AM Technical Profile: WFPA

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Talk, News
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] At the end of Castle Rock Drive, off CR-89 (Scenic View Road).
Power (ERP):
Day: 1 kW
Night: 1 kW
1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[Facebook] - Main Page
[Facebook] - Alternate news/talk page
[Article] Story from WHNT in Huntsville regarding the station's eviction and tower dismantling.
[Article] Story on the acquisition of the station by Southern Torch
Owned by Southern Torch
// W230CX Fort Payne, AL (CP)
James Lewis Killian was awarded a construction permit for a station on 1260 kHz with 250 watts, but it was amended when the application was approved, to 1290 kHz with 500 watts in July 1949.  The station signed on January 8th, 1950 using a Collins 20T, transmitting from the same site the station uses today, atop Lookout Mountain.  The original studio location was at 102 Gault Avenue South in Fort Payne.  The station moved to 1400 kHz with a decrease in power to 250 watts, in the summer of 1950.  At this point they switched to a Collins 300-G.

Just a year after putting the station on, Killian became an early pioneer into cable television, with a system he started in Fort Payne.  He sold the station to George A. Gothberg, Jr. in the fall of 1952. 

Robert H. Johnson acquired the station in 1962.  The station boosted power to 1 kW full time, using a Gates BC-1G, in 1964.  Under Johnson's ownership, the station appears to have had a hybrid format with both Top 40 and County music. 

Johnson, along with Beatrice Johnson and Martha J. Wolfe formed WFPA, Inc. and assigned the license to that company in 1971.  In the middle part of the 70's, the station moved to a Contemporary Rock format.  Ownership of the company was assigned to James A. and C. Alfred Dick in 1979.  Around this time, the station dropped the Rock for a Country music format. 

Fort Payne Broadcasting acquired the license in 1985, and around that time the station flipped to an Adult Contemporary music format.  It morphed into a mix of Oldies and Contemporary Country through the late 80's and into the early 90's. 

Scottsboro-based KEA, Inc. acquired the station for $34,650 in 1994; at that time the format appears to have been even more diverse, with Classic Rock, Oldies and Modern Country through various parts of the day, although again it moved towards a regular Adult Contemporary format in the late 90's, being one of the few holdouts with music on AM at the time.  In May 1997, the calls changed to WMXN to reflect the music mix.  KEA sold the station to Delgiorno Broadcasting Corporation in 1999; they changed the calls to WDLL after the sale closed and they flipped the format to News/Talk.

The station was sold to DeKalb County Community Radio in 2001 for $120,000.  They flipped the format back to Oldies.  J.A.R. Inc. purchased the station in 2006 for $95,000 and returned the format to Adult Contemporary again, with Delilah and some talk mixed in.  The station fell silent in 2008 and off the air until at least the Spring of 2010, when it was purchased by J. Michael Wallace (as Wallace Broadcasting).  He put the station back in the air with News/Talk programming.

The station acquired a translator permit in January 2018, for a signal on 93.9 MHz from the AM's tower atop Lookout Mountain.  As of January 2019, the translator appears to be unbuilt.

The station was taken off the air abruptly on 18 October 2019, when the local Sheriff showed up during the morning show with an eviction notice.  By that afternoon, the station's tower had also been dismantled.  According to local news reports, the station has already lined up a new office space and has plans to rebuild the tower, although nothing ever came of it.

In October 2020, the station filed an emergency STA to operate with a longwire at 225 N Galt Avenue in Fort Payne in order to keep the license from being deleted.  Concurrently they filed a notice to sell the station to Southern Torch, Inc. for $15,000 if the station can be revived before the license expires.  The location of the longwire is a Methodist church's daycare, but is listed as "owned by Southern Torch".

The purchase by Southern Torch was consummated in March 2021.  The Special Temporary Authority to operate from a longwire was renewed in May 2021 while the new owners seek a permanent transmitter location.

On 7 August 2023 the station filed a Silent STA with the FCC citing financial issues related to constructing a new transmitter site.  The station has been operating with a temporary longwire via STA since October of 2020.