KWJB was the
The Sims Broadcasting Company put KWJB on the air in the summer of 1938, broadcasting on 1210 kHz. In 1939, KWJB joined
Even though KWJB was an affiliate of KTAR's ABC chain, and KTAR and three other stations in the seven-station network were NBC affiliates, it would not be until March 1, 1944, that KWJB would join NBC. Eight months later, the station suffered a tower collapse when a gust of wind brought the structure down during the replacement of its guy wires. The studios and transmitter were relocated again in 1949 to a new building on
KWJB was approved in 1953 to build a cable television system to provide reception of Phoenix stations received at Pinal Peak in the Globe-Miami area. Four years later, Gila filed with the FCC to build a TV station on channel 34 at Globe. The application was withdrawn in a contentious battle with the Community TV Project, which sought to build television translators for Globe and complained that the channel 34 application was made "as a subterfuge" to keep the translators away; Gila said that its proposed station could not coexist with translators of Phoenix stations. By the time the TV station was filed, Gila also held the construction permit for the first FM station in Gila County, KWJB-FM 100.3, which signed on in 1958. The call letters had been assigned in November 1956.
However, the two stations would not last long into the 1960s. In March, the
On October 15, 1960, at a hearing in Phoenix, Gila asked the FCC to approve the renewal of the Gila stations' license and their sale to Perrin. The stations went dark on October 29 despite the FCC denying Gila's request to take them silent, with Gila citing the fact that nervous employees fearing for their futures were already leaving their jobs and the company's financial state for the closures. In denying the request, the FCC warned that the affected communities had no other radio stations.
In August 1962, Arizona radio station owner Carleton W. Morris asked for FCC permission to set up new stations using the Gila facilities, having paid $100,000 for their equipment. The call letters were canceled on January 17, 1963, and 1240 AM remained silent for most of the rest of the decade. (100.3 remained silent for almost 20 years until a new
James Mace applied in 1969 to build a radio station on the 1240 allocation in Globe left vacant by KWJB. This new station took the KWJB call letters on March 22, 1969, and went on the air later in the year. The station went silent in June 1975 after being sold to James H. Adams-owned Broadcasters Inc. for $52,500. The station returned to the air on August 6 with a country format. After the sale, however, KWJB was beset by technical problems that prompted the station to place newspaper advertising apologizing to listeners. The new station applied for the call letters KPPR, a nod to Globe's copper mining heritage, and received them in November 1975.
KPPR folded sometime between 1975 and 1978. Mace then made an application in December 1977, mutually exclusive with the renewal of the KPPR license, for 1240 kHz. That application was granted in 1980 and went on the air as KGJM, becoming today's