AM History Profile: WGYJ


History:
Southland Broadcasting Company (Cyril W. Reddoch and J. B. McCrary) signed this station on in late 1949 as WATM (ATMore), on 1580 kHz, as a 250 watt daytimer.  The transmitter (RCA ET-425D) was located at what is today 810 East Craig Street, while the studios were downtown at 120 Main Street.  In 1951, control of Southland Broadcasting was transferred to Tom C. Miniard and Grady L. Ingram.  The station got a boost in power to 1 kW, still as a daytimer, in the spring of 1956 by shift up to 1590 kHz.  They installed a Gates BC-1J for the purpose.  The station boosted power again this time to 5 kW days only in the fall of 1958.

The station spawned an FM companion in 1966, WATM-FM, which later went on to become a full-market big signal in the Mobile & Pensacola markets.

Although it's not known what the station's format was in the earliest days, by the early 70's it was known to be airing a Country music format.  Later the station diversified and did some block programming, with different formats during different hours of the day. 

Talton Broadcasting Company of Escambia County was assigned the license in 1979.  Under their ownership, the format was Middle of the Road (MOR) in 1981.  The station added nighttime service in the early 80's by adding two more towers and employing a nighttime-only directional pattern.  The transmitter site moved to a site off North Main Street (AL-21) just north of downtown, next to what is today the Walmart. 

By the mid-80's, the call sign had changed to WSKR and the format had flipped to an Adult Contemporary format, with some R&B mixed in.  Keymarket Gulf Coast acquired the station and its FM brother in 1984. 

The call sign changed again in December 1987, this time WIZD (matching its FM companion) and the format flipped a short-lived Country music presentation.  The station was sold less than four months later to Maranantha Ministries Foundation for $175,000.  They flipped it to a Religious format with the WGYJ calls for "We Give You Jesus".  It later morphed into a Southern Gospel music format before going off the air in the late 90's.  The license and call sign were deleted in 1998.