WVTY
Broadcast areaRacine – Kenosha – Southern Milwaukee suburbs
Frequency92.1 MHz
Branding92–1 VTY Country
Programming
FormatCountry
Ownership
OwnerMagnum Communications, Inc.
WMBZ, WRYU
History
First air date
1961; 63 years ago (1961) (as WFNY)
Former call signs
WFNY (1961–1986)
WHKQ (1986–1995)
WEZY (1995–2014)
WMKQ (2014–2015)
Call sign meaning
W VarieTY (previous format)
Technical information
Facility ID41438
ClassA
ERP2,700 watts
HAAT150 meters (492 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
42°45′36″N 87°57′54″W / 42.760°N 87.965°W / 42.760; -87.965
Links
WebcastListen Live
Websitewww.vtycountry.com

WVTY (92.1 MHz "92-1 VTY Country") is a commercial FM radio station in Racine, Wisconsin. It serves Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee's southern suburbs. WVTY airs a country music radio format and is co-programmed with sister station 92.5 WMBZ in West Bend. They are owned by David Magnum, through licensee Magnum Communications, Inc., along with WRYU 1470 AM in West Bend.

WVTY is a Class A FM station with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 2,700 watts. The transmitter is off 2 Mile Road in Raymond (atop a tower previously used by WPXE-TV).[1]

History

Beautiful music (1961–1986)

The station signed on the air in 1961; 63 years ago (1961).[2] Its originally was WFNY, with those call letters taken from the name of owner Jerome Feeny. It was only powered at 1,000 watts and was a rare stand-alone FM station, with no co-owned AM outlet. WFNY aired a beautiful music format. It played quarter-hour sweeps of mostly soft instrumental cover versions of popular hits, with some Broadway and Hollywood show tunes.

Eventually an automated music playback system was installed, but live announcers remained on staff. Some of the air personalities over the years have included Paul Weyrich, Lou Rugani, Dave Garland, Don Jensen, Jerry Grimmer, Kevin Kellogg, Mike Kristof, Tim Yorgan, Chris Morreau, Gene Miller, Mike Petersen, and Frank Ricchio. In the 1980s, to make the sound a bit younger, more soft vocals were added to the playlist and the instrumentals were scaled back.

Adult contemporary (1986–1988)

WFNY was sold in 1986 and the format was flipped to adult contemporary as WHKQ.

Country (1988–1991)

Two years later, WHKQ became "Country 92".

Easy listening (1991–1997)

The station was sold once again in 1991, with the format returning to its easy listening origins. Later, the station adopted the WEZY call letters, using the branding "EZ92 WEZY". The easy listening format was simulcast on sister station WRJN 1400 AM overnights.

Adult contemporary (1997–2014)

In 1997, Bliss Communications purchased the station and its AM sister, WRJN 1400. Bliss ownered eight other radio stations in Wisconsin and numerous newspapers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.

On December 26, 1997, the station returned to a soft adult contemporary format. On January 2, 2007, WEZY changed its moniker to "Lite Rock 92.1". On June 25, 2014, Bliss Communications announced that it would sell WEZY and WRJN, along with WBKV and WBWI-FM in West Bend, to David Magnum's Magnum Communications, Inc.[3] The sale, at a price of $2.25 million, was consummated on October 31, 2014.

Country (2014–2015)

On December 2, 2014, at 12:55 a.m., the station flipped to country music as Q92. Afterward, the station changed its call letters to WMKQ.[4][5][6]

Adult hits (2015–2018)

On May 29, 2015, WMKQ flipped to adult hits as 92.1 The Lake. This move came the same day that Milwaukee station 94.5 WLWK, which also branded as The Lake with an identical logo, flipped to country music as WKTI-FM. The de facto "swap" was intentional, with Magnum citing the "heritage" of the format in Milwaukee, and the decision by the station's new owner, The E.W. Scripps Company, to drop it.

The change in branding and Magnum's appropriation of WKTI's former branding caught Scripps off-guard. Representatives of both companies indicated that they were in discussions over the matter. On June 7, 2015, WMKQ changed its call letters to WVTY. Radio Insight also reported that Magnum had registered new domain names and social media accounts with different possible brands, 92.1 The Shore and Variety 92.1.[7] On June 29, 2015, WVTY dropped its "Lake" moniker and rebranded as 92.1 The Shore.[8]

Country (2018–present)

On October 30, 2018, WVTY's management learned of 94.5 WKTI's pending November 1 flip from country to ESPN Radio as part of its sale by Scripps to Good Karma Brands. That prompted WVTY to return to country music as 92.1 VTY Country. As with its use of the former Lake branding earlier, the station's new branding and logo is based heavily on the branding previously used by WKTI.

Magnum Communications also purchased advertising time on WKTI to promote WVTY and West Bend sister station 92.5 WMBZ to its former listeners.[9][10] While WVTY and WMBZ air separate commercials, they have the same DJs and play the same music.

Past logos

References

  1. ^ Radio-Locator.com/WVTY
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yeabook 1965 page B-173. Retrieved November 20, 2023.
  3. ^ "Bliss Communications to sell West Bend, Racine radio stations". The Janesville Gazette. June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  4. ^ "Racine station WEZY-FM switches to country music format". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  5. ^ "WEZY Flips to Country".
  6. ^ "WEZY Becomes Q92". 2 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Radio station owners 'surprised' by 92.1 FM's new name, logo". The Journal Times. June 3, 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  8. ^ "A Shore Change For Lake Brand Battle". Radio Insight. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  9. ^ Foran, Chris (October 31, 2018). "Radio station switches back to country after WKTI makes move to an all-sports format". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "WVTY Goes Country Ahead of WKTI Flip". Radio Insight. Retrieved 7 September 2023.