WDAY (AM)

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WDAY
WDAY logo
City Fargo, North Dakota
Broadcast area Fargo-Moorhead media market
Branding 970 WDAY
Slogan News/Talk AM 970
Frequency 970 AM (kHz)
Digital television subchannel audio: WDAY-TV/WDAZ-TV 6/8.3
First air date May 23, 1922
Format Commercial; News/Talk
Power 10,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 22126
Affiliations Westwood One Network
Premiere Networks
ABC News
Owner Forum Communications
Sister stations WDAY-TV, WDAZ-TV, KBMY-TV/KMCY-TV
Webcast Listen Live
Website wday.com

WDAY (970 kHz "News-Talk 970 WDAY") is North Dakota's oldest radio station, having first signed on in 1922. WDAY is licensed to Fargo, North Dakota and is owned Forum Communications. Forum also owns ABC network affiliate WDAY-TV 6 and The Forum newspaper in Fargo. Forum Communications also owns ABC affiliate WDAZ-TV 8 in Grand Forks and several other newspapers and TV stations in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The Forum bought 49 percent of the station in 1935 to become the largest shareholder, and bought the remaining 51 percent interest in 1958.

WDAY's power is 10,000 watts and it uses a three tower directional antenna to protect other stations on 970 kHz. On January 8, 1935, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved increasing WDAY's power to 5000 watts.[1] In March 2013, the power was increased to 10,000 watts. WDAY's signal covers the eastern half of North Dakota, west central Minnesota, northeastern South Dakota, and southern Manitoba. The transmitter is near 210th Street South in Barnesville, Minnesota and the studios are on 8th Street South in Fargo.[2]

Most stations west of the Mississippi have call letters which begin with "K." However, WDAY was licensed before the U.S. government changed its assignment of call signs. Prior to 1923, call letters beginning with "W" were generally assigned to stations east of an irregular line forming the western borders of states from North Dakota south to Texas, with calls beginning with "K" going to stations in states west of that line. In 1923, the dividing line was shifted to the Mississippi River.

Programming[edit]

970 WDAY features local news and talk shows during the day on weekdays, including some newscasts that are simulcast from WDAY-TV. Evenings feature nationally syndicated programming, mostly from the Westwood One Network. They include Dave Ramsey, Jim Bohannon and Red Eye Radio. On weekends, the station airs programs on money, health, religion, computers and home repair, including syndicated shows from Kim Komando, Gary Sullivan and Leo Laporte. Some hours begin with national news from ABC News Radio. The station also airs various sports programming from the University of North Dakota.

Tower collapse and new transmitter[edit]

On May 30, 2011, a severe thunderstorm damaged WDAY's AM Radio tower system (which was located on Main Avenue in West Fargo, North Dakota). Of its three towers, one completely collapsed, the second snapped approximately two-thirds of the way up, and the third remained standing but severely mangled, knocking WDAY off the air. WDAY was able to get back on the air several days later with the remaining tower, using the full 5,000 watt non-directional signal during the day, but only 1,200 watts at night, as the two towers which were lost transmitted the directional 5,000 watt signal at night.[3] The FCC granted WDAY a construction permit to make it a 10,000 watt full-time signal from its new transmitter, which began broadcasting at full power in March 2013. [4]

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Coordinates: 46°38′48″N 96°21′50″W / 46.64667°N 96.36389°W / 46.64667; -96.36389