Broadcast Tri-County area
(Broward/Palm Beach/Miami-Dade)
Branding News-Talk Eight-Five-Oh, WFTL
Frequency 850 kHz
First air date 1948
Format News/Talk
Callsign meaning ForT Lauderdale
Owner James Crystal Radio Group
Website 850 WFTL's Website

WFTL (850 AM) is a radio station broadcasting from Fort Lauderdale, Florida & licensed to West Palm Beach, Florida. The station broadcasts a mix of news & mostly syndicated talk programming. It's signal is broadcast @ 50,000 watts; covering much of South Florida from it's tower site in Belle Glade. It's currently operated by the James Crystal Radio Group.


For many years prior to October 1 1982, the station was owned by billionaire John D. MacArthur & was paired with WEAT-FM (Easy 104.3). In October, 1986 sportscaster Curt Gowdy sold the station to J.J. Taylor Companies Inc. of North Dartmouth, MA; for an undisclosed price. In October 1995, it was sold with WEAT-FM to OmniAmerica Group of Cleveland for an estimated $18 million.

In May 1996, WTFL was sold with 7 other stations for $178 million to Chancellor Broadcasting Co. & WTFL was sold again in June of that year, along with WEAT-FM 104.3 & WOLL 94.3 to American Radio Systems of Boston.

In April 1998, the station was sold to James Hilliard's James Crystal Enterprises for $1.5 million & changed it's call letters to WDJA. (Dow Jones Averages) to which respectively, the station became a moneytalk station.


1948 – originally an NBC affiliate, airing everything from NBC Theater to Eddie Cantor.

prior to October 1, 1982 – format was country music.

October 1, 1982 – became news/talk radio

April 16, 1984 – became adult contemporary WCGY, 60's & 70's music with 25% current music.

prior to April 1985 – station was once again known as WEAT & simulcasting WEAT-FM's Easy 104 format.

March 1992 – WEAT-FM switches to adult contemporary. According to the Sun-Sentinel, on the AM side, WEAT (AM 850) has adopted a more conservative easy listening format to keep the station's 45-&-older listeners. The studios have been re-equipped for digital sound, with all the music on compact disc & all the commercials run from a computer hard drive.

July 1994 – switches to all-news format

November 2000 – Jack Cole, formerly of WJNO, begins a daily hour long show.

October 2001 – Jack Cole leaves the air because of a brain tumor. He died 3 months later.

October 2003 – becomes "Live 85" with call letters WFTL, swapping with a Ft. Lauderdale station @ 1400 AM. Live 85 was an all-news format.

August 2005 – becomes News-Talk Eight-Five-Oh, WFTL after a failed all news format. New slogan adopted as "Bigger, Better, Smarter"

External linksEdit

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