WSLI is a radio station which is part of the Smile FM radio network.
Early History WSLI became Jackson, Mississippi’s second radio station when it went on the air in September of 1938. It was owned by the Standard Life Insurance Company and the call letters “WSLI” represented the name of the licensee. It signed on from studios located in the Robert E. Lee Hotel. The transmitter was located on High Street, near the Pearl River. WSLI was affiliated with NBC’s Blue Network. L.M. Sepaugh was named the first Manager. WSLI had the distinction of employing Mississippi’s first women announcers, Miss Nancy Chambers and Miss Virginia Metz.
The station was originally located at 1450am; moved to 930am. Call letters changed sometime around 2006. Currently known as WSFZ, “SuperSport 930.” As some point, the station was sold to Mississippi College. In 1998 Russ Robinson secured a deal to buy the station and moved WSLI off campus. Finding office space in Clinton, Robinson said a large majority of the equipment was obsolete and the station pretty much started from scratch.
The call sign WSLI was also used for a television station that broadcast from January 1953 on analog channel 12 from Jackson, Mississippi. WSLI Channel 12 was acquired in 1954 by the owners of rival television station WJTV, and was merged into WJTV in 1955. Thereafter the callsign WSLI identified a radio station that served the Jackson, Mississippi market until the early 2000s. For most of its history, WSLI featured the morning show of Farmer Jim Neal and the Feist Dog, which was the top rated radio program in Jackson for over 40 years.
Hank Williams performed live on WSLI's Farm Jim Show on 2/21/50. WSLI Bob Rall was credited for founding one of the first “talk shows” in Jackson. 1953, WSLI-TV Ch. 12 signed on by Jackson Daily News as a CBS affiliate. WSLI-TV merged with WJTV-TV in 1955 after purchase by the Hederman family, owners of The Clarion-Ledger, bought the Daily News
The current WSLI began operation in July, 2008. With a transmitter located just west of Belding, the station covers portions of the Grand Rapids, and Ionia, Kent, and Montcalm counties. WSLI broadcasts the Smile FM programming from flagship station WLGH in Lansing. WSLI is owned by Smile FM under the official name of Superior Communications.
The original Construction Permit granted on July 15, 2005 called for 10 kW from a short 98' tower. After having an application to modify to 14 kW dismissed by the FCC due to a small overlap in coverage area of WCSG, a construction permit for 11.5 Kw directional signal from a tower was approved on May 2, 2007.
During the final stages of station construction the construction permit was modified to a 2.9 Kw non-directional signal from a much shorter tower in order to get the station on the air before the construction permit expired. The station was granted a construction for the originally approved power, directional pattern, and tower height on May 20, 2010.
On December 27, 2010, the station began broadcasting with increased power.