WTCN/WWTC – 1280 kc

Much of the following information about this ever-changing station comes from Jeff Lonto’s book Fiasco at 1280, The Rise and Hard Fall of a Twin Cities Radio Station, available through the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting.

The station started as WRHM in 1925, changed to WTCN in 1934. In 1945 it became part of the ABC network.

The ratings books from late 1953 to late 1955 identify programs by names of shows and names of DJs, and it’s a challenge to match them up.  The names of the shows were pretty ambiguous:

  • Knights of the Road
  • 8 Steps Down
  • Cloud Club
  • Night Owls
  • The Voice
  • New Sounds For You
  • Club Ten
  • Club 1280
  • Dancing Party

In most cases programs were identified by the names of the DJs:

  • Jack Thayer was on three different times during the day
  • Al Paulson
  • Sev Widman
  • Larry Fischer
  • Don Doty
  • Russ Kruse
  • Frank Beutel – with a show called “Just Easy”
  • Harry Zimmerman
  • Jim Boysen
  • John W. Vandercook

In 1956 the station was sold to the Crowell-Collier publishing firm.

The station dropped its ABC affiliation on December 31, 1962 and began a format of light classical and easy listening, “The Sound of Beautiful Music” in March 1963.  The call letters were changed to WWTC on October 2, 1964 after the station was sold to Buckley-Jaeger Broadcasting and the classical was phased out. The Insider reported that it was moving toward “soft progressive” in September 1971, when Dick Driscoll came back to the station after turning KQRS from classical to progressive.

Jack Reynolds became General Manager in April 1971.

In April 1973 there is an ad for WWTC Spectrum, “If you’re not thrilled with KSTP, WYOO, KEEY, or WLOL.”  All things to all people, apparently:  “Every twenty minutes it’s a different color of spectrum.  Humor from a local Twin City news item.  A unique look at sports.  The why behind recent legislation.  The why behind a cheeseburger.  This is WWTC Spectrum.  Always a different color of Twin Cities life.  The colors range from bright to blue, from funny to warm, from entertaining to informative.”  I guess that means no music.

In June 1975 it switched to NBC’s News and Information Service (NIS).  NIS ended in May 1977 but WWTC continued the all-news format with its own staff.  Bob Allard’s call-in show nearly caused a riot on July 14, 1978 when he hosted Nazi Steven Martinson.  Bob Short bought the station from Buckley Broadcasting in early (in or before March) 1978.  It changed formats to “Golden Rock” on October 1, 1979.  It was on to urban contemporary on November 12, 1984, which lasted until September 1985 when it became an all-weather station, introduced by “Good Day Sunshine” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head” playing over and over.  On June 20, 1986, the call letters were changed to KSNE and on August 1 the format was again changed to a satellite nostalgia format.  Next came soft jazz, then back to oldies and the WWTC call letters on May 27, 1988.

Much information and many airchecks are available at and