Call Letters: WHB
City of License: Kansas City, MO
Format: Sports "Sports Radio 810"
Owner: Union Broadcasting
ERP: 50kw/5kw ND
KCMO 1984 TV commercial|
KCMO 1976 montage
WHB 2003 legal ID
1926-1928 - WDAF
In the seemingly annual change of frequencies, WDAF held the 810 spot on the dial for a couple of years.
1948-1963 - KCMO - Full Service
KCMO started as KWKC, 1270 kHz, in 1925. The Wilson Duncan Broadcasting Company was the original owner. In the next several years, KWKC would migrate to 1370, 1450 and 1480 kHz. KWKC suffered through financial troubles, lowering the hours it broadcasted, and eventually going up for auction. Lester Cox of Springfield, and Crown Drug owner Tom Evans bought the station.
The KCMO call letters first appeared in 1936, the same year Walter Cronkite worked at the station under the name Walter Wilcox. Cronkite was the sports director. KCMO moved to 1450 kHz in May 1939. NBC Blue was used in 1941. KCMO became an ABC affiliate in 1945. By September 9, 1948, KCMO moved to 810 kHz with 50,000 watts of daytime power. Meredith Corp. bought KCMO in October 1953. By 1955, KCMO was a CBS affiliate, the start of a 50-year run with the network.
1963-1971 - KCMO - MOR
KCMO adopted a middle of the road music format in 1963. In 1970, they became an American Entertainment Radio affiliate. At the time, KCMO became the flagship for Kansas City Chiefs broacasts; the team had just moved from Dallas.
1971-1980 - KCMO - Country/Top 40
That survey picture I have listed above is the "All American Survey" from a week in 1973. At the time, KCMO was more or less a combination of country and Top 40... leaning towards the country side. They promoted themselves as "Modern Country" for a while. Because of its signal, KCMO was pretty much the main AM competitor for WHB. As described in a 1976 interview, KCMO was listed in just about every format category, ranging from Top 40 to MOR. KCMO reduced nighttime power to 5,000 watts in 1979.
1980-1981 - KCMO - Top 40 "81 KCMO"
KCMO used a lot of programming from AER again.
1981-1997 - KCMO - News/Talk "Talkradio 810 KCMO"
As music became less popular on AM, KCMO gravitated toward full-time news/talk around 1981. Fairbanks Broadcasting took over the station in 1983, splitting the radio stations from the TV stations on June 21. Throughout the years, KCMO slowly eliminated the news portion of their operation. Summit Communications bought the KCMO combo in 1985, then Gannett took over in 1986. KCMO carried the Royals from 1983-1985. KCMO was also the Chiefs flagship until 1990, when it moved to KCFX just before the season started. KCMO had been the Chiefs station since 1963, in the old AFL days.
Bonneville purchased KCMO in 1993. Entercom bought the station on September 3, 1997, and announced a frequency swap with WHB. The actual switch occurred at midnight on October 8, with Max Floyd promoting his short-lived talk show.
1997-1999 - WHB - Farm/Country
KCMO and WHB swapped frequencies on October 8, 1997, with WHB moving over from 710. The 810 frequency has significantly better daytime coverage, which then farm-formatted WHB wanted for the rural areas. WHB continued with NBC news.
1999-current - WHB - Sports "Sports Radio 810"
When Union Broadcasting got a hold of WHB they moved the sports format from 1510 KCTE over to WHB on October 1, 1999. WHB has local shows during the day and ESPN at night. WHB also carries Kansas State and Nebraska football, though KSU wins all scheduling conflicts. In 2005, WHB became the flagship for the Royals Radio Network, paying a lot of money to broadcast some very bad baseball. Any game starting at 7:00 or later, was simulcasted on 97.3 FM. WHB lost the Royals rights in 2008. Majority owner Jerry Green died in 2007. In 2011, KCSP beat WHB in the sports ratings battle for the first time.