|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2008)|
|City of license||Spartanburg, South Carolina|
|Broadcast area||Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina|
|Translator(s)||97.1 W246BU (Spartanburg)|
|First air date||February 17, 1930 (for 950 frequency)|
|Former callsigns||WSPA (until 2002)|
|Sister stations||WFBC, WSPA-FM, WTPT, WROQ, WYRD, WYRD-FM|
See also: WYRD
WORD, known on-air as "ESPN Upstate", is an sports-formatted radio station in the Greenville-Spartanburg area of Upstate South Carolina. The Entercom Communications outlet is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to Spartanburg, SC, and broadcasts at 950 kHz with power of 5,000 watts non-directional daytime and directional at night. It simulcasts with WYRD 1330 AM Greenville.
WORD signed on September 1, 1940 at 910 AM as Spartanburg's second radio station. under the ownership of Spartanburg Advertising Company which also owned WSPA, a station that was established a decade previous. WORD utilized studio and tower space from WSPA.
In 1944 the FCC ordered the WSPA-WORD combo to be broken up due to ownership regulations which forbid an owner from having no more than one AM station per market. This was completed on March 17, 1947, when WORD was sold to Spartan Radiocasting. Later that year, sister FM WDXY 100.5 signed on the air, but would sign off the air by the end of the 1950s.
In 1952, a dispute erupted between both Spartan Radiocasting and Liberty Life over a proposed allocation for VHF TV channel 7 in Spartanburg. It was settled in 1958 when Spartan Radiocasting bought back WSPA-AM and FM from Liberty Life Insurance and spinning off WORD and WDXY to different ownership.
WORD was well known as Spartanburg's Top 40 powerhouse in the 1960s and 70s under the name "Big Word". Some of the South's heavy weights worked there during the '70s that included: Russ Spooner, Bob Canada, Kemosabi Joe Johnson, Fred Hardy and Robert W. Morgan (not the same Morgan that worked at KHJ) though. The Inimitable MojoMan (aka Sid D. Grubbs)also worked there in the 70s. By the 1980s, WORD faced declining audience shares from FM competitors WANS and WFBC-FM and switched to various formats before going dark in 1989. In October 1990, WORD signed back on as a simulcast of 1330 WFBC from Greenville as both stations switched to News/Talk with WFBC becoming WYRD in the mid-90s.
In 2002, Entercom Communications moved the "News Radio WORD" format from the weaker 910 AM, which previously held the WORD callsign, to 950 AM. The programming at 950 AM was then moved to 910 AM, along with the WSPA calls. WSPA at 910 has since been sold and is now all Oldies as WOLI (AM) 910.
950 WORD's transmitter is located near the Spartanburg Community College campus (3 miles NW of downtown Spartanburg) at 245 Broadcast Drive (Business I-85 @ exit 3). Its general coverage area is from Gaffney to Greer (Spartanburg Metro). Although WORD transmits with 5,000 watts of power like its counterpart, WYRD, its signal is somewhat stronger due to its lower dial position.
The station added WYRD-FM, at 106.3 on the dial, as a second simulcast partner in 2008.
- ESPN Upstate - Official Website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WORD
- Radio-Locator Information on WORD
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WORD
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W246BU
- Radio-Locator information on W246BU