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City of license Fort Wayne, Indiana
Broadcast area Metropolitan Ft. Wayne,
Northeast and East Central Indiana
Branding Redeemer Radio
Slogan Building Faith Sharing Christ
Frequency 1450 (kHz)
First air date March 28, 1948
(as WANE-AM)
Format Catholic
ERP 1,000 Watts
Class C
Former callsigns WANE-AM (1948-1966)
Affiliations EWTN Radio Network
Ave Maria Radio Network
Owner Fort Wayne Catholic Radio Group Inc.
Webcast Listen Live

WLYV, "Reedemer Radio," is an AM radio station located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The station operates on the AM radio frequency of 1450 kHz and airs Catholic programming for the Northeast/East Central Indiana region. It was purchased by Fort Wayne Catholic Radio Group Inc. in 2005.

WLYV has a rich history since its beginnings in 1948. Prior to becoming WLYV, the station was assigned the call letters WANE and was the radio companion of channel 15 television.

In the mid-1960s, the radio station was purchased by Sheppard Broadcasting of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Following the purchase by Sheppard, the station changed call letters (to become closely related to Sheppard's WLAV in Grand Rapids) and on January 1, 1966 changed formats to become Fort Wayne's first Top 40 station under the direction of programming consultant Mike Joseph, who had already successfully programmed stations in New York, Detroit, and Chicago. The results were dramatic and immediate. Within a few months WLYV was the second-highest rated station in Fort Wayne. (Prior to the format switch, the old WANE was so low in listener rankings that two distant stations...CKLW in Windsor/Detroit and WLS-AM in Chicago...had higher ratings in Fort Wayne.)

The success continued as many of the original "LYV GYS" made their mark in Ft. Wayne and moved to larger markets. "Skinny" Bobby Harper went on to great success in Atlanta, and was (it is said) was the real life model for WKRP'S Dr. Johnny Fever. Jim Reese (a.k.a. Grant Hudson) became a legendary newsman in Detroit, at CKLW,and WWJ. Morning man and program director Jim (Uncle Felty) Felton moved to CKLW and later to become the most listened to morning man in Toronto at CFTR. Ron White became one of America's most respected programming consultants.Other major market personalities who worked at WLYV include Bob Todd, Ron Morgan, and Bobby Knight. In later years Program Director Bob Hamilton and high energy personalities like Phil Gardner, Jay Walker, Shotgun Lenny Harrison (Chuck Martin)and local favorite Ted Hatch continued the station's popularity.

It was WLYV's relatively low power output (1,000 watts) and the appearance of a more tightly formatted Top 40 station in town WMEE lead to WLYV's demise as a Top 40 icon. By 1974, 1450 W-L-Y-V "The Lyv (Live) One" was forced to change formats again and became "Lively Country." This change turned out to be successful for the station. WLYV's low power became an issue again, however, within several years when WMEE switched its call letters and rock format to FM, leaving the 1380 AM frequency and its 5,000-watt operating power later becoming a country formatted station 1380 The Hawk. WLYV was owned by Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus from 1974 to 1980 under the operating name Golden Bear Broadcasting. The studios were located inside the Anthony Wayne Building at the time in suite 925.

In the spring of 1980, WLYV changed call letters and ownership to WAFX when the station was sold to Clarence Moore Broadcasting who owned Beautiful Music WCMX at the time and moved the station to 424 Reed Road. The format remained country until 1982.

Spring of 1982, WAFX was purchased by WAJI for a very brief stint and took the call letters WEZR. In the Fall of 1982, WEZR was purchased by Fairfield Broadcasting of Kalamazoo who also owned WKZO A-F. Fairfield owned WEZR-AM for an entire year before purchasing former sister station WCMX and changed the name of that station to WEZV to reflect the same ownership group. Fairfield would own both stations for several years until 1989 when WEZR would return once again to the famous WLYV call letters under new ownership of Christian radio owner/operator Midwest Broadcasting Corporation who also moved the studios to 4705 Illinois Road.

In 2005, WLYV was sold once again to Fort Wayne Catholic Radio Group who still owns the station today better known at 1450 Redeemer Radio.

Golfer Jack Nicklaus owned WLYV for a number of years and lived through several format flips with it. Christian Broadcast Systems Ltd. based in Flint, MI (formerly Midwest Broadcasting) owned it afterwards with a gospel format before the 2005 sale to Fort Wayne Catholic Radio.

See also

External links

  • Official WLYV site (with streaming audio)
  • Indiana Radio Archive information and history of WLYV
  • Query the FCC's AM station database for WLYV
  • Radio-Locator Information on WLYV
  • Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WLYV

Coordinates: 41°04′14″N 85°07′10″W / 41.07056°N 85.11944°W / 41.07056; -85.11944

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