Off Tallapoosa Street,
just north of Tarrant City.
50,000 watts days /
1,000 watts night
4 towers day: light
nulls to the north and northwest / 4 towers night: strong lobe to the south
southeast, secondary lobes due east and northeast.
Owned by Crawford Broadcasting
Started off as WILD
in the late 50's. Under ownership of Bartell Broadcasting, it became the
first major Top 40 sound for the city as WYDE. Bartell was one of the leading
propagators of this format, having highly sucessful Top 40's in such places
as San Francisco (KYA), San Diego (KCBQ), Atlanta (WAKE) and Milwaukee
(WOKY). It's best years were pre-1963 before WSGN took the crown. At that
time, WYDE had studios across from Vulcan on US 31; you could drive up,
watch the DJ and make requestsin person! The station later went country
and stayed that way for many years, until FM competition won. It then went
through several formats, including Christian music, oldies, nostalgia and
classic country. The station had a long stint recently as a Radio Disney
affiliate (calls were WMKI - Mickey) with it's children's format.
The transmitter site
is just north of Tarrant City. Originally the day power was only 10 kW,
but was later increased to 50 kW. The night directional antenna pattern
was directed south, a little too narrow to properly take in the eastern
and western edges of sprawling Birmingham and suburbs. At some point the
power was reduced from 50 kW days to about 9 kW, with 1 kW or less at night,
leaving this mighty station with a very small signal that barely reached
In December the station
left the Radio Disney format and switched to a semi-religious oriented
talk format with a "LifeTalk 850" slogan and the classic WYDE calls.
In mid-2000, the station
dropped the "LifeTalk 850" slogan for "Talk Radio 850". They have
since procured ex-WERC morning hosts Russ and Dee fine for their morning
slot, and Edie Hand, Elvis' cousin, for their afternoon position. Crawford
Broadcasting, owners, have finished the upgrades to return the station
to 50 kW days, and have added AM stereo as well. :) The station,
as of about mid-October, has the slogan "WYDE (Wide) Talk 850".