AM Technical Profile: WBHY


Frequency:
840
Format:
Religious
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] [bird's eye] [goKML aerial] Due west of exit 10 of I-65, on Whistler Street near the creek.
Power (ERP):
Day: 10 kW
Antenna:
Day: 1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Picture] Image of the RDS data as decoded on a Mazda car stereo, showing the PS (station name) and PTY (format) fields, as of May 2017.
// W277CS, 103.3 MHz, 250 watts , Spanish Fort.  On Air.
: PS-WBHY GOFORTH MEDIA TALK Time-? Text-(blank) PTY-Religious Talk PI-unknown
(inactive)
// W278AP, 103.5 MHz, 99 watts, Mobile. On air.
History:
840 began life in the 1947 as WKAB, run (at least by the 50's) by the Pursley Broadcasting Company, Louise Pursley, president. It was later Mobile's first top 40 station, though it was a daytimer. In the early 60's the station got tough and changed their call letters to WTUF. Finally driven from the format by competition from WABB, they changed to country. The station has tried other formats since then, including talk and MoR as WMOB, then oldies in the 80's as WWAX. Later hit on adult contemporary as WBHY (Bay). Finally found it's niche, as many AM daytimers do, as a time-brokered religious station. Increased power from 1 kW to 10 kW in the late 80's. now shares a transmitter site with 960 AM.
 
As WKAB, they put WKAB-TV on the air, channel 48. The station didn't last long as they couldn't secure any network affiliation and no one was watching UHF at the time. Er, no one really could watch UHF in those days!

Under the ownership of Goforth Media, the station airs mostly religious programming as well as a commercial-free feed of the Dave Ramsey Show.  In 2011, Goforth won an upgrade to a small translator located in the Daphne area (W278AP) to go on a taller tower and directional towards Mobile, to bring WBHY an FM signal on 103.5 MHz.  The later acquired another translator move-in and did some shuffling, moving the 103.5 MHz signal to Mobile and launching a more powerful translator from Spanish Fort on 103.3 MHz; they also began being heard on W295BB from the old WABF AM tower in Fairhope, with 10 watts of power, as a fill in service.  This set of translators brought the talk programming full coverage of both sides of the bay.  In 2016 the W295BB translator was forced off the air when WABF lost the lease on their property in Fairhope and was forced to take the tower down.  As of May 2017 it's still off the air, although it's not really needed as the directional signal from W277CS provides good coverage of most all of the Eastern Shore suburbs.