AM Technical Profile: WAGG


Frequency:
610
Format:
Religious: Black Gospel
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] Tower is located on the property of the Alabama State Fairgrounds in Five Points West.
Power (ERP):
5,000 watts day / 610 watts night
Antenna:
1 tower day & night
Other Information:
[FCC]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook] For WAGG 610/100.1
[Airchecks] Historical pictures and airchecks from WSGN.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the building housing the SummitMedia studios off Highway 280 in Hoover.
Owned by Summit Media
to be: // W261BX Birmingham
// WBHJ-HD3 Midfield
History:
Put on the air as WKBC in 1925 by the R. B. Broyles Furniture Company, this station may have orignially been on 1310 kHz. In 1941, where The Birmingham News bought it and changed the calls to WSGN (South's Greatest Newspaper), sort of a take off on WGN and Chicago Tribune with "World's Greatest Newspaper". In 1954 the station was sold as part of a massive change resulting from Newhouse buying The Birmingham News -- Newhouse owned WAPI!  The new owners brought in a strong staff, and about that time it became a Top 40 station, going more rock and roll around 1957 when WYDE headed that way as well.  WYDE was the leader until about 1963 when "The Good Guys" presentation debuted (along with a new PD) and WSGN took over. WSGN ruled the format's market until the 70's when WKXX-FM took that away from them. WSGN moved to AC and some oldies but that didn't help their ratings. They tried big band in 1984 before being gobbled up by WZZK-FM, which it began simulcasting, in 1985.  The station added AM stereo in the mid-80s, too.
 
In 1999 the station switched to a nostalgia format (calls then WEZN) where it enjoyed a small revival in the ratings (the format has been missed since WAPI went talk) but was recently switched with WAGG 1320 AM, enabling WAGG (now as "Heaven 610") to take perhaps the best day and night AM signal in town. The nostalgia and WEZN calls went briefly to 1320 AM.
 
The WSGN calls have found their way back to Alabama with Gadsden State's FM outlet in Gadsden.
 
Rick Dees was once a jock at WSGN in its top 40 heyday!
 
Throughout early 2011 the station had been running low power at night due to extensive renovation work at the state fairgrounds.  The work was going to be disruptive to the second (night) tower's ground system, and Cox received authorization to run non-direction with just 250 watts from the main tower.  On 27 April 2011 a derecho moved through the city and felled one of the two towers.  Rather than rebuild the second tower amid fairgrounds work, Cox received a permit in January 2012 to utilize the remaining tower with just 610 watts at night.  Ownership of the station was sold by Cox to SummitMedia, a deal which closed in 2013.  In October 2014 the station began being heard on FM for the first time, through the former "Y'all FM" translator W271BN at 102.1 MHz.  It was also reported on WZNN-HD3, as well.  It is most likely around that time that the station dropped its longtime slogan "Heaven 610".  The HD simulcast eventually migrated to WBHJ-HD3.  In March 2016 Summit shook up their portfolio of stations a bit, displacing the gospel from the translator W271BN at 102.1 MHz.  It moved to W261BX at 100.1 MHz, which is a smaller signal but still one that covers the main urban core.