AM Technical Profile: WALQ


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Frequency:
1130
Format:
Adult Contemporary, Talk, News
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [satellite closeup] [studio: #1 | #2] About halfway between Shorter and Tallasee along the north bank of the Coosa River, just south of Taylor Road.
Power (ERP):
Day: 25 kW
Critical Hours: 1,000 watts
Antenna:
Day & critical hours: 1 tower, omnidirectional
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
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Owned by Hughey Communications, Inc.
Silent STA filed in August 2014; operates sporadically to keep license active
// WIRB Level Plains
History:
This station dates back to an original construction permit issued to Hughey Broadcasting Company, Inc, for a 1 kW daytime only operation on 1130 kHz licensed to Carrville.  When the station signed on in the summer of 1979, it was broadcasting with a Collins 820D2 transmitter, located at the studios on Tallapoosa County Road 6 just northeast of Tallassee.  The station likely signed on with an “AC with local news” format.  It later would switch to a satellite fed Adult Contemporary format.

The call sign changed to WSFU in August 1985, although the format and ownership remained the same.  It was back to WACQ by June 1987.

In 1989, Hughey launched an FM companion to the station, WACQ-FM on 99.9 MHz, transmitting from the WACQ tower.  It simulcast the AM for a short time before splitting off to do its own programming.

The station and its FM sister were sold to Tiger Communications in 1992 for $50,000.  The station would be sold again in 1994 to Tuskegee Communications Company for $250,000.  Two years later, the license would be transferred to WACQ Licensee, Inc.  The format around this time dropped music for News/Talk.  In 1998, the stations would be sold back to Hughey for $382,000.  Hughey would later transfer the FM back to Tiger Communications, but keep the AM… for a little while.

The station was sold in February 2000 to Progressive United Communications, Inc. for $165,000.  They flipped the format to Oldies.  The station was granted a permit to raise power to 25 kW, while still remaining a daytimer, in August 2007.  That facility signed on in the fall of 2008.  The station eventually began to be heard on FM translator W266BJ, licensed to the unincorporated community of Golddust.  By day it was relaying WACQ's Oldies format, but at night it switched to relaying WRLD-FM in Valley, which also had an Oldies format at the time.

It was reported in October 2008 that WACQ has switched to ABC's satellite-fed "Classic Hits" format, and that the FM translator was relaying the AM 24 hours a day.  The translator broadcasted from the tower behind the station's studios in Tallassee, which can be seen in the above Street View links.  Although licensed for 25 kW, the station has, as of August 2011, been only running 2 kW due to transmitter issues.
Hughey transferred the license of the station to Westburg Broadcasting Montgomery, LLC in May of 2011. 
In late August 2011 it was announced on the Montgomery Radio & TV website that WACQ would be adding its format to WBIL's spot at 580 kHz.  It appears to be a trimulcast between this station, the translator and the Tuskegee station.  This station was later repossessed, and moved out the trimulcast.  The WACQ calls and translator were to eventually be moved to the 580 kHz station while the gospel from WBIL will move here, but it took until the end of June 2012 for the move to happen.  WACQ 1130 thereafter went silent and has a silent STA filed with the FCC, allowing up to one year of silent operation.  The calls changed to WALQ in June 2012. 
The station came alive again in the summer of 2014, simulcasting the country music format of Selma's Dixie 100 (WDXX), which is also heard in Linden on WINL.  The station filed for another silent STA in August 2014, citing poor economic conditions in the area.  In August of 2015, the station was reported to be back on the air again long enough to maintain the license, this time simulcasting WNWN Coldwater, Michigan, out of the Battle Creek metro area.  Like WINL in Linden, it's also known as "WIN 98.5" and is also a country station.  Although still silent as of February 2016, the station has an application filed to be recipient of a new FM translator through the FCC's special AM revitalization plan; if granted, it would take the Westburg-owned translator from WBNM in Alexander City.  The station came alive again in October 2017 for a time to keep the license active, again simulcasting WINL and WDXX.  It did the same thing again in November 2018.  As of late June 2019, the translator that was slated for this station was deleted by the FCC for operating at variance with its licensed parameters.

As of early December 2019, the station is reported to be airing a News/Talk format.

It was announced in August 2020 that the station was being sold to the Augustus Foundation, owners of WHSL in Lisman, for $40,000. A Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) began on 10 August.  The station was reported off the air in late September 2020, but was on again in early October simulcasting WIRB Level Plains with a mix of Classic Soul, R&B, Talk and Sports programming. 

The music was changed to a "top 100 Adult Contemporary" format in March 2021.  The station filed another Silent STA in May 2021.

In March 2022, the station filed a resumption of operations and a concurrent Special Temporary Authority to operate at the 1 kW critical hours power due to damage to the transmitter.

In October 2022, the FCC fined the station $11,000 for various rules violations, including unauthorized periods of silence, operating at lower-than-authorized power levels and failure to file a license renewal in a timely manner.  In November 2022, Augustus Foundation sold the station back to Hughey Communications for a total of $25,000, including the $11,000 fine from the FCC.