AM History Profile: WARI

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A construction permit for a new station was granted to Abbeville Radio, Inc. (John Mizell and James Crawford) in June 1960 for a station on 1480 kHz, running 1,000 watts days only.  By August 1961 the station had signed on; it's unclear what the format was in the earliest days.  In 1962, the station attempted to get a boost in power, to 5 kW days with 1 kW nights but was denied by the FCC.  The station's studios were at the transmitter site, about two miles northwest of Abbeville on AL-10.  Early on, the station was known to carry some County music programming in addition to whatever their main format was.  By 1968, the station had spawned an FM companion, WARI-FM on 94.3 MHz.

Mizell died in 1968 and ownership of the company eventually moved to Arthur L. Harris. 

By the early 70's, the station has gone to Country music fulltime, with the FM duplicating programming about half the time.  Ownership of the radio company was transferred from Arthur Harris to James K. Sanders, III, in 1975.  By 1976, the station was doing a Diversified format including some Country and Rock music, with the FM sister duplicating it by about 75% of the time.  By 1978 the AM was back to fulltime Country and the FM was being programmed separately.

Ownership of the stations was sold to Henry County Radio, Inc. in January 1980.  They flipped the format to a Black-targeted music and talk format.  They later sold the stations to Abbeville wireless, who flipped the format to Oldies around 1985.  It continued to operate with Oldies until the mid-90's when it disappeared.  The FCC deleted the license in September 1996.

[Google Maps] Location of the former WARI transmitter and studios.