|Broadcast area||Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area|
|Frequency||690 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1947 (as WVOK)|
|Power||50,000 watts (day)
500 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||JOX = "Jocks"|
|Former callsigns||WVOK (1947-1992)
|Affiliations||Fox Sports Radio
University of Alabama Crimson Tide (Football)
UAB Blazers (Baseball)
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
|Sister stations||WAPI, WJOX-FM, WJQX, WUHT, WZRR|
WJOX (690 AM, "Jox 3") is an all-sports radio station licensed to Birmingham, Alabama, with daytime licensed power of 50,000 watts and 500 watts at night. WJOX is the Birmingham affiliate of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide Sports Network (football only), the UAB Blazers Radio Network (baseball only), Tennessee Titans Radio, the Atlanta Braves and Fox Sports Radio. It used to be the broadcast home of the Birmingham Barons. The station has studios in Homewood and its transmitter is in Midfield.
The station that now broadcasts from 690 AM in Birmingham signed on in 1947 as WVOK. It was the first radio station in Birmingham to broadcast at 50,000 watts. Due to Federal Communications Commission restrictions, the station broadcast only during daytime hours. It was not until the early 1980s that WVOK was able to broadcast 24 hours a day.
Throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, WVOK was a Top 40 station calling itself “The Mighty 690" with a signal that covered almost all of north and central Alabama, as well as parts of Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee. Rather than attempting to compete with crosstown station (and market leader) WSGN, WVOK targeted listeners in the rural areas of the states its signal reached. One of the most popular promotions of WVOK was their “Shower of Stars” concert series. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, these concerts brought such performers as the Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Diamond and the Beach Boys to Birmingham.
In 1976, WVOK dropped Top 40 music and became a country station using the nickname OK 69. At about the same time, sister station WVOK-FM (now WZRR) signed on with an album rock format. Country music on WVOK continued until 1985, when the station changed to adult contemporary music before moving to an oldies format. In 1989, oldies were dropped, and the station began playing classic country music.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, several AM stations in Birmingham debuted afternoon sports talk call-in shows. Local sportswriter Paul Finebaum had debuted a popular show on WAPI. In 1990, Herb Winches, a former TV sports anchor on WBRC and WVTM, moved his own popular show with co-host Ben Cook from WERC to WVOK. Because Winches’ show was fairly successful, and because, by the 1990s, there were few AM radio stations that were successful playing music, station management made the decision to launch an all-sports station in 1992.
On November 29, 2006, WJOX began simulcasting on the 100.5 FM frequency of sister station WRAX. On December 1, the AM station changed its call letters to WSPZ, and the WJOX call sign moved to the FM station. On January 8, 2007, WJOX-FM and WSPZ began separate sports programming schedules. Three of the local call-in shows from the former WJOX moved to FM, and a new morning-drive show was created, reuniting former WJOX morning drive personalities Matt Coulter and Scott Griffin. As a result of the change, and to differentiate itself from WJOX, an affiliate of ESPN Radio, WSPZ affiliated with Fox Sports Radio. Coulter was let go by WSPZ on January 22, 2008 when his contract was not renewed. Scott Griffin was fired on July 17, 2008 and his show was replaced with syndicated sports talk, then Don Imus's nationally syndicated morning show.
The station returned to the WJOX call sign on February 8, 2010, and simulcasted WJOX-FM 94.5.
On January 1, 2012, WJOX split from its simulcast with WJOX-FM 94.5 and rebranded as "690 The Fan". The station currently airs programming from the Fox Sports Radio Network. In 2013, the station was once again rebranded as "Jox 3".
- Nelson, Bob (2008-10-18). "Call Letter Origins". The Broadcast Archive. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Irvine, Steve (2007-08-03). "Blazers sign on with Citadel Broadcasting". The Birmingham News. Birmingham, Alabama. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
The Blazers ISP Sports Network has signed a three-year deal with Citadel Broadcasting to serve as the flagship radio stations for UAB football and men's basketball. [...] A deal has also been worked out to broadcast 10 UAB baseball games on WJOX. It has not been determined which 10 games will be broadcast.