AM Technical Profile: WFSH


Frequency:
1340
Format:
Sports
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] At the corner of Cedar Avenue and Kailyn Court in Niceville, where WNWF is today.
Power (ERP):
Day: 1 kW
Night: 250  watts
Antenna:
Day and night: 1 tower
Owned By:
Flagship Communications, Inc.
History:
In the late summer of 1957, a permit was issued for a new station on 1340 kHz, running 250 watts unlimited.  It was put on the air as WNSM in February 1959 by Edward C. Allmon (Bay Broadcasting Company), using a Gates BC-250T transmitter.  The station, licensed to "Valparaiso-Niceville", had its original transmitter site at Cedar and 25th Streets, in the Pinecrest Addition of Niceville.  That location doesn't exist on today's maps, but it's near the Bass Branch creek close to the CITGO fuel facility.  The studios started off here but later moved to 107½ Westview Avenue in Valparaiso, next to what is today the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida. 

Okaloosa Broadcasting Company bought the station in 1964 and moved the studio down the street to #125 (which today is yet another vacant lot like
107½.)   The studios moved again to 90 Eastview Avenue in 1965, before eventually settling down at the Palm Plaza Shopping Center on Highway 20.  By 1965, the station had boosted power to 1 kW during the day and 250 watts after dark, using a Gates BC-1T transmitter. 

The call sign changed to WFSH in 1967 after the station license was transferred to Embury Broadcasting Company, Inc.

The station fell silent in March 1981 when construction workers accidentally knocked down the tower. 

The station license was acquired by WFSH, Inc. in May 1971.  While it is unknown what the format of the station was in its early days, by 1972 it was known to be running a country music format. 

WMS Corp. (also known as Channel 13 of Las Vegas, Inc.) of Valparaiso-Niceville acquired the license in May 1979.  By 1981 they'd dropped the country music for Middle of the Road (MOR), oldies and Album Oriented Rock (AOR).  The station was sold again in 1983, this time to Bayou Communications, who flipped the programming to a mix of Contemporary Christian music and… Sports.  At least the religious programming matched the call sign!  By 1987 they were doing yet another mish-mash of formats according to that year's Broadcasting Yearbook: Adult Contemporary, Oldies and Country.  By the end of the decade, it was oldies and big band music.

The oldies and big band format appears to have latest until the station was sold in 2003 to Flagship Communications, who paid $225,000 for the station and flipped it to ESPN Sports programming.  Flagship Broadcasting was owned by a Destin DUI lawyer with big dreams of starting his own talk radio network. 

The station was noted to be off the air by 2010, when the FCC sent the owners a letter asking why they hadn't bothered to report the station off the air.  They never got a reply, and in May of 2011 the station's license was permanently deleted for being off the air for over 12 consecutive months.