WJCW logo.png
Broadcast areaTri-Cites - Bristol -Kingsport
Frequency910 kHz
BrandingWJCW AM 910
AffiliationsABC News Radio
Radio America
Westwood One
First air date
December 13, 1938 (as WJHL)
Former call signs
WJHL (1938-1960)
Call sign meaning
W James C. Wilson, former owner
Technical information
Facility ID67672
Power5,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
WebcastListen Live

WJCW (910 AM) is a commercial radio station, licensed to Johnson City, Tennessee and serving the Tri-Cities radio market (Johnson City-Bristol-Kingsport). It is owned by Cumulus Media and airs a talk radio format.

WJCW's transmitter, offices and studios are on Free Hill Road in Gray, Tennessee.[1] The complex also houses the studios for Cumulus' other Tri-Cities radio stations. WJCW broadcasts with a 5,000 watt non-directional signal in the daytime. But at night, to protect other stations on AM 910, the station reduces power to 1,000 watts and uses a directional antenna. The station is East Tennessee's AM primary entry point station for the Emergency Alert System, with WJXB-FM in Knoxville performing the PEP function on FM in east Tennessee.


On December 13, 1938, the station first signed on as WJHL-AM, jointly owned by Hanes Lancaster, Sr. and J. W. Birdwell, both from Chattanooga.[2] It was the second radio station in the Tri-Cities and the first in Johnson City. It began broadcasting at only 250 watts. During 1940, Birdwell was no longer a partner in the new station.

The station's original frequency was 1200khz. In December of 1940, WJHL moved to 880khz at 1000 watts, with a directional three-tower pattern at night. Then a short time later in 1941, the station was required to move to 910khz due to the adoption of the new international radio treaty.

In 1942, WJHL got a power boost to its current 5,000 watts by day, 1,000 watts at night, and became an affiliate of the NBC Blue Network, later ABC. By 1956, WJHL joined CBS, an affiliation that lasted five decades. Under Hanes Lancaster, Sr and son Hanes Jr., WJHL added 100.7 WJHL-FM in 1948 (now 101.5 WQUT) and in 1953 added WJHL-TV Channel 11. Because the AM station carried CBS programming, WJHL-TV became a CBS-TV affiliate.

In 1960, the radio stations were sold to Tri-Cities Broadcasting,[3] owned by James C. Wilson (son of the founder of the area's first radio station, WOPI)[4] Channel 11 kept the WJHL-TV call letters, while AM 910 was renamed WJCW after Wilson's initials and continued to program a MOR, full service format. In the early 1970s, the station switched to a country music format.

Notable announcers included:

Jim Wilson/Tri-Cities Broadcasting sold WJCW and WQUT to Bloomington Broadcasting in 1981.

The original studios were located in downtown Johnson City. The transmitter site was on Princeton Road in North Johnson City. In 1977, new studios and transmitter site were built in Gray TN. The new location allowed the station's signal to cover a larger area, especially north of Johnson City, plus delivering a better signal to Kingsport.

In the 1980s, listeners began shifting to FM radio for music, so in 1990, WJCW became the Tri-Cities' first news/talk station.

In 2000, the station was sold to Citadel Broadcasting, a forerunner of Cumulus.[5]


Weekdays begin with a local news and information show called Thinking Out Loud with hosts Elic Thomas and Carl Swann. Elic Thomas was hired late in 2021 after Co-host Tim Cable died due to complications from Covid-19. The rest of the weekday schedule is made up of nationally syndicated talk shows, including Dan Bongino, Chris Plante, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, Michael J. Knowles, "Red Eye Radio" and "America in The Morning."

Weekend programming includes shows on money, health, cars and other topics, some of which are paid brokered programming. NASCAR races are also broadcast. Most hours begin with world and national news from ABC News Radio.


Coordinates: 36°24′37″N 82°27′13″W / 36.41028°N 82.45361°W / 36.41028; -82.45361