WFMR (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
WFMR was a classical music station that existed on three different FM frequencies in the Milwaukee area during its 51-year history. Its last frequency was 106.9 MHz.
|Broadcast area||Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
|Frequency||96.5 MHz (1956-1983)|
98.3 MHz (1983-2000)
106.9 MHz (2000-2007)
|Format||Defunct (was Classical music)|
First air date
|June 26, 1956|
Call sign meaning
|Wisconsin's Fine Music Radio|
|Website||Archived WFMR website|
Originally at 96.5 on the FM dial, WFMR signed on the air with a classical music format on June 26, 1956 from the Bayshore Shopping Center in Glendale. The next year, the studios moved to downtown Milwaukee, at 606 West Wisconsin Avenue. The 50,000-watt transmitter (most powerful allowed by the FCC) was located in a room on the top floor of the 20-story structure - just outside the studio! After Bill Dunn and partners sold the station to Koss Broadcasting (John Koss of Koss Corporation), the studios were moved to the north side of the city, at 711 West Capitol Drive (not to be confused with the WTMJ stations' Radio City, which nearly has the same address number of 720, but on East Capitol Drive fourteen blocks over).
In 1983, the station was sold and was flipped to an adult contemporary format, eventually becoming classic hits heritage station WKLH. The owner of a radio station in suburban Menomonee Falls, WXJY (98.3 FM), immediately picked up the classical format and WFMR call letters, and it remained there at that frequency until December 12, 2000, when owner Saga Communications moved WFMR to 106.9 FM, and WJMR-FM's urban AC format and call letters to 98.3. This was done primarily to boost WJMR-FM's signal in the urban areas of Milwaukee, and to target WFMR toward the Western and Northern suburbs. Saga moved the studios to Milwaukee the year before, in 1999.
During its time as a classical music station, WFMR was a four-time finalist for the National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Award for Classical Station of the Year, and celebrated its 50th year as a classical station in 2006.
At midnight on June 26, 2007, on 51st anniversary of its original sign-on, WFMR ended its classical music format when it flipped to a smooth jazz format. The decision was made when a rival station, WJZI, dropped the format a week earlier for light adult contemporary music. Just days after the flip, KING-FM Seattle posted a banner on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website telling listeners that they have a new place to turn to for classical music by going to their website. Wisconsin Public Radio eventually launched its HD Radio-only All Classical service on WHAD (90.7) to serve the market over-the-air.
On July 15, 2007, the station changed its call sign to WJZX. The callsign passed in early 2008 to WOMR in Provincetown, Massachusetts to be used as a repeater. WFMR in Orleans, Massachusetts signed on September 16, 2010 according to the originating station WOMR in Provincetown. The WFMR callsign now stands for "Furthermost Radio".