WBCK Says Farewell to Golden Ave. Studios in Battle Creek After 64 Years
A long chapter for one of Battle Creek's oldest radio stations is coming to an end, but an exciting and special new chapter is beginning.
Thursday, February 17, 2022, was the final day for all staff and operations at WBCK out of the facility the station has broadcast from since 1958. The site at 390 Golden Ave. began as a transmitter site for the radio station when it signed on and began broadcasting in 1948, from downtown Battle Creek.
So this move, albeit bittersweet for all of us, is fitting in a way because WBCK will be returning to downtown Battle Creek with all-new studios and equipment soon. We will be housed in the Battle Creek Tower with a beautiful view of the downtown area. Until then, the radio station will operate from a temporary location.
No changes to the programs you hear on the radio are being made and the station will broadcast as it has leading up to this change. Our listeners will still be able to contact our new studios by calling 269-441-9595 as well as using our digital platforms such as email, chat messages on the WBCK app, and messages through the 95.3 WBCK Facebook page.
WBCK began as a 1000-watt directional radio station broadcasting at 930 on the AM dial. It was built right after World War II because certain materials needed were not available until after the war.
Two brothers, Robert and David Holmes formed Michigan Broadcasting Company, and it went on the air at 8:00 pm on Friday, July 9, 1948. After some comments on the new radio station from local dignitaries, the owners, and the staff, the station went into a broadcast of a Detroit Tigers game. WBCK was originally an affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System but in recent years has been a FOX News radio affiliate.
The radio station originally originated its broadcasts from the Security National Bank Building (now "The Milton") in downtown Battle Creek. A fire destroyed the studios in 1958. After the fire, WBCK relocated to the transmitter site on Golden Avenue, just south of downtown. The location was chosen because of its close proximity to downtown Battle Creek, and the fact that the high ground would be good to locate an FM or TV station. While other FM stations, and even another AM station, broadcast from the Golden Ave. site over the years along with WBCK, WBCK-TV never came to fruition.
Also after that fire, WBCK added the fourth tower and increased to 5000 Watts Day, and remained at 1000 Watts Night. WBCK moved from 930 AM to 95.3 FM in 2008.
So the next chapter in our history is now being written and we are looking forward to this new adventure. Some improvements with this move will include more content in our Radio On Demand platform which allows listeners to listen to segments from the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Lacy & Brandon as well as the Live With Renk Show.
We want to thank everyone who has supported us through this transition, the engineers with our company helping make it happen, and each and every one of you who are part of the WBCK family. Stay with us, because more great things are to come!
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