|City of license||Madison, Tennessee|
|Broadcast area||Nashville, Tennessee|
|First air date||April 1, 2002|
|Power||15,000 watts (day)
1,000 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||Public Library Nashville|
|Former callsigns||WENO, WKDA|
|Owner||Nashville Public Radio|
|Sister stations||WFCL, WPLN-FM|
WPLN-AM is an effort by the directors of Nashville Public Radio to find a place to program such NPR features as The Diane Rehm Show and similar fare that have a definite audience but a lesser one than public radio standbys such as NPR's All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation and Morning Edition and American Public Media's A Prairie Home Companion. These are programmed on WPLN-FM, 90.3 mHz, while the alternative programs are aired on the AM. A few features are aired by both at different times.
The callsign 'WPLN' comes from the original status of public radio in Nashville as a subsidiary of the public library, 'PLN' standing for Public Library of Nashville. Although the library and the radio station had developed separate operations and boards of directors well before the addition of the AM station, the FM radio had retained the 'PLN' moniker and it was deemed to be less potentially confusing for the AM station likewise to use it in preference to any other.
WPLN-AM began broadcasting on April 1, 2002, shortly after Nashville Public Radio acquired the frequency of the former WKDA-AM (unrelated to an AM station that operated on another frequency from the 1940s through the 1990s). Following many years of relative success as pioneering country music station WENO, 1430 AM had numerous owners and several formats, and shortly before the sale, it had been simulcasting the news programming of local CBS television affiliate WTVF and its affiliated cable outlet. The station was generally considered to be financially marginal, which is why the frequency was available for sale to the local public radio board. In general, the AM frequency is part of a trend for radio markets of 1 million people or more to have multiple public outlets carrying distinct formats.
However, with Nashville Public Radio's purchase Vanderbilt University student station WRVU and converting it to an all-classical format as WFCL, WPLN-FM's format was changed on June 8, 2011, to an all-news-and-talk format similar to WPLN-AM's former format; at this point WPLN-AM began changing over to the format outlined above.
- WPLN official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WPLN
- Radio-Locator Information on WPLN
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WPLN