The station was a re-launch of the earlier WBRC-AM, founded in the 1920s by physician J. C. Bell. It was purchased in 1972 by Mooney Broadcasting, who changed the format from "middle of the road" popular music to Top 40 under the "96-ERC" name, and competing directly with market leader WSGN-AM.
The change was overseen by program director Frank Lewis. He brought in new deejays for a "personality radio" format that focused on letting listeners know about the real humans spinning the music by sending them out to make appearances all over town. Doug Layton and Dickie James handled morning duties, Super Fox was the mid-day deejay, and Coyote J. Calhoun attracted an enormous teen audience for the station, eager to hear themselves on the air during frequent "Boogie Checks". Lee Masters began his Birmingham radio career at ERC. The station also invested in news gathering, with its ERC helicopter frequently buzzing around the skyline.
For much of the 1970’s WERC and WSGN were the two most listened-to stations in Birmingham. The beginning of WERC’s demise as a Top 40 powerhouse came in 1977, when its FM sister station was re-launched as Top 40 WKXX ("Kicks 106").
By 1980, WERC-AM modified its format to adult contemporary music and was known as News Plus 960. "Calling All Sports", an afternoon drive sports call-in show hosted by future University of Alabama football announcer Eli Gold was launched in 1981.
Competing unsuccessfully against WSGN and WAPI-AM in the adult contemporary segment, WERC dropped music altogether in 1982 to focus on news, sports and talk. The departure of Gold left Paul Finebaum's sports call in show as the station's bell cow, until early 2007 when Finebaum signed a contract with WJOX-FM. From 2001 to 2003 the station also aired a weekly HealthSouth-sponsored program co-hosted by Richard "Cowboy" Scrushy and Jason "Gator" Hervey.
On February 26, 2007, Kenny Stabler and Chris Stewart launched their "Ultimate Sports Show" on WERC. The sports slot changed again in February 2008 with the hiring of Herb Winches who - after a short stint with the station - resigned after three months, on April 28, 2008.
WERC was used to simulcast the modern rock format of WQEN-FM (FM 103.1). From February 15 to June 14, 2011 WERC's call letters were changed to WVVB-AM. On June 23 of that year, the station resumed simulcasting WERC-FM's news-talk format.
- 5AM–6AM - Good Day Alabama
- 6AM–9AM - Birmingham's Morning News with Scott Fitzgerald
- 9AM–11AM - The Glenn Beck Show (syndicated political talk)
- 11AM–2PM - The Rush Limbaugh Show (syndicated political talk)
- 2PM–5PM - The Schnitt Show (syndicated news/talk)
- 5PM–6PM - 5 O'Clock Rush Hour (syndicated political talk)
- 6PM–9PM - The Michael Savage Show (syndicated news/commentary)
- 9PM–10PM - America Now with Andy Dean (syndicated political talk)
- 10PM–10:30PM - Fox 6 News
- 10:30PM-12AM - America Now with Andy Dean (syndicated political talk)
- 12AM–4AM - Coast to Coast with George Noory (syndicated news/talk)
- Reeves, Garland (March 1976) "WSGN vs. WERC: Rock radio stations battle tooth and nail for No. 1 rank." The Birmingham News - via Birmingham Rewound
- "WERC" (January 22, 2007) Wikipedia - accessed February 27, 2007
- Stabler takes over Finebaum's old slot on WERC, 2/27/07, The Birmingham News
- Official Website of WERC-AM website