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La Z1310 logo 2017.png
City Dearborn, Michigan
Broadcast area Metro Detroit
Branding La Z 1310 & 107.9
Slogan Marcando Territorio!
(Marking Territory!)
Frequency 1310 kHz
Translator(s) W300DI 107.9 Detroit
First air date December 29, 1946 (as WKMH)
Format Regional Mexican, tropical music, Mexican pop
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
FX (W300DI)
Facility ID 6593
Transmitter coordinates 42°15′50″N 83°15′16″W / 42.26389°N 83.25444°W / 42.26389; -83.25444
Call sign meaning DTW is the IATA airport code for the Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Former call signs WWWW (7/24/06-9/15/06)
WDTW (1/25/05-7/24/06)
WXDX (12/4/00-1/25/05)
WYUR (9/22/97-12/4/00)
WDOZ (1/3/95-9/22/97)
WMTG (11/24/86-1/3/95)
WNIC (11/1/86-11/24/86)
WWKR (1977-11/1/86)
WNIC (1972-1977)
WKNR (1963-1972)
WKMH (1946-1963)
Owner Pedro Zamora
(Zamora Broadcasting Systems, Inc.)
Webcast Listen Live
Website LaZ1310.com

WDTW is an AM radio station licensed to Dearborn, Michigan. Owned by Pedro Zamora, the station broadcasts a Spanish-language music format branded as La Z1310.

Originating as WKMH in 1946, in 1963 it became known as WKNR, the Top 40 Keener 13 that served the Metro Detroit area in the 1960s and early 1970s. It has undergone a number of format and call letter changes since the end of 'Keener', variously being a simulcast AM source of WNIC, its sister station; a soul oldies station, WMTG; an all-children's station, WDOZ; a personality/oldies/classical station, WYUR; and a talk station of a number of formats.


Early years

AM 1310 began broadcasting in 1946 under the call sign WKMH. Originally a daytime-only station at 1540 on the AM dial, WKMH moved to its current 1310 frequency and began 24-hour operations in 1948. In its early years, WKMH (joined around 1950 by sister station WKMH-FM, simulcasting at 100.3 on the FM dial) was a typical suburban full-service radio station specializing in local news, information, sports, and mainly MOR-oriented pop music. WKMH's most popular personality was Robin Seymour (DJ), a pioneering rock and roll disk jockey in Detroit. Seymour's "Bobbin' with Robin" show featured a music mix that foreshadowed the birth of the Top 40 format in playing R&B and early rock artists like The Crows alongside mainstream pop stars like Patti Page. Seymour would stay on at the station as it became WKNR and later became the host of Swingin' Time, a popular local teenage dance show on CKLW-TV.

WKMH garnered some notice through early 1960s Top 40 shows hosted by personalities such as Lee Alan "On the Horn" and Dave "Sangoo" Prince, but the station was generally considered an also-ran in the Detroit market and a weak competitor of WJBK and WXYZ, which were Detroit's dominant Top 40 stations. At night, the station featured a jazz show hosted by Jim Rockwell (later of WABX-FM). In addition, WKMH was briefly Detroit's CBS Radio affiliate in 1960, after WJR dropped its CBS affiliation to add more local programming. Despite, or some might say because of, this unusual move, WKMH continued to flounder. In 1962 the station shed its CBS affiliation (which WJR regained) and became "Flagship Radio," an early adult contemporary format featuring a mix of softer current pop hits and MOR album cuts, but this format, too, was a failure.

"Keener 13"

Despite the power of WJBK and WXYZ and the 50,000-watt signal of CKLW, consultant Mike Joseph (perhaps best known for developing the Hot Hits format in the late 1970s) was convinced there was room for a fourth Top 40 station in Detroit and that 1310 AM could easily climb ahead of the competition. With WKMH owner Nellie Knorr, he developed the formula that ultimately became a smashing success.

One of the factors involved instituting a shorter playlist - only 31 records plus one "key song" of the week and a liberal sprinkling of oldies - than was typical for many Top 40 stations of the era. WJBK, WXYZ and CKLW all had very long playlists at the time, stretching to 80 to 100 songs at times. WKNR's shorter playlist ensured that they played more hits and fewer "stiffs" and that listeners would hear one of the top hits whenever they tuned in. WKNR also played the hits 24 hours a day, as opposed to the other hit stations in Detroit which were loaded with non-music full-service features (especially on weekends).

WKNR officially launched on October 31, 1963, with the "Battle of the Giants," an attention-grabbing promotion that invited listeners to call in to vote for their favorite oldies. The station quickly gained momentum, and in an unprecedented "worst-to-first" move, three months later "Keener" was a solid across-the-board number one in the ratings. Until the spring of 1967, despite a weak signal which missed most of the east side of the metro area (especially at night, although the station could be heard market-wide on its more powerful FM simulcast at 100.3), WKNR was the preeminent rock radio station in the Motor City. Competitors WJBK and WXYZ were badly hurt in the ratings by their new competitor, and both stations eventually were driven out of Top 40 and into MOR formats. It has been reported that the legendary Henry Ford II himself was an avid Keener fan.

Keener featured popular personalities like Dick Purtan, Bob Green, Gary Stevens (later of New York's legendary WMCA), J. Michael Wilson, Scott Regen, Ted Clark and Jim Jeffries, and a mix of music that included a number of local acts including many of Detroit's Motown superstars. Scott Regen's "Motown Monday" features included live concerts from the Roostertail supper club, featuring Motown legends such as the Supremes and The Four Tops. Dick Purtan honed the wry, sardonic sense of humor that has made him a fixture on the Motor City airwaves for four decades, first on WKNR. The station's promotions, imaging, and jingles were noted for their wacky, offbeat sound and were imitated frequently by other stations across the country, including sister station WKFR in Battle Creek, Michigan, which was known as "Keener 14." Bob Green would later describe the Keener sound as being like "a 24-hour cartoon."

Keener 13's appeal to adult listeners as well as teens was cemented with the station's heavy news commitment, with "Contact News" at :15 and :45 past the hour every hour. WKNR's newscasts were straightforward and lacked the flash or sensationalism of CKLW's "blood-and-guts" "20/20 News" but were highly regarded. The station released a "Year in Review" album each year which was made available to area schools.

WKNR's dominance was challenged when CKLW-AM got a makeover courtesy of Bill Drake and Paul Drew in April 1967. With 50,000 watts behind it and a lightning-fast pace based on Drake's "Boss Radio" model, The Big 8 became the number one Top 40 station in the region, and some of Keener's top DJs, including Dick Purtan and Scott Regen, would eventually move over to CKLW. However, WKNR did not go down without a fight, continuing to battle the Big 8 for five more years despite dropping ratings. During this time, the station attempted to distinguish itself from CKLW by playing less bubblegum pop and more rock album cuts, and promoting itself as "Rock and Roll The American Way" (a jab at CKLW's location in Windsor, Ontario, and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission-mandated "Canadian content" regulations imposed at the start of 1971). Sister station WKNR-FM, which had previously simulcast the AM programming, switched to a more adventurous progressive rock format starting in 1969, followed by an MOR "Stereo Island" format in 1971.

The Keener 13 era is celebrated at Keener13.com, with an extensive history, an archive of air checks and a database of every WKNR Music Guide in addition to an online tribute webcast called WKNR Keener 13 dot com.

Later years

On April 25, 1972, "Keener 13" signed off to the sounds of "Turn! Turn! Turn!" by The Byrds and changed to an easy listening format as WNIC, simulcast with its FM sister station. WNIC-FM changed to an adult contemporary format in 1976, a format with which it has been very successful since. AM 1310 simulcast for a short time until the decision was made in 1977 to revive the "Keener 13" brand name on its original frequency with an adult-oriented Top 40/Oldies mix and a new call sign, WWKR (the WKNR callsign was unavailable after having been installed on the former WKFR, now WBFN). The legendary "Keener 13" record survey, the "Keener Music Guide," was also brought back, but was published on a monthly rather than weekly basis. The second version of "Keener 13" did not have the success of the original, and by 1980, AM 1310 was back to simulcasting WNIC-FM.

Since late 1986, AM 1310 has tried several other different formats, none of which have attained lasting success, and has been in and out of simulcasting WNIC 100.3 between formats. Other formats heard on 1310 since 1986 include:

  • WMTG - satellite-fed Rhythmic Oldies, 1986-1994. Programming came from Satellite Music Network's "Heart and Soul" package. The calls stood for "Motown Gold."[citation needed]
  • WDOZ - children's programming, 1994-1996 (affiliated with the Radio AAHS network and then with KidStar after AAHS went under)
  • WYUR - "Your Radio Station"/Personality News-Talk/Adult Standards/Classical, 1997-2000. This permutation of AM 1310 was started by veteran WJR broadcaster Bob Hynes in an attempt to revive the sound of the 50,000-watt giant at AM 760 before it changed to the standard news/talk outlet it is now. After longtime classical-music station WQRS changed format in November 1997, the station added classical music to its schedule. However, WYUR had only a minimal impact in the ratings.
  • WXDX - "The X"/Sports Talk (Fox Sports Radio), 2000–2002
  • WXDX - "The X"/Talk (mostly syndicated), 2002–2005

In 2005, 1310 became WDTW, owned by Clear Channel Communications. The station featured a progressive talk format. The station's call letters temporarily changed to WWWW on July 24, 2006 as part of a station swap between Clear Channel Communications and Cumulus Media in the Ann Arbor and Canton, Ohio markets. On September 15, 2006, the call letters were changed back to WDTW.

On January 21, 2010, WDTW's affiliate Air America Media filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and ceased live programming the same night. Reruns of Air America's programming continued to air until January 25 at 9 PM Eastern Time. After that, WDTW had to find other programs.

Reconstruction, return as a Spanish-language station

On December 11, 2012, Clear Channel announced they would donate WDTW to the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC), as part of the Ownership Diversity Initiative between Clear Channel and the MMTC. The MMTC did not announce any specific plans for the station.[1] On December 14, 2012, it was revealed that the MMTC donation applied only to the license of the station, as Clear Channel announced that WDTW would cease broadcasting at midnight on December 31, 2012. The station's antennas and transmitter facilities near the intersection of I-94 and Telegraph Road in Taylor were dismantled shortly afterward.[2]

First logo after WDTW's rebirth as a spanish station

In 2014, the MMTC chose to resell WDTW to Pedro Zamora, who owns several Spanish-language radio stations and a promoter specializing in Spanish-language musicians, for $100,000. After the sale, WDTW reconstructed its broadcast facilities—a process that had an estimated cost of around $1 million. In April 2016, the station officially re-launched as La Mega Detroit 1310. The new format primarily targets the Detroit, Pontiac, and Toledo markets. Zamora entered into arrangements with TSJ Media (who operates La Mega stations in other markets) to assist in WTDW's operations; the station was operated out of TSJ's facilities in Columbus, Ohio while WDTW completed the build-out of its studio in Taylor, Michigan and hired full-time staff members. TSJ's owner Josh Guttman stated that he also planned for WDTW to pursue Spanish-language broadcast rights to local professional sports teams, as TSJ had successfully done in Ohio.[3]

On July 21, 2017, WDTW activated a low-powered FM translator on 107.9 FM in Detroit, named W300DI. That year, the station also dropped the Le Mega brand in favor of La Z1310.

See also


  1. ^ All-Access: "Clear Channel Donates WDTW-A/Detroit To MMTC", December 11, 2012.
  2. ^ Michiguide: "Clear Channel to take WDTW AM 1310 Detroit dark on December 31", December 14, 2012.
  3. ^ "New local Spanish-language station will seek Tigers, Lions". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved 20 April 2016.

External links

  • The Michael Stein Show
  • Michiguide.com WDTW history
  • WKNR Keener 13.com (streaming webcaster)
  • Keener13.com (tribute site and former podcaster)
  • Query the FCC's AM station database for WDTW
  • Radio-Locator Information on WDTW
  • Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WDTW
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for W300DI
  • Radio-Locator information on W300DI
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for W300DI
  • FCC History Cards for WDTW
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