The station was originally an AM day timer and throughout its life went through a series of call letters and formats before going 24 hours in the 1980s. In 2001, WGSO gave New Orleans its first Business Talk format.
Originally, 990 AM was WJMR. It joined the AM band on January 27, 1946. The station was owned by George Mayoral and broadcast from the Jung Hotel in downtown New Orleans. It later became the sister station of WJMR-FM (Currently WEZB-FM) and WJMR-TV (Currently WVUE-TV) (New Orleans second television station in 1953).
In the mid-1950s it was home to “Poppa Stoppa” whose program featured long runs of uninterrupted Rock and Roll music. When WJMR-AM was sold the station call sign was changed to WNNR (Winner Radio). The station briefly became WLTS in the fall of 1984. On June 4, 1985 it became WYAT (capitalizing on the local street expression “Where y’at?”), broadcasting a syndicated Oldies format with some local DJ’s during the day.
WGSO was launched in 1972 at 1280 AM with an adult contemporary format. In December of 1985, the name of the station was changed to WKMJ, “Magic 1280,” featuring R&B Oldies.
On December 1, 1993, the WGSO call letters were once again used, this time for 990-AM. Originally, the station broadcast an audio feed of CNN’s Headline News. From 2001 until 2004, it was billed as “City Business 990”, touting its relationship with the local “City Business” newspaper. From 2004-2005 WGSO was known as “BizRadio 990.” During this time there were local hosts during the day and syndicated programming with CNN newscasts overnight.
In June of 2007, the station was purchased by Northshore Radio LLC and moved to Slidell, LA to become the “Voice of the Northshore.” The station launched a variety of local talk programs, with hosts Jeff Crouere, Ed Clancy, and Ken Trahan among others, as well as news and traffic reports centered in St. Tammany Parish.
In April of 2010, the station of WGSO was moved to its current location in the Central Business District of New Orleans, 330 Carondelet Street. Their new moniker was “Speakin’ Easy New Orleans Style.” The station also started streaming their signal at their website, wgso.com.
WGSO continues to offer a variety of local talk programs, with 20 different hosts discussing topics such as politics, real estate, culture, entertainment, sports, local dining, spirits, and wine. Daily hosts include Jeff Crouere, Effie Chaisson, Tom and Mary Ann Fitzmorris, Tim McNally, and B.J. Rust. The station also broadcasts University of Louisiana at Lafayette football games, weekly religious services at Christ Church Cathedral and a variety of syndicated programming, from hosts such as Kate Delaney and Mark Levin.
In 2021, the station will be celebrating its 75th Anniversary. WGSO has received IRS approval for 501-C-3 status and will transition to a non-profit organization, accepting tax deductible donations from supporters that will be used to fulfill its broadcasting mission. The new moniker for the station is “Community Voice of the Crescent City.”
The livestream is available at https://edge.mixlr.com/channel/jgwqp.