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Thunder WTDR.png
City Gadsden, Alabama
Branding Thunder 1350
Frequency 1350 kHz
Repeater(s) 99.3 FM
First air date 1947[1][2]
Format Country
Power 5,000 watts (day)
1,000 watts (night)
Class B
Facility ID 13849
Transmitter coordinates 34°01′03″N 86°05′15″W / 34.01750°N 86.08750°W / 34.01750; -86.08750
Callsign meaning GADsden
Former callsigns WGAD (1947-2007)
WJBY (2007-2011)
WGAD (2011-2012)[3]
Affiliations CNN Radio
Owner The DR Group LLC sale to Gadsden Radio Media Inc. pending
Sister stations WTDR-FM, WFZX, WGAD, WWGC
Webcast http://radio.securenetsystems.net/v5/WTDR
Website http://www.jeffbeckmedia.com

WTDR (1350 AM) is an American radio station licensed to serve Gadsden, Alabama, USA. The station, established in 1947, is operated by Gadsden Radio Media Inc. and the broadcast license is held by The DR Group LLC. An FCC-approved sale to Gadsden Radio Media Inc. is pending formal consummation.


WGAD changed to a news/talk format on October 10, 2011.[4] The "Gadsden's Gold" oldies format the station broadcast for many years was dropped, making it the second AM station in Gadsden to air news and talk programming. The new operators kept the 80's music and is featuring Big 80's & More weekends on Saturday and Sunday. In October 2012, the format again changed to simulcast country music from WTDR-FM, a sister station.

Oldies format logo


This station was assigned the "WGAD" call letters by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) when it first went on the air in 1947. After an ownership change in 2007, the station switched call signs to "WJBY", but returned to its original "WGAD" letters in 2011. WGAD signed on in 1947 with 1,000 watts day non-directional, and 1,000 watts at night with a two tower directional signal, towers located west of Gadsden proper in Attalla, Alabama. In 1959, it was sold to a group of broadcasters consisting of Ed Z. Carrell who also served as General Manager, Lavelle Jackson, and Congressman Albert Rains, who raised the daytime power to 5,000 watts. WGAD was Gadsden's only full-time station until 1960. The station was also the first to jump on the pop music bandwagon in the late 1950s when it began broadcasting "Top 40" music with ABC news and special programs.[citation needed]

In 1985, as listenership for music stations migrated to FM stations, WGAD switched to a news/talk radio format. In 2001, the station began broadcasting a satellite-fed oldies music format. Gerald Dilts purchased WGAD in 2002 then sold it to Dave Hedrick and the DR Radio Group in 2004. In 2007 the station was sold to Coosa River Communications, owner of Rainbow City, Alabama-based WJBY (930 AM) who effected a format and call sign swap with its new sister station.[5]

On October 4, 2007, the WGAD call sign was moved from 1350 AM to 930 AM while sister station WJBY in Rainbow City, Alabama, had its call sign moved from 930 AM to 1350 AM. In October 2010, the stations began the process to regain their original (prior to 2007) call letters.[4] This station regained the "WGAD" call sign on January 19, 2011.[3]

On October 5, 2010, a judgment by consent was reached between plaintiff Gadsden Broadcasting, Inc., and defendants Coosa River Communications, Inc., and its owners in settlement of claims over outstanding debts. The defendants agreed to turn over station property of AM 930 (WJBY) to the plaintiff, cease broadcasting, and file an application to return control of the station's broadcast license to the plaintiffs.[6] On October 10, 2010, WJBY's broadcast signal went dark, and WGAD was again back on AM-1350. In its application for special temporary authority to remain off the air, the station noted that its equipment had been repossessed.[7] On October 20, 2010, an application was filed with the FCC to transfer the license for WGAD from Coosa River Communications to Gadsden Broadcasting Company, Inc. The application notes that this in settlement of a debt of just over $160,000.[6]

Gadsden Radio Media Inc., owned by Jeff Beck, began operating the station in June 2011 under a local marketing agreement while negotiations for the purchase of the station from The DR Group LLC were underway.[1] The FCC approved the sale on August 22, 2011, but as of October 12, 2011, the transaction is still pending consummation.[8] On September 20, 2012, the station changed its call sign to WTDR.


  1. ^ a b "New company takes over Gadsden radio station WGAD". The Gadsden Times. June 23, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ "AM History Profile: WGAD". Alabama Broadcast Media Page. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Powell, Andy (October 8, 2010). "AM radio stations WGAD, WJBY to switch frequencies Sunday". The Gadsden Times. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Changes on tap at radio stations". Gadsden Times. June 27, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Application Search Details (BAL-20101020ABF)". Federal Communications Commission. October 21, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Application Search Details (BLSTA-20101012AAY)". Federal Communications Commission. October 12, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-20110629AAA)". Federal Communications Commission. August 22, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 

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