AM Technical Profile: WAFN

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Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] Southeast of the intersection of Upper River Road and I-65 just north of Priceville.
Power (ERP):
Day: 1 kW
Night: 33 watts
1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[Church] The owner-church's website, with schedule for the station.
// W285EN Priceville
// WAFN Arab
Owned by
Fun Media Group of Alabama, LLC (Louis and Melanie Anzek)
This station dates back to an original construction permit issued in December 1983 to Abercrombie Broadcasting Company (Alvin Abercrombie, who owned a local Chevrolet dealer), for a 1 kW daytimer.  The permit expired and an extension was sought multiple times to bring it back to time, causing the station not to sign on until the end of 1986.  It came on with a mix of Classic Country and Religious programming, with studios in the Priceville Shopping Center.  The original call sign was WJRA. 

By the early 90's, the station had transitioned away from secular music and concentrated on religious programming and Southern Gospel music.    In 1996 Abercrombie launched an FM companion (WQAH) licensed to nearby Addison.

In 2001 the station's call sign changed to match the FM, becoming WQAH (AM) but with the same Southern Gospel format as before.  In 2006 this station flipped from a gospel format to Health Talk, carrying the Health Radio Network. As of July 2007, however, it went back to Southern Gospel music. 

In early September 2008 this station was reported to have dropped Gospel for Oldies, eventually dropping the WQAH calls for WKZD, "crazy about the oldies".  They also began transmitting over W287AD, an FM translator on 105.3 MHz licensed to Priceville.  Reports are that the translator's audio quality and coverage left much to be desired, which may explain why, in the fall of 2012, the station moved down two notches on the FM dial to 104.9 MHz.
Reported silent sometime in mid July 2010, the station continued streaming online, according to reports.  In March 2011 it was reported to be back on the air again.
The station's ownership was transferred from Abercrombie Broadcasting AM, Inc. to Somerville Baptist Church in late April 2015, after the family of the late Alvin Abercrombie decided to concentrate on the more profitable FM station.  The format stayed Oldies, but a report from early October mentioned that the station had religious preaching while the oldies keep playing in the background, softly.  It's unknown if this is on purpose or a technical screw-up. 

By June 2016 it was reported the oldies are completely gone and the station is strictly Religious.  In November 2020, Somerville Baptist Church filed to take the station non-commercial.  They began using the "Hope Radio" slogan on air afterwards.

In August 2021, Somerville Baptist Church sold the station and its Priceville-licensed translator to Fun Media Group of North Alabama (who own 92.7 WFUN in Arab) for $85,000. They applied to return it to commercial status in September 2021.  Concurrent with the sale and change from non-commercial status, Fun Media Group is also applying to move the translator to a cell phone tower west of the Huntsville International Airport, and change frequency to 95.7 MHz.  They later changed the call sign to WAFN to match their FM in Arab and applied to convert the station back to commercial operation.