|City||Charleston, South Carolina|
|Broadcast area||Charleston Metropolitan Area|
|Branding||News-Talk 1250 AM WTMA|
|Slogan||The Lowcountry's Big Talker|
|First air date||June 16, 1939|
|Power||5,000 watts daytime
1,000 watts nighttime
|Callsign meaning||Where Talk Means Action.|
|Affiliations||Westwood One Network
Westwood One News
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
|Sister stations||WSSX, WIWF, WWWZ|
WTMA (branded as News Talk 1250 WTMA) is an AM radio station licensed to Charleston, South Carolina with a Talk radio format. This station operates on 1250 kHz and is under the ownership of Cumulus Media. WTMA airs a local news and interview morning show hosted by Charlie James. The rest of the weekday schedule is made up of nationally syndicated talk shows from Cumulus subsidiary Westwood One Networks. They include Chris Plante, Clark Howard, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, John Batchelor, Red Eye Radio and First Light. Weekends feature shows on money, health, real estate and gardening, with syndicated shows from Larry Kudlow, Bob Brinker and repeats of weekday shows. Each hour begins with Westwood One News.
WTMA broadcasts with 5,000 non-directional watts of power during the day and 1,000 directional watts of power at night. The station streams its programming through its website, WTMA.com as well as through iHeart Radio and free smartphone apps. WTMA's studios and offices are on Faber Place Drive in North Charleston. The transmitter is off Eton Road in Charleston.
WTMA began its broadcasting activities on June 16, 1939 as an NBC affiliate and is the Charleston, SC area's second oldest AM radio station. Of those two, WTMA is the only one to maintain its current call letters. In 1945, it added an FM sister station which today is 95.1 WSSX.
From the early 1960s through 1981, WTMA broadcast a Top 40 format and was an ABC Radio News affiliate. But like many other AM Radio Top 40 stations, it switched to an adult contemporary format in the early 80s until 1986 when FM became more popular for music. It tried a couple different formats including an R&B-flavored oldies format and country music. Then on June 1, 1989, it switched to its current news/talk format. WTMA has since then maintained its talk radio format, under the ownership of Citadel Broadcasting. Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.
In May 1999, WTMA lost popular syndicated shows by Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura to new talk radio competitor WSCC. Still, the station jumped from 13th to 7th in the morning and from 16th to 12th with 25-54 listeners. Program director Jason Wilmot said WTMA was still the number one station for news.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1977, page C-187
- "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- Lipman, Lisa (1999-11-11). "Stern becomes No. 1 morning radio show". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- News-Talk 1250 AM WTMA official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WTMA
- Radio-Locator Information on WTMA
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WTMA
- WTMA History Site