WYDE-FM

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WYDE-FM
WYDE-FM logo.png
City Cullman, Alabama
Broadcast area Birmingham / Huntsville / Tuscaloosa / Gadsden, Jacksonville, Alabama
Branding Superstation 101 WYDE
Frequency 101.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1950 (as WFMH-FM)
Format Talk
HD2: Talk (WYDE (AM) simulcast)
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 410 meters (1346 feet)
Class C0
Facility ID 70452
Transmitter coordinates 34°04′56″N 86°54′15″W / 34.08222°N 86.90417°W / 34.08222; -86.90417
Callsign meaning Bartell Broadcasting, who owned the original WYDE (850) in Birmingham in the 1950s and 1960s, dubbed WYDE and co-owned WAKE-AM in Atlanta as "Your WYDE-a-WAKE Stations"
Former callsigns WFMH-FM (1950-1998)
WRRS (1998-2002)
Owner Crawford Broadcasting
Sister stations WDJC-FM, WXJC, WXJC-FM, WYDE
Webcast Listen Live
Website 101wyde.com

WYDE-FM (101.1 FM, "Superstation 101 WYDE") is a radio station that serves Birmingham and nearly all of north-central Alabama. The station is licensed to Cullman, Alabama. Because of the location of the station's broadcast tower and its strong signal, WYDE-FM serves the Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden and Florence markets as well. The station is owned by Crawford Broadcasting Company. The transmitter for WYDE-FM is located in Good Hope, AL near the border between Cullman County and Blount County, approximately 40 miles north of downtown Birmingham, while its studios are located in Homewood.

Except for a brief period in the late 1990s, the WYDE call letters have been a part of the radio landscape in Birmingham for nearly 50 years.[1] The history of WYDE (850 AM) is closely intertwined with the current WYDE-FM.

History[edit]

The station signed on in Cullman in 1950 as WFMH-FM. Before it began targeting the Birmingham market, WFMH-FM had several different formats, including classic country music and adult standards. In 1998 Eddins Broadcasting Co. sold 101.1 FM to a group of businessmen in Birmingham (Eddins moved WFMH to the 95.5 frequency in Holly Pond), which purchased the station with the intent of launching a second contemporary Christian music station in Birmingham. Competing against WDJC-FM, the station was rebranded as Reality 101.1 with the new call letters WRRS (for "Reality Radio Station"[2]).

Initially, Reality 101.1 proved to be moderately successful, but the location of the station's broadcast tower hindered the signal from adequately reaching the southern suburbs of Birmingham. Also, in reaction to the presence of WRRS in the market, WDJC dropped all of its Christian teaching programming as well as its nighttime Southern gospel music program and became a full-time contemporary Christian music station. Faced with bankruptcy, the station was sold for $9 million to STG Media LLC, an ownership group that held several stations in the Huntsville market,[3] and the station changed music formats, becoming a modern rock/adult contemporary hybrid station known on the air as "101.1 the Spot". "The Spot" was no more successful in the Birmingham market than its predecessor, and the ownership of the station began looking for an opportunity to sell the station.

Crawford Broadcasting purchased Radio Disney affiliate WMKI (850 AM) in 1999 and re-launched the station as a talk radio station. The station reacquired its heritage call letters, WYDE. The new WYDE established itself as a leader in conservative talk, becoming one of the more listened-to talk stations in Birmingham due in part to morning host Russ and Dee Fine. However, the station's reduced nighttime signal limited its coverage area. In 2002, Crawford, who was looking to expand the listening area of WYDE, purchased WRRS-FM for $8.5 million[4] and temporarily took the station off the air in order to upgrade its transmitter. In August of that year, 101.1 FM returned to the air as Birmingham's first FM talk station as WYDE-FM.[5] At first, both WYDE-FM and AM were full-time simulcast partners, but by the fall, the AM station changed its call letters to WDJC-AM. The call letters of AM 850 were changed, this time to WXJC-AM, when Crawford Broadcasting acquired an FM station that it used to simulcast the AM station's programming. It became a full-time Christian programming station, featuring syndicated Bible studies and teaching and Southern gospel music.

In 2003, WYDE-FM began simulcasting its programming on co-owned WLGS-AM (1260), which formerly had been an oldies/adult standards station. The call letters of the AM station were changed to WYDE-AM. That simulcast continued until September 2006, when the AM station was taken off the air in preparation for its relaunch as an adult standards station. The new call letters of the AM station were WLGD.

On Wednesday, June 27, 2007, weekend paid programming host David Billings of the "Home 101 Program" announced on his website that the station would be dropping the FM Talk format.

On July 2, 2007, WYDE-FM dropped the news/talk format, and began stunting with Christmas music, in a "Christmas in July" format, simulcasting with WLGD. At 12:00 A.M. on July 5, the station debuted "The New WYDE 101.1", with an oldies-based adult contemporary format. As part of the format switch, the AM station WLGD again changed its call letters to WYDE (AM).

The station simulcasts sister station WDJC-FM's programing on its HD-3 frequency.

Format change[edit]

On October 17, 2008, Crawford Broadcasting informed the staff of WYDE-FM that the station would be dropping its adult contemporary format soon. After several months of continuing playing music with no live studio announcers, the station debuted an all-talk radio format in January 2009. Again known as "101.1 The Source", WYDE-FM aired "America's Morning News" plus Laura Ingraham, Dennis Miller, Dave Ramsey, Rusty Humphries, and Dr. Asa's syndicated shows. Local shows include "The Michael Hart Show" weekday afternoons,"The Lee Davis Show" middays, and another local show from 7 to 9pm in the evenings, "The Steve West Show".

There are several local weekend shows as well. They include "Shop Talk with Jim Moore", and "Your House Inside and Out".

On February 18, 2013 WYDE-FM rebranded as "Superstation 101 WYDE" and a revamped lineup was introduced including new Program Director Leland Whaley in afternoons, previous afternoon host Michael Hart in mornings and Dave Ramsey in the early afternoons.[6]

As of October 2015, the station's weekday lineup has changed. Whaley still hosts an afternoon show and Ramsey's show is still featured, but Hart has been moved to nighttime from 7 to 9 p.m. Former Birmingham television news anchor Andrea Lindenberg now hosts a show from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by the syndicated "Yellowhammer Radio" program hosted by Cliff Sims, publisher of the conservative blog Yellowhammer News, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. 
  2. ^ Nelson, Bob (2008-10-18). "Call Letter Origins". The Broadcast Archive. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  3. ^ BIA Financial Networks (2000-10-30). "Changing Hands". Broadcasting & Cable. 
  4. ^ BIA Financial Networks (2002-05-06). "Changing Hands". Broadcasting & Cable. 
  5. ^ "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. 
  6. ^ http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/80956/wyde-revamps-as-the-superstation/
  7. ^ ""On-Air". 101wyde.com. 

External links[edit]