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WATV-AM logo.png
City of license Birmingham, Alabama
Branding 900 Gold
Frequency 900 kHz
First air date 1958 (as WATV)
Format Urban Oldies
Power 845 watts (day)
158 watts (night)
Class B
Facility ID 5356
Transmitter coordinates 33°32′11″N 86°53′03″W / 33.53639°N 86.88417°W / 33.53639; -86.88417
Former callsigns WLBS
Owner Sheridan Broadcasting
(MCL/MCM Alabama, LLC)

WATV (900 AM, "900 Gold") is a radio station licensed to Birmingham, Alabama. Its daytime power is 845 watts, and at nighttime, it broadcasts at 158 watts. WATV is an urban oldies music station, specializing in soul, R&B, disco, and early hip-hop from the 1950s through the 1970s. It is owned by MCL/MCM ALABAMA, LLC, a subsidiary of Sheridan Broadcasting.

History of WATV

WATV took its present callsign in 1958, as a CBS-affiliated, dual talk/MOR-formatted station. Prior to then, the callsign of the station was WLBS. Due to the restrictions of the Federal Communications Commission, the station originally broadcast only during daylight hours. In 1976, the owner of WENN-FM, the top-rated urban-formatted station in Birmingham, died. WENN was then bought by local businessman A. G. Gaston, who immediately fired Joe Lackey, the station manager; all of the disc jockeys quit in protest. Lackey was then given a job managing WATV, a radio station located on the 20th floor of the Thomas Jefferson Hotel (the now-abandoned Leer Tower), where he brought all the former WENN personalities with him. Lackey and the ex-WENN jocks immediately changed the station's format from talk and middle of the road music to soul and disco music. Despite operating with a relatively weak AM signal and broadcasting only from sunrise until sunset, WATV immediately became the top-rated radio station in Birmingham. During the 1980s, the station's format evolved from soul music to the forerunner of today's urban adult contemporary format.

Eventually the station was forced to move to 3025 Ensley Avenue, where the studios remain to this day.

In 2002, the station's owners, the Rev. Dr. Erksine Faush and Shelley Stewart, both longtime radio personalities in the Birmingham area, sold the station to MCL/MCM-INC, a subsidiary of Sheridan Broadcasting.

On September 14, 2006, Sheridan Broadcasting restructured its radio stations, and WATV was put under the control of MCL/MCM ALABAMA, LLC.

See also

External links



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