|Broadcast area||Milwaukee metropolitan area|
|Slogan||Talk radio for Catholic life|
|First air date||October 1979|
|Power||10,000 watts day|
1,000 watts night
|Callsign meaning||W-Saint John Paul II|
|Former callsigns||WAZI (1998)|
|Former frequencies||1370 kHz (1979-1998)|
|Owner||Starboard Broadcasting |
(Starboard Media Foundation, Inc.)
WSJP (1640 AM) is a radio station licensed to Sussex, Wisconsin and owned by the Starboard Media Foundation. They have been airing Catholic-based religious programming as "Relevant Radio" since June 3, 2014 and is the second O&O affiliate in the Milwaukee metropolitan area.
The station originally signed on in 1979 as WCQL (Waukesha County Quality Listening), a highly directional daytime-only station at 1370 AM. After a failure to generate adequate ratings or revenue, the station's owners, George and Mary Scoufis, experimented with a contemporary Christian music format in the early 1980s until it was sold to a group of investors. Those investors turned the station into a 24-hour station (requiring the change in city of license to Sussex), changed the call letters to WGNW and launched a news-talk format. However the low power prevented the station from ever seriously competing against power houses like WTMJ and WISN.
In 1985, the owners ended the news talk format, and entered into a local marketing agreement with Wisconsin Petra Productions, which changed the call letters to WKSH, re-branded the station as KS-14 and programmed an Christian rock music format. Later, a group called Heir Force Ministries operated the station for a number of years. In the 1990s the station's programming was taken over by Life Message who changed the format to a more conservative mix of teaching and inspirational music. The owner of WKSH shut down the 1370 kHz frequency and moved programming to 1640 kHz, a new station on the expanded AM band, in 1998.
In late 2002, WKSH's owner shut down their business, and Disney's ABC Radio Networks division bought the station in order to convert the station to Radio Disney. WKSH carried the network's entire schedule except for some local-specific public affairs programming on Sunday mornings, and automated station identifications, although the station maintained a local staff which promoted the station through public events, live remotes and contests and did so on air from time-to-time.
In June 2013, Disney put WKSH and six other Radio Disney stations in medium markets up for sale, in order to refocus the network's broadcast distribution on top-25 markets. Disney did not own the studio building, nor the transmitter site — a lease remained in effect for several years — which complicated the sale. After Radio Disney's removal, the station, which had also transmitted in HD Radio, began to transmit in analog-only permanently. (Radio Disney eventually returned to the market through Entercom's WMYX-HD2 (99.1-2) in 2017 until the fall of 2018 under the network's new HD Radio leased access model.)
In September 29, 2013, WKSH was taken off-the-air. Until it was sold, it continued to come back on the air occasionally at the end of each month with a continuous loop of Broadway tunes and easy listening music between station identifications, due to its special temporary authority to remain silent having not had action taken upon it by the FCC. This allowed the station to maintain its license by having some content air in each thirty-day period.
In November 2013, when Disney filed to sell its Richmond, Virginia station, WDZY, to a subsidiary of Wilkins Parent Corporation, it stated that WKSH would also be acquired by Wilkins. That deal never appeared in the FCC database; in March 2014, Disney instead filed to sell the station for $725,000 to Starboard Media Foundation, which broadcasts Catholic programming on its stations through the Relevant Radio network. WKSH was the network's second station in the market, as Relevant Radio already served Milwaukee's northern suburbs on WSJP-FM (100.1 FM).
- Graser, Marc (June 4, 2013). "Radio Disney Stations Up for Sale (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
- Radio Disney Places Stations On The Market (September 30) - RadioInsight.com
- "Application For Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License (WDZY)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 20, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
- Wilkins Acquires Two From Disney - Radio Insight
- "Starboard Media Foundation Acquires WKSH". RadioInsight. March 12, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- "Consummation Notice - WKSH". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. May 30, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- "1640 AM Announcement". Relevant Radio. Relevant Radio. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- WSJP website, from Relevant Radio
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WSJP
- Radio-Locator Information on WSJP
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WSJP