FM Technical Profile: WKEA


Station Name:
K 98
Frequency:
98.3
Format:
Country
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] On the north side of the intersection of CR-100 (McGee Street), CR-158 and CR-121 west of AL-35 and the Powell community.
Power (ERP):
11 kW
Antenna:
Directional
Antenna HAAT:
492 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
:PS-WKEA FM Time-? Text-? PTY-?
// W289BV Scottsboro, AL
More Information:
[FCC]
[RECnet]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook]
Owner:
Southern Torch Inc.
History:
This station dates back to an original construction permit granted to local dentist Dr. Ralph M. Sheppard in July 1965.  The station signed on in the fall of 1966 as a Class A on 98.3 MHz, with 1.5 kW from atop Reservoir Mountain (later known as Melody Mountain).  The station utilized a GE BT-3-B transmitter feeding a Andrew 1302 2 second antenna.  The studios were in the Thomas Building in the Five Points section of Scottsboro.  The station was first assigned the WPJC calls but before it signed on they changed to WCNA.  At the time, it was Scottsboro's third radio station but first on FM.

From the beginning, the station featured a Country music format.

In 1970, the license was assigned to the company called Mellow Sound Broadcasting, Inc.  That same year, they swapped to a RCA BTF-1E2 transmitter feeding a Gates FMC 4A four section antenna for better coverage.  In 1979, the studios moved to 115 South Market Street in Scottsboro.

The license was transferred to KEA, Inc. in 1981, and the call sign changed to WKEA-FM that same year.  The station raised power to 2.35 kW in 1984, from the same transmitter site on Melody Mountain. 

The station boosted power for a second time in 2007, when it boosted power to the current 11 kW.

In late August 2013 the station debuted a translator on 105.7 MHz, relaying WKEA.  In a curious move, despite being a simulcast, the translator has its own branding, as "Lake 105.7", including a website that redirects back to K-98's site. Strange.

The station, along with Stevenson-licensed sister FM WMXN, was sold to Southern Torch, Inc. in February 2019, for $600,000.  Southern Torch is a DeKalb County-based weekly newspaper for Northeast Alabama.