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|Broadcast area||Minneapolis-St. Paul|
|Frequency||740 kHz (HD Radio)|
First air date
|December 14, 1983 (as WRPX)|
Former call signs
|WAOZ (1982-1983, CP)|
Call sign meaning
|Dr. George Young (original owner of the original WDGY, now KTLK)|
|Power||5,000 watts (Daytimer)|
|Repeater(s)||107.1 KTMY-HD2 (Coon Rapids)|
WDGY (740 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Hudson, Wisconsin, and serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul radio market. It is owned by WRPX, inc. and airs a Classic Hits/Oldies radio format. The station's studios and offices are in Lakeland, Minnesota. The transmitter is off Commerce Drive, near Interstate 94 in Hudson.
Because AM 740 is a Canadian clear channel frequency, WDGY is a daytime-only station. It must sign-off as sunset to avoid interfering with Class A CFZM in Toronto. WDGY can be heard around the clock on two FM translator stations: 92.1 W221BS in St. Paul and 103.7 W279DD in Hudson. The station can also be heard on 107.1 KTMY's HD2 channel in the Twin Cities.
The original WDGY
WDGY was founded in 1923 by Dr. George Young, an optometrist who dabbled in radio as a hobby. It was one of the first commercial radio stations in the Twin Cities area. The original call sign was KFMT, broadcasting at 1300 kHz. The following year, the station moved to 1140 kHz. After several call letter changes, including WHAT and WGWY, Young settled on WDGY, which was based on his initials. The WDGY call letters remained on the station from 1925 until 1991, first at 1140 kHz, then to its longtime home at 1130 kHz in 1941. Following his death in 1945, Young's estate sold the station.
The station went through several ownership changes until 1956, when it were purchased by Todd Storz' Mid-Continent Broadcasting, an Omaha-based owner of a five-to-seven-station group (the maximum number allowed in those days). Storz quickly changed the format to Top 40, taking advantage of the early rise of rock and roll music. The station was nicknamed "WeeGee," and dominated the local ratings for several years.
In 1959, WDGY gained a formidable challenger when 630 KDWB arrived on the scene. KDWB's introduced itself to the Twin Cities radio market by way of a teaser ad campaign in newspapers and on other Twin Cities radio stations as "Formula 63" (for AM 630). WDGY and KDWB seesawed back and forth in ratings supremacy for area teen and young adult audiences throughout the raucous 1960s and 70s. The competition, sometimes friendly, sometimes not, resulted in some of the best merchandising promotions and concerts ever sponsored by local radio stations.
Generally, WDGY came in a regular second in overall audience ratings to market-dominant, clear-channel AM 830 WCCO. WDGY seemed to appeal to 18- to 35-year-old listeners while KDWB held a fair share of the teen audiences - considered hot properties during this period.
WDGY's longtime Top 40 format came to an end in 1977 when, faced with much stronger competition on the FM dial, it adopted a country music format, which continued well into the 1980s, prior to a flip to a news/talk format and finally, the adoption of sports talk as KFAN in 1991. Ironically, the abandoned WDGY call letters were quickly picked up by the former rival station at 630 kHz.
History of 740 AM
The original call sign for the station's construction permit was WAOZ, but the station was never on the air with those call letters. AM 740 began broadcasting as WRPX, featuring a locally based MOR/adult contemporary format targeting the Hudson/St. Croix Valley area, on December 14, 1983.
After a brief shutdown in 1993, due to business failure and a sale of WRPX to new owners, the station later picked up the vacated WMIN call sign, which had a long history in the market. WMIN aired a pop music Spanish-language format as "La Nueva Ley" until November 14, 2005. It also aired sports talk at various times as well as leasing time to two groups that eventually purchased their own full-time frequencies: "Straight Talk Radio" (later on 950 KTNF) and "Relevant Radio" (later on 1330 WLOL).
The WMIN calls are now on a station northwest of the Twin Cities in Sauk Rapids. The station is known as "Uptown 1010", and broadcasts an Adult Standards format. It is owned and operated by Tri-County Broadcasting.
In 2014, WDGY began broadcasting in HD on their AM 740 signal.
In May 2016 WDGY began simulcasting on FM translator W279DD 103.7 in Hudson, Wisconsin. In February 2017 WDGY added another FM translator, W221BS 92.1, broadcasting from an antenna atop Wells Fargo Place in Downtown St. Paul.
On March 7, 2017, WDGY discontinued broadcasting in HD on their AM 740 signal and began broadcasting in C-QUAM AM stereo. This was achieved via a built-in setting on their Nautel IBOC HD exciter. Due to the re-heightened awareness of HD broadcasting on AM surrounding the October 27, 2020 FCC vote to approve voluntary all-digital broadcasting by AM stations, WDGY resumed HD Radio broadcasting on their AM 740 signal on November 17, 2020.
- http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=16 HD Radio Guide for Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
- http://northpine.com Upper Midwest Broadcasting
- WDGY in the FCC AM station database
- WDGY on Radio-Locator
- WDGY in Nielsen Audio's AM station database
- W221BS in the FCC FM station database
- W221BS on Radio-Locator
- W279DD in the FCC FM station database
- W279DD on Radio-Locator
- Radiotapes.com Historic Minneapolis/St. Paul airchecks dating back to 1924 including WDGY and other Twin Cities radio stations
- Rick Burnett's Twin Cities Radio Airchecks.Com features many 1970s' radio airchecks, including the old original WDGY. There are also old photos of the WDGY studios in Bloomington, Minnesota.]
- Oldiesloon.com, featuring information about former Twin Cities Top 40 stations