Frequency1340 kHz
BrandingJoy 1340 AM - 98.7 FM
FormatChristian talk and teaching
AffiliationsSalem Radio Network (Today's Christian Music)
  • Saga Communications (Milwaukee Radio Group)
  • (Lakefront Communications, LLC)
First air date
October 14, 1935
Former call signs
WEMP (1935-1955)
WRIT (1955-1978)
WBCS (1978-1980)
WMKE (1980-1984)
WBCS (1984-1987)
WLZR (1987-1997)
WJYI (1997–2021)
Call sign meaning
Similar to "joy"
Technical information
Facility ID36371
Power1,000 watts
Translator(s)98.7 W254CU (Milwaukee)
Repeater(s)102.9-2 WHQG-HD2
WebcastListen Live

WJOI (1340 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is known on-air as "Joy 1340/98.7". WJOI is owned by the Milwaukee Radio Group subsidiary of Saga Communications, with radio studios and offices on Milwaukee's West Side. The transmitter is on West Martin Drive in Milwaukee.[1] Programming is also heard on 99-watt FM translator W254CU at 98.7 MHz.[2]

WJOI has a Christian talk and teaching radio format most of the day. On weekdays it largely broadcasts national religious leaders including Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, Joyce Meyer, Jim Daly and Alistair Begg. Some hours of the night and weekends, WJOI carries "Today's Christian Music" from the Salem Radio Network. And Sunday hours also include brokered ethnic programming, largely German and Polish, including Polka music.


The station signed on the air as WEMP in 1935. In June 1943, WEMP became the first radio station in Milwaukee to broadcast a 24-hour schedule.[3] It carried various ethnic programs and sports broadcasts, including Marquette University basketball and the Milwaukee Brewers. WEMP was an affiliate of the NBC Blue Network, which later became the ABC Radio Network.[4]

In 1955, WEMP moved to a stronger signal on 1250 AM. The new owners of 1340 kHz changed the call sign to WRIT, and launched a Top 40 format. The call letters stood for We'Re IT. Future television talk show host Tom Snyder got his start at the station as a news reporter in the 1950s.[5]

WRIT switched to all-news on September 29, 1975, with NBC's News and Information Service (NIS).[6] The all-news format was unsuccessful and within a couple of years NBC ended the all-news network. The station dropped the WRIT call sign in 1978, picking up the call sign WBCS. It stood for Wisconsin's Best Country station, as AM 1340 began simulcasting the country music format of its co-owned FM sister station at 106.1 MHz. The WRIT call sign was resurrected on New Year's Day 2000, by oldies-formatted WZTR as a tribute to the former Top 40 era of the old WRIT.

AM 1340 became WMKE in 1980, programming its own classic country format, and later aired a gold-based AC format, before going back to WBCS in 1984, again simulcasting the FM sister station. The station briefly aired an all-talk format in 1985, before going back to simulcasting WBCS-FM.

When WBCS-FM flipped to AOR as WLZR-FM in 1987, the AM station also became WLZR, simulcasting the Album Rock format for several years. In the early 1990s, WLZR 1340 aired its own automated formats, first heavy metal as "The Crusher", then an alternative rock format known as "The Warp" until 1994, when it again reverted to a full-time simulcast of WLZR-FM.

Eventually, the station began to sell much of its air time to religious and sports broadcasters, and became WJYI (Joy 1340) on May 30, 1997.

In early 2011, WJYI began simulcasting on the HD Radio digital subchannel of sister station WZBK-FM, replacing the previous automated smooth jazz format which aired on that subchannel in the aftermath of the May 2010 WJZX format switch. WJYI later moved its simulcast to WJMR-HD2 and now to WHQG-HD2.

On May 8, 2016, WJYI launched FM translator 98.7 W254CU and rebranded as "Joy 1340 AM/98.7 FM".[7]

The WJYI call letters and those of co-owned WJOI in Norfolk, Virginia, were swapped on April 29, 2021.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Radio-Locator.com/WJOI
  2. ^ Radio-Locator.com/W254CU
  3. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (17 July 1943). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 7–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  4. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (24 April 1948). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 10–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  5. ^ "JS Online: In limelight, Snyder never forgot Wisconsin roots". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29.
  6. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC-IDX/75-OCR/BC-1975-09-08-Page-0058.pdf[dead link]
  7. ^ "Joy Comes To FM In Milwaukee". May 8, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016.

Coordinates: 43°02′49″N 87°58′52″W / 43.04694°N 87.98111°W / 43.04694; -87.98111