AM Technical Profile: WYLS

Black Gospel
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] A few miles northeast of York on the northbound side of US-11.
Power (ERP):
Day: 4.8 kW
Day: 1 tower, omnidirectional
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[Article] A story from someone who moved to York in the 70s tells the story of the morning man (and station co-owner, Charlie) getting pranked by the station engineer.  The engineer, Barney (also a co-owner) had hooked up a secret tape deck that played construction sounds any time the mic was opened.  Click the link to read the retelling, at the very bottom of this edition of Tom Taylor Now.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the studio building on Highway 11 in York.
// W264CI York, AL
// W273DW York, AL (CP)
Owned by Grantell Broadcasting
This station came on the air in the late fall of 1970, put on by Charlie J. Ewell and William B. Grant (as Grantell Broadcasting).  From the beginning, the studios and transmitter site were northeast of York, at the location shown above.  The station began as a 5 kW daytimer using a Collins 820-E transmitter on 1350 kHz, and has always has the WYLS calls, which stand for York/Livingston/Sumter.  In 1976, the company started up an FM sister station, WSLY (YLS backwards).

The station moved to its current dial position (and power) in early 1988, for better coverage.  The station started as something of a full-service small town station with block programming, featuring County music and Black programming.  After the move to 670 kHz, the station appears to have moved to a Middle of the Road (MOR) format with an emphasis on older songs.  Eventually it found its way back to Classic Country.

Through the early 2000s the station had morphed to an Adult Standards music format, but in the middle of the decade appears to have had a Blues and Soul/R&B format, before flipping to Gospel in January 2006.  The station was reported off the air in August 2008 due to a lack of advertisers, but was back on by the start of 2009.  The station picked up its first FM translator in October 2012 (W26CI), which allowed it to program 24 hours a day.  In January 2013, the station picked up the syndicated "Touch" R&B/Urban Adult Contemporary format, but was back at gospel again by November 2014. 

The station was awarded a second translator license in November 2018, for W273DW in York.

The station has always been owned by Grantell Broadcasting.  Charlie J. Ewell appears to have exited the company in 1976, leaving William B. Grant as the main component of the company.  After his death in 2003, Sarah P. Grant took over running the company and station.