WWJO-FM 98.1 St. Cloud Minnesota 1982

Even in the early 1980s, Stereo 98 WWJO was a powerhouse in Central Minnesota.  Owned by Andy Hilger, it was the FM sister station of WJON.  The pair were nicknamed “John” and “Joe” (or “Jo”, if you prefer the female version.)  In an old Broadcasting Yearbook from the 1960s, I once read that WWJO was originally on 101.7 with 3,000 watts.  At some point, they migrated to the newly allocated 98.1 frequency with 100,000 watts of power.  Since an owner was limited to one AM and one FM per market at that time, I assume 101.7 was then sold to Herb Hoppe and became WHMH. If anyone has more information on this, I’d love to hear from you.

This aircheck was recorded from Apple Valley, MN, using a Pioneer SX-3900 receiver, Winegard 10 element FM yagi antenna, Alliance U-100 Tenna Rotor, and Belden RG59 ultra low loss coaxial cable.  The recording was made with a Technics stereo cassette deck and Scotch Dynarange 90 tape.


5 thoughts on “WWJO-FM 98.1 St. Cloud Minnesota 1982

  1. Tim Ahlborn

    The jingle is from TM’s Country Music Radio package. (WMAQ).
    I believe the voice was Bob Kingsley ?

  2. Jim Christie

    Not Bob Knigsley. The voice was Davy Lee, a syndicated voice from BPI’s “Country Living” automation format. I believe Davy might have been at WIL in St. Louis at the time, but could not guarantee it. BPI also had Chris Lane, of KLAC, at the time. Voice work didn’t get much better than Chris.

    WWJO was automated from 9AM til 5AM at the time. Only the morning show (5-9AM) was live. We bought the BMP package but only used the gold tapes–I programmed the currents myself (I was PD of Stereo 98 from 1978 to 1983.) I had ordered these jingles. The one in this example was the third take for this particular jingle. I did not like the way the TM Singers sang the calls on the first 2 attempts. Finally I sang, over the jingle, the way I wanted the calls sung, recorded the whole caboosh onto a cassette and sent it to TM to show how I wanted the calls sung. The TM Singers nailed it on take 3!

  3. Jim Christie

    As it was explained to me, Andy Hilger did not really believe in the future of FM, but at the same time did not want to be blocked out from the future, including FM. So he put a station on the air at 101.7, 3KW. It was automated 24/7. A couple of racks sat in the WJON lobby. When prospective customers came in to the WJON offices hoping to be allowed to buy time on WJON, the automation unit would amuse them while they waited to hopefully talk to a WJON salesperson.

    Herb Hoppe had WVAL-AM, a day timer, at 800 kHz, 250 watts. Herb did all of the work to have 98.1 assigned to Sauk Rapids and succeeded. At that point, Andy Hilger applied for the license at 98.1. His argument was that the FCC would not normally allocate a Class C to a town the size of Sauk Rapids– the only reason Sauk Rapids got the 98.1 allocation was that Sauk Rapids was part of the St. Cloud metro area. Andy argued that the FCC should instead allocate 98.1 to St. Cloud. The FCC award the allocation of 98.1 to St. Cloud, and the license to WJON Broadcasting. Sauk Rapids, and Herb Hoppe, ultimately got 101.7 at 3K.

  4. Drew Post author

    Thanks, Jim! Interesting history re: the early days of FM in St. Cloud. I’m surprised the FCC pulled the 98.1 allocation for Sauk Rapids after it had been granted. Since Sauk Rapids was/is part of the St. Cloud metro, it shouldn’t have made any difference. Was KFAM-FM (now KCLD) allocated at that point, or no? If they were, that means St. Cloud already had a Class C FM allocation. As far as I know, that allocation has always been Class C on 104.7.

  5. Dedicated servers

    Broadcasting from northern Benton County with a 100,000 watt transmitter and a 1,000 foot tower, WWJO enjoys a large coverage area across central Minnesota.

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