WZRR-FM ("Birmingham's Real Talk", Talk 99.5) is a news/talk FM radio station licensed to Birmingham and operated by Cumulus Media. The station broadcasts an HD simulcast of WAPI-AM's programming at 100KW on 99.5 FM. Its transmitter is located in the northeastern end of Red Mountain Park near Grace's Gap. Its studios and offices are shared with the area's other Cumulus stations, at 244 Goodwin Crest Drive in Homewood.
WAPI-AM / WZRR-FM airs locally-produced talk shows during the day, and syndicated programming from the Westwood One Network on the evenings and on weekends. The station also maintains a local news team led by news director Tim Melton with morning anchor Jason Lee and evening anchor David Sears. The station also licenses world and national news updates from ABC Radio News, and is part of the Auburn Tigers radio network.
The 99.5 broadcast first went on the air in December 1976 as WVOK-FM, "K-99", with a progressive rock and roll format. Mack Sanders bought the station in 1978 and changed the call letters to WRKK-FM.
Sanders sold the station in 1982 and it was switched to a country music format under the name "K-99 Country". In 1984 the station was renamed "U.S. 99" and its call letters changed to WQUS-FM. The well-established "T. C. & John Ed" morning show came to the station from WVOK-AM for a short while.
In 1985 the station debuted a new soft adult contemporary format, branded as "Lite 99" with the call letters WLTB-FM.
On December 25, 1988 the station switched to a classic rock format. It was branded as "Rock 99" and first adopted the WZRR call letters. The name was updated to "Classic Rock 99.5" in 1995 and to 99.5 The Buzzard in 2002. In 2003 the station turned back to its late 1980s branding, as "Rock 99.5".
That name was shortened back to "Rock 99" in 2010. In April of that year the locally-produced Mojo Morning Show debuted. Other Rock 99 personalities included Lori Ray, Blazeman, and Jason Mack.
The station's owners, Citadel Broadcasting, merged with Cumulus Media in September 2011. On January 1, 2012 Cumulus laid off the station's on-air staff and plugged in a Top 40 format with the name "99.5 The Vibe". In August 2014, after a brief "stunt" of just Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock, 99.5 began airing a 1990s-2000s country format under the name "99.5 Nash Icon".
In May 2016 the format was changed to Southern Rock and Country as "99.5 The South" for another 4-day stunt before the station became a simulcast of news-talk WAPI-AM. With the switch, the FM partner took over the main branding as "Talk 99.5".
- Carlton, Bob (May 24, 2016) "Birmingham radio station 99.5 FM completes the switch to news-talk." The Birmingham News
- "WZRR" (November 26, 2021) Wikipedia - accessed December 3, 2021
- Talk 99.5 website