On March 31, 1922, it signed on the air as Louisiana’s first radio station and the first licensed station on the Gulf Coast.
Today, Audacy Inc. is ready to celebrate a century of service for the Class A AM at 870 KHz in New Orleans and its much younger sibling at 105.3 MHz, a simulcast partner since the Crescent City suffered through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
Thursday marks 100 years for WWL, as a brand and continuous operation on the AM dial.
“As the first radio broadcast in New Orleans history, WWL has served as a reliable companion for the listeners of New Orleans when it matters most,” said Audacy/New Orleans SVP Kevin Cassidy. “Whether it is delivering reliable, vital information during hurricanes or celebrating some of the biggest moments in the city’s sports history, this station is at the forefront in telling the story of the Crescent City. We’re thrilled to celebrate this monumental year in our history and look ahead to the next 100 years of serving as NOLA’s premier talk radio station.”
Indeed, it was Hurricane Andrew that prompted the company formerly known as Entercom to permanently place WWL’s programming on 105.3 MHz, which had previously aired a Classic Hits format.
Now on AM and FM and accessible via the Audacy app, WWL will celebrate its centennial in style as the owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, Gayle Benson, visits in-studio. Also coming to WWL: retired Saints quarterbacks Drew Brees and Archie Manning; play-by-play man Jim Henderson; and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.
Others celebrating 100 years of WWL include Harry Shearer and Audacy CEO David Field.
The station will begin airing a collection of historical segments that will run throughout the year that link the present with some of the most memorable moments in station and New Orleans history.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, the New Orleans City Council and St. Tammany Parish president Mike Cooper have declared March 31 “WWL Day,” which will recognize the station’s place in New Orleans history and the preeminent role it has played in the community and the lives of its citizens.