97.7 FM 1290 AM Savannah
WTOC > WWSA > WCHY > WTKS
Many different versions of advertising and souvenir postcards were produced in the 30'sto promote the DeSoto Hotel - "In the heart of Savannah..open all year...a radio in every room..." And most mentioned the rooftop studios for WTOC. (Courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University.)
WTKS News Radio 1290 TV spot
WTKS's Co-Anchor Laurie Anderson and News Director and Morning Anchor Bill Edwards
History (Edited from Wikipedia)
In October 1929, WTOC signed on as the first broadcasting station in the Savannah area. It was an enterprise of the civic group Junior Board of Trade that was the forerunner of the Savannah Jaycees. WTOC broadcast on 1260 kilocycles with 500 watts day and night, non-directional. Later, the power increased to 1,000 watts daytime, finally settling on 5,000 watts day and 1,000 watts at night. With the NARBA nationwide frequency shift in 1941, the station moved to 1290 kHz. Shortly thereafter, a four-tower array was built in Garden City, and power increased to 5,000 watts at night using a directional antenna.
WTOC ("Welcome To Our City"), was owned for many years by the Knight Family, with William T. Knight serving as president of the Savannah Broadcasting Company. It was a CBS affiliate, carrying its schedule of dramas, comedies, news, sports, soap operas, game shows, and big band broadcasts during the Golden Age of Radio.
WTOC added an FM station in 1946. It first broadcast at 97.3 MHz, later moving to 94.1 MHz (today WQBT). In 1954, Channel 11 WTOC-TV came on the air. Because WTOC Radio was a longtime CBS affiliate, WTOC-TV also carried CBS TV programming and news.
Switch to MOR
As network programming shifted to television in the 1950s, WTOC became a full-service middle-of-the-road (MOR) music station. WTOC aired many features, both network and local, as well as having significant news programming. It was not until the mid-1970s that WTOC became much more contemporary with its programming. For a while, the station called its sound "The Love Rock," primarily playing what would today be called adult contemporary music. WTOC used TM's "Sound Of Chicago" jingle package, which had been created for WMAQ in Chicago.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, WTOC-FM used BPI's beautiful music format. In the mid-1970s, it switched to BPI's country music format, and became "Country 94."
Great American Country
In 1979, the Knights sold WTOC radio and television to the American Family Group from Columbus, Ohio. American Family spun the radio stations off to Bluegrass Broadcasting of Lexington, Kentucky. Bluegrass built a large studio-office complex adjacent to the AM transmitter site on Alfred Street and renamed the AM WWSA ("Working With SAvannah") and the FM became WCHY-FM. In 1987, the AM switched to the WCHY call letters. It flipped to classic country music, using the "Great American Country" syndicated service, while the FM continued with contemporary country.
WCHY (AM) and WCHY-FM were sold by Roth Broadcasting in 1995 to WP Radio. When WP Radio decided to leave broadcasting, it sold the stations to Patterson Broadcasting. In the late 1990s, WCHY switched to a children's radio format, becoming the Radio Disney affiliate in Savannah.
Talk Radio Format
In 2000, the station was acquired by Clear Channel Communications, a forerunner to current owner iHeartMedia. Clear Channel flipped the station's format to talk radio. The Federal Communications Commission assigned the station the WTKS call letters on January 25, 2002.