An “Official” History Of WING Radio/Dayton, Ohio (Editor’s note: This “history” comes from a typewritten document written in celebration of the station’s 65thAnniversary, located in a box of station memorabilia and photo albums in a storeroom at the station at 717 East David Road. It is presented word-for-word for you here.)
“Warren Harding was President. The New York Yankees won the World Series. Fashion designers raised women’s hemlines all the way to the knee.
And in Dayton, the first radio station was opened.
WING will proudly celebrate its’ 65th anniversary on May 24, 1986. The station started out with only five watts of power and the call sign “WDBS” (Watch Dayton’s Broadcasting Station).
They were the first in the Dayton market…and the 13th radio station in the nation. Two other stations beat WING to the airwaves. WOSU in Columbus was first…going on the air on April 20, 1920 and WSPD/Toledo’s first broadcast on April 15, 1921, a month before WING. Station WLW in Cincinnati first broadcast in March, 1922.
The founder and owner was Stanley M. Krohn, who changed the call letters to WSMK, using his own initials in 1926.
Mr. Krohn first operated the station out of a suite in the old Beckel House on East Third Street. In 1935, the studios were moved to the second and third floors of the Lowe’s Theatre Building.
That was also the year Jack Wymer, Dayton’s Dean of Broadcasters began his “Man On The Street” program outside the theater. The “Man On The Street” program was recognized as one of the nations’ oldest continuous programs with the same sponsor (Coca Cola). The show last aired in January of 1980.
Following a change in ownership in 1940 to the honorable Charles Sawyer, the call letters were changed to WING to more clearly associate with Dayton’s heritage as the birthplace of aviation and the home of the Wright Brothers.
In 1960, WING moved their studios to 128 West First Street, and acquired the power of 5,000 watts.
WING currently operates out of modern studios at 717 East David Road, since October 13, 1975.
WING will proudly celebrate their 65 years of progress this year.
On May 24, 1921, WXAX took to the air waves as the first Dayton radio station and the 13th in the nation.
As with many stations operating in the pioneer days of radio, WING operated under various call letters and frequencies with changing power. WDBS (Watch Dayton’s Broadcasting Station) was the second set of call letters to be used in 1922, changing to WSMK (standing for the owner’s initials) in 1926 and finally, changing to WING in 1940. The call letters, WING, more closely identify the station with Dayton, home of the Wright Brothers and the birthplace of aviation. The last call letter change occurred following a change in ownership from WSMK, Inc. to the honorable Charles Sawyer, the only ownership change in the history of the station.
In the beginning, broadcasts were very sporadic and seldom totaled more than two hours a day, as was the case with WING. Located in the window of a radio store operated by Stanley M. Krohn, Jr. on the East Third Street side of the Beckel Hotel, the station had only 5 watts.
In 1925, the United States Department of Commerce was the regulating agency for broadcasting. In that year, WDBS applied for a license to operate with 1,000 watts of power and permission to change its’ call letters to WSMK, after the initials of Stanley M. Krohn, the owner. It was licensed to transmit on 1090 kilocycles, but with only 200 watts.
In 1927, the dial location was changed to 1010 kilocycles and in 1929 to 1380 kilocycles. By this time, the station was located on the 20th floor of the U.B. building and its’ transmitter had been moved out into the country at a point between the Little and Great Miami Rivers, near Dayton. The location was later changed to 1645 Spaulding Road.
In the late 1930’s, the broadcast studios of WING were moved into new quarters on the second and third floors of the Loew’s Theater building in downtown Dayton, and in 1944, a new tower and transmitter building was constructed on East David Road, south of the city of Dayton.
Operations were conducted from the Loews Theater location until January 23, 1960, on which date the station moved to all new quarters with new equipment in the Talbott Tower at 128 West First Street. At that time, WING acquired their license to transmit with 5,000 watts at 1410 kilocycles. On October 13, 1975, WING moved to its’ current location at 717 East David Road, broadcasting 24 hours a day.
In February, 1983, WING was the first in Dayton to go AM Stereo. The purpose for this was to improve the sound quality for AM listeners.
WING’s colorful operation history is matched by its’ programming history. WING is an affiliate of the ABC-information network and the Mutual Broadcasting System. In addition, it carries local news in both the lifestyle and traditional formats, plus sports and weather and…(Ed note: as of its’ 65th anniversary) is one of only two Dayton radio stations still doing airborne traffic reports.
Along with this standard programming, WING is proud to number many highlights in programming. A great many of the highlights may be called “firsts”.
The Two-World’s Monza race is one of the WING’s great “firsts”. WING initiated the direct broadcast from Milan, Italy for 2 years, first and second annual Monza races with its’ top European and American race car drivers. The race has been discontinued.
Racing is no stranger to WING. This will mark the 34th consecutive broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 race by WING; this great American racing classic is an institution with WING.
Another of WING’s great programming highlights was its’ “Man On The Street” program, a public service program conduction by Dayton’s Dean of Radio, Jack Wymer. The last showed aired in January of 1980, but is recognized as one of the nation’s oldest continuous programs with the same sponsor, Coca Cola.
WING was the first Dayton station to broadcast the athletic activities of the University of Dayton, Wright State Raiders Basketball, and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Today, WING, “A Great Trails Station”, is Ohio’s 11th oldest continuously licensed broadcast station, and operated on 1410 kilohertz with a power of 5,000 watts (directional at night) from studios and transmitter located at 717 East David Road, Dayton, Ohio. It’s a full service radio station providing you with personalities and entertainment along with news-weather-traffic-sports and community affairs, 24 hours a day.