WATV signed on the air in 1946 as WRAX. It took its present call sign in 1958 as a CBS affiliated, dual talk/MOR formatted station. Prior to then, the call sign of the station was WLBS. Due to the restrictions of the Federal Communications Commission, the station originally broadcast only during daylight hours. In 1976, the owner of WENN, the top-rated urban formatted station in Birmingham, died. WENN was then bought by a local businessman Dr. A.G. Gaston, who immediately fired Joe Lackey, the station manager; the radio announcers quit in protest. Lackey was then given a job to manage WATV, a radio station located on the 20th floor of the Thomas Jefferson Hotel (the now abandoned Leer Tower), where he brought all the former WENN personalities with him. Lackey and the ex-WENN announcers immediately became the top-rated radio station in Birmingham. During the 1980s, the station’s format evolved from soul music to the forerunner of today’s urban adult contemporary format.
In 1994, WATV dropped the urban AC for ABC Radio Networks Urban Gold.
Eventually the station was forced to move to 3025 Ensley Avenue, where the station remains to this day.
In 2002, the station owners, The Rev. Dr. Erskine Faush and Dr. Shelley Stewart, both longtime radio personalities in the Birmingham area, sold the station to MCL/MCM-INC, a subsidiary of Sheridan Broadcasting.
On September 14, 2006, Sheridan Broadcasting restructured its radio division, and WATV was put under the control of MCL/MCM Alabama LLC.
WATV is the home for information in the mornings with our Open Mic talk show hosted by Birmingham radio veteran, Ron January. Ron has as his guests local and regional public official talking about issues that are important to the community.
Beginning at 8 am daily we continue with the Gospel Praise Experience with Longtime Radio Announcer Ron Marshall, playing the best gospel music on this side of Heaven. Beginning at 10 am, for the best Old School music in the Magic City, check out Vanessa, The Midday Diva who rocks the air waves from 10 am till 2 pm followed by Chris Coleman Radio Network. Chris gets you through the end of the work day and the drive home. The Community Program Knowledge is Power is on from 6 pm-8 pm then it’s Nights with the ‘V’ – which is the most romantic and relaxing music in Birmingham until midnight.
Tune in on Saturdays from 10 am – 2pm for the Saturday Blues Party hosted by Curtis Bell. Enjoy Sunday block programming from 6:30 am to 4pm. Then it’s Charles “CC” Scott as he eases the city into the evening hours with the Sunday Afternoon Jazz Set until 7 p.m. This is really the only place to find Jazz on the commercial radio dial in Birmingham.
So, as you can see, we have a very extensive and upbeat staff that will provide you with INFORMATION, INSPIRATION AND ENTERTAINMENT all week long!!! Tell a friend to tune in and listen to one of the best line ups in the city! The secret is out, so tell everyone you know about V900.