AM Technical Profile: WJLD

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Rhythmic Oldies, Gospel, Talk
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] Just north of Pearson Avenue, off Garrison Avenue in Birmingham.
Power (ERP):
Day and Night: 1 kW
1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[Article] On the Record: Gary Richardson, owner of WJLD-1400 AM Radio Business news from The Birmingham News
[Article] The Rich History of the Birmingham Black Radio Museum Birmingham Times article on the museum, which started as a history of WJLD
[History] WJLD station website history page
[Studio] Street View imagery of the station's studio building on Spaulding-Ishkooda Road in Birmingham.


Owned by Richardson Broadcasting

// WIXI Jasper, AL
// W231DE Birmingham, AL (CP)

// WNHT-LD 4.1 (audio only)

RDS logo :

Rhythm & Blues
This station started broadcasting with 250 watts on April 19, 1942, licensed to Bessemer. This station has always been WJLD (for James Lyndon Doss), but is now licensed to Fairfield, after stints in Birmingham and Homewood. The station's had some type of black-oriented format since about 1944, and even had an FM co-owned companion (WJLN 104.7 FM, later to be country giant WZZK) back before anyone knew what FM was. This station never lived up to it's potential: at a time when it's other black formatted competition were all daytimers (1220, 1320 and 900 AM) and it was the only fulltimer, it should have been market dominant but wasn't.  Still, it carved a niche out and became a part of the community over the years.  Doss' brother James R. put Tuscaloosa station WJRD on the air, possibly at the same time as WJLD.  This station was at one time one of the better sounding AM stations, running C-QUAM AM stereo. That was switched off when the station switched to HD digital radio, the first AM station in the nation to do so (pdf).  They've had an "on again, off again" relationship with the IBOC digital system: it went off for a while back in 2006, and is reported off again in September 2007.  Hardware issues or listener complaints?  Who knows, but they still run the HD Radio ads!
In late October or early November 2007 the station began airing on translator station W281AB, licensed to Mountain Brook on 104.1 MHz.  It originally broadcasted from the WJLD studios off Spaulding-Ishkooda Road in Birmingham and was one of the first Alabama AMs to snag an FM translator, before the FCC finalized the rules on such moves.  They eventually got the translator moved to a taller tower atop Red Mountain, which now covers central and western portions of the Birmingham area, and dropped the old "Touch 14" moniker for "Mix 104.1".
The translator has been given over to Clear Channel as of July 2011.  They flipped Magic 96's HD-2 (oldies/AC) to urban contemporary and began relaying it via the translator on 28 July 2011, as "104.1 The Beat".  WJLD dropped the "Mix" moniker and is just identifying themselves as "AM 1400" after parting ways with the translator in 2011.  In June 2013 WJLD began simulcasting on Jasper-area WIXI at 1360.  Richardson Broadcasting swapped WAYE in Birmingham for full ownership of WIXI in Jasper in August 2013.
For a much more thorough history of this station, see the History link, above.

In April 2023, Richardson Broadcasting put low power digital television station WNHT-LD on air in Birmingham, and began relaying WJLD's audio on the 4.1 subchannel, while carrying a station from Pensacola on the 4.4 subchannel.