|Broadcast area||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Branding||NewsRadio WOOD 1300 and 106.9 FM|
|Affiliations||Fox News Radio, CBS Radio Network, Premiere Radio Networks, Talk Radio Network, Michigan IMG Sports Network, Michigan Radio Network|
|WBCT, WBFX, WMAX-FM, WSNX-FM, WSRW-FM, WTKG|
First air date
|September 16, 1924|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|Furnwood Broadcasting; station funded originally by furniture manufacturers|
WOOD is a news/talk radio station broadcasting at 1300 kHz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States. Its programming is simulcast on WOOD-FM (106.9 MHz) in Muskegon, Michigan. The studios and offices are located at 77 Monroe Center in Downtown Grand Rapids. The station is owned by iHeartMedia.
WOOD is the oldest radio station in West Michigan and one of the oldest in the world, having signed on September 16, 1924, as WEBK as a marketing tool for the C.J. Litscher Company, a seller of radio receivers. The station's original owners were backed by the Furniture Manufacturers Association of Grand Rapids. At their suggestion, the station became WOOD on January 13, 1926.
It broadcast on Sundays and Wednesdays at 1170 kc. during its early years in order to avoid competition with stations in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland—all of which could easily be heard in West Michigan.
It went through numerous owners over the years before being bought by John King (known as John Kunsky until 1936) and George Trendle, owners of WXYZ in Detroit, in 1930. They bought Grand Rapids' second radio station, WASH, a year later; the two stations had shared the same frequency, for four years. The station operated as WOOD-WASH (with WASH on the air during the day and WOOD at night) until 1942, when the WASH license was dropped. At about the same time, WOOD's broadcast power was increased from 500 watts to 5,000 watts.
In 1946, the fledgling American Broadcasting Company (ABC) bought the King-Trendle stations, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) forced ABC to sell WOOD since it had been an NBC affiliate since 1935. After a two-year dispute between competing buyers, the station was finally sold to Harry Bitner, former general manager of the Hearst newspaper chain, in 1948. Time Inc. bought WOOD in 1957 and owned it until 1972, when a local group bought the station. After a series of ownership changes over the next quarter-century, Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) bought WOOD in 1996. Over the years the station's format evolved from full-service middle of the road into standard news/talk.
Today, WOOD's program girector Phil Tower leads an airstaff that includes an all-news morning program, West Michigan's Morning News with Steve Kelly, Bret Bakita, Lauren Smith, and Rick Albin. West Michigan Live follows with host Justin Barclay. The rest of the day is filled by: Glenn Beck, The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, Sean Hannity, Dave Ramsey, Clyde Lewis, and Coast to Coast AM all regular programs of WOOD Radio's weekday lineup from iHeart's Premiere Networks.
Weekend programs and hosts include: Coast to Coast AM, Leo Laporte The Tech Guy, Frontlines of Freedom (military), Bill Cunningham, Jill On Money and local how-to programming including Auto Talk, the Repcolite Home Improvement Show, and the Flowerland Garden Show.
WOOD Radio's local newsroom provides local, regional and national news every day of the week, plus newscasts from Fox News Radio. It also utilizes reports and breaking news coverage through an ancillary affiliation with CBS News Radio. The WOOD newsroom is staffed by morning anchor Tony Allen.
WOOD Radio has received "Station of the Year" honors in the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for the 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016 Broadcast Excellence Awards in the Commercial Radio - Market 2 division. In earning "2012 Station of the Year", WOOD received numerous news and programming awards, with five entries receiving 'Best In Category' recognition, and three receiving 'Merit' recognition.
WOOD Radio is the Grand Rapids home of University of Michigan football and basketball and Grand Rapids Griffins ice hockey.
Since 1951, the station's mascot has been Willie Wood, a cartoon woodpecker.