AM Technical Profile: WSBM
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view] Just south of Veterans Drive in Florence, off South
Chestnut Street, behind the station's studios.
- Power (ERP):
- Day: 1 kW
- Night: 1 kW
- 1 tower
Groundwave Service Contour from
the FCC's Public Files
Text display of W250BY on an Insignia HD radio.
RDS decoded on an AT&T Insite phone in Florence, showing
the PS (station name), Radio Text and PTY (format) fields,
Street View imagery of the Big River Broadcasting house on Chestnut
Avenue in Florence; behind the station are some auxiliary antennas
and studio-to-transmitter dishes.
- // W250BY 97.9
MHz, Florence, Alabama
PS-WSBM FOX SPORTS SHOALS NOW! (show)
Owned by Big River Broadcasting Company
Broadcasting Company (Clyde W. Anderson and Joe Van Sandt) put this
station on the air in 1945 on 1340 kHz with the WJOI calls, running
250 watts via a Gates 250C transmitter. Both the studio and
transmitter site were originally at 850 South Court Street, just
north of the Tennessee River and Florence Harbor. It was
affiliated with the ABC network. They attempted to move the
station down the dial to 1280 kHz in 1946, but it was denied by the
In 1952, the station spawned the first FM broadcaster in the Shoals
area, the short-lived first incarnation of WJOI-FM, on 98.3
MHz. Both the AM and FM moved to a new home at 624 South
Chestnut Street in 1959, and the AM is still broadcasting from here
to this day.
The station received a boost in daytime power to 1 kW in June 1962,
with a Bauer Type 707 transmitter. The station was acquired by
WJOI Radio, Inc. in 1966. During this time, it was affiliated
with the Mutual network. In 1967, they launched another
attempt at FM with WJOI-FM, this time on 107.3 MHz, with 25
kW. This wasn't built from the ground up, but purchased from
cross-town Radio Muscle Shoals, who had it operating at low power as
The station's call sign changed from WJOI to WXOR in 1973; An
NBC-owned FM (formerly WMAQ) with a Beautiful Music format paid
dearly for the "Joy" call sign!
Around this time, the legendary Sam Phillips (of Sun Records fame)
became president of the company. The company name changed to
WXOR entertainment in 1977, but that was quickly replaced by the
more imaginative Big River Broadcasting name in November of that
From the mid-70's, the station was known to have a Country music
The calls changed to WSBM in 1984. According to the NAB, in
1985 the station was broadcasting in stereo with the Harris
system. Towards the end of the 80's, the competition from FM
caused the station to drop the Country format for Beautiful
The station's format flipped to Urban Adult Contemporary in the
early 90's, as "Magic 1340".
Urban gave way to Fox Sports Radio in May 2010; by January 2013, the
station had changed to CBS Sports Radio affiliation. Later,
they went back to Fox Sports, with the "1340 The Ref" slogan.
In 2014, the station picked up a translator on 98.5 MHz, which later
moved to 97.9 MHz for better coverage.