AM Technical Profile: WDJL


Frequency:
1000
Format:
Gospel
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] On Stringfield Road NW, between Blake Bottom Road NW and AL-53 (Jordan Lane NW).
Power (ERP):
Day: 1.1 kW
Antenna:
1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[FCC]
[FCCdata.org]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
History:
This station dates back to an original construction permit issued in 1967 to Tennessee Valley Broadcasting Company, Inc.  The original plans were for a two-tower directional array, which would have been located on what is today the site of Montview Elementary School on Garvin Road in northwest Huntsville.  It came on the air in late 1968 as WVOV — Voice of the (Tennessee) Valley — on 1000 kHz, with 10 kW from a Bauer FB-10J transmitter, but with three towers, from the current transmitter and studio location on Stringfield Road.  The format was Top 40, and despite being a daytimer, it gave serious competition to the stodgy WAAY. 

The license was transferred to Powell Broadcasting in 1974.  The competition forced WAAY to up its game a bit, and by the late 70's, WVOV was beginning to sound tired, so it flipped to a short-lived country format in 1979. 

By the dawn of the new decade, Top 40 had migrated to FM (via Athens-licensed WZYP), so the station flipped to an Adult Contemporary format in 1981 as WTAK, and owned by Barber Broadcasting.  It didn't work well since WAAY also went to the same format at roughly the same time, so in 1983 the station flipped to oldies as "Take 10", with many of the old songs from the WVOV library and some of the old signature WVOV sound.  That same year it was acquired by Gant Broadcasting for $400,000.  The station tried something new in 1985, launching a Top 40 / Urban hybrid format, which failed miserably.  Facing "radio death", the station tried Album Oriented Rock and managed to find success as "AM 1000, The Valley's Rock & Roll", becoming a top five ratings performer for years. 

In 1994, the station acquired an FM sister station in the Hartselle-licensed WYAM (re-christened as WTAK-FM) and moved the AOR/Classic Rock format there.  In April 1994 the station's call sign changed to WDJL and the format flipped to Black Gospel.  The next year, the station was acquired by DEBCO Production, Inc.  They, in turn, sold the station to 5th Ave Broadcasting (James K. Sharp) in 1996; in 1999 the license was transferred to STG Media, LLC.

A contributor submitted this story about this station, from the late 90's era:

“About a year ago, I noticed they had only one tower standing (used to be three).  I asked a local engineer who contracts for a lot of stations in the North Alabama area and he told me that the owner had hired a bulldozer to clean out a ditch in the transmitter field, and the guy dug up the cables between two of the towers.  The owner got an insurance settlement but pocketed the money, rather than fix the cable.  They ran for several years non-directional illegally and finally got inspected.  The FCC made them re-file for non-directional at 1,100 watts rather than the former 10,000 watts directional, and made them take down the two unused towers.  Frankly, I'm surprised they were able to keep their ticket.”  Another site contributor notes that it was a lawnmower, not a bulldozer, that mangled the grounding system and transmitter cables.


The old studios were sold and the new one is on Sparkman drive across from the Super Wal-Mart.
At the end of May 2009 it was reported that the station was sold by James K. Sharp to Gospel Explosion Ministries.  He changed the format to gospel music as "Love 1000".