|City||Spartanburg, South Carolina|
|Broadcast area||Upstate South Carolina|
|Owner||Audacy, Inc. |
(Audacy License, LLC)
First air date
|February 17, 1930|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|Translator(s)||97.1 W246CV (Spartanburg)|
Public license information
|Webcast||Listen live (via Audacy)|
WORD (950 AM), known on-air as "ESPN Upstate", is a sports-formatted radio station in the Greenville-Spartanburg area of Upstate South Carolina. The Audacy, Inc. outlet is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to Spartanburg, SC, and broadcasts with power of 5,000 watts non-directional daytime and directional at night. The programming on WORD is simultaneously broadcast on WYRD 1330 AM Greenville,W249DL-FM 97.7 MHz, Greenville and W246BU-FM 97.1 MHz, Spartanburg. The "ESPN Upstate" format can also be heard on WFBC-HD3, Greenville. WORD's transmitter is located on the aptly named Broadcast Drive in Spartanburg, while its studios are in Greenville.
Until its change in format from talk to sports on February 24, 2014, News Radio WORD carried Russ and Lisa, Mike Gallagher, Coast to Coast AM, Rush Limbaugh, Kim Komando, Lars Larson, Dave Ramsey, Sean Hannity and Bob McLain.
WORD signed on September 1, 1940 at 910 AM as Spartanburg's second radio station. under the ownership of Spartanburg Advertising Company which also owned WSPA, a station that was established a decade previous. WORD utilized studio and tower space from WSPA.
In 1944 the FCC ordered the WSPA-WORD combo to be broken up due to ownership regulations which prohibited an owner from having more than one AM station per market. This was completed on March 17, 1947, when WORD was sold to Spartan Radiocasting. Sister FM station WDXY 100.5 signed on the air April 14, 1948, but would sign off the air by the end of the 1950s.
In 1952, a dispute erupted between both Spartan Radiocasting and Liberty Life over a proposed allocation for VHF TV channel 7 in Spartanburg. It was settled in 1958 when Spartan Radiocasting bought back WSPA-AM and FM from Liberty Life Insurance and spinning off WORD and WDXY to different ownership.
WORD was well known as Spartanburg's Top 40 powerhouse in the 1960s and 1970s under the name "Big Word". Some of the South's heavy weights worked there during the 1970s that included: Russ Spooner, Bob Canada, Kemosabi Joe Johnson, Fred Hardy and Robert W. Morgan (not the same Morgan that worked at KHJ) though. The Inimitable MojoMan (aka Sid D. Grubbs)also worked there in the 1970s. By the 1980s, WORD faced declining audience shares from FM competitors WANS and WFBC-FM and switched to various formats before going dark in 1989. In October 1990, WORD signed back on as a simulcast of 1330 WFBC from Greenville as both stations switched to News/Talk with WFBC becoming WYRD in the mid-90s.
In 2002, Entercom Communications moved the "News Radio WORD" format from the weaker 910 AM, which previously held the WORD callsign, to 950 AM. The programming at 950 AM was then moved to 910 AM, along with the WSPA calls. WSPA at 910 has since been sold and is now all Oldies as WOLI (AM) 910.
950 WORD's transmitter is located near the Spartanburg Community College campus (3 miles NW of downtown Spartanburg) at 245 Broadcast Drive (Business I-85 @ exit 3). Its general coverage area is from Gaffney to Greer (Spartanburg Metro), with secondary coverage in the Greenville area. Although WORD transmits with 5,000 watts of power like its counterpart, WYRD, its signal is somewhat stronger due to its lower dial position.
The station added WYRD-FM, at 106.3 on the dial, as a second simulcast partner in 2008.