AM Technical Profile: WDSA

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Urban Talk
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] Just south of the Plaza Two Shopping Center on the north side of Dothan, east of US-431, along the aptly-named WAGF Road.
Power (ERP):
Day: 1 kW
Night: 92 watts
1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[Studio] Street View imagery of the Wilson Broadcasting studios at the Holiday Inn on Highway 210 in Dothan.
// W230CY Dothan
This station dates all the way back to 1932, when Troy Broadcasting Company) put this station on the air, with 100 watts, days only, in Troy.  The original call letters were WHET and the transmitter was located at the corner of North Oak and East Walnut Streets in Troy.  A few years later, they moved the station to Dothan (and the company became Dothan Broadcasting Company).  At that time, they changed to 1370 kHz.  This is also most likely when the WAGF (Alabama-Georgia-Florida) calls came into use.  The transmitter was at the Southeast Alabama Fairgrounds, still with 100 watts, days only.  Later went to 250 watts.  The transmitter moved again in 1941, to a site off "Headland Highway" just north of the city limits.  This is the current site, off what is now US-431.  This was the first vertical antenna installed for the station; previously, they'd used horizontal T-wire antennas, as was common at the time.  Not too long after the move, the NARBA frequency-switcharoo went into effect and the station found itself on 1400 kHz, with a new-found ability to broadcast day and night with 250 watts.

For a long time, the station was known as "the voice of the tri-states" and often featured local high school football games and political debates.  The station moved to their current frequency of 1320 kHz with 1 kW days in 1948.  To gain nighttime service, they installed a three tower array on the current transmitter site.  They also installed a new Gates BC-1E transmitter, which served them through 1970.  Through the 50's, the station was an NBC affiliate.

The station had a modern country format going back at least into the late 70's, possibly earlier.  Faced with increased competition from FMs with big coverage areas, the station flipped to the Stardust satellite network's nostalgia/standards format in 1983, changing the calls to WDBM in the process.  That only lasted a few years, and the WAGF calls came back in 1986 along with a format change to what is called "The best of everything" in the 1986 Broadcasting Yearbook.  No, I don't know what that means, either.  Curiously, the station is listed as having 2 hours a week of classical programming, too.  Yeah.  Whatever it was, it was back to being Middle of the Road (MOR) a few years later.  In 1992 the station was sold from Dothan Broadcasting Company to Wilson Broadcasting (James Wilson III) for $60,000.  By the mid-90's it was doing sports. Before the end of the decade, it flipped to gospel music. 

The station dropped to non-directional nighttime service in 2002, lowering night power to just 13 watts.  In more recent years, the station has been urban talk, and managed to get the night signal back up to 92 watts.

In late January 2018, the station acquired a permit for a new translator on the FM band to relay the station on 93.9 MHz, which went on the air in late March 2018.