WWWE originated in Sept. 1923 as WTAM, created by Theodore Willard (see WILLARD STORAGE BATTERY CO.) and S. E. Lawrence. Broadcasting originally at 750 kilocycles and 1,500 watts, WTAM offered a 3-hour schedule of evening programs. Its power was soon increased to 3,500 watts, and the station moved to the Union Trust Bldg. Notable broadcasts included the first radio network coverage of a national political convention, the REPUBLICAN CONVENTION OF 1924, from Cleveland's PUBLIC AUDITORIUM. In May 1928 Willard sold the station to the CLEVELAND ELECTRIC ILLUMINATING CO. and the VAN SWERINGEN brothers, who viewed it as a community asset to be used for spreading the fame of Cleveland. WTAM that year became the first station in Cleveland to increase power to 50,000 watts. With construction of a new transmitting tower in BRECKSVILLE and new studios in the Auditorium Bldg., WTAM's new clear-channel 1,070 frequency reached from the Atlantic seaboard to the Rocky Mts. As part of a major nationwide reorganization of radio stations, WTAM shifted to 1,980 kilocycles in Feb. 1930. In October NBC took over operations and made WTAM a major link in its "Red" Network. Station operations moved in 1937 to the Guarantee Title & Trust Bldg. at 850 Superior Ave., renamed the NBC Bldg. Its broadcasting frequency moved in 1941 to 1,100 kilocycles. In Feb. 1956 WTAM and WNBK-TV were purchased by the Westinghouse Broadcasting Co., which dropped WTAM's NBC affiliation and changed its call letters to KYW. The station rejoined NBC as WKYC in 1965, then became WWWE when it was sold to Ohio Communications in 1972. Sold to the Pacific & Southern Co. in 1977, WWWE again dropped its network affiliation and experienced a succession of owners, including the Gannett Co., Lake Erie Broadcasting, and the Independent Group Ltd. Purchased in 1990 by Booth American Co. of Detroit, WWWE adopted a news-talk format and moved to the WESTERN RESERVE BLDG.

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