FM Technical Profile: WHIL


Station Name:
Alabama Public Radio
Frequency:
91.3
Format:
Jazz, Classical, News, Talk
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] On the WKRG-TV tower on Austin Lane in Spanish Fort, with WRKH, WMXC and WABD.
Power (ERP):
100 kW
Antenna:
Directional
Antenna HAAT:
1066 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
:
PS-WHIL-FM
Time-Present
Text-Alabama Public Radio - WHIL
PTY-
Public
PI-
WHIL-FM
More Information:
[FCC]
[FCCdata.org]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook] Facebook for Alabama Public Radio.
[Picture] Image of the RDS text display on an Insignia HD portable, showing PI (call letters) and Radio Text fields.
[Picture] Image of the RDS text display on a Radio Shack DX-398, showing the PS (station name) field.
[Picture] Image of the RDS text display on a Mazda's radio, showing the PTY (format), PS (station name) and Radio Text fields.

[Picture] Screenshot from an application interfaced with an SDRplay radio showing the RDS data, PS, Time, Text, PTY and PI, as well a mysterious field labeled "Virgin Islands [USA]".  Behind the text is a rendering of the actual FM signal, showing spikes at 19 kHz for the stereo pilot and at 57 kHz for the RDS data stream.
[Story] A six-part history of WHIL from Alvin Williams News and Information on Television and Radio in Southwest Alabama website
Owner:
University of Alabama
History:
This facility dates back to late August or early September 1974, when it debuted on 91.3 MHz.  It may have been student-run radio early on but quickly morphed into a regular public radio station with news, classical music and jazz.  The station originally broadcast from a site near what is now Murray Field on campus, with just 10 watts at 28 feet.  In the late 70's the station upgraded to 100 kW at about 245 feet, still from the campus of Spring Hill College. Spring Hill College launched a second low power FM signal around 1979 when they put the student-run WTOH on air. The station received a permit in 1991 to increase height and move to the old WKRG-TV tower in Spanish Fort, which would have put the antenna at over 900 feet HAAT, but numerous delays kept it from going on the air.  The station eventually did sign on from the newer and taller WKRG-TV tower nearby in the late 90's, gaining more height and an imperceptibly directional antenna setup in the process. 

In 1998 added NPR's Morning Edition and hourly news segments to accompany the classic music.
 
In the spring of 2011 Spring Hill College sold the station without notice to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.  UA operated three other FM public radio outlets, in Selma, Tuscaloosa and Florence, as a network ("APR").  Local news reported the station would pick up the full APR schedule around 1 July 2011.   Reports also said the Alaprint Radio Reading Service will be discontinued.  Fox 10 reports that the reading service produced 37 hours of local programming each week and served over 500 Gulf Coast listeners.
 
At 3 pm on 1 July 2011, APR took over programming of WHIL.  APR added an RDS feed in the spring of 2014.  The "-FM" suffix was dropped from the official call sign in July 2016.  The "-FM" dated back to the 90's when an AM station in Massachusetts had used the WHIL calls.