AM Technical Profile: WJAM


Frequency:
1340
Format:
Urban Adult Contemporary
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] On the east side of Race Street, east of Selma.
Power (ERP):
Day: 1 kW
Night: 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]
[Facebook]
[Studio] Google Street View image of the station's studio, co-located with WALX.
// W234DM Selma, AL
History:
G. W. Covington, Jr. (who spawned WCOV AM, FM and later, TV in Montgomery) signed this station on with 250 watts on 1340 kHz in 1946, with CBS affiliation.  Covington died just three years later and by 1958 the station had been sold to Dallas Broadcasters.  They only held the license for a few years, as Robert J. Martin bought the station in 1961.  The station got a boost in power from 250 watts to 1,000 watts in 1964.  It later became WAMA (alabAMA), and was sold to the Vogel-Hendrix Corporation in 1969.

Under their ownership, Vogel-Hendrix ran the station with a contemporary music format, including some black-oriented programming.  By the mid-70's the station was struggling financially, and went broke in 1975, went off the air.  While off the air it appears the license was being transferred from Vogel-Hendrix to Alexander Broadcasting.

By 1978 the FCC was treating this frequency as a new allocation.  It's possible the license expired.  Therefore, starting with a "new construction permit" in 1978, the station began anew as WMRK (for the owner's son, MaRK alexander), owned by Alexander Broadcasting.  That "new-old" facility signed on in April 4th, 1979.

The format at the start was apparently Top 40, but by 1980 it had flipped to a Rock format.  In 1981 it was a Big Band/Oldies format.  By 1983 it was a hybrid of AC and Oldies.  By 1985, just Oldies.  That lasted until late 1987 when it did a turn towards Easy Listening music.  A few year later in 1989 it was back to Oldies again; 1992 saw them try Country instead.  By 1993 it was Adult Urban Contemporary.  It was back to Oldies in 1995 after WJAM-FM signed on and took the Urban format away (for a little while).

The station was sold (along with sister station WALX-FM) to Scott Communications in 2006, for stock and $29,500.  Scott Communications, it should be noted, is basically the same family, just with Scott Alexander in charge instead of Mark Alexander's mother Betty, so this is more a continuation of the same family of owners than selling out to a totally new company.

The station's call sign changed to WJAM in March 2009, to compliment Urban Adult Contemporary sister station WJAM-FM.  That station was in the process of moving out of Selma to the greener pastures of Montgomery, where it signed back on licensed to Shorter as WMRK-FM, with a talk format.  The urban void that was left in Selma was partially filled by the now-alone WJAM, which picked up the FM's format.  The FM and AM simulcast for a short time, from
March 24th 2009 to around April 1st 2009, then the FM split to Montgomery.

The Urban AC format is mostly from Westwood Ones "The Touch" R&B satellite format.

Around the time all these changes were happening, Scott filed a curious application to relocate the AM station to Thomaston, with 1 kW day & night from a site northwest of the city limits near the high school.  In turn, they would have moved their (struggling, usually off-the-air) FM from Thomaston to Orrville.  Those moves never happened, however.

The station picked up an FM translator for the first time in September 2009. 
 
In the summer of 2016 the station added a jazz (and talk) program hosted by former WHBB jazz man Terry Chestnut, which lasted until the late summer of 2017.

The station picked up a permit for a second FM translator, on 94.7 MHz, in July 2018. It signed on that same month.