WUKL
100.5 WOMP FM.png
Broadcast areaWheeling, West Virginia
Steubenville, Ohio
Frequency100.5 MHz
Branding100.5 WOMP-FM
Programming
FormatClassic hits
Ownership
Owner
  • Ohio Midland Newsgroup
  • (River Network, LLC)
WCDK, WLYV, WRQY, WBGI-FM, WEIR
History
First air date
December 2, 1947 (as WTRF-FM)
Former call signs
WTRF-FM (1947–1954)
WTRX-FM (1955–1959)
WOMP-FM (1959–2005)
WYJK-FM (2005–2012)
WBGI-FM (2012–2021)
Technical information
Facility ID3039
ClassB
ERP48,000 watts
HAAT152 meters (499 ft)
Links
WebsiteWOMP-FM Online

WUKL (100.5 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a classic hits format. Licensed to Bellaire, Ohio, United States, it serves the Wheeling area. The station is currently owned by Cody Barack through licensee Ohio Midland Newsgroup and transmits from co-located studio facilities at 56325 Bellaire-High Ridge Road in Bellaire, Ohio.

History

WTRF-FM, WTRX-FM and WOMP

This station began as WTRF AM & FM at a time when many applicants for new AM radio stations were also issued FM licenses (ergo, WTRF's original call-sign meaning, "Two Radio Frequencies"). Thus, both stations went on the air at around the same time, but in FM's halcyon years, no profit would be realized until years later. The FM simulcast its AM sister station for many years, primarily using the FM station as a vehicle for providing local radio service after the AM was mandated to shut down after sunset.

These stations operated for many years as co-owned affiliates of local television station WTRF-TV, the CBS affiliate for the Wheeling and Steubenville television market. Though the radio stations went on the air first, they prospered under this relationship with the television station. (WTRF-AM-FM became WTRX-AM-FM on January 1, 1955, and WOMP-AM-FM on February 28, 1959.) The radio stations were sold off to new owners in the late 1970s.

At around this time, programming was separated between the two stations, with WOMP-FM (the station's branding was a phonetic sound of the call letters) taking on a more Top 40 role, becoming a neck-and-neck competitor with like-formatted then-competitor WKWK in Wheeling and WRKY "Rocky 103" in Steubenville soon after WKWK changed its format.

In the news: station silenced

WOMP-AM-FM had fallen into financial difficulty at around 1990, forcing the station into receivership in 1992. The station's studios and offices were consumed in a fire later that year, forcing the station to broadcast from a trailer near its transmitter site after a brief period off the air. The station was then acquired by its current owner as part of a duopoly transaction with WRKY and its AM sister station WSTV. WOMP-FM simulcast WRKY outside of morning drive, but resumed full independent programming after studio issues were resolved.

As WYJK

In the fall of 2005, both WOMP-AM-FM underwent format changes. WOMP (AM) and its simulcast sister, WSTV began an affiliation with the ESPN Radio network after years as a talk station. WOMP-FM's longtime legendary call letters were switched to WYJK, and the station adopted its present format.

The WYJK call letters were also being used for a co-owned sister AM station in Connellsville, Pennsylvania (now WBGI). Though the call letters are similar, the same-named AM station never adopted its own variety hits format nor did it simulcast this station. Ironically, the call letters on that station were switched from WPNT (but was known for years as WCVI, going bankrupt in 2001 and subsequently sold) shortly before its owners closed the station with a dark license in the fall of 2006, citing technical repairs.

Frequency swap with WBGI

Logo as Biggie 100.5.
Logo as Biggie 100.5.

On September 10, 2012, WYJK-FM's "Jack FM" format moved to 96.5 FM Moundsville, West Virginia, swapping frequencies with country-formatted WBGI-FM (now WRQY under the Rage 96.5 banner and an active rock format), which moved to the 100.5 FM frequency. On September 18, 2012, the stations changed call signs.

Sale to Ohio Midlands Newsgroup, Return of WOMP-FM

On August 12, 2021, WBGI-FM, along with WUKL, WLIE, and WRQY, were sold by Forever Media to Cody Barack's Ohio Midland Newsgroup for $1,225,000.[1] Then, on December 28, 2021, it was announced that WBGI-FM would swap frequencies with WUKL, on January 3, 2022, at 5:30 a.m.. WBGI-FM's country format will move to the 105.5 frequency, while WUKL's classic hits format moves to the stronger 100.5 frequency as a revived "WOMP-FM", bringing the branding back to 100.5 for the first time since 2005. To prepare for the swap, both stations had swapped call signs.[2] Ohio Midland Newsgroup owns the registered trade name WOMP-FM as well as the trademark logo. The WOMP rebrand was a success, as the station posted a 15.9 share in spring of 2022, and was the first time since 1991 that the station achieved the #1 ranking in the market.[3]

References

  1. ^ Venta, Lance (August 12, 2021). "Forever Media Sells Wheeling Cluster". RadioInsight.
  2. ^ Venta, Lance (December 31, 2021). "WOMP-FM Returning to Wheeling". RadioInsight.
  3. ^ "Radio Industry News, Radio Show Prep, Radio Promotions, Radio Station Data, Podcast News". RADIO ONLINE. Retrieved 2022-08-18.

Coordinates: 40°02′10″N 80°46′16″W / 40.036°N 80.771°W / 40.036; -80.771