Long-Time Tuscaloosa Radio Station Adds Sports, Spann Comments
Tuscaloosa's "Home for Alabama Sports" can now be heard on the AM signal.
As of Monday, October 9, radio-listeners can catch the sports station on both Tide 100.9 FM and 1230 AM WTBC.
Until recently, the 1230 AM signal aired classic country music in the Tuscaloosa area, but its history goes back much farther--and includes the renowned Alabama weatherman, James Spann.
Back in 1973, James Spann was offered a position on WTBC, which was a local rock station at that time. "The owner of the station was Bert Bank," said Spann, "and he had one of his folks call the high school looking for part-time workers."
Armed with a bit of radio experience from school, Spann quickly became dedicated to the music station. "It could not have been better for me," he explained. "I was very shy and introverted and didn't have many friends...but to be involved with [the station] at that particular moment in time, it was just perfect."
Spann revealed that he worked for the station from age 17 till he was 22. "In 1978, FM-radio was catching on," he recounted. "It was clear that most people would ultimately listen to music on an FM signal." In the years following, AM music stations did begin to disappear, making way for talk and sports.
But even as the radio business was changing, Spann was making some changes himself. He left WTBC in the summer of 1978 to do weather for Channel 33 and has been in the weather business ever since.
The next 40-plus years would cement Spann as Alabama's weatherman, but he still remembers WTBC well. "I look back on it and in all my career...nothing has ever come close to the first night I was on WTBC," he reminisced.
Townsquare Media in Tuscaloosa now looks to continue the legacy of those legendary call letters, airing Alabama sports radio on WTBC all day, every day.