FM Technical Profile: WSGN
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- Station Name:
Just off US-280 between County Roads 41 and 49.
- Power (ERP):
- 9 kW
- Antenna HAAT:
- 486 feet
- 60 dBu protected
contour map, from the FCC.
HD-2: Adult Contemporary
- // W293CQ
- More Information:
Article on the Marble City Media-owned Sylacauga
News site detailing the move back to Sylacauga from
Article on the change to WSGN and Oldies from Radio Insight,
[PDF] Press release from Radio Alabama / Marble
City Media about the return of WSGN.
[Image] WSGN station logo, from July
Image from the WSGN Radio Alabama studios in Sylacauga, showing a
wall of records that visitors can play on the turntable in the
HD PAD display from the HD1 channel, as shown on a Jeep OEM
stereo, from August 2022.
HD PAD display from the HD2 subchannel, as shown on a Jeep
OEM stereo, from August 2022.
RDS display from the days of WFXO, data as shown on a Mazda
OEM stereo, from 2020.
- Marble City
- This station dates back to an original
construction permit issued in 1959 to Marble City Broadcasting, Inc.
(Curtis O. Liles, Jr.), owner of 1290 WMLS in Sylacauga, for a new FM
station on 98.3 MHz.
A license to cover for WMLS-FM was granted in June 1960. When it
signed on, the station transmitted from the AM's tower on Motes Road,
approximately two miles north of the city's business district.
It transmitted with 630 watts at a Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT)
of just 74 feet. The transmitted used was a GE BT-1B, feeding a
GE BY-4A four bay FM antenna. Studios were co-located with the AM's at
the transmitter site. It's believed the station (and possibly
the AM, which it simulcast from time to time) had a Country music
format at the beginning.
The station (along with the AM) was sold to Summit Broadcasting, Inc.
in 1980, when Curtis O. Liles, Jr. retired. Summit Broadcasting
was run by a TV station operator in Columbus, Georgia by the name of
Joseph Windsor. The station got a boost in power in 1983, to 2.7
kW from 502 feet. One year later, it was split off from the AM,
which began airing a Gospel format while this station remained
Country. In October 1986 the station flipped to an Adult
Contemporary format as WAWV.
By the early 90's, the station had morphed into something of a Classic
Hits station, playing chart hits from the 60's through the 80's.
The station was acquired by Alabama Broadcasting, Inc. in June 1994
for $550,000. The station got another signal boost when it
signed on an improved signal from a tower near Heards Gap, just north
of Sylacauga, with 5 kW from 502 feet HAAT. The station was
acquired by Coosa Valley Broadcasting in 1999.
The station was acquired by Williams Communications in the summer of
2001 for $490,000. They changed the call sign to WTRB-FM but kept the
Adult Contemporary, marketing the station as "B 98". The
station's transmitter was moved again in 2002, this time to a rural
site off US-280, about halfway between Stewartville and Goodwater,
with 2.25 kW from 545 feet HAAT. This allowed them to try to
serve Alexander City to the south in addition to Sylacauga. This
was a short-lived change, however, as by 2005 the station moved north
of Sylacauga, re-licensing to the Clay County town of Ashland in the
process. From here, the station transmitted with 1.7 kW from 617
feet HAAT and fully or partially served Sylacauga, Talladega and part
of the Oxford/Anniston area.
In 2008, the station flipped to a Rock format, simulcasting a station
in Centre with the WFXO calls. In turn, this station changed
call sign to WTXO to match, and together they were marketed as "Rock
105.9/98.3". Later, this station took the WFXO calls when the
Centre station became WKLS. Those calls were from a heritage
rocker in Atlanta that had changed formats.
The station's history between 2010 and 2016 is a little murky.
The Rock simulcast appears to have lasted until 2011 or 2012; by 2013
the station on 105.9 in Centre had broken off and gone Urban after
moving into the Gadsden market. This station continued to be
listed as a Rock station in the subsequent Broadcasting Yearbook
editions up to 2017, but in 2014 it was observed to also being doing
Urban Contemporary as "98.3 Beat Jamz", with a graphical logo that was
a direct ripoff of WBHJ's "95.7 Jamz" logo in Birmingham. It was
announced in May 2016 that Williams Communications would be selling
the station to Marble City Media, owners of 1290 WYEA in Sylacauga,
for $50,000. Marble City took over operation of the station in
August 2016, flipping the format to Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) as
"98.3 The Fox". A month later, they received a permit to
relocate the transmitter back to the rural US-280 site halfway, now
re-licensing the station to nearby Stewartville. That facility
went on the air on 4 December 2016.
Shortly after going back on the air from this facility, the station
began receiving listener complaints due to a translator located in
Birmingham, rebroadcasting Spanish station WAYE in that market.
Over a year later, the situation remained unresolved as the
translator's owner, Shelby Broadcast Associates went back and forth
with Marble City Media and the FCC over various issues. As of
2018, the FCC still has not ruled one way or the other on
the legitimacy of the translator's operation, but as of this point it
was operating with an aggressive directional pattern to try to
mitigate interference with this station so it seems the issue is no
longer a pressing matter.
At some point during all this hullabaloo, the station dropped the CHR
format for a Variety Hits "Greatest Hits of All Time" themed format.
April of 2018 the station began broadcasting in HD digital, and put
the classic hits "Yea! 106.5" format from WYEA (AM) on the
HD2. The station received a permit to increase power from 2.7
to 6 kW, with a very slight drop in antenna height, in early June
2018. They filed a license to cover for this facility with a
few weeks of the permit being issued. In February 2019, the
station was granted another permit to boost power, this time to 9
kW, with another slight drop in antenna height, and signed on that
facility almost as soon as the permit was issued.
In August 2020, the station flipped the format of the
HD-2/translator "Yea! 106.5" from Classic Hits to Adult
Contemporary. The move was in preparation for the flip of
WFXO's main channel from Variety Hits to Sports Talk with Fox Sports
Radio programming. That change happened on the 17th of August,
In July 2022, it was announced the station would exchange call signs
with a co-owned AM in Alexander City, bringing the historic WSGN to
this station. As part of the swap, the station announced the
launching of a WSGN-themed Classic Hits format complete with old 610
WSGN liners and reverb. On 30 July 2022, the station began
stunting by playing both classic promos from the legendary
Birmingham station as well as new promotions touting the upcoming
format flip. At midnight on 31 July 2022, the station launched
by playing the last two songs the original WSGN signed off with:
Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again, and Glenn Miller's In
The Mood. The first "new" song played was Aretha
Franklin's Until You Come Back to Me.