Monday, Sept. 18, 2006 was a historic day for black-owned radio station WVON. The station changed it’s frequency from 1450 to 1690, giving it additional signal power of 10,000 watts.
After many years of broadcasting for only 15 hours a day, President and CEO Melody Spann Cooper successfully negotiated a multi-million dollar, five-year agreement that will allow Cooper to lease the 1690 AM frequency with an option to buy. The station will also be moving from it’s location at 3350 S. Kedzie to the formerly black-owned Soft Sheen Products building on East 87th Street.
This past Sunday the entire WVON staff celebrated with well-wishers at Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side, 400 W. 95th St. Church pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright hosted WVON and one of its new talk show hosts, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who gave a rousing sermon. Sharpton’s show airs Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m.
His show is followed by the “Dean of Talk” Cliff Kelley, who has the key evening-drive from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. As part of his debut, Rev. Sharpton’s “The Al Sharpton Show” broadcast live from the studios on Monday.
During the final week of the 1450 broadcast, Spann Cooper was a guest on Cliff Kelley’s morning show. Cooper assured her listeners that she is not “selling out”, and to have faith in her decision-making.
“If I run into any problems I can assure you I will come back to community and let them know,” she said.
Following is the new WVON lineup:
6-9 a.m.: “The Roland S. Martin Show”. Roland is a nationally award-winning journalist and editor of BlackAmericaweb.com, and is currently executive editor of The Chicago Defender
9 a.m.-noon: “The Santita Jackson Show”. Jackson is the eldest daughter of Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., and served as producer of “Upfront with Jesse Jackson”. Jackson is also a well-known vocalist.
noon-3 p.m.: “The Al Sharpton Show”. Sharpton is an ordained minister and founder of the civil rights group National Action Network. He was candidate for mayor of New York, New York’s U.S. Senate seat, and ran for president in 2004.
3-7 p.m.: “The Cliff Kelley Show”. Kelley, one the most popular talk show host across the country, is a former alderman for the 20th Ward. Kelley is also an attorney.
7-10 p.m.: “The Michael Eric Dyson Show”. Dyson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is known as the “hip-hop scholar,” is a renowned author, and ordained Baptist minister.
10-midnight: “On Target with Jon Daye”. Daye has more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, and is a frequent lecturer at Northeastern Illinois University’s “Project Success”, and has hosted his own local cable television show for many years.
Midnight-3 a.m.: “The 2 Stews with Doug & Ryan Stewart”. Brothers Doug and Ryan Stewart are sports talk radio hosts of the highly-acclaimed radio show, “The 2 Stew!”.
3-6 a.m.: “The Bev Smith Show”. Smith is a commentator who has appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CNN’s “Crier and Company,” and “Larry King Live.”