AM Technical Profile: WIOL


Frequency:
1580
Format:
Sports
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] On 4th Street in the city of Columbus, just east of Jackson Avenue and the Riverdale-Porterdale Cemetery.
Power (ERP):
Day: 2.1 kW
Night: 45 watts
Antenna:
Day and night: 1 tower
Other Information:
[FCC]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
History:
1580 came on either in late 1954 or early 1955 by Muskogee Broadcasting Company as WCLS (CoLumbuS).  The station originally was 1 kW daytime only.  It's not clear what the format was early on. Starting around 1965 the station was airing programming mostly aimed at black audiences, with a smattering of country music (!) here and there.  By then, the station had also added nighttime service.  Through the latter part of the 60's and into the 70's the station was Top 40, but with 1 kW and a top end of the dial position, it had a hard time competing with WDAK's giant signal on 540 kHz.  By the end of the 70's, the station had taken on a MOR (middle of the road) format, and by 1981 it was doing gospel.  The calls changes to WIZY in February 1984, and to WEAM in April of 1985, still with the gospel format.  That later morphed into a more general black-oriented religious format.  Muscogee Broadcasting transferred the license to Davis Broadcasting in April, 2001.  Davis later put the gospel into a simulcast with a station southeast of the city that they owned on 100.7 MHz, christening it WEAM-FM. 

The simulcast ended at some point in 2009, when this station flipped to sports as "The Zone".  The station was then teamed up with another FM in the area, WIOL, licensed to Waverly Hall. Shortly thereafter, this station became WIOL to the companion's WIOL-FM.  By 2011 the station was listed as a Yahoo! Sports Radio affiliate.  That was later dropped for ESPN, and both stations went as "95.7 ESPN Columbus".  A more recent development has this station carrying CBS Sports Radio, except during afternoon drive time, when it simulcasts the FM's ESPN programming. 
The station received a permit in 2016 to relocate from their old Ingersoll Road tower site in Phenix City for an existing tower in Columbus, just southeast of downtown.  In the process, the power went down slightly during the day, and the night power dropped considerably as they went from a directional two tower array to a single tower day and night.