name = WARF
area = Akron,
branding = "SportsRadio 1350"
April 8, 1925 as WADC
frequency = 1350 (kHz)
format = Sports/talk
power = 5,000
class = B
callsign_meaning = Akron, Radio Free Ohio (former slogan)
Clear Channel Communications
former_callsigns = WTOU (1994-2005)
website = [http://www.sportsradio1350.com/ http://www.sportradio1350.com]
WARF is an AM
radio stationserving the Akron, Ohiometro area, operating on 1350 kHz.
The station is known as "SportsRadio 1350" and carries a sports/talk format with programming from
Sporting News Radio, along with a program by syndicated host Dan Patrick. It is the flagship station of the Eastern League class AA Akron Aerosbaseball team, and of University of Akronsports broadcasts.
It previously had a
progressive talkformat, and before that was sports-focused, having been affiliated with both ESPN Radioand Fox Sports Radio. WARF is the oldest surviving station in the city otherwise; it was WADC for decades before becoming country music WSLR.
The station traces its history to WADC which debuted as a temporary station for a February 1925 car show at the Central Garage. [Price, Mark J. " [http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ABJB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=10DF185942E107B0&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated4&req_dat=0D1C2ED46ABD2E15 Flight of the Pigeon—Local Radio Station WADC had Birds Carry CBS Messages to New York in November 1945] ", "Akron Beacon Journal",
November 14, 2005, p. E1. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.] The call letters were derived from the name of the Automobile Dealers Co. that sponsored the show. After the show ended, Allen T. Simmons, owner of the Allen Theater, bought the station and obtained a permanent license which was granted on March 23, 1925. [Miller, Jeff ( December 26, 2006), [http://members.aol.com/jeff560/chrono1.html A Chronology of AM Radio Broadcasting 1900-1960] . Retrieved on 2007-01-01.] It was the second radio station in Akron (after WOE which went on the air on April 27, 1922, but was off the air in July 1923). [Price, Mark J. " [http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ABJB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0EBC6C37B1158922&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated4&req_dat=0D1C2ED46ABD2E15 On the Air Akron's First Radio Station Crackled to Life in 1922] ", "Akron Beacon Journal", April 30, 2001, p. D6. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.] Regular broadcasts began on April 8, 1925from studios in the Portage Hotel. [" [http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ABJB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0EEE603AE748CCEF&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated4&req_dat=0D1C2ED46ABD2E15 This Week] ", "Akron Beacon Journal", September 30, 2001, p. A15. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.] The station originally broadcast at 1160 kHz with 100 watts, [ [http://members.aol.com/jeff560/1925am.html U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1925] , from U.S. Department of Commerce publication. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.] but its signal increased to 500 watts by 1926. [ [http://members.aol.com/jeff560/1926am.html U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1926] , from U.S. Department of Commerce publication. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.]
WADC was a charter member of the
CBS Radio Network, being one of the 16 stations that aired the first CBS network program on September 18, 1927. ["Radio Digest", September 1927, quoted in: McLeod, Elizabeth ( September 20, 2002). [http://members.aol.com/jeff560/cbs.html CBS—In the Beginning] , "History of American Broadcasting". Retrieved on 2007-01-01. The other stations were
in Newark;WAIU in
Columbus, Ohio; WCAOin Baltimore;
WCAU in Philadelphia;
WEAN in Providence;
WFBLin Syracuse; WGHPin Detroit; WJASin Pittsburgh;
WMAK in Buffalo-Lockport;
WNAC in Boston;
WOWOin Fort Wayne, Indiana;
KMOX in St. Louis; and
Council Bluffs, Iowa.] The station soon opened new studios in Tallmadge and increased its power to 5,000 watts. Its frequency jumped around from 1160 to 1010 to 1260, and to 1320 after the FRC's General Order 40went into effect on November 11, 1928. On March 29, 1941it moved to 1350 kHz as part of the NARBA frequency shifts.
As the CBS affiliate during the 1930s and 1940s, WADC was the leading Akron radio station, rivaled later only by
WAKRafter it took to the air in 1940. Akron had no NBCRed affiliate, since WTAM's signal from Cleveland covered the area. WADC's success was symbolized by the two-story art-deco WADC Building, which was completed on May 6, 1949and became a local landmark on the southeast corner of Main and Mill Streets in downtown Akron. The entire second floor of the building was occupied by the station's studios and offices.
WADC was sold in late 1964 to Welcome Radio, Inc. headed by Cleveland lawyer Harrison Fuerst. In January 1965, the station became WSLR, known as "Whistler 1350." It brought a
country musicformat to the area, with morning host Jaybird Drennan. Jaybird died on December 10, 2006.
August 22, 1984, Welcome Radio sold WSLR to OBC Broadcasting, Inc., headed by Richard A. Nicoletti. [Dyer, Bob. " [http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ABJB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0EDF14982E3A5DE6&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated4&req_dat=0D1C2ED46ABD2E15 Only 2 of 8 Radio Stations Still Locally Owned] ", "Akron Beacon Journal", December 28, 1986, p. C2. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.]
Faced with competition from
WQMXin Akron, along with WGAR in Cleveland and WQXKin Youngstown, WSLR dropped its country format. On September 1, 1994station adopted an urban contemporaryformat delivered by ABC Radio called "The Touch," [Heldenfels, R.D." [http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ABJB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0EE74337E8DAAACC&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated4&req_dat=0D1C2ED46ABD2E15 WSLR Drops Country, Adds Urban 'Touch' New Adult Music Format Starts at Akron Radio Station] ", "Akron Beacon Journal", September 1, 1994, p. D1. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.] and it switched to call letters WTOU on September 29.
In October 1999, the station switched to a sports talk format. It first carried programming from
ESPN Radio, then flipped to Fox Sports Radioalong with the Jim RomeShow in September 2001. All along, the station kept the WTOU calls but dropped "The Touch" nickname and instead went by "1350AM ESPN - Akron's Sports Network", and later, "Fox Sports 1350". WTOU and sister station WKDDwere sold by OBC Broadcasting to Clear Channel on August 15, 2000. [Feran, Tom. " [http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/InfoWeb?p_action=doc&p_docid=0F80DB16A59BADAC&p_docnum=2&p_queryname=NaN&p_product=NewsBank&p_theme=aggregated4&p_nbid=Y65Q5AIYMTE2ODY0NDE2OC43MzE4Nzc6MTo2Om5jZGNwbA Akron Stations Change Owner in Radio Swap] ", "The Plain Dealer", March 18, 2000, p. B2. Retrieved on 2007-01-12.] [Feran, Tom. " [http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/InfoWeb?p_action=doc&p_docid=0F80DBC3B5767DCE&p_docnum=1&p_queryname=NaN&p_product=NewsBank&p_theme=aggregated4&p_nbid=Y65Q5AIYMTE2ODY0NDE2OC43MzE4Nzc6MTo2Om5jZGNwbA Final Sale of Stations Paves Way for Merger] ", "The Plain Dealer", August 28, 2000, p. E7. Retrieved on 2007-01-12.]
The sports talk format was dropped on
June 2, 2005, and the station switched to a liberal talk radio format (albeit with no Air America programming at first), changing its call letters to WARF. [O'Connor, Clint. " [http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:CPDB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=10B71F3ABA2E35F8&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated4&req_dat=0D1C2ED46ABD2E15 Format flipping bounces listeners around AM dial] ", "The Plain Dealer", July 16, 2005, p. E7. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.] Fox Sports Radio programming was picked up by WJMP, who, ironically enough, dropped their own liberal talk format via an Air America feed.
The station became known as "Radio Free Ohio" and carried
Al Frankenand Randi Rhodesfrom Air America Radio, and Ed Schultzand Stephanie Millerfrom Jones Radio. WARF also held the distinction of being the only station in the country to carry Bill Press's radio show when it debuted on June 27, 2005, until KRXApicked up the show on August 22.
February 13, 2006veteran radio personality Joe Finan(long heard on rival talk station WNIR) began a locally produced talk show 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. weekdays. Finan was released from WARF that October 27, and died that December 20.
WARF changed formats on March 30, 2007 from liberal talk to sports, using
Sporting News Radio. Its new logo uses a blue-and-gold color scheme, much like the University of Akron. Throughout the format changes from all-sports to progressive talk and back to all-sports, WARF continues to carry its live sports programming — University of Akronfootball and basketball and Akron Aerosminor league baseball, though NASCARraces have moved to sister station WHLO.
Akron Aeros baseball
University of Akron footballand basketball
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