Originally founded by the Dunnavant family of Athens, Alabama (which remains its city of license), this was originally named WJOF. Prior to 1978, WJOF featured a mixture of beautiful music and, at night, country music.
On June 10, 1980, the call letters were switched to the current WZYP. Through most of the 1980s, WZYP was northern Alabama's top-rated station, dethroned only by WDRM when country experienced a resurge in popularity among young people in the late 1980s and 1990s. Nonetheless, it has remained among the Huntsville market's most-listened to stations through the mid-2000s.
Ownership[edit source | edit]
WZYP was sold by the Dunnavant family to Cumulus Media in 2003. This ended a 55-year presence in the market by Athens Broadcasting, founded in 1948 by Homer Felix "Pap" Dunnavant.
On April 1, 2003, WZYP was sold by Athens Broadcasting Co. (William E. Dunnavant, president) to Cumulus Broadcasting Inc. as part of a four station deal with a total sale price of $22 million in cash and Cumulus common stock. The acquisition of the stations was completed in July 2003. WZYP remains co-owned with former Dunnavant stations WVNN and WUMP, in addition to WHRP and WWFF-FM.
^"Obituaries - Elsewhere". The Miami Herald (Miami, Florida). 1996-09-14. p. 4B. "Dunnavant, Homer Felix "Pap," 98, whose media career began with a part-time job in radio and ended with a chain of stations; in Athens, Ala. He had been a farmer and barber in north Alabama when he decided to buy some time on radio in the 1930s and do his own show. In 1948, the Federal Communications Commission gave him permission to open his first radio station in Athens. From that grew Athens Broadcasting, with radio stations WZYP, WVNN, WPZM and WUMP in Athens"|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^"Cumulus Media Inc. Enters Huntsville, AL with Purchase of Four Stations". Business Wire (Atlanta, Georgia). 2003-04-01. "Cumulus Media Inc. (Nasdaq:CMLS) today announced it has signed an Acquisition Agreement to purchase stations from Athens Broadcasting Company, Inc. which owns WZYP-FM, WUSX-FM, WVNN-AM and WUMP-AM. The purchase price is $22 million and includes approximately $2.5 million of net working capital. The consideration for this transaction will consist entirely of Cumulus Media Class A common stock."|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^"Breaking News - July 24, 2003". FMQB. 2003-07-24. Retrieved 2008-01-02. "Cumulus has completed its acquisition of Nashville stations WSM and WWTN, and Huntsville, AL stations WZYP, WUSX, WVNN and WUMP from Athens Broadcasting."