WSB (AM)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WSB
WSB Logo
City of license Atlanta, Georgia
Broadcast area Atlanta metro area (day)
Southeast U.S. (night)
Branding AM 750 and 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB
Slogan "Atlanta's news, weather, and traffic station: Depend On It!"
Frequency 750 (kHz)
First air date March 15, 1922
Format News/Talk
Power 50,000 watts (day and night)
Class A
Facility ID 73977
Transmitter coordinates 33°50′38″N 84°15′12″W / 33.84389°N 84.25333°W / 33.84389; -84.25333Coordinates: 33°50′38″N 84°15′12″W / 33.84389°N 84.25333°W / 33.84389; -84.25333
Callsign meaning "Welcome South, Brother"
Former frequencies 1922-1936: 740 (kHz)
Affiliations CBS Radio
Georgia Bulldogs (IMG)
Owner Cox Media Group
Sister stations WALR-FM, WSBB-FM, WSB-FM, WSRV FM, WSB-TV
Webcast Listen live
Website wsbradio.com

WSB (750 AM) — branded News 95.5 and AM750, WSB — is a commercial radio station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia broadcasting a news/talk format. The station transmits with 50,000 watts of nondirectional power day and night, enjoying clear-channel status on its broadcast frequency according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA) signatories with Canada and Mexico; this enables WSB to be heard across a wide coverage area during nighttime hours (sometimes extending across the east coast and Midwest of the United States).

It uses the slogan "Atlanta's news, weather, traffic, and Georgia Bulldogs station." The station is owned by, and is the AM flagship station for Cox Radio. WSB AM is the sister station to WSBB-FM 95.5, WSB-FM (B98.5FM), WALR-FM (Kiss 104.1), WSRV FM, (97-1 the River), WSB-TV 39 (2.1/2.2), and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper in metro Atlanta, all owned by Cox.

Although WSB is licensed for using the technology, it is not currently broadcasting in HD Radio. The digital radio system has apparently been turned off due to listener complaints of RF interference.[1] WSB programming has been simulcast on sister FM station WSBB-FM 95.5 since August 2010.

The station's studios and offices are located at the WSB Television and Radio Group building on West Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta, which is shared with its teleivsion and radio partners. The AM transmitter and radiating tower are located in Tucker, Georgia seven miles northeast of Atlanta in the Northlake Tower Festival shopping center. The valuable land near the regional Northlake Mall was leased for the strip mall, in which every metal object used in the construction of the building had to be tied to an earth ground to prevent radio-frequency energy from energizing it like an antenna. These objects, including plumbing and ductwork, are technically part of the ground radial system. The radio tower itself is located in the middle of the parking lot, with stores to the east, west, and south.

History[edit]

The call-sign "WSB" carried an infamous history before it was assigned to a land-based broadcaster in Atlanta. In very early days of radio licensing, sea-based broadcasters were included in the call-sign assignment system. The first licensee of the call-sign "WSB" was the S.S. Francis H. Leggett. After foundering off the Oregon coast on September 18, 1914, taking a toll of two of the 67 lives aboard, the call "WSB" was reassigned to the Firewood, the name of which forms a grim coincidence with its fate: the ship burned off the coast of Peru on December 18, 1919, with 28 persons on board, all of whom were saved.[2] Because superstitious seafarers objected to being issued a call "used by that ship which went down with all hands last month", "tainted" calls like "WSB" were quietly issued to unsinkable land stations.[3]

Originally on 740 kHz until the 1936 FCC bandplan, WSB was the fourth radio station in the South, behind the first AM station, WBT AM1110 in Charlotte, licensed in December, 1920... WNOX 990AM in Knoxville, Tennessee licensed in November, 1921... and WWL AM850 in New Orleans, licensed 13 days before WSB in March, 1922. They, among others, are all considered "clear channel" stations. That designation is given to frequencies on which only one or two stations are assigned to a frequency that allows full power transmission day and night. The WSB broadcast callsign stands for "Welcome South, Brother". Founded by the Atlanta Journal newspaper (once a competitor of the Atlanta Constitution, now merged), the station began broadcasting on March 15, 1922, just a few days prior to Constitution-owned WGM AM 710 (eventually swapped to WGST AM 640).[4] The station was only authorized to broadcast weather bulletins at first, receiving its full broadcast license later that year.

WSB smoothed the way for the radio spread of southern gospel, including through regular programming hosted by Charles Davis Tillman. The Shelby Star newspaper November 1985 issue wrote that the very talented Dan Hornsby, after the national disaster crash of the stock market, found himself working no longer for Columbia Records but for radio stations like WGST, WATL, & WCON along with being the first wake-up DJ for WSB radio in Atlanta. Lambdin Kay, the first general manager, called Hornsby "90% of the local talent on WSB".

In February 1924, Lambdin Kay called Art Gillham "The Whispering Pianist" while performing on WSB, a name he used in billing on Columbia Records, radio and theatre. Gillham returned to WSB in 1937 for regular programs. In 1927, WSB became an NBC Radio affiliate;[5] in fact, the trademark three-tone NBC chimes were first played in the WSB studios. In 1939, the Journal newspaper and WSB radio station were sold to James Middleton Cox, the founder of what would become Cox Enterprises.

Wright Bryan, a WSB news reporter as well as managing editor of the Atlanta Journal, was also a stringer for NBC during World War II. He was the first war correspondent to broadcast an eyewitness account of the D-Day invasion from London in the early hours of June 6, 1944.

Elmo Ellis, who programmed WSB in the 1950s and 1960s, is remembered fondly as an innovator among Southern broadcasters. He provided the on-air editorials for the station, and in the 1960s, consistently supported civil rights.

From 1925 to 1956, WSB radio, along with sisters WSB-FM 104.5 (now 98.5) and WSB-TV 8 (later 2), operated out of the top floor of the Atlanta Biltmore Hotel in lower Midtown. Afterward, the WSB stations broadcast from a Colonial-style mansion specially built for broadcasting, informally known as White Columns, also located in midtown, where Peachtree Street crosses West Peachtree Street near Ansley Park. In 1998, all of the Cox Radio stations located in the Atlanta radio market, as well as WSB-TV, moved into "Digital White Columns" on the same property, the original one being demolished afterward.

WSB formerly broadcast in AM stereo using the Motorola C-QUAM system during the 1980s, a period when music could still be heard on the station. The on-air talent in this era included morning hosts Russ Spooner and Dick Hamby, playing "middle of the road" music, and Skip Caray presenting morning sportscasts. However, as WSB's format progressed to a full-time news/talk radio format by the late 1980s, the AM stereo system was turned off.

On August 16, 2010, WSB programming began to be simulcast on then-WBTS 95.5 FM, replacing the former rhythmic CHR format "95.5 The Beat." On October 1, 2010, WBTS-FM changed its call letters to WSBB. The move was made to adjust its call letters to parallel its AM sister, since it did not want to infringe on moving the heritage WSB-FM calls from 98.5 to 95.5.

Current programming[edit]

Weekly[edit]

This is the current schedule of WSB Radio as of January 18, 2013.

Radio Show Time Slot
Atlanta's Morning News with Scott Slade 4:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
The Herman Cain Show 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
The Rush Limbaugh Show 12 noon - 3 p.m.
The Sean Hannity Show 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Atlanta's Evening News with Erick Erickson 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
The Sean Hannity Show 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
The Clark Howard Show 8 p.m. - 10 p.m.
The Mark Arum Show 10 p.m. - 12 Midnight
America Now with Andy Dean 12 Midnight - 3 a.m.
Encore of The Herman Cain Show 3 a.m. - 4:30 a.m.

Weekly programming history[edit]

Long-time radio host, until his retirement in early 2013, Neal Boortz (political talk) and Clark Howard (consumer advice and travel), became so popular in the late 1990s that they received national syndication deals through Cox Radio. Neal Boortz, until his retirment, were and Clark Howard have long since been heard on talk stations across the United States with WSB as their flagship station. Both Neal Boortz and Clark Howard's shows were originally on former talk station rival WGST in the 1980s and very early 1990s before going to WSB.

Before national syndication, Sean Hannity appeared locally on former rival WGST in Atlanta and developed a strong local following before being hired by the Fox News Channel, and later ABC Radio. Hannity had replaced Boortz on WGST when Boortz left for WSB in 1992 (although Boortz did not appear on WSB until March 1993 because of a non-compete clause he had with WGST). In 2001, when Hannity's radio show first went national, WSB would air Hannity's show during overnight hours or on nights when there were no Atlanta Braves or Atlanta Hawks games. In early 2002, WSB began airing Hannity on a one-hour tape delay.

Other on-air news and features personalities include Scott Slade (morning news), Kirk Mellish (weather), Walter Reeves (gardening), O'Neill Williams (hunting and fishing), and Dave Baker (home improvement). The station voice is Jeff Davis.

2011 Program Changes[edit]

On January 5, 2011 WSB decided to change its weekly line-up by cutting the syndicated Michael Savage Show which had been at the network since 1999 in the 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. time-slot. A week later he was picked up on former rival station WGST from 9 p.m. to Midnight for Atlanta listeners. For the remainder of January, Savage's time-slot had been replaced by RedState.com Conservative blogger and frequent Herman Cain substitute, Erick Erickson who broadcasts his show locally in Atlanta at WSB. His show during this time was aired from 9 p.m. to Midnight. Herman Cain's Show was cut by an hour and aired from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Syndicated finance host Dave Ramsey took over from midnight to 3 a.m. "Re-Boortz", a replay of the Neal Boortz Show from the previous morning was cut to two hours airing from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m.[6] This remained WSB's schedule for the remainder of January 2011.

The beginning of February 2011 saw changes to WSB's weekly line-up yet again, as the show hosted by Herman Cain ended, marking February 1, 2011 as Cain's last live show on WSB. Cain was previously a candidate for the 2004 U.S. Senate election in Georgia as a Republican. Before that, he was CEO of Godfather's Pizza and the National Restaurant Association among other positions. WSB was Cain's flagship station as The Herman Cain Show was syndicated to several other stations in the Southeastern U.S. by Cox Radio.[7] On that February 1 show, Cain announced that he was leaving WSB, effective immediately, to focus on his presidential exploratory committee. He was actively running on the Republican ticket for the remainder of the year in the 2012 presidential election until suspending his campaign due to sexual harassment allegations.

With the departure of Herman Cain, Erick Erickson moved to Cain's original time-slot from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dave Ramsey was bumped to the earlier 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. time-slot. Re-Boortz went back to its original overnight 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. slot.

Come September 2011, Andy Dean (radio host) took the late night slot from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. since his show is now nationally syndicated as America Now with Andy Dean. His show is based out of Los Angeles and airs live there from 3 p.m to 6 p.m. PST and played in the Midnight to 3 a.m. time-slot on tape delay on WSB. Dean's show was previously only locally broadcast in Atlanta on Sunday's from 1 – 3 p.m.

On Tuesday December 15, 2011, changes happened yet again on WSB. Clark Howard's show was cut by an hour and aired from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A 3rd best-of "extra" hour aired during the 9 p.m. hour. Sean Hannity's show began broadcasting live from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. His show was previously on a one-hour tape delay. Erick Erickson's show then aired an hour earlier from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This schedule remained through the end of May 2012.

WSB suffered a loss in January when Royal Marshall, producer of Boortz's daily show and a former host on the station in his own right in the late 2000s, died unexpectedly at the age of 43. Marshall, an African-American originally from St. Louis, Missouri, had been employed by WSB ever since his graduation from the University of Georgia, working his way up from handling control duties on the overnight shift to becoming the right-hand man for the highly popular Boortz program.[8]

2012 Program Changes[edit]

Beginning on Monday, May 28, 2012, Adam Goldfein got a weekly show on Monday through Friday on WSB from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. He announced this on his last edition of his Sunday show on May 27, 2012. His Saturday afternoon show will continue. This resulted in the 9 p.m. Clark Howard "Extra" hour being cut. The 8 o'clock hour of The Erick Erickson Show, was also cut, so his show ran from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On June 4, 2004, WSB and Neil Boortz announced that Boortz would be retiring in January 2013. Herman Cain returned to WSB to replace Boortz.

On Wednesday September 26, 2012, WSB announced changes yet again effective for Monday October 1, 2012. It was announced that the Rush Limbaugh Show will now air on WSB live from 12 Noon to 3 p.m. starting October 1. His show switches from Atlanta rival WGST which changed formats to ESPN Deportes Radio.[9]

This resulted in a change-up of the other shows on WSB. Neil Boortz’s final Noon “information overload” hour was cut and his show ends at 12 Noon to make way for Limbaugh's show being aired live. The first two hours of Sean Hannity's show airs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. live. While his 3rd and final hour airs on a tape delay during the 7 p.m. hour. Erick Erickson’s show is reworked as “Atlanta’s Evening News” featuring his commentary on the day’s headlines and features traffic every six minutes led by Captain Herb Emory and the WSB Traffic Team, breaking news and weather from Chief Meteorologist Kirk Mellish from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Clark Howard airs on a tape delay from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Dave Ramsey Show remains in the 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. time slot. Atlanta's Morning News with Scott Slade now starts a 4:30 a.m.

2013 Program Changes[edit]

The beginning of January 2013 saw further changes. The Dave Ramsey Show was cut from WSB. Adam Goldfein’s show now airs live from 10 p.m. to Midnight. Andy Dean’s show returns to the Midnight to 3 a.m. time-slot.

Neil Boortz’s final show aired on Friday, January 18, 2013. He chose to broadcast this show from WSB which Boortz said on that show was planned. He went on to say that he originally planned to have his final show on Inauguration Day on Monday, January 21, 2013, from Texas A&M where he started his radio career. However that plan didn’t work out resulting in his final show being that Friday from WSB.

In December 2013, Bob Coxe retired from his position opposite Marcy Williams on Atlanta's morning news. Judd Higginbotham was given his spot.

2014 Program Changes[edit]

About April 2, 2014, listeners noticed an apparent re-branding, as the anchors and reporters, as well as pre-recorded sounders and promos began referencing "News 95-5 and AM 750, WSB." When reporters slipped up and used the old branding, "News/Talk AM 750 and 95.5, WSB" and they or the hosts noticed, it led to humorous comments about the longevity of their jobs if they couldn't get the branding right. It has been speculated that part of the reasoning for the rebranding is to draw attention to the "news" aspect of the station and emphasize less the "talk" portion of the station's programming due to the strong political conservatism on talk radio, which frequently repels potential listeners of other ideological persuasions. Others have noticed that WSB is merely following suit with other Cox properties like WHIO and WDBO who both have been mentioning their FM signal before their AM signal in recent years. It is also notable that in 2013 WYAY FM (a Cumulus property) launched with an all-news format, thus Cox's branding of WSB solely as a news station seems a direct response to WYAY's existence. However, despite originally adhering strictly to a perpetual news schedule, WYAY has now forged into talk, bringing in Kim Peterson in November 2013, a previously popular local personality. Peterson was employed by WGST from 1992 until the "Thanksgiving Day Massacre" of 2006 (when WGST fired all local talent). Prior to that stint, Peterson was, ironically enough, a WSB personality.

WSB was struck by tragedy on April 12, when longtime chief traffic reporter "Captain" Herb Emory died from a sudden heart attack at the age of 61. Emory not only was the main voice on the station's weekday daytime helicopter coverage, but also hosted weekend sports programs featuring his great love of stock car racing, mainly NASCAR.[10] The North Carolina-born Emory worked for a number of other Atlanta-area radio outlets before joining WSB, and was renowned by listeners for his masterful handling of one of the nation's most traffic-laden roadways.

Weekend programming[edit]

This is the current Saturday schedule of WSB Radio. Times of these shows will fluctuate during the college sports season depending on UGA football and basketball.

Radio Show Time Slot
O'Neill Outside 4 a.m. - 6 a.m.
Lawn and Garden 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Home Fix It Show 10 a.m. - noon
The Mutual Fund Show noon - 1 p.m.
Belinda Skelton's Atlanta Living 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
The Monica Perez Show 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Handel on the Law 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
The Sean Hannity Show Weekend Encore 9 p.m. - midnight

This is the current Sunday schedule of WSB Radio. Times of these shows will fluctuate depending on UGA basketball during the college sports season. "Bulldog Brunch" might also effect this schedule.

Radio Show Time Slot
Handel on the Law (replay) midnight - 3 a.m.
The Rick and Bubba Show 3 a.m. - 5 a.m.
HealthTalk Atlanta with Dr. Joe Esposito 5 a.m. - 6 a.m.
Perspectives/Religious Programming 6 a.m. - 8 a.m.
Atlanta's Morning News Sunday with Scott Slade 8 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Money Matters with Wes Moss 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Ilyce Glink 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
The Adam Goldfein Show 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
The Weekly Check Up 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Successful Retirement 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Online Trading Academy 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
HealthTalk Atlanta with Dr. Joe Esposito 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
The Kim Komando Show 9 p.m. - midnight

In April 2006, WSB began airing The Allen Hunt Show hosted by Allen Hunt on just Sunday nights from 6 - 8 p.m. In March 2007, WSB expanded his show to two nights on the weekend. The first night is on Saturdays from 9 - 11 p.m. and then Sunday nights with an extra hour. In July 2007, The Allen Hunt Show was picked up on WSB sister stations WOKV (Jacksonville) and WHIO (Dayton). Three months later in October, they signed with Jones Radio Network to syndicate Hunt's Sunday night show and can currently be heard in 16 markets.[11] Allen Hunt is not to be confused with the network studio producer for UGA Football and men's basketball broadcast which also broadcasts on WSB. That would be Alan Hunt which is in his 12th year at WSB and at the UGA Network. Allen Hunt now in 2012 only broadcast in Atlanta on WSB on Sunday nights.

In early March 2011, Rick and Bubba were cut by WSB on their Sunday schedule. As a result, Sean Hannity Weekend Encore from 1 – 4 p.m. was moved to 3 – 6 p.m. Taking over the 1 – 3 p.m. slot is a new show featuring Andy Dean. In late 2011, Andy Dean (radio host) left WSB to be on a national radio show, America Now with Andy Dean. Although it is live weekdays 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. (E/P), WSB plays it 1 a.m. - 4 a.m.

In June 2013, Allen Hunt announced he would be retiring from WSB because of time conflicts with his full-time work at Dynamic Catholic. His last show was on June 30, 2013. Nothing has been announced to replace the Allen Hunt Show

Sports programming[edit]

WSB AM has long served as the flagship radio station for the University of Georgia Bulldog Radio Network, carrying all Bulldogs football and basketball games. WSB has also served as the flagship station for Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball, Atlanta Falcons NFL Football, and Atlanta Hawks NBA basketball. WSB carried Braves baseball coverage from 1966, when the Braves moved from Milwaukee, until 1991. In 1992, the Atlanta Braves game coverage moved to rival WGST until 1994. In 1995, the Braves coverage returned to WSB, the year the Braves won their only Atlanta World Series title to date. That same year the Atlanta Hawks game coverage was also picked up by the station. From 1995 until 2004, WSB was branded as the "Sports Voice of the South", carrying play-by-play game coverage of Braves baseball, Hawks basketball, and UGA football and basketball.

Former programming[edit]

Some other former WSB radio personalities who went on to nationally syndicated radio shows include Phil Hendrie (political commentary and satirist), and Mike Malloy (political talk) Ludlow Porch was the first full-time talk show host to be on air Monday through Friday at WSB.

News staff[edit]

Shift Anchor 1 Anchor 2 Traffic Weather Sports
Overnight (Midnight-4:30 A.M.) Mark Alewine Greg McClure Kirk Mellish
Atlanta's Morning News (4:30 A.M.-9 A.M.) Scott Slade Marcy Williams and Judd Hickinbotham Mark McKay (SkyCam), Kim McCarthy (SkyPlane), Mark Arum and Ashley Frasca (24 hour Traffic Center) Kirk Mellish Tony Schiavone
Mid-Day (9 A.M.-2:00 P.M.) Sabrina Gibbons Chris Camp (12:00 P.M.) Rotation Traffic Reporters Kirk Mellish
Atlanta's Evenings News (2 P.M.-7 P.M.) Chris Chandler Mark McKay (SkyCam), Kim McCarthy (SkyPlane), Steve Winslow, Doug Turnbull and Chris Schiavone (24 hour Traffic Center) Kirk Mellish
Weekday Evenings (7 P.M.-12:00 A.M.) Jennifer Griffies Floyd Hillman Kirk Mellish
Weekend Morning (5 A.M.-10 A.M.) Tim Bryant (Saturdays) Edgar Tragets (Sundays) Veronica Herell Kirk Mellish
Weekend Mid-Days (10 A.M.-3 P.M.) Tim Bryant (Saturdays) Edgar Tragets (Sundays) Zach Diodadi (Saturdays), Veronica Herell (Sundays) Kirk Mellish
Weekend Evenings (3 P.M.-11 P.M.) Edgar Tragets (Saturdays) Jennifer Griffies (Sundays) Rotation Traffic Reporters Kirk Mellish
Weekend Overnights (11 P.M.-6 A.M.) Charlie O'Brien (Saturdays) Mark Alewine (Sundays) Greg McClure (Saturdays), Bob Kidd (Sundays) Kirk Mellish

Other News Personalities[edit]

  • Chris Camp – News Director
  • Amanda Moyer - Managing Editor

Weather[edit]

  • Brad Nitz – Weekend Fill In
  • David Chandley – Weekday Fill In

Sports[edit]

  • Jay Black – Sports Reporter
  • Doug Turnbull – NASCAR Reporter

Rotation Traffic Reporters[edit]

  • Mark McKay; Fill In SkyCam Reporter
  • Doug Turnbull; also Fill In SkyPlane and SkyCam reporter
  • Steve Winslow
  • Robin Recce
  • Bob Kidd
  • Floyd Hillman

Reporters[edit]

  • Richard Sangster – Lead Reporter
  • Pete Combs (also as an Atlanta correspondent for CBS Radio)
  • Veronica Waters (does morning drive news on Cox sister WSB-FM and KISS 104FM)
  • Sandra Parrish
  • Jamie Dupree –Washington D.C. Reporter
  • Edgar Tragets
  • Jon Lewis
  • Bill Caiaccio

References[edit]

External links[edit]