AM Technical Profile: WJLX

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Oldies, Talk

Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] North of US-78 (I-22), to the east of 3rd Avenue, behind an industrial complex on 2nd Avenue.

Power (ERP):
Day: 1 kW
Night: 1 kW

1 tower

Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files




[Article] Bizjournal article about James D. Earley's history with low power TV in Alabama.
[Article] WVTM TV news article about the theft of the stations broadcast tower and equipment. From February 2024.
[Article] Radio Insight news article about iHeart Radio donating an HD subchannel to get 101.5 FM back on the air. From February 2024.
[Video] YouTube video with a look into the WJLX tower site not long after the theft was reported to media and authorities. From February 2024.

[Studio] Google Street View of the station's studio, co-located with FM 88.5 WJBE on AL-5 in Jasper.

Owned by the James Don Earley


// W268BM Jasper, AL (currently fed by WDXB-HD3 Pelham)

The history of this frequency predates this station; W. W. Bankhead put WWWB on 1240 kHz in the 1940's. It moved to 1360 kHz in 1955. This frequency remained dormant until a new construction permit was issued in 1956 to Hudson C. Millar, Jr. (Walker County Broadcasting Company) for a new station here.  The station signed on in early 1957 as WARF from the same transmitter site it uses today.  The original studios were at 1809 4th Avenue in Jasper. 

In 1961 the station upgraded to 1,000 watt days, 250 watts night with a Gates BC-1T transmitter.  The studios appear to have moved to 1400 US 78 By-Pass at this time.  The station's license was transferred to Radio South, Inc. (Houston Pearce) in 1965.

Going back to at least the early 70's, the station had a Country music format. 

According to the NAB (ca. 1985), the station broadcast in stereo with the Motorola C-QUAM system.  The station spawned an FM companion in 1987, when Cordova-licensed WFFN launched, with its own Country music format.

The station license was transferred to New Century Radio in 1995, along with Cordova-licensed WFFN.  New Century and Radio South appear to be the same company, and would later become known as Apex Broadcasting in other markets.

The call sign changed to WTID (AM) in January 2003.  Apex-owned WTID-FM is in nearby Reform, in Tuscaloosa County.  It appears that around this time, the station dropped its long-lived Country format for Oldies, possibly simulcasting WFFN-FM.  That didn't seem to last long, however, as the station was later reported playing Gospel music.  The station was sold to Joy Communications, Inc. in 2004 for $200,000.  In September 2004, they changed the calls to WLYJ (We Love You Jesus?) and flipped it to a non-commercial Religious format.  The calls changed to WZTQ in 2007. Those calls had been on another Joy owned radio station in Centre.

The station was sold by Joy to Wal-Win LLC (Brett Elmore of Big South Community Radio, and William and Margaret Neeck) in March 2008 for $300,000. 
In September 2009 the station acquired a translator from Edgewater Broadcasting, W268BM on 101.5 MHz, to rebroadcast the AM signal.  A quick listen at the tail end of March 2010 and the station appears to be Oldies with Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel network.  The station later dropped the network for local programming, with Mike Harvey's Super Gold show airing at night after Paul Finebaum's sports talk program.
The station fell silent when the great tornado outbreak of April 2011 took out power to most of Jasper and Walker County.  The AM signal has since gone off and on several times, while the FM translator continues unimpeded.  It was last confirmed to actually be on the air was apparently sometime in 2014.
The station was passed on to the Hattie Reese Trust in July 2016 for $150,000 (the translator was sold for $10, too.) One year later the license was transferred to John Burdette, although a permit to assign the license was not filed at the FCC until mid-July 2017.  Burdette acquired the license after a probate court ruled on a dispute with the aforementioned trust.  It appears that the station resumed regular operations under his ownership.  The station filed a silent STA in early July 2017 to go off the air due to issues with their transmitter.  A resumption of operations was filed in August 2017 but it is unclear if it actually returned to the air for any length of time.  In January 2018, it was announced that the license was being sold to James D. Earley, president of the Alabama Cable Network, Inc., which operates WCQT-LP TV in Cullman, for $115,000.  An application for license transfer to Earley was filed in late October 2019 (!) but only for the FM translator.  That translator license transfer wasn't granted until April 2020.  In February 2021 the company was fined $1,500 for failing to timely renew the translator license, although the FCC eventually cancelled it due to the licensee's financial situation.

In February 2024, area media reported that the station was the victim of theft, when someone broke into the transmitter site and stole all the equipment and made off with the 200 foot tall AM tower. An article about the theft is linked above.  A Silent STA was not filed until mid-February 2024.  It appears that the station may have been off or operating sporadically for as long as 5 or more years, which is a serious violation of FCC rules, not including the violation of having a translator run independently for that length of time.  Examination of Street View imagery from nearby I-22 shows that the tower was likely taken down sometime between October 2022 and March 2023.  Also in mid-February 2024, iHeart Radio in Birmingham donated the HD3 subchannel of WDXB in Birmingham to get the translator back on air.