AM Technical Profile: WJAM
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- Urban Adult
view] On the east side of Race Street, east of Selma.
- Power (ERP):
- Day: 1 kW
- Night: 1 kW
- 1 tower
Groundwave Service Contour from
the FCC's Public Files
Google Street View image of the station's studio, co-located with
// W234DM Selma, AL
- 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
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
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
- 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.