AM Technical Profile: WAAX
- Talk, News
eye] Practically in Agricola Lake, east of US-411 in Rainbow
- Power (ERP):
- Day: 5 kW
- Day: 1 tower,
- Night: 3 towers
Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
Street View imagery of the old WQEN studios off Rainbow Highway,
now home to iHeartMedia's WGMZ and WAAX.
Owned by iHeartMedia
// W270DQ Gadsden (CP)
- This station
came on the air in 1947 as WGWD. In the 50's it was bought by
Charles A. Smithgall (of WSB fame) and became WCAS. Around
this time it was listed as a Mutual affiliate, with 1 kW days only,
operated by Etowah Broadcasters. Smithgall eventually
installed the now-well known 3 tower array just south of town on
Rainbow Drive, near the river. The good ground conductivity
and increase in daytime power to 5,000 watts gave this local station
very good coverage. He also changed the calls to WAAX at this
time, with the slogan "The Big WAAX".
Smithgall's ownership, the station picked up CBS affiliation, and
programmed light music in the day and CBS programming at night. The
station later added top 40 during the nighttime. The station's
staff actually had quite some latitude in what they put on the
air. The station's Wikipedia
article details this and other facts about the station,
including their growth as a regional news powerhouse.
- In the
late 60's the station moved on to country music, while still keeping
top 40 at night. It wasn't until FM became more popular that
the station moved to talk radio and left the hot music to FM sister
station WQEN. At one point in the 2000's, under Clear Channel
ownership, the station became a satellite of WERC Birmingham,
relaying all of their programming. The station has since gone
in its own direction.
In June 2018 the station was granted a new permit to construct an FM
translator on 101.9 MHz.