AM Technical Profile: WGMP


Frequency:
1170
Format:
Modern Rock
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] Due north of Montgomery along and east of Coosada Ferry Road.  Between North Esther and South Ester Roads.
Power (ERP):
Day: 850 watts
Night: 7 watts
Antenna:
Day & night: 1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook]
[Studio] Street View imagery of the Bluewater Broadcasting studios in Montgomery.
// W285AJ Montgomery, AL
History:
One of our contributors says this frequency goes back to WJJJ in 1939, with 10kw days and 1kw nights, directional.  It was owned by Southern Broadcasting.
.
By 1955, this frequency is listed as being WCOV. WCOV actually got its start on 1240 kHz way back in 1939, with 250 watts.  It was owned by Capitol Broadcasting, who are also listed as putting on WCOV-FM and WCOV-TV 20 in 1954.  Capitol Broadcasting apparently bought Southern and moved the WCOV calls to 1170.
..
WCOV (a reference to the COVington family who owned it, not necessarily "Capital's Oldest Voice") was a CBS affiliate heavy on the news and MoR music.  Later, TV and radio were sold separately, with radio going to Montgomery Broadcast Properties and Al Stroh, becaming WACV (Alabama's Capital Voice) in 1986.  For some time, the station played big band and standards type music on weekends.
.
In March 2004 the station was bought in a group purchase of four Montgomery outlets by Bluewater Broadcasting. They took off the weekend music programming, going all satellite-fed talk.
.
In January 2005 the station added 18 hours daily of oldies to its schedule, perhaps to compensate for the loss of Montgomery's only oldies outlet on FM. This left only one sports talk show and one political talk show on the slate. The station still carried local college and high school sports, however.
.
The music ended again in 2007.  The station was still home to Don Markwell's Viewpoint, which was Alabama's first daily call-in show.  It has aired daily since 1964.  In 2008, the station boasted an impressive lineup of both syndicated and local hosts, with some locals coming in from much larger markets.
 
At the end of March 2009 the station's lineup was tweaked slightly, in preparation for a simulcast which was to start around April 1st, 2009, with WMRK (formerly WJAM) on 107.9 MHz.  The news/talk branding will be focused on the FM, with the future of the AM uncertain.
 
Update for November 19th, 2009:  the future is… Oldies.  WACV picks up Montgomery area FM translator 104.9 (formerly of WKXN and Tiger 95.9 lineage) to go 50's and 60's "Good Time Oldies".  The first of March 2010 has WACV being heard on another Montgomery translator, W296AI on 107.1 MHz.  Oddly, this was listed as deleted in the FCC database at the time they got it.
 
On May 11th, 2010 the station filed for special authority (STA) to operate at reduced power due to storm damage.  This permit allowed them to run 4.5 kW days and 7 watts at night from just one tower.
 
On July 30th, 2010 the station is to switch from its oldies format to modern rock.  This is likely due to Auburn's long time alt rocker "The Tiger" announcing it would be switching frequencies with WQSI Union Springs in order to better penetrate the Montgomery area.

In early 2011 the station decided to scrap the existing six tower nighttime array in favor of a simpler system.  Daytime power will remain the same, with the existing two-tower day pattern in use.  Nighttime will drop from the authorized 1 kW to just 4 watts, using the two daytime towers.  The other four for nighttime service have been decommissioned.  The previous night pattern used all six towers for a tightly directional signal to the south-southwest, with a second minor lobe to the east-southeast.  The license to cover on the permit for 10 kW days and 4 watts night was filed in late July 2014.
 
When the new station at 93.1 debuted in the Montgomery market, it swapped calls with this station, bringing the WGMP ("GuMP", a local nickname for Montgomery) calls to this format, and the talk-associated WACV calls to the new station, which took the talk format from 107.9 WMRK. 
This station was reported to be off the air in April 2017; it has been running on a a special temporary authority (STA) since December 2016 due to lightning damage to their daytime transmitter.  As such, if they are on the air at all, they are only operating at 4 watts.  in late April 2017, the station acquired a construction permit to simplify their transmitter setup significantly, dropping from 10 kW days to just 850 watts, from two towers to one.  Nighttime power will actually go up, from 4 watts to 7 watts, also on one tower.  The station was reported back on the air in early September 2017 with the new, lower powered facility, and a license to cover was filed in early October 2017.