Wednesday, August 04, 2010

WWDB-AM gets Deportes

As of Monday August 6th  860 WWDB-AM is an outlet for ESPN Deportes. They had been running Business news for years, about a decade actually. Interestingly this is not their first foray into the world of espanol. While the station was still owned by Doug Hibbs in the 1960s the station ran mixed ethnic programming including Spanish music. The only English-language programing was a morning christian show hosted by Harry Bristow.  When Beasley bought  it in 1988 the weekday programming all changed to Spanish Contemporary. The call letters were still WTEL-AM back then and were until 1998. At the time the station simulcasted some programming on WWDB-FM 96.5. In a fit of demographics Beasley moved the talk shows to the AM stick. Things all went to hell.  More here and here.
Listeners got all pissed off.  Then they moved the talk shows back and flipped 860 AM to a CNN feed. then a year later they changed the calls back to WTEL-AM and tried running religious talk. Some records refer to this as "gospel programming" which I think is less of an error and more of a disagreement of nomenclature.  Regardless, that format didn't last either. In November of 2000 they flipped it to Business News. And so it was until 48 hours ago. The upside for them was that a format flip on a daytimer is a piece of cake. One station signs off, and a different one signs on the next morning. No transition, just 10 long hours of blitzing AM band noise.
WWDB-AM Before:

WWDB-AM After:

It made me wish that the Philadelphia Radio Archives had gotten to their history of WWDB. Sadly that page remains blank. Please do excuse the audio quality, it is an AM station after all.