WYAB - History


WYAB originally began as WAZF-FM in 1984 as a vacant allotment in the FCC's Table of Allotments, which is essentially a community-by-community listing of all radio station channels and classes within the United States and its territories. The initial allotment was for a 3,000 watt station to broadcast on 93.7 FM to serve Yazoo City. The allotment was created by a company known as Dri-Two, Inc. to serve as a "sister" FM station to the now silent WAZF 1230 AM, also licensed to Yazoo City. The vacant allotment sat without an actual broadcast station occupying its place from 1984 until 1995, when Mississippi College, license holder of WHJT 93.5 FM, petitioned the FCC to have the allotment removed from the Table. The college intended to upgrade the facilities of WHJT in nearby Clinton from 3,000 watts to 6,000 watts, something that could not have been accomplished with interference from a potential station on 93.7 FM in Yazoo City. After some public interest in the retaining the allotment at Yazoo City, the FCC developed an alternate solution that could accommodate all parties. The FCC moved the vacant allotment from 93.7 FM to 93.1 FM and granted the WHJT upgrade.

After making the frequency change in 1995, the FCC solicited interest from parties intent on building a radio station on 93.1 FM in Yazoo City. Although two parties expressed interest in the station during the frequency change stage (individual Clifton Thomas of Jackson and Dain Schult Radioactivity, Inc. of East Point, Georgia), a local third contender, Gordon ("Jerry") J. Lousteau, Jr., of WMGO 1370 AM in Canton was the only person that responded to the FCC's public notice, and therefore his WMGO Broadcasting Corporation was granted the license. He placed the station on the air in 1997 and it was known as WMGO-FM. The original studio was located at 1307 East Broadway Street in Yazoo City.

In April, 2003, the WMGO Broadcasting Corporation sold the station to SSR Communications, Inc., and to avoid confusion of the still operating WMGO 1370 AM in Canton, SSR changed the WMGO-FM call letters to WYAB, branding it "B93: Central Mississippi's Oldies Leader". Approximately one year later, SSR moved the WYAB air studio to the Cotton Exchange Plaza in Flora, a town approximately 22 miles (35 km) south of Yazoo City.

In January, 2005, WYAB's city of license was changed from Yazoo City to the town of Benton, a community approximately six miles east of Yazoo City. This change in city of license was necessary for WYAB to move its tower approximately ten miles south of its original location. Then, in December, 2005, WYAB began broadcast operations from its new tower site ten miles (16 km) south of Benton.

In February, 2008, WYAB received approval from the FCC to change its broadcast frequency from 93.1 MHz to 103.9 MHz and (once again) relocate its tower closer to Flora, which is where the air studio is located. Concurrent with that action, the FCC allowed WYAB to change its community of license from Benton to Flora, marking the third different community of license that the station has had in its relative short history.

On August 28, 2008, WYAB began broadcasting from a tower site approximately five miles northeast of Flora. Concurrent with this latest tower move, WYAB migrated formats from oldies to talk radio. For a short time thereafter, WYAB had still retained some ties to its oldies music origins, as it aired a weekly three-hour long oldies show on an irregular schedule every weekend (most often dictated by its weekend sports schedule).

Just five months later, on January 24, 2009, WYAB moved again to a tower three miles (5 km) southeast of Flora, the fourth different broadcast facility for the station. At the same time, WYAB announced that it would become the new flagship radio station of the Mississippi Braves minor league baseball team.

On September 13, 2010, WYAB moved once again to a new 400-foot (120 m) tower in Hinds County, approximately six miles northwest of Jackson. Thus, from December, 2005 to September, 2010, the station had broadcast from five different antenna locations, moving approximately 26 miles (42 km) closer to Jackson (when compared to the original tower location) in the process.

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