November 28, 2008 Check out our new
with pictures from Jim Bradley, plus our beefed-up
Brief History of WCSC Radio
WCSC-AM was Charleston, South Carolina's first radio station,
signing on the air in 1930 at 1360 kHz. Around 1939 the station's
frequency was changed to 1390. (For many years the station used the
slogan "1390 since 1930" but that wasn't quite accurate.) For
decades, WCSC was an affiliate of the CBS Radio Network. WCSC's
original owner was the Liberty Life Insurance Company.
In 1937, John M. Rivers joined WCSC-AM radio as president of the
South Carolina Broadcasting Company, the licenser of WCSC. In 1938,
he became president and manager of WCSC Radio. Rivers purchased the
station in 1944.
In 1948, WCSC-FM (later WXTC-FM) went on the air; in June of 1953,
WCSC-TV, the first VHF television station in South Carolina, became
operational. Rivers became chairman of the board of WCSC, Inc., in
In the 1950s and '60s, WCSC Radio's format could best be described
as MOR ("Middle Of the Road"). There was a switch to Top 40 in the
early 1970s as WCSC tried to compete head-to-head with long-time Top
40 leader WTMA.
In the early '80s WCSC's format morphed into an Adult Contemporary
presentation with a full-service approach. In 1983, it became
Charleston's only AM stereo station.
time the Rivers family sold the station in 1987, the station had
switched to all-oldies supplemented by sports and talk shows
(like Tom Snyder's ABC offering).
WCSC-TV was sold to Crump
Communications at that time, and kept the WCSC call letters. WCSC-AM
and WXTC-FM were sold to New York's Ralph Guild (of national ad
representative "McGavren Guild" fame). WCSC Radio became
call letters for 1390 in Charleston included WZKG (June 12, 1989)
and WCSE (January 13, 1990). 1390's
calls eventually returned to WXTC (August 19, 1991) and for many years the station had
a black gospel format. Owners included Wicks Broadcasting,
Citadel Broadcasting and
From the June
11, 2007 edition of
out an AM
that's a bit on the unusual side. Citadel Broadcasting is
doing a two market cash/swap deal with the Pearce family's
Apex Broadcasting, but it only involves one radio station.
Apex will get WXTC-AM Charleston SC, adding it to its three
area FMs, WAVF-FM, WXST-FM & WIHB-FM. What does Citadel get in
return? A tower in Tuscaloosa AL, where it also owns a two-AM,
four-FM cluster. Apex will also pay 70K cash. Citadel will
remain with a strong presence in Charleston, with WMGL-FM,
WNKT-FM, WSSX-FM, WSUY-FM, WTMA-AM, WWWZ-FM.
early 2009 WXTC jettisoned gospel music for a classic soul format.
June 16, 2009 the call letters were changed to
WSPO and the
format became all-sports. In 2012 the station adopted an "all
tourist information" format.
The station operates
with a power of 5000 watts non-directional day, 5000 watts
directional night. Studios are East of the Cooper on Clements Ferry
Road. The transmitter is on Orange Branch Road in the West Ashley
The above time-lapse
video shows the 2009 removal of the 1390 tower built in 1947.