FM Technical Profile: WHMA

[ Home | Statewide: AM | FM | LPFM | Translators | TV | LPTV | LDTV ]
[ Metros: Birmingham | Mobile | Montgomery | Huntsville | Columbus, GA | Dothan | Tuscaloosa | The Shoals ]

Station Name:
Big 95
Transmitter Location:
[map] Located on Coldwater Mountain west of Hobson City, between AL-202 (Albert P Brewer Highway) and I-20.
Power (ERP):
400 watts
Antenna HAAT:
1,089 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
:PS-WHMA 955 [song title/artist] Time-[?] Text-[?] PTY-[?]
// W248CE Gadsden, AL
More Information:
Williams Communications
This frequency came on the air in 1984 as WASZ, licensed to Ashland-Lineville.  It re-licensed to Hobson City and changed to WHMA (for Harry M. Ayers) after the orignal WHMA-FM at 100.5 MHz beat cheeks for Atlanta.  It was put on the air by Perry Communications, who may have owned Clay County's only other radio station, WZZX, at the time.
The WHMA calls go back to the mid to late 40's, as the station on 100.1 MHz put on by the publishers of The Anniston Star newspaper, who were also running WHMA-AM.  From at least as early as the mid 80's, the station had a country format and was a 100,000 watt class C station with a very large coverage area and good ratings.  In the 90's, then-owner Robert Gammon was interested in moving the signal to Atlanta, still as a class C 100 kW'er, licensed to Sandy Springs.  Despite an agreement with an upstate South Carolina broadcaster to move their facilities to make all this possible, the FCC denied the application due to the fact that, despite Sandy Springs being one of the largest 'cities' in the state, it was not incorporated and used Atlanta as its postal address.  Gammon sold the station to Susquehanna, who re-applied to move the station in, this time with lower powered facilities, licensed to College Park.  After that was accepted by the FCC, the station moved to Atlanta and became "Q 100", doing CHR from atop the Omni Hotel in downtown.  As a consequence of this move, Alabama gained one new FM station and another was able to upgrade.  A 100.7 MHz allocation was opened up in east Alabama (now WCKF Ashland) and Tuscaloosa's then WLXY at 100.7 MHz was able to relocated to much more powerful facilities on 100.5 MHz and enter the Birmingham market as a modern rocker (WANZ, Northport). 
In the spring of 2012 it was revealed that WHMA has applied to lower power, move to 95.3 MHz and change from their current directional antenna to one that throws less signal to the east.  It's all part of a plan afoot in the Atlanta market to move news/talk WSB's FM counterpart (WSBB on 95.5 MHz) from the Lake Lanier area to a site inside the I-285 perimeter.  If built, it would have been the second time east Alabama's "WHMA" country station was affected by Atlanta-based shenanigans! That move apparently never came to fruition, as the application to change WHMA-FM was dropped in May of 2016.  One part that did change was the station was re-licensed from Hobson City to Alexandria. 

Approximately a year later, the application was reinstated upon review, and may be granted in June 2017.  The review sat in limbo for ages, and was finally approved in late March 2018.  A license to cover for the move to 95.3 MHz was filed in April 2019.