Thursday, January 12, 2006


I've gotten into this before but it is an endless source of amusement for me. Call letters come from only one place, the FCC. A station may request certain calls, and from within their own network trade them pretty freely, but ultimately they must file with the FCC for approval. Some stations take randomly assigned calls, but most request specific calls. in the 1950s actonyms were fadish and many can be traced back to hokey phrases from that era. College stations usually select ones named for their campus.

But many others have simply bizzarre etemologies. I list a few of these below, some are anecdotal, some are confirmed.
WZPR meadville PA. the zipper was invented in Meadville, PA
WZON -owned by Stephen King, named for the Dead Zone
WTBQ -The TB references "teddy Bear", the owner collected them
WTAW - Watch Texas Aggies Win (its always about college ball in TX)
WTAQ -Western Towns Along Quincy (The Quincy Railroad was a big deal)
WTAN- As in Get a TAN on the beach (Tampa FL)
WSMN = Weather, Sports Music and News (very clever)
WSLT = SLT as in Salt Water (Atlantic City)
WSHG =Named for the Shag... at the time this was a dance.
WSDS =We Serve Detroit Suburbs
WSAR = We Show Advertising Results
WRKT= As in Rocket, its near cape canaveral
WNOV = Wisconsin Negroes Own Voice (black culture station)
WMOO= Reference to the big dairy town Derby Center, VT
WLOL =Land Of Lakes... LOL stands for something different now
WLOB =As in LOBster... it's in Maine
WLBB =We Love Butter Beans (that kills me)
WGTM =Worlds Greatest Tobacco Market
WGAP =Worlds Greatest Aluminum Plant (next to the alcoa factory)
WCAE =We Can Always Entertain
KWOS =Keep Watching Our State
KWAK =Owner was a duck hunter...
KRTR =named for the volcanic Crater beside them (Kailua, HI)
KOTN =named for their local Cotton Crop
KIRL =The owners wife had curly hair
KFUO =Keep Forwad Upward Onward
KFRO = Keep Forever Rolling On
KFEL =Kant Find Enough Liquor (seems spurrious)
KANO =As in VolKANO.. Hawaii again
KAGG =as in Texas AGGies (they have riots over OU ball games in TX)
KABL =named for Cable Cars

*here is a batch courtesy of Gary Guthrie at WMVY
WNGO = We Need God Only
WCBL = Calvert city, Benton & Lakeland
WDXR =Weaks' DX Radio (he also had a DX gas station)
WNBS = as in an inventor of radio: W. Nathan B. Stubblefield
WNOE and KNOE =Named for Louisiana Governor James Albert Noe
WRNO = We're the Rock of New Orleans

Some of these come from my own notes others from a site I found recently: