WYDE-FM

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WYDE-FM (FM 101.1) is a news talk radio station owned by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based Crawford Broadcasting that serves Birmingham and most of north-central Alabama from a broadcast tower near the Cullman County/Blount County line. Launched under its present designation in 2002, the call letters are taken from the much older WYDE-AM. The production offices are located in Crawford's combined studios at 120 Summit Parkway off of West Valley Avenue. Laura Scotti is the station's general manager and Mark Harvard is program director.

WYDE serves as the broadcast home for the Birmingham Barons baseball team.

[edit] History

Crawford Broadcasting purchased Radio Disney affiliate WMKI-AM (850) in 1999 and re-launched it 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. The station’s reduced nighttime signal, however, limited its coverage area.

In April 2002, Crawford, which was looking to expand the listening area of WYDE, purchased WRRS-FM from Daytona, Florida-based Black Crow Broadcasting for $9 million. Crawford temporarily took the station off the air in order to raise the station's 100,000 watt transmitter by 100 feet and to upgrade the equipment at the station's production studio on Goodwin Crest Drive on Red Mountain.

In August of that year, 101.1 FM returned to the air as WYDE-FM "The Source", Birmingham’s first FM talk station. At first, both WYDE-FM and AM were full-time simulcast partners, but by the fall, the AM station changed its call letters, first to WDJC-AM, and then to WXJC-AM, restoring much of the Christian teaching and Southern gospel music lost from the airwaves during the station's previous incarnation.

The Source's on air personalities included Lee Davis (mornings), Burt and Kurt (mid-day), Matt Murphy (evening drive), and Russ and Dee Fine. Scott Moore and Doug Bell also hosted a sports show called "The Winning Edge". The Fines were replaced in September 2006 with "The Attack Machine" (Dale Jackson and Chris Hobbs).

In 2003, WYDE-FM began simulcasting its programming on co-owned WLGS-AM, which 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-AM.

On June 27, 2007, weekend paid programming host David Billings of the Home 101 Show announced on his website that the station would be dropping the FM Talk format. In July WYDE-FM relocated its studio to Crawford's combined facility in West Homewood. For about a week the station stunted with non-stop Christmas music. When it returned to full programming the following Thursday morning, the station took the name Fun 101.1 FM and played an adult-contemporary format. The talk radio programs were moved to WXJC AM 850 and WLGD-AM switched its call letters back to WYDE-AM and resumed simulcasting its FM partner.

On October 17, 2008 the station began playing continuous music with a reduced staff and no live announcers. It switched to a news talk format in January 2009. Lee Davis returned with an afternoon talk show. The rest of the day is taken up with syndicated programs including "Mancow's Morning Madhouse", and shows hosted by Laura Ingraham, Dennis Miller, and Dave Ramsey.

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