By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Nov 14, 2007 at 10:12 AM

When I moved back to Milwaukee in 1996, I set the presets on the radio of my shiny new Toyota Tercel, and in some ways, I've never looked back.

While my musical tastes have changed and evolved -- or devolved, as some would say --I've kept the presets the same from car to car to car to car (and so on). Historically, when I discover a new radio station, I tack it onto the end of the presets.

Which is pretty dumb, since I listen to five or so stations much, much more these days than I do to 94.5 WKTI, which actually, and sadly, remains number one on my presets.

Why have I waited 11 years to bump these stations from the coveted one through five spots on my radio presets? I'm not quite sure, to be honest. And that's why today, I will change them to these fine stations, listed in order of listening preference:

  1. 89.7 WUWM
  2. 102.1 WLUM
  3. 91.7 WMSE
  4. 88.9 WYMS
  5. 96.5 WKLH

Yeah, if I'm flipping around I need an oldies fix, I'll still check out 95.7 (if they're still playing that format and not Christmas music). If it's a Brewers or Packers game, I'll tune into to 620 WTMJ (but then and only then). And if I'm in the car during my colleague Drew Olson's "D-List" on ESPN Radio 1510 AM, or Steve Czaban's segment on 102.9 FM, I'll give those a listen, too.

But for a guy who's spent a long time complaining about the sorry state of Milwaukee's radio scene, it's getting quite a bit better. At least three stations now play music that would never get airplay on one of those pre-programmed mega stations.

And while it's still possible to hear Supertramp on at leave five Milwaukee stations at the same time, four of my five top picks are willing to take some chances. Kudos, Milwaukee radio, for bringing me back into the fold.


Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.