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WJOX
WJOX945.png
City of license Birmingham, Alabama
Broadcast area Central Alabama
Branding JOX 94.5
Slogan "Your Sports Authority"
Frequency 94.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date January 1, 1947 as WAFM-FM on 93.3 FM; adopted current call letters in July 2008
Format Sports
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 309 meters
Class C0
Facility ID 16901
Callsign meaning "Jocks"[1]
Former callsigns WAPI-FM (1978-1994)
WMXQ (1994-1996)
WYSF (1996-2008)[2]
Owner Citadel Broadcasting
Sister stations WAPI, WSPZ, WUHT, WWMM, WZRR
Webcast Listen Live
Website http://www.joxfm.com

WJOX (94.5 FM) is a radio station licensed to Birmingham. The station airs a sports radio format. WJOX is owned by Citadel Broadcasting. The station was assigned the WJOX call letters by the Federal Communications Commission on July 31, 2008.[2]

Contents

Programming

The station is an affiliate of ESPN Radio, and is the Birmingham area basketball affiliate of the Auburn Network. WJOX became the flagship station of the Paul Finebaum Radio Network, which is syndicated throughout Alabama and adjoining states, in 2007. WJOX is an affiliate of the Tennessee Titans football radio network.[3] WJOX is part of the UAB Blazers ISP Sports Network and airs call-in shows featuring head football coach Neil Callaway during the football season and head basketball coach Mike Davis during basketball season.[4]

From 1999 until 2006, it was the flagship station of the Rick and Bubba radio network, and it carried John Tesh's syndicated nighttime radio show and Tesh's segments during a mid-day show until May 25, 2007.

History

The forerunner of WJOX debuted on New Year's Day 1947 as WAFM on 93.3 FM. It was a sister station to WAPI-AM; WAFM-TV Channel 13 (now WVTM) was launched in 1949. All three broadcast properties were owned by Advance Publications, the parent company of The Birmingham News. In the early 1970s, WAPI-FM played "solid gold" music (an early version of the adult contemporary format). In 1978, the station became an easy listening music station, calling itself "Beautiful 94", moving it in competition with WQEZ (now WMJJ).

Federal Communications Commission rules enacted in the late 1970s forced Advance Publications to sell its TV and radio properties in Birmingham. In 1980, Channel 13 and was sold to Times-Mirror Broadcasting, while the radio stations were sold to Dittman Broadcasting, owners of WABB and WABB-FM in Mobile. In 1981, Beautiful 94 switched formats, and became Birmingham's second album rock station with the new name 95 Rock.

During the mid-1980s, the Top 40 format, which had disappeared from radio dials in many cities, regained popularity. Birmingham had one Top 40 station, WKXX (now WBPT). In 1984, the album rock format was dropped in favor Top 40, first calling itself 95 FM. By the end of the year, WAPI-FM was re-launched as I-95, calling itself "Birmingham's Hit Rock". Within a year, I-95 had replaced WKXX as the dominant Top 40 station in Birmingham.

I-95 continued to enjoy dominant ratings throughout the remainder of the 1980s, using the slogan "Birmingham’s All-Hit I-95" for the remainder of that decade, and as "The Station in the 90's" into the 1990s. However, the nationwide decline in popularity of the Top 40 format affected I-95. In 1994, the station changed call letters to WMXQ ("Mix 94.5") and became a hot adult contemporary music station. Mix 94.5 was no more successful than I-95 had been in its latter stages, so in October 1996, the station once again changed formats and became a soft adult contemporary station with the new name "Soft Rock 94.5". The call letters were changed to its current WYSF in November of the same year. Television ads for the new station featured actress Teri Garr.

In 1999, the morning drive team of Rick and Bubba moved from crosstown station WQEN to WYSF, where they remained until December 2006 when they departed for country music station WZZK. In 2001, the station renamed itself Y-94.5, with no real change in its music. In reaction to a steep drop in ratings after the departure of Rick and Bubba, the station changed formats at 5:00 p.m. on May 25, 2007.[5] The station dropped its soft adult contemporary format and replaced it with a hot adult contemporary format, changing the on-air name of the station to The New 94-5 FM.

On July 4, 2008, the station dropped its hot adult contemporary format and began stunting in anticipation of a new format.[6] The station began playing country music at approximately 9:25 p.m. on the July 4 and continued doing so for the next two days. The station then began simulcasting co-owned sports radio station WJOX as a temporary measure until the format change is complete.[7] As of July 22 the website joxfm.com shows Sports Radio as the new format. There are also billboards in the Birmingham area advertising JOX94.5 as the new home of Sports Radio for Birmingham.

References

  1. ^ Nelson, Bob (2008-10-18). "Call Letter Origins". The Broadcast Archive. http://nelson.oldradio.com/origins.call-list.html. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  2. ^ a b "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/call_hist.pl?Facility_id=16901&Callsign=WJOX.  
  3. ^ "Titans Radio in Alabama". Titans Radio. http://titansradio.com/sectional.asp?id=28042. Retrieved March 15, 2009.  
  4. ^ Irvine, Steve (2007-08-03). "Blazers sign on with Citadel Broadcasting". The Birmingham News (Birmingham, Alabama). http://www.al.com/birminghamnews/stories/index.ssf?/base/sports/1186130756174320.xml&coll=2. Retrieved 2008-01-03. "The Blazers ISP Sports Network has signed a three-year deal with Citadel Broadcasting to serve as the flagship radio stations for UAB football and men's basketball. [...] The Blazers All-Access call-in shows featuring head football coach Neil Callaway in the fall will air Thursday nights at 6 o'clock and will be broadcast on FM-94.5."  
  5. ^ "WYSF changing formats". The Birmingham News. 2007-05-25. http://www.al.com/business/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/business/1180081446240450.xml&coll=2.  
  6. ^ "WYSF/Birmingham Flips to Stunt Mode, Robison Exits". Radio Online. 2008-07-07. http://news.radio-online.com/cgi-bin/$rol.exe/headline_id=n18144.  
  7. ^ Diel, Stan (2008-07-11). "Birmingham's WYSF-FM appears ready to change formats". The Birmingham News. http://www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1215764141143110.xml&coll=2.  

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