AM Technical Profile: WYDE


Frequency:
1260
Format:
Christian Music
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [google aerial] [street view] East of downtown Birmingham off 3rd Ave. North.
Power (ERP):
Day: 5 kW
Night: 41 watts
Antenna:
1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[FCC]
[FCCData.org]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook]
[History] A brief history of the station from when it was WCRT through the years it became Love 1260.  Includes some brief airchecks.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the Crawford Broadcasting studios on Summit Parkway in Homewood.
 (inactive - December 2015)
Owned by Crawford Broadcasting
// WYDE-FM Cordova, AL
// W237EK Birmingham, AL
History:
Chapman Radio and Television Company (William and George Chapman) put this station on the air in the spring of 1953 as WCRT (Chapman Radio & Television).  Originally, the station was planned as a 1 kW daytime only operation on 1220 kHz, with a transmitter site at the corner of Marion Avenue and 8th Avenue in Birmingham. That was quickly amended to move to 1260 kHz, with a transmitter at the southwest corner of 27th Avenue North and Vanderbilt Road, northeast of downtown.  The studios were originally at 725 South 22nd Street.  In 1958 the station boosted power to 5 kW, still as a daytimer.  Through these years, the station was a high-brow Easy Listening formatted-station. 

The station spawned WCRT-FM on 96.5 MHz in 1961.  Today it's Magic 96, WMJJ.  That same year the stations began broadcasting from studios in rooms 201 to 203 2008 8th Avenue South, which at the time was the Town House Motel.  The transmitter site moved in 1966 to 3431 North 2nd Avenue in Birmingham, where it remains today.

Magic City Communications Corp. bought the station in 1972 and moved the studios to the same parcel as the transmitter site.

An attempt to get nighttime power resulted in an application to inducing two-site operation.  The permit was granted in 1981 for a directional 1 kW nighttime site licensed to Vestavia Hills but actually at the present site of the Wildwood shopping center along Lakeshore Parkway west of I-65.  It never came to fruition.  As the city continued to grow, the station's signal began to only cover the less affluent parts of the metro area.

The license for both this station and its FM companion were transferred to KSJ, Inc. (Capitol Broadcasting) in 1982.  They turned around and sold the AM's license to a consortium from the Assemblies of God known as Jireh Corporation in June 1983.  Jireh announced that they would be converting the station to a Contemporary Christian music format, displacing the last bastion of soft easy music in the city.  Before they could launch their new format, however, a fire consumed the studios on 16 May 1983.  This kept the station off for several weeks.  At 6 am on 1 August 1983, "Love 1260" debuted.  The religious programming lasted until 1986, when the station flipped to a Solid Gold format of 'Yesterday's hits and today's favorites'.  Broadcast Properties, Inc. bought the station in 1988.

In 1991 the station's format flipped to Business Talk, and the calls changed to the quite-appropriate WCEO.  The station was purchased by Crawford Broadcasting in 1994 and flipped to a mix of Christian Country and Christian Talk programming, which after a few years became more Contemporary Christian, musically.  Crawford upgraded the station to broadcast in C-Quam stereo, too.  The station flipped to secular programming in October 1999, when they became "Legends 1260" WLGS, with a Big Band/Standards music format.  Over the following few years the music skewed more towards Oldies, before dropping music in early May 2003 to simulcast Crawford's big FM talker, WYDE-FM.  In June, this station's called changed to WYDE.  The stereo was dropped and the audio chopped down to 5 kHz in late 2004, in preparation for adding iBiquity's HD digital broadcasting scheme.  It started broadcasting in HD in the winter of 2006.  By August, the station was back to music, again with the Easy/Standards mix, again as "Legends 1260" but now with the call sign WLGD. 
.
In July 2007 Crawford flipped longtime FM talker "The Source" to oldies as "Fun 101".  Crawford once again put this station into a simulcast with the FM, bringing yet another end to adult standards in Birmingham.  That music format morphed to an oldies/AC mix, then back to some talk as the FM staff was let go and syndicated talk was brought in.  In mid-August 2009 the AM has been reported to be splitting off at least part time from the FM, carrying the Washington Times newspaper's America's Morning News program.  In March 2010 it was observed that the station appears to be time shifting some other personalities as well, and carrying a few shows that don't air on WYDE-FM.
 
In early April 2012 the station was reported on air but silent for several days; when the audio was restored the HD was gone.  The HD came back at the start of June 2012, but seemed to go off for an extended period of time in December of 2015.  The station was reported to only be in a partial simulcast with WYDE-FM in early 2016, but that was to come to an end sometime in the summer.  Also in early 2016, the station was paired with a translator moved in from outside the area, part of the FCC's AM Revitalization plan.  The directional translator mostly covers the over the mountain parts of the Birmingham suburbs via the WDJC tower on Ishkooda Mountain. 

In early November 2017 it was discovered that Crawford was planning to end the long-running talk format on the AM and FM stations, dropping all talk hosts on Saturday 3 November 2018, for Gospel and Christian Talk programming from AM 850 WXJC.  After the change occurred at midnight on 5 November 2018, the format of this station and 92.5 MHz (now WYDE-FM) in Cordova became Inspirational Music.