FM Technical Profile: WBEI


Station Name:
Star 101.7
Frequency:
101.7
Format:
Hot Adult Contemporary
Transmitter Location:
[map] Near the intersection of Fife Road and Doctor Kirk Road in PIckens County, south of US-82.
Power (ERP):
21 kW
Antenna:
Omnidirectional
Antenna HAAT:
728 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
: PS-[?] Time-present Text-My Star 101.7 - 90's, 2000's and Now | B101.7 All The Hits for Tuscaloosa! PTY-Adult Hits PI-WBEI-FM
Pictures:
[tower] view 1
[tower] view 2
More Information:
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook]
[RDS]
RDS display from an Insignia portable radio in northwest Alabama, showing the Radio Text and PI (call sign) fields.
[RDS]
RDS display from an Insignia portable radio in northwest Alabama, showing the alternate Radio Text and PI (call sign) fields.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the Townsquare Media stations in Tuscaloosa, off Skyland Boulevard.
Owner:
Townsquare Media
History:
This station dates back to an original construction permit issued in 1981, but it didn't get built out and put on the air by Rego Broadcasting until much later, in the summer of 1986.  The original call sign was WVRT; as a little class A with a transmitter on a hill in Gordo, it barely reached the outskirts of Tuscaloosa.  The format of this early era is unknown.  In 1988, ownership passed to Amermedia and then a year later to Kudzu Broadcasting, who changed the calls to WTID (as in crimson TIDe).  During a period of multiple ownership changes, the station sought and received a permit to increase their power significantly and began reaching the entire Tuscaloosa market as well as much of Columbus, Mississippi; during this era they had an adult contemporary format and was known as "Tide 101.7".
The station went through various minor format shits through the 90's and 2000's, from AC to Hot AC to CHR.  In 2003, the station dropped the WTID calls (which were immediately snapped up by a station in South Alabama, presumably for 'safekeeping') and re-launched as "B 101.7", with WBEI as the calls.  The format at the time seemed to be a Hot AC-leaning CHR format.  At some point after the year 2000, the station wound up in the hands of Cumulus Broadcasting. Cumulus sold the entire Tuscaloosa cluster to Townsquare Media in 2012.

In the early fall of 2016, the station re-branded again, this time as "Star 101.7", with a Hot AC format featuring music from the 90's through today. The change was brought on by declining ratings from both this station and their main CHR-competitor, WZBQ.