AM Technical Profile: WBHP


Frequency:
1230
Format:
Talk
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [google aerial] [street view] Located behind the former studio building, between two creeks along Governors Drive SW.
Power (ERP):
1 kW
Antenna:
1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
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[Studio] Google Photos image of the iHeartMedia Huntsville studios.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the iHeartMedia studios on Peoples Road in Madison.

Owned by
iHeartMedia
// W273CX Huntsville, AL
History:
This station started off with a construction permit in 1936 for 100 watts on 1200 kHz, originally with the call sign WBHS, by The Hutchens Company (Virgil V. Evans).  It appears to have come on the air in September 1937, from studios in the Henderson National Bank building at the corner of Randolph and Washington in downtown.  A month after signing on, the studios moved to the Times Building.  A few years after that, it moved again, this time to 318 Clinton Avenue West.  In the early years the station's transmitter site was located west of what was then the city limits on Athens Pike (US-72). 

The station got a boost to 250 watts in 1940, then became WBHP in 1941
to reflect the name of the owner at that time, Wilton “Buster” Harvey Pollard.  It moved to 1230 kHz in 1942 as part of the NARBA plan that shuffled nearly every station around on the dial.  [As an aside, Huntsville later had a station called WHBS, which is slightly confusing but appears to be unrelated.]

The station moved both transmitter and studios in June 1953, to what was then 5th Avenue (now Governors Drive SW) between Spring Branch and Dry Creek.  The transmitter in use at this time was a Gates GY-48.

In December 1961 the station got a boost of daytime power to 1,000 watts, while remaining 250 watts after sunset.  This came with a new transmitter, a Gates BC-1T.

Throughout the 70's the station had a country format with some farm/ag programming.  Although the owner died in the mid-70s, his relatives continued to operate the station, with the same format, until they sold it to Osborn Communications in 1997 (a company that eventually morphed into Clear Channel, and now, iHeart Media.)  Clear Channel kept the country until 2006, when they flipped it to a news/talk format.

In the late-2000s, the station began to be heard on the HD2 subchannel of WQRV, and that eventually (~2010) led to it being heard on a translator (W293AH), which previously was used to fill-in coverage in Huntsville for WTAK in Hartselle.  The translator and HD2 broke off from WBHP in November 2012 with Christmas music, and after the new year launched top 40 competitor "Kiss FM" against WZYP, leaving WBHP without an FM presence. 

In February 2016, as part of the FCC's AM revitalization plan, iHeart received permission to move in a translator from the Tupelo, Mississippi market to provide an FM signal for the station, on 102.5 MHz.  That station signed on in July 2018.