94WKTI

A special tribute - for a special reunion!

Maybe it was the thousand foot towers outside my bedroom window as a child, with their red electric glow eliminating the need for a night light.

Maybe it was the monstrous facility on Capitol Drive, with the signature NBC peacock in the circular window surrounding an old-school auditorium.

Maybe it was the morning show and the marketing MACHINE that made you feel like the radio station was everywhere, supporting everything.

In reality: it was all of it.  A strong local ownership group that believed in connecting with listeners, supporting a brand with research and marketing, and making an impact with real community service; it added up to a brand that mirrored the town it served.  The iconic 94WKTI was the first radio station I can remember listening to as a child, and built my vision for what a great brand was ALL ABOUT.  It was an honor to later intern there in 2000, and truly awe-inspiring to be able to crack the mic for the first time on 94.5 in Milwaukee.

 

With commercials like this, a constant presence (thanks to Channel 4), and pop music in the 1980s that cut through the speakers, 94WKTI was on so many presets through the city, it would seem like highway robbery in today’s congested audio marketplace.  Although Reitman and Mueller may have claimed they only had *7* listeners… we knew there were a lot more.

(There’s a parallel between that *7* they talked about back in the day and today’s ratings system today.  But that’s a different blog post for a different day.)

Today, as WTMJ-TV, Radio, and WKTI alums from across the globe celebrate the brands they helped build, we celebrate a truly special time for 94WKTI: the 80s.  Led by branding and audio gurus like Dallas Cole, Tim Fox, Todd Fisher, and Danny Clayton (among others), WKTI popped out of the speakers and was on EVERYWHERE.  And if you, like me, miss that sound and feeling, I hope you enjoy this special 94 minute presentation for the get-together today.  Have no fear, we’ll have more plans as the full Spring 2023 reunion comes to pass.

So raise a glass to an old friend that sounds JUST as good today as it did in it’s prime.  Here’s to you, 94WKTI.  Cheers… and enjoy 94 Minutes or 94WKTI!

-Tony Lorino

Throwback Nation Radio CEO (and WKTI Intern, 2000-01).

 

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