 Sebring – When WJCM went on the air in 1950, it signed on as a daytimer with 100 watts on 1340. The power was later boosted to 250 watts, and then 1,000 watts. By 1959 it had moved to 960 and, in 1998, to 1050 kc. Nighttime operation began in the mid 1980’s with one-kilowatt at the same time daytime power increased to 5,000 watts. Early studio locations have included Assembly Point on Dinner Lake, 105 S. Commerce Street, and the transmitter/tower site at 1304 Cemetery Road.
WJCM’s owner when it first went on the air was Highlands Broadcasting (Henry L. Jollay, president). Other owners have included Clearfield Broadcasters/Progressive Publishing (W.K. Ulerich, president-1952), Highlands Radio, Inc. (James O. Blackman, president-1963), Community Enterprises Broadcasting (C. Wesley Ward, president-1968), Asti Broadcasting (Robert Asti, president-1974), WJCM, Inc. (E.E. “Jim” Eschleman (1979), Jacor (1996), and Cohan Radio Group (1998).
When Jacor acquired the station, its dial position was moved from 960 to 1050 and its daytime power was dropped to one kilowatt. The purpose of the frequency and power changes were to enable its Tampa station (WFLA-AM 970) to increase power from 10,000 to 25,000 watts. For a short time during all this, WJCM became WALC before the heritage calls were returned by the Cohan Radio Group, which bought the outlet from Jacor in 1998.
Today (2008), the former Music of Your Life station is branded The Mighty 1050 and features a cruisin’ oldies format. Offices and studios are located in the Fairmount Cinema Square on U.S. Highway 27 North in Sebring along with four others in the Cohan-owned cluster. Its transmitter and tower continue to be located on Cemetery Road.
Other names from WJCM’s history are J.R.H. Wilson (GM, sales manager, chief engineer -1951), Jim Hardie (PD-1951), Miriam Beck (news & women’s director-1952), Al Frank (sports director-1952; ass’t GM-1953; sales manager-1955; GM 1957; chief engineer-1958), W.J. Thomas (GM-1953), Jonas Termin (sales manager/PD-1953), Robert Goshorn (chief engineer-1953), Emma Lou Richards (news & women’s director-1953), Betty Frank (women’s director-1954; PD-1955), James Martin (sports director-1955), Ken Bowers (sales manager-1957), Frances Peterson (women’s director-1958; ass’t GM-1960), Jack Hughes (GM-1960; sales manager-1965; chief engineer-1969), Ron Wilson (PD-1962; sales manager-1964; GM-1967; music director-1975), Paul Roberts (PD-1964; chief engineer-1965), Hyman R. “Bob” Wolfe (GM-1965; sales manager/chief engineer-1966), Art Esp (sales manager-1967), Arthur C. Schofield (GM/sales manager-1968), Virginia Parker (sales manager-1969), John Wright (1970), Robert Clift (sales manager-1971), Bob McCarthy (news director-1971), R.M. Ward (promotions-1971), J.A. Robinson (chief engineer-1971), Jeff Holt (sales manager-1972), Steve Bramham (chief engineer-1972), Lou Neale (GM/chief engineer-1975), Ron Jacobitz (sales manager-1975; GM-1980), Betty Neale (news director-1975), A. Stockmeier (GM/sales manager-1976), C. Miller (PD/music director-1976), Delores Kay (news director-1976), Lowell Hill (chief engineer-1976), Scott Harleman (1976-77), David Eakin (PD-1980; news director-1983), Ted Crawford (chief engineer-1981), Jim Kowalski (chief engineer-1982; PD 1992), Bob Weed (sales manager-1992), Walt McLendon, Dugan Fry, Don Vandermark (Don Ray, operations-1993; PD/chief engineer-1995), George Corwin (sales manager-1993), Kay Eshleman (president of WJCM, Inc./GM-1994), Steve Brown (sales manager-1994), Oliver Torres (president of WJCM, Inc./GM-1995), Chris Presad (operations-1995), Peggy Dennis (GM-1998), Eric Muniz (PD-1998), Roland Roy (chief engineer-1998), Peter Coughlin (GM/sales manager-1999), Barry Foster (news director-1999), Jeff Crews (chief engineer-2000), Ron Michaels (PD-2000), Libby Coughlin (sales manager-2003), Alan Gray (PD-2003), Timothy Saenz (news director-2004), and Phil Scott (chief engineer-2005).
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1950 - 2008 Other Central Florida Stations (History)