AM Technical Profile: WERM


Frequency:
1220
Format:
Gospel
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] In Fairhope, at the corner of CR-3 (S Section Street) and Pecan Avenue.
STA: [map] [bird's eye] [street view] Dumaine Road, off Conception Street Road, near I-165.
Power (ERP):
Day: 1 kW
Night: 42 watts
STA: 1 kW from WERM-AM tower in Mobile.
Antenna:
Day and night: 1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[FCC]
[FCCData.org]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook]
[Article] Fairhope Courier article on the station relocating its studios to downtown Fairhope and the coverage issues they encountered from moving the transmitter site to Mobile.
[Aircheck] Edited aircheck.  Features jingles, lots of automation screwups including doubled audio and dead air, canned weather/temperature announcements; no local commercials aired during this hour. 6'32", 6.6 MB, M4A (AAC) format. (05-15-2016)
Owned by Eternity Record Company, LLC
History:
Original owner was J. Dige Bishop of Andalusia, who had a chain of stations and cable systems in south Alabama, including WJDB in Thomasville and WCTA in Andalusia.  Has been on air since 1961 with the same call letters, though it's been through several owners.  In its earlier days it was a directional daytimer with two towers.  While it primarily programmed to the Eastern Shore, the signal also covered much of Mobile.  At some point nighttime service was added.  The directional system was scrapped in 2001.  The station has, for most of its recent history, some type of nostalgia or standards format. 

In February 2016 is was announced that the station was being sold to Eternity Records Company, who owns and operated 1480 WERM in Mobile.  The format is supposedly staying standards, but the transmitter site is set to move to the WERM site, where it will go directional to maintain service to Fairhope. 

The station was granted a Special Temporary Authority in April 2016 to operate daytime only with 1 kW from one of the WERM towers in Mobile, and it began using that facility as of September 2016.  The tower at the WABF studios on Section Street in Fairhope has been taken down.  Although the new ownership has moved the studios and transmitter, the format has remained more or less the same, with a mix of softer oldies and standards.  Within a month of beginning operation from the STA site at the WERM tower in Mobile, coverage issues in Fairhope became apparent and the station moved the temporary broadcast back to Fairhope, first from a location near their new studio in downtown and later from a longwire off Twin Beech Road, just a half mile from the old transmitter site.  In early February 2017, the format and programming moved to WERM 1480 in Mobile, while that station's programming moved to this frequency.  This change is reported to be permanent.  The call sign finally changed to WERM in early January 2018.