AM Technical Profile: WAPI

News, Talk, Sports.
Transmitter Location:
Tower Rd. in Forestdale. Towers are approx. 1 mile west of US 78.
Power (ERP):
50,000 watts day / 5,000 watts (authorized but not used) night
1 tower days / 2 towers nights: Directional towards Birmingham.
Other Information:
One of Birmingham's first radio stations, this is the oldest surviving station in the state, licensed in October 1922. It started out in Auburn, with the calls WMAV, broadcasting on 1200 kHz. The station was on no less than five frequencies before winding up on 1070 in the late 40's**. The calls later changed to WAPI while it was on 880 kHz in Auburn, which stand for "Alabama Polytechnic Institue" (Auburn University). WAPI was the first station in the nation to broadcast with a directional pattern. Owned later by both channel 13 and FM 94.5, they all shared the WAPI calls at one point. It was an CBS affiliate for much of it's past, dating back to at least the 1940's. At one point it was also one of the last stations to carry CBS' Radio Mystery Theater. CBS cancelled that show in the 80's. For virtually all of the station's history, it had a middle-of-the-road and talk format, up until the 90's when it switched to all news briefly. Now it is a talk station, heavy on the news and traffic.
** -- Part of the reason why this station moved so much was because of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement that created Mexican and Canadian clear channels. Over 800 AM stations switched frequencies in 1941 because of this agreement.

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