Radio station in Ishpeming, Michigan

Radio station in Ishpeming, Michigan

WZAM (970 AM / 93.3 FM) is a radio station affiliated with ESPN Radio licensed to Ishpeming, Michigan, United States.


Tri-City Broadcasters, Inc. received a construction permit to build a new radio station in Ishpeming on February 25, 1959, to operate with 5,000 watts during daylight hours only.[1]: 6  The station began broadcasting as WJAN on June 26, 1959.[2] Raymond and Joyce Blomquist ran the station until January 22, 1964, when it was foreclosed upon by radio equipment manufacturer Gates Radio Co. and shut down by county sheriffs.[3] The station's CBS Radio affiliation went to WDBC six months later.[4]

A receiver was appointed for the company, and the station was sold out of bankruptcy to Canyon Broadcasters in January 1965.[1]: 9  Canyon's owner, Frank Blotter, had become involved with the station right before it folded. Renaming it WCKD, he confronted the task of putting the station back into service. All that remained after Gates's equipment was seized was the antenna structure, requiring almost every necessary piece of equipment to be purchased. It would not be until August 30, 1965, that WCKD signed on the air.[5] Under Canyon, the station continued to struggle as a daytime-only station with a full-time competitor in a small town, losing money. A series of violations over operations after sunset and before sunrise, forbidden for daytime-only radio stations, would end up almost costing Blotter in another business venture. Blotter blamed the confusion on changes that resulted from the Uniform Time Act; the Upper Peninsula moved from year-round Eastern Standard Time to year-round Central Standard Time (CST).[6] However, the license specified operating hours in CST. In 1971, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hearing examiner overturned an initial decision favoring his application to build a station in Elmhurst, Illinois.[6] Blotter's station application was ultimately granted when the commission ruled the time zone confusion a misunderstanding and not an "intentional disregard" for regulations.[7]

Taconite Broadcasting acquired the station and changed the call letters to WUPY in 1971.[1]: 12  A new talk format was instituted, copying what Taconite's owners—Robert Olson and William Blake—had successfully done at WMPL in Hancock; annual billings soared from $30,000 to $180,000.[8]

By 1994, when Olson sold his stake in Taconite Broadcasting to Blake, WMVN was airing a religious format.[9] This had changed to a simulcast of sister WMQT before WMVN became WZAM with an all-news format from the Associated Press in 1996.[10] Taconite Broadcasting itself would be sold in 2005 to a company of the same name controlled by Thomas Mogush, who already owned 30 percent of the firm but became sole owner after Blake's death.[11] Mogush flipped the station from news to sports using programming from ESPN Radio.[12]

Previous logo until April 8, 2016.

A translator was added in 2013 to give WZAM FM coverage for the first time.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d FCC History Cards for WZAM
  2. ^ "WJAN At Ishpeming Broadcasts Friday". Escanaba Daily Press. June 24, 1959. p. 7. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  3. ^ "Lawsuit Halts Station WJAN". Escanaba Daily Press. January 25, 1964. p. 2. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  4. ^ "WDBC joins CBS Radio" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 27, 1964. p. 57. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  5. ^ Honig, Isadore (July 23, 1968). "19 FCC 2d 273 Du Page County Broadcasting, et al.: Initial Decision". p. 273. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Honig, Isadore (September 13, 1971). "Supplemental Initial Decision (39 FCC 2d 895)". FCC Reports, Second Series. pp. 895–923. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  7. ^ "Decision (39 FCC 2d 885)". FCC Reports, Second Series. Federal Communications Commission. February 21, 1973. pp. 885–894. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  8. ^ "Talk radio: in the middle of America's conversational mainstream" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 28, 1973. pp. 35–48. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  9. ^ "Transactions" (PDF). Radio & Records. July 29, 1994. p. 9. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  10. ^ "Format Changes" (PDF). M Street Journal. September 4, 1996. p. 1. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  11. ^ "Deals". Broadcasting & Cable. September 3, 2005. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  12. ^ "Upper Midwest Broadcasting—July 2005". Northpine. July 19, 2005. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  13. ^ "ESPN Radio adding FM station". ABC 10 UP. July 23, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2021.

External links

Coordinates: 46°30′20″N 87°32′24″W / 46.50556°N 87.54000°W / 46.50556; -87.54000

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