|Broadcast area||Tri-County area
|Branding||"News-Talk Eight-Five-Oh, WFTL"|
|First air date||1948|
|Callsign meaning||ForT Lauderdale|
|Affiliations||Seminole ISP Sports Network|
|Owner||James Crystal Radio Group|
WFTL (850 AM) is a radio station broadcasting from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and licensed to West Palm Beach, Florida. The station broadcasts a mix of news and mostly syndicated talk programming. Its signal is broadcast at 50,000 watts, covering much of South Florida from its tower site in Belle Glade. It is currently operated by the James Crystal Radio Group. The station is the South Florida home to Florida State Seminoles football broadcasts.
For many years prior to October 1, 1982, the station was owned by billionaire John D. MacArthur and was paired with WEAT-FM (Easy 104.3). In October, 1986 sportscaster Curt Gowdy sold the station to J.J. Taylor Companies Inc. of North Dartmouth, Mass., for an undisclosed price. In October, 1995, it was sold with WEAT-FM to OmniAmerica Group of Cleveland for an estimated $18 million.
In May, 1996, WTFL was sold with seven other stations for $178 million to Chancellor Broadcasting Co., and WTFL was sold again in June of that year, along with WEAT-FM 104.3 and WOLL-FM 94.3 to American Radio Systems of Boston.
In April, 1998, the station was sold to James Hilliard's James Crystal Enterprises for $1.5 million and changed its call letters to WDJA. (Dow Jones Averages) to which respectively, the station became a moneytalk station.
prior to October 1, 1982 – format was country music.
March 1992 – WEAT-FM switches to adult contemporary. According to the Sun-Sentinel, on the AM side, WEAT (AM 850) has adopted a more conservative easy listening format to keep the station's 45-and-older listeners. The studios have been re-equipped for digital sound, with all the music on compact disc and all the commercials run from a computer hard drive.
July 1994 – switches to all-news format
October 2003 – becomes "Live 85" with call letters WFTL, swapping with a Ft. Lauderdale station at 1400. Live 85 was an all-news format.
August 2005 – becomes NewsTalk 8-5-oh WFTL after a failed all news format. New slogan adopted as "Bigger, Better, Smarter"