AM Technical Profile: WXJC
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view] Off Tallapoosa Street, just north of Tarrant City.
- Power (ERP):
- Day: 50 kW
- Night: 1,000
- Day: 4 towers,
light nulls to the north and northwest [pattern
- Night: 4
towers, strong lobe to the south southeast, secondary lobes due east
and northeast [pattern
Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
Street View imagery of the Crawford Broadcasting studios on Summit
Parkway in Homewood.
- Owned by
- // WXJC-FM
// W245CS Birmingham
- This station
dates back to an original construction permit issued to Thomas N.
Beach (or Beech?), for a 250 watt full time broadcast on 1490
kHz. It signed on in 1946 as WTNB (for the owner's initials),
with studios at the corner of 2nd Avenue North and 21st Street North
in downtown Birmingham. The transmitter was somewhere in the
city limits. The station was affiliated with the Mutual
Before signing on, Beach applied to move the station to 850 kHz with
5 kW days and 1 kW nights, but another broadcaster objected to the
move and it went into a black hole for a few years. Ownership
was modified in 1948 when Beach entered a partnership with Roy M.
Hofheinz, as "Radio Station WTNB"; months later that company changed
name to Pilot Broadcasting Corporation. They moved the studios
to 3427 27th Avenue north in Collegeville in 1949.
A new Gates S-251 transmitter was installed in the fall of
1951. At that time, the transmitter site was moved to
somewhere in Tarrant City, while the studios moved to Titusville at
117 2nd Avenue North. George A. Mattison Jr. bought out
Beach's (Beech's?) shares of the company in 1952.
Years after the first attempt to move to 850 kHz, a move was finally
granted in the early 50's, along with a call sign change to
WILD. In April 1953 the new upgraded facility signed on,
transmitting from the current transmitter site between Tarrant City
and Pinson. The power was bumped up to 10 kW days and 1 kW
nights, with a directional pattern used after dark. The night
pattern was probably adequate at the time, but as the city grew in
later years, the narrow nighttime pattern left gaps in the eastern
and western suburbs. The studios also moved back
to the Collegeville location east of downtown after this
new location went on-air.
The studios moved to a site atop Red Mountain in the late spring of
1955. The location, at 1901 Montgomery Highway (now Richard
Arrington Jr. Boulevard) was across from Vulcan Park, and during
later years, allowed people to drive right up to the station, watch
the DJ and make requests in person!
(Today, the building has found new life as a lawyer's
offices.) Ownership of the station moved to Gordon
Broadcasting in December of that same year, and this is when it's
like it first began airing a Top 40 music format.
Bartell Broadcasting acquired the station in 1957; under their
ownership, the station became the first major Top 40 station for the
city, as WYDE. Bartell
was one of the leading propagators of this format, having highly
successful Top 40's in such places as San Francisco (KYA), San
Diego (KCBQ), Atlanta (WAKE) and Milwaukee (WOKY).
Marketing at the time paired the station with its Atlanta
counterpart as the "WYDE-a-WAKE stations". Ownership came to
WYDE, Inc. in 1960, then Basic Communications in 1962. In
1963, WYDE lost the Top 40 crown to crosstown rival WSGN… by 1969
the station had become a Country music outlet, and stayed that way
for many years, until FM competition finally won out. Studios
moved off Red Mountain in 1966, the Suite 520 at 2101 Magnolia
Avenue, across from Brother Bryan Park in Birmingham.
- The station got a big boost in power in
1970, when the daytime power was upgraded to 50 kW
(directional). The station installed a Gates VP-50 for daytime
use and utilized a Gates BC-10B for nighttime duties. In
1972, ownership of the station was sold to Screen Gems Radio
Stations, Inc. Screen Gems was known for producing television
shows and movies in Hollywood, but had also gotten into the radio
business and wound up owning several stations, including powerhouses
like WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia. That company was later
spun off and became Columbia Pictures Radio.
In 1982 or '83, the format changed from Country to Oldies.
American General Media bought the station for $740,000 in 1986 and
flipped it to Christian music. It may have also had short
stints doing Nostalgia and Classic Country.
Around 1995 the station likely dropped the 50 kW day power down to 9
kW in an effort to save money. In October 1998 a company
called Hibernia of Birmingham bought the station for $700,000; they
flipped it to Radio Disney's children's format as WMKI
(MicKey). Kimtron, Inc. (Crawford Broadcasting) bough the
station in November 1999. Just over a year later, in December
1999, the classic WYDE calls came back to the station when it
switched to a religious-tinged Talk format as "LifeTalk 850".
Power around this time went back up to the full 50 kW.
The slogan changed to "Talk Radio 850" in mid-2000. In 2002,
Crawford bought the Cullman-licensed 101.1 MHz station with a big
signal and flipped it WYDE-FM, simulcasting the talk programming
from this station. Around 2003 the AM migrated to a Gospel
music format. The calls changed to WDJC (AM) in July
2002. Crawford bought (then-)WQOP in Dora in May 2004, and
began simulcasting this station's gospel music there. The
calls for both stations changed to WXJC in July 2004. In the
spring of 2006, the FM side of the simulcast flipped to a country
music format; by summer, WXJC was going it alone with gospel, and
began broadcasting in digital with the iBiquity HD system.
Interestingly, Crawford had cut the audio back to 5 kHz and killed
the C-Quam AM stereo back in 2004, in preparation for the move to
Crawford's FM talker (then-WYDE-FM) flipped to oldies in July 2007,
displacing all the local talk hosts. Some of them wound up
integrating into WXJC's programming, creating a mix of gospel and
conservative talk. That same month, the Dora FM that had once
been paired with this station returned to a simulcast, becoming
In early November 2018, Crawford decided to once again end the talk
radio format on WYDE-FM. This time, they decided to move
WXJC's programming (and calls) to that FM outlet. It's unknown
at this time if this station will change formats later, or stay in a
simulcast with the big FM signal. One casualty of the changes is
Mickey Bell's "Dixie Gospel Caravan". The Southern Gospel show
has had a presence on Birmingham radio since the late 60's, but will
be ending at the start of November. The format updated, and
the simulcast with (now-)WXJC-FM in Cullman began at midnight on 5