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Minneapolis/St. Paul

Tom Ambrose on WCCO-FM Minneapolis/St. Paul | 1978

Another from the archives. 103 FM WCCO FM – this is a very laid-back aircheck, reminiscent of the old Soft Rock 103 WEEI-FM in Boston. If anyone knows the history behind this station, leave a comment below.

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12 Comments


  1. From what I’ve heard, this started as a simulcast of WCCO 830, in the very late 60’s, at low power. In 1973, they went full-power and started an AC format of its own to avoid taking listeners away from the AM. In the fall of 1982, they made a rather poor attempt at CHR, and failed miserably at it. About a year later, it became WLTE, with a soft AC format not unlike what this aircheck represents.

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  2. What are you talkin about. The station was big in the 70s. Karl Lensgraf, Tim Russell. The Rude Awakening. The CCO FM.

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  3. I bumped into this aircheck entirely by accident, but it brings back great memories.
    I worked at WCCO-FM from 1974 to 84, and I can assure you that it was NOT a simulcast of Big Brother WCCO, but a sensationally smart redraw of WCCO sensibilities (area awareness, “good neighborliness”, people-appeal, open music policy) created for the then-emerging FM radio upsurge powered by baby-boomer desires for better sound and less structure; a reaction to “top-40” restrictions.
    From 1974 to 1980 or so. WCCO-FM was the best commercial radio station I ever heard, with the most extraordinarily gifted and various group of talented communicators you could have found anywhere. We were committed to be the best, had the horsepower to do it, and for a “brief shining moment”, we were. I’ll never forget the experience. It was fabulous! It also in memory stands as a stinging reproach to the miserable fate radio has sustained since the ownership “implosion” caused by the redraw of FCC law in 1996 … a cautionary tale for all alert citizens to read and ponder!

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  4. Jared:
    I heartily agree with your assesment of CCO-FM. I’m from New York and I grew up listening to WABC AM with many fegendery jocks most notably Dan Ingram who had a 40+ year tenure in the market.
    Having said that, I lived in the Twin Cities from 77-80 and enjoyed CCO very much for excellent format and talent. Carl Lensgraf (radio’s Mr Wonderful)was one of my favorite all time jocks.
    The aircheck does indeed bring back memoories especially the long jingle. I would love to hear more about what you did at CCO.
    Thanks for the memories.

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  5. Wow!!..What a blast from the past..I was a “Brownie Student” Lived in Twin Cities for years, especially in the late 70’s ‘CCO FM was always a favorite and played a crucial role in defining Twin Cities radio to me. It’s lite format brings back relationship memories..the past is never forgotten. Just as some the WCCO FM unique jingles from the era would say: “WCCO FM 103..”That’s Easy To Remember..”

    Steven C.
    San Diego, CA

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    • The “that’s easy to remember!” line was stolen from an early promo for KDWB. “63. That’s easy to remember.” They just edited out the “63”, to have it lead out from “103”. I wonder if ‘CCO-FM got a cease and desist letter from the lawyers for Doubleday, or whoever owned KDWB at the time.

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  6. Wow, you just don’t find stations like this anymore. Why don’t AC stations stick with the softer stuff like WCCO-FM did? The closest thing there is here now is Love 105, playing a lot of the same music found in this aircheck.

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  7. What a blast hearing this!T.A. was awesome to listen to.Love the jingle!Thanks providing it.

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  8. The last year WCCO-FM was that great was in 1981, before radio fell elephant to target demographics.

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  9. I worked with “TA” Tom Ambrose, as he called himself back then on WWTC, when they had the “Starburst Cluster” format. Tom was one of the youngest announcers there at the time.

    Where is he now?

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  10. August 21, 2014

    I am looking for Tom Ambrose also. I am a former radio announcer myself. I attended Brown Institute. My favorite format for almost anything broadcast was always radio. Alas, the changes have become so dramatically dismal in radio, that I hardly ever listen anymore….. it has literally been years since I have done so. At any rate, if you find out where Tom Ambrose is, please let me know. I am doing some research and looking for some information that I believe Tom would have. He was a great talent back late 1970’s and 1980’s. Thank you so much. I appreciate the comments here, interesting! I am surprised not more interaction!…. nice site!

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  11. “We were committed to be the best, had the horsepower to do it, and for a “brief shining moment”, we were. I’ll never forget the experience.”

    Jared, I couldn’t agree more. Most especially the 1977-1979 years when we were a solid number two, right behind Mama. Creative on-air performers were given great latitude, the music philosophy spot-on unique, supportive management and the dedication of the sales staff who were great fans themselves. I am so proud to have been a part.

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