WTMJ Launches FM Signal

620 103.3 WTMJ MilwaukeeScripps News/Talk 620 WTMJ Milwaukee has signed on FM translator 103.3 W277CV Milwaukee.

The 250w/244m signal operates from the tower of Scripps’ WTMJ-TV/94.5 WKTI with a nearly Class A comparable signal. The translator is owned by Frank Glass McCoy as this completes its gradual move from Waukegan IL since being granted a Construction Permit in 2013. The translator’s original CP to move to Milwaukee was to have it rebroadcast Liberal Talk 1510 WRRD Waukesha. That station now has its own CP for a new translator on 101.7.

The addition of WTMJ to FM will bring play-by-play of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks to FM in the market as well.

WTMJ Radio is now broadcasting on FM in addition to its AM signal to expand the reach for Wisconsin’s most powerful radio station. The FM signal operates at 103.3 FM and covers Milwaukee and its adjacent suburbs.

“For 90 years, Milwaukee has depended upon WTMJ for news, local talk and sports. It’s important to make our content easy to find and we’re excited to add an additional platform at 103.3 FM along with our digital distribution platforms,” said Tom Langmyer, vice president and general manager of WTMJ and WKTI and vice president of news, talk, and sports, for The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP).

“Our play-by-play sports partners, the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks will be heard on ‘WTMJ-FM’, as well.” The new FM translator signal is the latest initiative by WTMJ to make its content universally available. WTMJ is now serving hourly “flash briefings” on Amazon’s Alexa platform along with streaming, podcasts and an HD signal on 94.5 WKTI (FM) HD-2.

“The community relies on WTMJ to provide vital 24-hour news updates, weather and traffic coverage for Milwaukee,” said Eric Brooks, director of programming and news for WTMJ. “Bringing WTMJ to FM will make us available to a wider audience.”

WTMJ’s translator, known as W277CV, operates at 103.3 FM.

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  1. Dr. Akbar says

    It definitely adds value to the Scripps properties that are on the block. However, the translator comes at a cost as it’s a rented signal. Saga is big on translators in all its market, so this dovetails nicely into the speculation they may be a buyer of WTMJ (and other Scripps properties). But even if Saga isn’t a buyer, the translator makes a lot of sense for WTMJ’s future.

  2. Eric Jon Magnuson says

    ‘TMJ needs all the help it can get right now–especially as WISN is now three full points ahead of it, in the latest ratings. Also, NorthPine says that the only AM stations in the immediate metro that don’t currently have a translator–and aren’t in the process of adding one–are ‘ISN and co-owned WOKY.

  3. jearbear60 says

    Translators, Translators, Translators, why do two great signals need to be also heard on the FM Band? This Translator thing in the Larger Cities is just a blocking thing on the Radio Checker Board. I can see the need for AM’s that don’t have a great signal or daytimers but come on this thing has really grown out hand and the N.A.B., National Association of Big Guys could care less about the smaller market signals…

    1. ksradiogeek says

      Why? Because AM reception sucks anymore.

    2. Nathan Obral says

      Because the AM dial is increasingly irrelevant save for a few powerful stations in large markets or smaller stations that have super-served their local audiences for years and years.

      When even legacy 50kW stations like WFAN, WTMJ and even WLW need to have an FM presence, it tells you all you need to know about the future and vitality of the AM dial.

      1. Eric Jon Magnuson says

        I do agree with your overall point. However, unlike WFAN and WLW, WTMJ is a Class B that only upgraded to 50kW/10kW DA-2 in the mid- or even late ’90s–apparently 30 years or so after WISN did something similar. (Before WISN’s move, the most-powerful AM in Wisconsin–on paper–may have been Madison’s WKOW [today’s WTSO].) Off-hand, the best historical analogue for WTMJ might be Fresno’s KMJ–which, yes, does have an FM simulcast now.

        I’m actually a bit surprised that WTMJ’s addition of an FM signal didn’t happen earlier–even taking into account the low dial position of 620, Wisconsin’s terrain, the comparatively small geographic size of the Milwaukee metro, and the potential regulatory issues that the former Journal Communications may have faced in owning an AM/FM/TV/newspaper combo.

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