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WOAI (1200 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station in San Antonio, Texas. It is owned and operated by San Antonio-based iHeartMedia, Inc., and it airs a news/talk radio format. WOAI is the flagship station for iHeartMedia. Its studios are located in the Stone Oak neighborhood in Far North San Antonio.
|City||San Antonio, Texas|
|Broadcast area||San Antonio metropolitan area|
|Frequency||1200 kHz (HD Radio)|
|Branding||Newsradio 1200 WOAI|
|Slogan||San Antonio's News, Traffic and Weather Station|
Fox News Radio
Spurs Radio Network
Texas Longhorns Football
The Weather Channel
|Owner||iHeartMedia, Inc. |
(iHM Licenses, LLC)
|KXXM, KAJA, KQXT-FM, KRPT, KZEP-FM|
First air date
|September 25, 1922|
Call sign meaning
|"World Of Agriculture Information"|
WOAI is known as the "50,000 Watt Blowtorch" of South Texas. It is a Class A, clear-channel station broadcasting at the maximum power of 50,000 watts. Its non-directional antenna is off Santa Clara Road in Zuehl, Texas. In the daytime, WOAI covers most of Central and South Texas, providing at least secondary coverage as far north as the Waco suburbs and as far south as Corpus Christi. With a good radio, WOAI's nighttime signal reaches much of the United States and Mexico, and parts of Central Canada. However, it is strongest in the central United States.
WOAI signed on the air on September 25, 1922. At first it broadcast on 1190 kilocycles with only 500 watts. Over the next several years WOAI was issued permits by the Federal Radio Commission to move the transmitter site and increase its power from 500 to 1,000 watts; then to 2,000 watts, and then 5,000; and finally to 50,000 watts in 1930. During the 1930s, WOAI was an NBC Red Network affiliate, and for more than four decades, was owned by Southland Industries, Inc.
Because it went on the air in the earliest days of broadcasting, the station's call sign begins with a "W." Stations in Texas were assigned W call signs before 1923, when the dividing line moved from the Texas-New Mexico border to the Mississippi River. Both WOAI-TV and briefly WOAI-FM were later allowed to use the call sign as well. WOAI and WOAI-TV are currently the westernmost stations to have "W" call signs.
In 1941, WOAI was moved to clear channel frequency 1200 kHz. This meant that WOAI was the only high power non-directional station that could be licensed on its frequency in the United States. In fact, until the 1980s, it was the only station of any power licensed to 1200 kHz in the United States or Canada. This was part of an early federal emergency plan similar to today's Emergency Alert System. In the 1940s, WOAI developed a sizable agricultural department and the station aired frequent farm market reports.
In 1949, WOAI-TV came on the air as San Antonio's first TV station. Because WOAI Radio was an NBC affiliate, Channel 4 was primarily an NBC-TV station, although it also carried some programs from CBS, ABC and Dumont. In 1956, a Boeing B-29 collided with the tower, destroying it. The aircraft made a crash landing, and one person was killed. As network programming moved from radio to television in the 1950s, WOAI switched to a full service middle of the road music format, with frequent newscasts, farm reports and sports.
On June 13, 1975, San Antonio businessmen L. Lowry Mays and BJ "Red" McCombs founded Clear Channel Communications by acquiring the WOAI radio from Avco Broadcasting. They already owned easy listening FM station KEEZ (now KAJA), acquired in 1972, and switched to a Top 40 format. Meanwhile, Avco sold WOAI-TV to United Stations which changed the call sign to KMOL-TV. Through the 1970s, WOAI had been adding more talk programming. It stopped playing music by the late 1970s. In 1979, KEEZ switched its call letters to WOAI-FM. But in 1981, it became country music station KAJA "KJ*97."
Through the 1980s, WOAI relied more on its newsroom and focused on local and national news, local talk shows and agricultural reports. WOAI also began including sports play-by-play, especially after acquiring the radio contract for all San Antonio Spurs NBA games. WOAI was the radio home of the San Antonio Gunslingers in the United States Football League (USFL).
In 1998, Clear Channel acquired the parent company of Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicated national talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, Dr. Dean Edell, The Jim Rome Show and Coast to Coast AM. Rush and Dr. Laura had already been airing in San Antonio on competitor KTSA and were switched over to WOAI's line up. WOAI news anchor Bob Guthrie celebrated 50 years on the radio station in 2006.
In 2001, Clear Channel acquired Channel 4 KMOL-TV San Antonio from Chris-Craft Industries. KMOL-TV had been WOAI-TV from its founding in 1949 until its sale in 1974. In December 2002, Clear Channel was granted permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to change the TV station's call sign back to WOAI-TV. The TV station has since been sold twice, to Newport Television and then to current owner Sinclair Broadcast Group. In May 2012, WOAI added an FM simulcast on translator station K289BN at 105.7 MHz, the simulcast lasted only four months. On September 19, 2012, the 105.7 signal broke away from the simulcast to rebroadcast co-owned classic country station KRPT. 
On September 16, 2014, Clear Channel renamed itself iHeartMedia, Inc., to bring its corporate name in line with its iHeartRadio internet platform. WOAI audio streaming is available on through iHeartRadio.
WOAI airs a mix of local and nationally syndicated talk shows. Weekdays begin with San Antonio's First News with Charlie Parker, followed by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Berry (based at co-owned KTRH Houston), Buck Sexton, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and This Morning, America's First News with Gordon Deal. Joe Pagliarulo, known on the air as "Joe Pags", hosts a syndicated talk show in PM drive time based at WOAI. Weekends feature syndicated hosts Kim Komando and Bill Cunningham.
- News: Charity McCurdy, Cari Laque, Margo Marano, Michael Board
- Sports: Bill Schoening (Spurs Play-by-Play), Chris Duel (Host of Spurs post game "React")
- Management: Matt Martin, President and Market Manager; Brian Gann (Director of AM Programming)
- Former staff: Tom Rickhoff (hosted "Judge Rickhoff On the Law"), Barclay Russell, Bob Guthrie, Jay Howard, Chris Russell, Jack Riccardi, Chris Duel, Bud Little, Carl Wiglesworth, Bill McReynolds, Henry Guerra, George Jennings, Pat Rogers, John Rooke, Allan Dale, Matari Jones, Steve Soliz, Paul Ihander, Eliza Sonneland, Ed Chandler, Michael Snell, John Stewart Socha (hosted the "Morning Report"), Jenna Rush (traffic), Lauri Pearson (traffic), Betsy Britton (traffic), Jack Berch
- "Call Letter Origins: The List". nelson.oldradio.com.
- "Broadcasting Yearbook 1935 page 58" (PDF).
- "WOAI San Antonio Texas - Engineering and Technology History Wiki". ethw.org.
- "Broadcasting Yearbook 1968 page B-165" (PDF).
- "Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-211" (PDF).
- Sisario, Ben (September 16, 2014). "Clear Channel Renames Itself iHeartMedia, in an Embrace of the Digital". NYTimes.com. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
CC Media Holdings, for example, the overall corporation, will be renamed iHeartMedia Inc., and Clear Channel Communications, its major subsidiary, will become iHeartCommunications.
- Press Release (September 16, 2014). "Clear Channel Becomes iHeartMedia". ClearChannel.com. iHeartMedia. Archived from the original on September 18, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
Effective today, CC Media Holdings, Inc. (OTCCB: CCMO) will become iHeartMedia, Inc. In connection with the company's new brand, the company's ticker symbol will also change, effective September 17. Of the company's major businesses, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will become iHeartMedia; other company brands, including iHeartRadio, Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network, Katz Media Group and RCS, will retain their current names.
- "Births". Billboard. April 17, 1948. p. 44. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- WOAI Radio
- WOAI San Antonio Texas - Engineering and Technology History Wiki
- WOAI in the FCC's AM station database
- WOAI on Radio-Locator
- WOAI in Nielsen Audio's AM station database