FM Technical Profile: WDRM

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Station Name:
Transmitter Location:
[map] West of Pulaski Pike NW, off the minor road Juniper Drive NW.
Power (ERP):
100 kW
Antenna HAAT:
981 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
PS-COUNTRY FAVORITES WDRM (plus song title/artist info)
Text-Country Favorites WDRM
TMC-Metro Traffic
HD-2: Talk, News
// WBHP Huntsville, WHOS Decatur
// W258AU Huntsville
AUX: 30 kW @ 883 feet. 60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
More Information:
[Facebook] For WDRM
[YouTube] For WDRM's Listener Lounge
[Facebook] For the WAY FM network
[Image] RDS decoded on an AT&T Insite phone in Florence, showing the PS (station name), Radio Text and PTY (format) fields, May 2019.
[Picture] Image showing the station's PAD data for the main HD channel.
[Picture] Image showing the station's PAD data for the HD-2 subchannel when it was New Country
[Picture] Image showing the station's PAD data on an Insignia HD portable after the switch the the news/talk simulcast.
[Picture] Image showing the station's PAD data for the HD-3 subchannel.
[Studio] Google Photos image of the iHeartMedia Huntsville studios.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the iHeartMedia studios on Peoples Road in Madison.
This station dates back to an original construction in August 1951 for a new station on 92.5 MHz, licensed to North Alabama Broadcasting Company (John H. Jones and Jeffie Jones), who owned WHOS.  It signed on as WHOS-FM in May 1952 with 3 kW, operating from a transmitter site on 2nd Street west 14th Avenue near Decatur and with studios at 212 Jackson Street in Decatur.  In the mid-50's, the station boosted power to 8.6 kW, then switched to 102.1 MHz with just 2.35 kW in the early 60's.  In 1962 the studios moved to the Chenault Building on Grant Street in downtown Decatur.  In 1964 the station began utilizing an SCA (Subsidiary Communications Authority) set of broadcasts, on the standard 67 kHz and non-standard 41 kHz. 

March 1966 saw the calls changed to WDRM (rather boringly, this stands for Decatur Radio Market).  One month later, they were granted a permit to boost power to 21.5 kW, a facility than went on the air in November of that year with a Gates FM 7.5B, feeding a four bay GE antenna.  That same year the studios moved out of the Chenault Building, and moved to the second floor of the Masonic Building on Johnston Street. 

In 1967 the station got another power boost, this time to the full 100 kW, with a Jampro 12 bay antenna and a CCM FM-10000DS transmitter.  The studio moved for a third this decade, to 406 Bank Street. 

Ownership of the station passed from the original owners to Dixie Broadcasting, Inc. in April 1970.  Through the 70's, the station had a Top 40 format, and perhaps the call sign did double duty standing for "Decatur's Rock Music", too.  Well, at least for a little while… by '78, the station was doing Beautiful Music. 

It went head-to-head with Decatur's other 100 kW station, WRSA, when it flipped to a Middle of the Road format by 1980, with ABC news (to counter "Beautiful 97"'s NBC News.) 

By the mid-80's, it was proving difficult to be the other sleepy sounding station in the market, so the station went upbeat and flipped to Country.  Oh, and they also moved their antenna to Monte Santo Mountain in Huntsville to become one of the bigger signals in the market. 

The station has cruised on with Modern Country music as the format pretty much ever since; the station was acquired by Clear Channel in 1997.

WDRM installed HD digital radio technology during Clear Channel's rollout of the tech to many of their mid-market stations in the 2000's.  Until the fall of 2015, the HD2 had carried the company's "New Country" online-only format, but that gave way to a simulcast of sister News/Talk stations WBHP and WHOS.  The HD3 debuted earlier that year in April, when it picked up the WAY-FM Christian Religious format.  The HD3 was being used to feed a translator in Huntsville.