WERM

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WABF
City Mobile, Alabama
Branding "The Original One Of A Kind"
Slogan "Great Music and Memories"
Frequency 1480 kHz (AM)
First air date June 19, 1948
Format Standards
Power 5,000 watts (day)
4,400 watts (night)
Class B
Facility ID 70656
Transmitter coordinates 30°43′11″N 88°04′16″W / 30.71972°N 88.07111°W / 30.71972; -88.07111
Former callsigns WABB (1948–2012)
WTKD (2012–2014)
Owner Donald Pugh
(Eternity Record Company LLC)
Sister stations WERM
Webcast https://radio.securenetsystems.net/cp/index.cfm?stationCallSign=WABF
Website www.wabfradio.com

WABF (1480 AM) is an American radio station licensed to serve the community of Mobile, Alabama. The station, established in 1948, is owned by Donald Pugh, through licensee Eternity Record Company LLC. WABF broadcasts from midtown Mobile's Springhill Avenue, its home since 1969, after leaving its former Government Street studio in downtown Mobile.

History[edit]

The station began broadcasting at 1480 kHz on June 19, 1948, when it was owned by the Mobile Register as WABB ("Alabama's Best Broadcasters") and had a country music format.

Shortly after owner Bernie Dittman moved to Mobile from his native Ohio to join his father J.W. at the station, Top-40 music became the new format.[1]

WABB had an FM simulcast from the very beginning, starting with 107.9 MHz and later 102.1 MHz until it was discontinued in the 1950s. The most recent incarnation of WABB-FM (97.5 FM) signed on for the first time on February 5, 1973, with the song "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" by Bob Dylan.[2] WABB-FM was originally a simulcast of its sister station before moving toward the format of album oriented rock.

When WABB-FM made the move to the contemporary hit radio format in 1984, the AM station continued to play Top-40 music. Eventually, the economics of AM radio in the United States meant a move away from music and the station adopted a talk radio format.

Station's last logo as WABB

WABB's longtime owner, president, and general manager Bernie Dittman died on October 25, 2006, after suffering from a stroke the previous week.[3] Dittman's daughter Betsey succeeded him after relocating to Mobile from Chicago, Illinois.[4] In its final years as WABB, the station broadcast a talk radio format featuring a line-up of primarily nationally syndicated conservative talk programming along with some locally produced programs.[5] Some of the personalities on the station included national hosts such as Laura Ingraham, Michael Smerconish, Lou Dobbs, and Jerry Doyle. WALA-TV's morning newscast was simulcast weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.[6] WTKD was the radio home of Mobile's minor league baseball team the Mobile BayBears from the 2001 through the 2006 seasons.

On February 17, 2012, the Dittman family announced on its website that it has decided to sell WABB-FM to Educational Media Foundation (EMF) for an undisclosed price. That station flipped to the K-LOVE Christian Contemporary format on March 1, 2012,[7] and soon after adopted the callsign WLVM, which EMF transferred from WKIW, the K-LOVE station in Ironwood, Michigan. The EMF sale excludes WABB AM, which the Dittman family has chosen to retain for the time being, therefore retaining the rights to the WABB callsign. The Dittman family closed the sale of the station to Omni Broadcasting on October 24, 2012, and the new owners changed the call sign to WTKD, following the flip to sports talk. Big Fish Broadcasting reserved the "WABB" call letters for their silent AM radio station in Belton, South Carolina.[8]

The station was sold to Donald Pugh's Eternity Record Company LLC at a purchase price of $175,000; the transaction was consummated on July 15, 2014.

On August 19, 2014, the station changed its call sign to the current WERM.

The station's gospel format gave way to the standards and swap shop programming from sister station WABF in early February 2017. WABF lost its transmitter site and ran into issues finding a new site, leading to that format migrating here. It's reported to be a permanent solution. WERM's gospel has migrated to the 1220 facility, which, as of mid-February 2017, is being temporarily diplexed onto the 1480 tower site. (Taken from Alabama Broadcast Media Page) During this time the calls for WERM moved to 1220 AM. (Taken from Alabama Broadcast Media Page)

During its long history, WABB AM/FM has been home to many air personalities and news anchors who moved up to major markets and radio networks.

Scott Shannon, Leslie Fram, Norman Robinson, Raymond Bannister.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "People: Radio". Media Life. Dittman owned WABB-AM since 1959, adding WABB-FM in 1973. 
  2. ^ "Bernie Dittman Passes Away". Radio Monitor. October 26, 2006. 
  3. ^ "WABB's Dittman Dead At 79". Radio Ink. October 31, 2006. Retrieved January 4, 2008. 
  4. ^ Holbert, Rob (November 8, 2006). "Media Frenzy". Lagniappe Mobile. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  6. ^ "WABB plans changes on both AM, FM". Mobile Press-Register. Mobile, Alabama. April 10, 2007. On WABB-AM 1480, at 5 a.m. Wednesday, the news-talk radio station will unveil its two-year partnership with WALA-TV10's news department. From 5 until 8 a.m. weekdays, WABB-AM will simulcast the television station's morning newscast. 
  7. ^ "WABB-FM Agrees to be Purchased by Educational Media Foundation" from WABB (February 17, 2012)
  8. ^ Williams, Alvin (November 16, 2012). "New call letters adopted for WABB-AM". Examiner.com. 

External links[edit]