FM Technical Profile: WECB


Station Name:
B 105.3
Frequency:
105.3
Format:
Country
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] About a half mile west of the intersection of Ross Clark Circle with South Oates Street (US-231), behind the Hyundai car dealer.
Power (ERP):
10 kW
Antenna:
Nondirectional
Antenna HAAT:
434 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
:PS-[?] Time-[?] Text-[?] PTY-[?] PI-WECB-FM
More Information:
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook]

[Studio] Street View imagery of the Gulf South studios on US-231 in Dothan.
Owner:
Alabama Media
History:
This station has an interesting history.  The allocation for this 105.3 MHz frequency was originally to the small town of Chattahoochie, Florida, and Gulf South applied for a Class A station, with transmitter site in the community of Recovery, Georgia.  The transmitter location was changed to an area north of Recovery, and this one apparently did go on the air, as the FCC shows a license to cover filed in October 1992 with a call sign issued, WUMG.  A contributor notes, however, that the owners didn't think that community could support a small station and that it may not have gone on the air at all.  Gulf South applied to change the community of license to Headland, Alabama, just north of Dothan in Henry County.  The rationale used for picking this small town was that this would be Headland's first "local service".  This was met with a lot of local opposition, who claimed that Headland was more or less a part of Dothan and was already served adequately by many Dothan radio stations.
 
Before we continue with the history of this station, it's worth pointing out the significance of "local service" in the eyes of the FCC and how it relates to this story.  The FCC's policy is strange.  It dictates that a COL city of license is more important than the actual geographical area it serves.  So while those opposed to this station's move were technically correct that the community of Headland was already served by numerous signals, the FCC bought into the COL change request because no station had been previously licensed to that specific community, regardless of how many signals were available there.  My contributor notes that the FCC's ruling in this case has set a precedent that has been used in many COL changes put forth since.
 
It appears the move to Headland occurred somewhere between the 1992 and 1996.  The call letters changed to WBCD in February 1994, WZND in August 2002 and finally WDBT in March of 2004.  Before the flip to talk, the station had a country music format.  When the owners bought the Geneva, Alabama 93.7 MHz station, which was talk, they orchestrated a format flip, moving the talk to 105.3 and the country to the bigger signal.
 
In May 2011 the station began to be heard on WUSD, the 93.7 MHz station that had talk on FM originally in the market.
 
December 2011 brought more changes to the station, with a call sign change from WDBT to WECB, with country music as "B-105".   Formerly a South East Broadcasting property, it was sold in 2011 to Alabama Media in a complicated deal involving Gulf South Broadcasting.  Members of the Holladay family are involved in both Gulf South and Alabama Media. In mid-July 2015 the station received a construction permit to re-locate the antenna from the site northwest of Webb to a new tower behind the Hyundai dealer on the SW corner of Ross Clark Circle.  That signed on in November 2016.  It is co-located with WESP, WJRL and WLDA, all co-owned stations.