|Broadcast|| Tri-County area|
|Branding||News-Talk Eight-Five-Oh, WFTL|
|First air date||1948|
|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"