This is my first Knoxville AM station history.
To begin, let's look at the history of Knoxville's 1490 which once was WROL-AM with a progressive rock format as "W149":
The history of AM 1490 began on September 1, 1960 as WROL-AM. The WROL-AM call letters were previously heard on WNBJ-AM 1310 (now WRJZ-AM 620). In the early 1970s, the station became "W149" and progressive rock as their format. The station was mainly heard across the UT-Knoxville campus with city of license located in Fountain City. This was to protect a daytimer on 1470 in Alcoa. The station was put on the air by Johnny Pirkle who was in charge of programming and Dick Sterchi who was in charge of sales. This was during the time Pirkle was waiting for his 100.3 application to go through.
When "W149" died in 1976, the station became "15Q" with WKVQ as their new calls. Many of the DJs including Rockin' Ron Baptist and Kim Carson would work at the station. The station was a hot rockin' top 40 that would last less than a year. The station would drop CHR for MOR.
The MOR format was short-lived when in the late 1970s, WKVQ became WITA and the format became religious. The religious format at 1490 WITA continues to this day.
The information about "W149" and WITA comes from radioranch, a Radio-Info member.