FM Technical Profile: WBTG


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Station Name:
Gospel Power 106

Frequency:
106.3

Format:
Southern Gospel

Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] On the west side of Hawk Pride Mountain Road, at Rock Ridge Drive, 2 miles south of US-72, southwest of Tuscumbia.

Power (ERP):
6 kW

Antenna:
Omnidirectional

Antenna HAAT:
682 feet

Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.

:

PS-
WBTG
Time-[?]
Text-
blank
PTY-blank
PI-WBTG-FM

More Information:
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[Radio-Locator]

[Wikipedia]

[Facebook]

[Image] Image showing the RDS radio display from an Insignia portable radio, with the PI (call sign) code as the only data transmitted.

[Image] RDS decoded on an AT&T Insite phone in Florence, showing the PS (station name) field, May 2019.

Owner:
Slatton & Associates

History:
This station dates back to an original construction permit issued to Ervin Parks Jr. and Robert Warren Kicker (d/b/a Radio Station WRCK) in January 1969, as a companion to their AM WZZA.  The station was originally granted a power of 970 watts at a Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT) of just 86 feet on 106.3 MHz.  The transmitter type was listed in FCC records as a Collins 831D-1, feeding a four bay Collins 37CP-4 antenna mounted on the WZZA AM tower at 1570 Woodmont Drive in Tuscumbia.  A license to cover for this facility was filed in June 1969. 

Although little is known about the format in the earliest days, it's safe to assume it was likely a Rock music format based on the call letters!

In 1970, it appears that Ervin Parks Jr. exited the partnership, leaving Robert Kicker to go it alone.  The license was sold to Wein Broadcasting Corporation in 1973.  It appears that the format may have been Country after they took ownership, and that it gave way to Rock music towards the end of the decade.  It would have been a short-lived format, however.  The station was sold again in 1977, this time to Slatton and Associates.  Under their ownership, the format flipped to Gospel music and the calls changed to WBTG.  Slatton and Associates filed to move the studios to 112 South Main Street in Tuscumbia in August 1977.  That same year they also filed to move the transmitter site to a location in the hills south of town, off New Cut Road near Milk Spring Road.  With this change came a new Collins LPC-2 two bay antenna at a height of 378 feet HAAT, operating at 1.76 kW.  That change was granted in August 1978.  A license to cover for this change was filed in December 1978.

In December 1987, the company acquired AM station WHCM 1290 and changed its call letters to WBTG, which changed this station's call letters to WBTG-FM.  From this point onwards the station has had the same format and call letters.

The station was granted a construction permit in 1992 to increase power to 22 kW from a transmitter site near the Alabama-Tennessee state line near the Natchez Trace Parkway and Cloverleaf Road.  That facility was never built out; instead the station received a permit that same year to relocate to their current facilities off Hawk Pride Road, with 6 kW at 682 feet HAAT.  The license to cover for that facility was granted in May 1994.

On 19 April 2024 the station's transmitter suffered considerable damage after taking a lightning strike during severe weather.  In order to get the station back on the air, they took the FM translator for WBTG AM and retuned it to 106.3, broadcasting from the studios in town.  As of 24 April 2024, however, no Special Temporary Authority (STA) has been filed for this emergency operation.