WSGN brand relaunched in central Alabama as part of the RadioAlabama family of stations
SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Some 37 years after WSGN-AM left Birmingham, the WSGN radio brand returned to 98.3 FM in the city’s southeastern suburbs on Sunday morning July 31.
As Birmingham’s second radio station in 1926 and the Magic City’s first Top 40 station from 1955, what became WSGN-AM was a market leader for decades and one of Birmingham’s top stations. country rock and roll. Sold to the Birmingham News in 1934, its later call letters stood for “South’s Greatest Newspaper”.
The regional 98.3 FM signal covers much of east central Alabama including Chelsea, Sylacauga-Childersburg-Talladega, Alexander City-Dadeville-Lake Martin, Pell City and Clanton. A rich, fast-paced musical mix true to the original WSGN heritage will celebrate the best music from the mid-1960s to the 1970s and will also be streamed through the new WSGN smartphone apps, an Amazon Alexa smart speaker skill and WSGNradio. com.
“When the WSGN Call Letters became available again, we jumped at the chance to save them for future use closer to their first home,” said Lee Perryman, president and CEO of RadioAlabama. “We are also targeting an older, affluent and influential demographic that is otherwise underserved and underappreciated, while building on the multi-generational popularity of the station’s most impactful period. Nearly 62% of adults in the vast coverage area are aged 45 and over. »
The 98.3 FM frequency, which originated in nearby Sylacauga in 1959, exited the market in 1983 and returned in 2017 as WFXO-FM, tripling power into a new class of C3 stations in 2019.
Award-winning programmer Michael St. John, music director and afternoon personality from 1973 to 1976 at competitor WERC AM/FM, the first station in America under legendary Scott Shannon to go “from worst to first,” said helped with recovery. “We found and carefully reviewed 254 of the top 40, top 30, and top 20 music surveys and weekly WSGN playlists over a 16-year period,” Perryman added, “making sure we were recreating something instantly familiar with frequent opportunities for listeners to say ‘wow’.”
Many of the station’s most memorable and powerful jingles were recreated by SonoJingles in the UK and singers in Dallas. The new WSGN logo is based on a keyed version of a 1960s xylophone.
Key to WSGN-AM’s signature sound was a subtle concert-like reverb effect introduced in 1963. This distinction will also be part of WSGN-FM’s on-air signal through custom designed stereo reverb processing equipment and built by local radio engineer Frank Giardina, who was WERC’s program manager in the 1970s.
“Interestingly, the old WSGN-AM and the new WSGN-FM have three Sylacauga connections in common,” Perryman said. “WSGN ‘Good Guys’ Barry McAnally (Joey Roberts), Walt Williams and the late Doug Layton were from Sylacauga and made their radio debut on the original 98.3 FM. Layton was at WSGN-AM from 1960 to 1964, Williams from 1967 to 1971, and McAnally from 1968 to 1971.”
McAnally, back in a RadioAlabama studio last week, is one of the main imaging and promotional voices for the new WSGN-FM.
WSGN is one of 11 stations in the RadioAlabama family of brands. Others are KiX 100.3 (WYEA), MIX 106.5 (WSGN-HD2), 105.1 WRFS (WRFS), KiX 96.3 (WFXO), AU100 (WAUE), Tiger Country 104.5 (WAUE-HD2), Wings 94.3 (WGZZ), NewsTalk WANI (WANI/WGZZ-HD2), ESPN 106.7 (WGZZ-HD3) and 96.3 WLEE (WGZZ-HD4).
Stations owned by Marble City Media LLC have won 21 coveted ABBY Awards from the Alabama Broadcasters Association since 2013 for News, Sports, Production, Programming and Customer Promotion, including the 2022 Top Sports Host Awards , Best Journalist and Best Public Affairs. The group hosted Alabama Radio Station of the Year in 2017 and State Broadcaster of the Year in 2014.
Stations operated by jointly owned Auburn Networks LLC won 34 ABBYs and hosted Alabama Radio Station of the Year in 2009 and 2016. For 2022, they were recognized with ABBY for Best Personality or Team ‘state and the best talk show.
RadioAlabama’s businesses include SylacaugaNews.com, East Alabama Living Magazine, RadioAlabama Sports and RA Digital.
More information will be available on RadioAlabama.net.