Call Letters: KCMO
City of License: Kansas City, MO
Owner: Cumulus Media Partners
ERP: 10kw/5kw DA-2
WHB "wow" jingle
1948-1954 - WHB
WHB's history actually began on 833 kHz in 1922. The Library of American Broadcasting lists John Schilling and Sam Adair as the founders of WHB, with financing from Sweeney Automotive. WHB signed on April or May of 1922. A UMKC thesis paper by William J. Ryan reports WHB broadcasted the first live music from an African American artist in Kansas City in August 1922. WHB later added the first women's radio show, and perhaps the first Jewish broadcast in the city. The Cook Paint and Varnish Company bought the station in the late 1920s, moving operations from downtown to North Kansas City. WHB moved around, sometimes sharing with other Kansas City stations (890 kHz), until settling on 710 kHz on October 4, 1948. WHB moved to 710 in order to broadcast at night. WHB was listed under the Mutual Radio Network from 1936 to 1954. The Storz family of Omaha purchased the station in 1954, and pulled the plug on Mutual.
1954-1981 - WHB - Top 40 "71 WHB"
WHB was one of the original outlets for early popular and rock and roll music in the Midwest, and the flagship for Storz' Mid-Continent broadcasting chain. The owners based the format on the behavior of youngsters picking songs out of a jukebox. They noticed the same ten to twelve songs would be played repeatedly in one night. WHB's first Top 20 countdown aired in mid-1954. The format was copied around the country, years before Elvis Presley ever recorded a song. The station was extremely popular throughout the 1960s. Many famous personalities passed through as well. Todd Storz died in 1964. WHB made it through the 1970s, but could not survive the upstart FM Top 40 competitors.
1981-1993 - WHB - Adult Contemporary/50s-60s Oldies
As WHB made it through the 1970s, FM became a more viable choice for Top 40 music. So WHB capitalized on its heritage by flipping to Adult Contemporary and 50s/60s oldies. "Oldies hours" played at noon and six, as well as all Saturday night. The Storz family sold the station in 1984 to Shamrock Broadcasting. WHB slowly transitioned to full-time oldies in 1985. WHB had no legitimate competition until 1989, when oldies appeared on 94.9. But that competition proved to be too much. Kanza, Inc., which specialized in farm formats, bought the station in 1993. In September 1993, WHB ended its oldies format (some dubbed it "the day the music died").
1993-1997 - WHB - Country/Farm
WHB's farm format began on October 1, 1993. The farm format held its own, helping out KMZU 100.7 in the process with a partial simulcast. But the daytime coverage of rural areas wasn't that great. So WHB swapped frequencies with 810 KCMO, giving up better nighttime coverage in favor of a big daytime stick.
1997-current - KCMO - Talk
News/Talk station KCMO moved over to 710 in October 1997, which had better nighttime coverage in the city. At the time, KCMO thought it would have Max Floyd hosting a morning show with Mike Murphy, but Max returned to KYYS when it was resurrected two weeks later. KCMO was Mike Murphy's last radio job before his retirement in 2004. KCMO eliminated their small local news staff. Susquehanna bought the station in 2000. KCMO picked up Fox News Radio in 2005. Cumulus took over the station in May 2006. Much of the programming is politically conservative. Only one shift, morning drive, is local. Of the major stations in Kansas City, KCMO is among the lowest-rated.
On April 29, 2012, KCMO added an FM simulcast, using a translator at 103.7 mHz. Previously, KCMO had been simulcasted only on an HD subchannel of KCMO-FM.