For a short-lived, rather obscure radio station, a lot of activity was logged. The studio and transmitter were located at 158 N. White Bear Ave., St. Paul. It had 5,000 watts, daytime only.
WCOW was renamed WISK in May 1956, and affiliated with the Mutual network, late of WDGY.
The format changed from full-time Country & Western to a combination of Lombardo/Welk/etc. and an occasional Top 10 tune. This left KEYD (soon to become KEVE) as the only full time C&W station.
A January 1957 ad touted “The Latest Platters with the Lightest Chatter” on Sam Sabean’s morning show “On the all new, brand new WISK.
Another January 1957 ad said “If You Dig Rhythm N’ Blues Mitchell’s the Most! Bob Mitchell’s show was on Saturdays from 1-5 PM.
In April 1957 the station was owned by BVM Broadcasting Co. and Victor Tedesco was General Manager, replacing Sam Sabean.
After a year’s absence, Sam Sabean was hired back as a DJ and Station Manager, but he had to have a different name, so Sherwood was arbitrarily chosen. Jim Foster was the Program Director.
On October 10, 1958, the station was moved from 1590 to 630 kc (“Channel 63”). Mutual was dropped and the station adopted a “for women only” format. Jeff Lonto explains:
To plan a schedule of programming consisting of things women supposedly would like, the station hired male psychologist Dr. Jacob Berg, whom management said would provide “psychoanalyzed programming.” In addition, the new format included horoscopes, James Alden’s advice to the anguished and lovelorn, two-minute newscasts and editorials slanted toward the “woman’s point of view,” and 60-second lectures on sex, marriage and family problems. The station even gave trading stamps – three and a half million every week to listeners who called in at the right times. The “women’s” format bombed.
In June 1959 the Tedescos sold the station to Crowell-Collier, owner of the legendary KFWB in Los Angeles. [In 1961, when the KFWB was having labor trouble, the owner shipped some Minnesota DJ’s to LA to cover.] Chuck Blore was Crowell-Collier’s national program director, and ran a disk jockey school that the DJs at KDWB attended.
WISK became KDWB