Infobox Radio station
name = WDZ
March 14, 1921(in Tuscola, Illinois)
frequency = 1050
power = 1,000
class = B
facility_id = 53348
coordinates = coord|39|48|54.00|N|89|00|8.00|W|region:US_type:city
Joyner Radio Inc.
website = [http://www.magic1050am.com Magic 1050]
Fox Sports Radio
WDZ is an AM
radio stationlicensed to Decatur, Illinoisand broadcasting at 1050 kHz. The station currently broadcasts a sports-talk format and is considered the oldest radio station in Illinoisand second oldest commercial radio station in the U.S.
WDZ started in the office of a
grain elevatorin Tuscola, Illinois. The original call sign was 9JR and the original intent of the station was to broadcast grain reports, making it the first radio station to do so. The station later started mixing some music in with the grain reports.
Smiley Burnettestarted his entertainment career on WDZ in 1929. He was hired after he came to WDZ to do an advertising spot for the furniture store where he worked.
He ran all aspects of the radio station from being the
disc jockeyand music directorto doing janitorial work. He was known to read the comics from the day's newspaperusing different voices and sound effects as much of his audience were children.
Smiley (real name Lester) got his nickname from a character in
Mark Twain’s “ The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, which he was reading on the air. He initially used "Smiley" as a name for a character in a new children's program he was creating for the station but it later became his nickname, as did the name "Frog". He then left the station to work with Gene Autryon Chicago's WLS in December of 1933.
The station's most recent music format was
Urban ACbranded as "Magic 1050." On March 31, 2008, the station switched to a sports radioformat as part of the Fox Sports Radionetwork. The station airs Fox Sports Radio much of the time. It will airs Premiere's Jim Rome Show.
* [http://www.magic1050am.com Magic 1050]
* [http://www.smileyburnette.org/Smiley/history.html Smiley Burnette History]
* [http://www.alincolnlearning.us/WDZ.html WDZ History]
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