AM Technical Profile: WTDR


Frequency:
1350
Format:
Country
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] Just west of I-65 exit 183 in Attalla.  Northwest of the southern bend in Country Club Road.
Power (ERP):
Day: 5 kW
Night: 1 kW
Antenna:
Day: 1 tower
Night: 2 towers [pattern - PDF]
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Studio] Street View imagery of the station's studios on Barry Street in Oxford.
[Image] Google Earth satellite view image from November, 2012, showing second tower collapsed, on ground.
// WTDR-FM Talladega
History:
This station, which is Gadsden's oldest continually operated station, came on the air as WGAD in 1947 with 1 kW non-directional days and the same power but directional at night. In the 50's was an ABC affiliate.  In 1957, the power increased to its present level, 5 kW. The station was bought in 1959 by Ed Carrell, Lavelle Jackson and Congressman Albert Rains, and began playing top 40 music, mixed with pop standards. It continued as a top 40 station until 1985, when competition from FM mitigated a switch to news-talk. It moved to the satellite-based oldies format in 2001. In 2002 the station was sold to Gerald Dilts from Ed Carrell; in 2004 Dilts sold the station to Dave Hendrick and the DR Radio Group.  In 2007 the station was sold to Coosa River Communications, who own Rainbow City-based WJBY 930.  They moved the oldies and WGAD callsign to 930, bringing the WJBY calls here with a flip to sports programming as "The Winner".
 
It was reported in the summer of 2010 that WGAD and WJBY were simulcasting. On 17 October 2010, the operators of 1350 WJBY relinquished ownership of the station to DR Radio Group for not making payments.  The WJBY calls went back to 930 kHz and the WGAD calls came here, putting both calls back on their original frequencies.  Along with the calls, the oldies format from 930 has also migrated here.  In June 2011 the Gadsden Times reported the station was taken over by Gadsden Radio Media as part of a purchase agreement with DR Radio Group.  This once again puts WGAD and WJBY back together.  Gadsden Radio Media is said to be undertaking technical improvements to both stations.  They also dropped the "Greatest Mojo" oldies that had been here for a news talk format called "News Plus", but they retained some 80s music.  Finally, they found a home on 99.3 MHz via a local translator, which received a boost in power to 250 watts in July 2012.
 
The station lost one of its two towers during a severe weather outbreak on 2 March 2012.  The owners posted a picture on Facebook, noting that the tower dated to 1946.  As of October 2012 it's unknown if they plan to rebuild the second tower or try to re-license nighttime operation as a non-directional operation.  In September 2012 the station dropped the historic WGAD calls for WTDR, and dropped the news/talk and music for a simulcast of Thunder Country WTDR-FM.  As of late 2014, the station was reported to still be operating on just one tower.  In a 2017 Bing bird's eye view of the tower site, a second tower is visible so it's assumed they are now back to full power at night.