FM Technical Profile: WERC


Station Name:
News Talk 105.5
Frequency:
105.5
Format:
Talk, News
Transmitter Location:
[map] Red Mountain, off Golden Crest Drive on the newer multi-pronged tower.
Power (ERP):
29.5 kW
Antenna:
Directional
Antenna HAAT:
623 feet.
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
HD-2: Gospel
"105.1 Hallelujah FM"
// W286BK Birmingham
HD-3: Classic R&B
"B 106.5"
// W293CM Graysville
:PS-WERC-FM Time-unknown  Text-WERC News Radio 105.5 PTY-Talk HD-TMC-Metro Traffic PI-KCQM-FM
// W286BK Birmingham
How's the Signal?
One of the weaker signals off Red Mountain, it does fine in the immediate metro area but falls off as you leave Jefferson and North Shelby counties.  The HD signal is pitiful and can't be reliably received anywhere in the market.
More Information:
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook]
[Bhamwiki] Information on the station from the WRAX era
[Bhamwiki] Information on the station from the WVVB era
[Bhamwiki] Information on the station from WERC-FM onwards
[RDS] RDS display from the station on a GMC Yukon's radio.
[RDS] RDS display from the HD-2 via FM translator on a GMC Yukon's radio.
[Video] Video on iHeart Media's corporate site teasing the "Possum" stunt format for the HD-3/translator combo.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the iHeartMedia studio space in Birmingham.
Owner:
iHeartMedia
History:
105.9 FM: Originally started around 1993 as local station for Trussville, playing a satellite oldies format. That actually may have been a diversion until a real format could get up and going; the station also simulcast WYDE-AM, according to some sources. Later in 1993 became WWBR (The Bear) and played hard rock and heavy metal type music. In 1996 evolved into WRAX, 106 X, an alternative rock station. The signal was a hinderance to ratings. Dick Broadcasting, who operated 106 X for American General Media, bought WENN 107.7 FM and switched it with WRAX in December 1997. The format of WENN at the time (black contemporary) went to 105.9, but didn't last long. The station fell silent, but  came back on the air as WENN, Jammin' Oldies. WRAX, with it's new big signal at 107.7 did quite well in the ratings. Jammin' Oldies, although never a big ratings sucess overall, seemed to be popular where the tiny singal that covers the east side of Birmingham can be received.  Around mid to late January 1998 this station switched to a Black AC/oldies hybrid format. Not too long after the move to a more Kiss like format, they tweaked it up a bit to compete more with 95-7 Jamz, with more new rap and hip hop.  From January's change to urban adult contemporary to September 2002, the station was going by "V 105.9", despite the fact there's no V in the call sign. :) At the near beginning of September 2002, the station changed to "Power 105.9" focusing even more on new hip hop, rap and R&B, to compete with Jamz. The format tweaking and addition of the Doug Banks morning show didn't seem to help, because the station switched to black gospel on the 1st of February 2003.
 
To better serve the Birmingham market, Clear Channel made several moves to stations which will has affected other parts of Alabama, as well as Tennessee and Mississippi. See if you can follow this one: WKGL 97.7 (Russellville) moved to 103.5. 105.9 WKXM (Winfield) moved to 97.7. 105.5 WRTR (Tuscaloosa) moved to 105.9 (relicensed to Brookwood). 103.7 WQEN (Gadsden) got relicensed to Trussville.  103.9 WTRZ (McMinnville, TN) moved to 103.7 (relicensed to Spencer, TN).  103.9 WACR (Columbus, MS) was relicensed to Okolona, MS and moved to 105.3. After all this, WENN relocated to 105.5 and was relicensed to Hoover.  *whew*
 
WENN moved "officially" on September 1st 2005.
 
In the first few days of December, 2006, WENN flipped from black gospel (with black gospel and smooth jazz on their two HD channels) to alternative rock. This came right after Birmigham's longtime rocker, "The X @ 100.5" shut down and began a sports simulcast of WJOX-AM.
 
In September 2008 the historic WENN calls disappeared for a while from the Birmingham airwaves.  105.5 is now known as WVVB.
 
In early July 2009 radio insiders report that the station flipped to a simulcast of AM sister WERC, with a news/talk format.  The simulcast is also reported to be on WACT in Tuscaloosa, and its FM partner WRTR in Brookwood.  Shortly after the flip, the WVVB calls were ditched and the historic WERC-FM calls made their return to Birmingham airwaves.  As of September 2009, it appears that the Tuscasloosa duo of WRTR and WACT are actually airing similar programs, but not in a simulcast.
 
In early June 2011 Clear Channel began broadcasting the smooth jazz of WERC-FM's HD-2 subchannel on a local translator.  That was quickly replaced with gospel as "105-1 Hallelujah FM", a throwback to the same name and format from the old 105.9 frequency.  In the late fall of 2013 they added the national K-Love feed to the HD-3 feed and began broadcasting it on a translator in East Lake.  K-Love eventually moved to WMJJ-HD3 and freed space for a format that debuted in November 2014, classic country.  It feeds a Graysville-licensed translator and is marketed as "106.5 The Possum".  It appeared to be a short-lived stunt, however, as the station quickly flipped to classic R&B as "B 106.5" the next day.