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THE HISTORY OF WFMR
1947 The call letters WFMR existed in the very early days of modern FM broadcasting. In an article from the January 20, 1947 issue of the journal Broadcasting-Telecasting, WFMR was licensed to New Bedford, Massachusetts, and was owned by the printing firm of E. Anthony and Sons, Inc. It was one of 142 FM radio stations operating in the US at that time. The format of the station is unknown. Sometime during the early 1950s, the original WFMR became WNBH-FM and disappeared from New Bedford.

1955 James G. Baker and Hugo Koeth form the High Fidelity Broadcast Corporation, and propose to obtain an FCC license to start a new, independent FM station, dedicated to "fine music in Milwaukee." On November 30, the FCC authorizes construction of a new FM station, to be run at 96.5 MHz, with WFMR as call letters (FMR="Fine Music Radio").

June 26, 1956 WFMR begins broadcasting classical music from the Bayshore Shopping Center in Glendale, with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 24.5 kilowatts and an antenna height of 35 feet above average terrain (HAAT).

Fall 1957 WFMR addresses reception problems by moving to new studio and transmitter facilities on the 22d floor of the Wisconsin Tower Building at 606 W. Wisconsin Avenue. Antenna HAAT now 330 feet.

1958 Hugo Koeth resigns to start his own FM station, which opens up one floor below WFMR.

Late 1962 WFMR plays the classics in glorious stereo for the first time

1968 WFMR sold to Fine Arts Broadcasters, Inc. William Dunn serves as President and General Manager.

June 1969 WFMR becomes Milwaukee's most powerful FM station, with an ERP of 40 kilowatts.

October 1970 Ron Cuzner's all-night jazz show becomes part of WFMR's programming.

March 9, 1973 After Fine Arts Broadcasters sought to sell WFMR (during which time a group called the Committee to Save WFMR was formed as a lobby organization to find owners who would keep the station classical), new local owners were found in the persons of John Koss, of the Koss Corporation, and Jerold Ross, of Industrial Towel and Uniform. They founded the Koss Broadcasting Corporation and took control of WFMR on this date.

July 1974 The FCC authorized WFMR to operate at the maximum ERP of 50 kilowatts. Koss Broadcasting built new studios and offices at 711 W. Capitol Drive, and a new transmitter and antenna were installed at a site in Glendale.

June 26, 1976 WFMR celebrates its 20th anniversary.

June 1978 Doug Cofrin buys out Koss Broadcasting and becomes sole owner of WFMR (doing business as WFMR, Inc.). Cofrin upgrades sales, marketing, and announcing staff, and publishes the monthly Milwaukee Magazine, which evolved from the publication of WFMR's program listings.

1980 Cofrin makes unsuccessful run for U. S. Senate seat from Wisconsin.

June 26, 1981 WFMR celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Late 1981 Cofrin looks to sell WFMR. He sells Milwaukee Magazine to Lute Harmon, publisher of City Magazines, Inc. of Cleveland. Harmon tells Ohio business associate Tom Embrescia of WFMR situation.

December 1981 40% interest of WFMR, Inc. sold to Embrescia's corporation.

July 1982 Embrescia's corporation acquires rest of WFMR from Doug Cofrin.

September 1982 WFMR operates with new and improved signal from the Channel 18 tower.

January 1983 Embrescia changes format, dumps classical for pop music. WFMR call letters gone from Milwaukee scene in favor of WMGF (now WKLH at 96.5). In less than a year, Embrescia sold WMGF to an out-of-state company.

April 27, 1983 Darrell Peters, owner of WXJY, an easy-listening station in Menomonee Falls, switches his station at 98.3 MHz to classical, hires several ex-WFMR announcers, and changes his call letters to the heritage FM calls WFMR.

May 1983 Peters sells the new WFMR to Classical Broadcasting of Greater Milwaukee, owned by H. Stewart Corbett. Corbett rebuilds studio and transmitter facilities in Menomonee Falls.

1986 Corbett sells WFMR to Capitol Classics, Inc., owned by Milwaukeean Robert Caulfield.

1992 Caulfield sells WFMR to Harris Classical Broadcasting, headed by Randall Harris and David Bishop.

August 1995 Harris Classical Broadcasting starts second station (WFMI 106.9 MHz Brookfield). Both WFMR and WFMI run out of renovated, up-to-date studios in Menomonee Falls. WFMR continues with classical programming; WFMI airs smooth jazz.

May 1997 Lakefront Communications, LLC (also known as the Milwaukee Radio Group), a subsidiary of Saga Communications, Inc. and owners of WKLH, WLZR-AM, and WLZR-FM, purchases WFMR and WFMI from Harris Classical Broadcasting. WFMI becomes modern adult contemporary WXPT (now urban WJMR); WFMR remains classical. (Note: WLZR-AM now WJYI.)

April 1999 WFMR's offices and studios moved from Menomonee Falls to the Milwaukee Radio Group building at 5407 W. McKinley Avenue in Milwaukee. Transmitter remains in Menomonee Falls.

December 11, 2000 WFMR swaps FM frequencies with sister station WJMR. WFMR becomes "Classical 106.9", while WJMR becomes "Jammin' 98-3". WFMR's new antenna is still in Menomonee Falls, but is 11 meters higher than the old 98.3, and is an all-directional antenna, expanding the station's reach to the west and north.

June 26, 2001 WFMR celebrates its 45th anniversary on the air.

2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005 WFMR is named a finalist for a Marconi Award for "Classical Station of the Year" by the National Association of Broadcasters.

August 13, 2005 For the first time in four years, WFMR streams its broadcast on the World Wide Web.
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