AM History Profile: WKIJ


History:
This station has had a relatively short, tumultuous life.  The original construction permit was issued in the fall of 1983 to Jimmy Dan Brown under his Brown Communications.  The station was not built out in time and received an extension to their permit in 1984.  The station finally came on either late in 1984 or early in 1985, with a religious format with local and farm content sprinkled through the day.  It was a daytimer, running 1,000 watts on 1130 kHz in the town of Parrish in Walker County.  The station sought and received permission in 1986 to relocate the studio to Jasper, outside the city of license.  The studio location was only given as "the corner of 4th Street & the 78 Bypass".

Troubles began only a few years later when the station filed to go silent with the FCC, citing financial issues in June of 1990.  A 1992 Billboard magazine article details some of the troubles that followed, claiming that Brown used “two unrelated regulatory developments” to stall the FCC, “either deliberately, or without sufficient inquiry.”  Because of this, the FCC yanked his license and the facility record was deleted that same year. 
Despite the loss of the license, the station was heard occasionally from at least the late 90's through the mid-2000's.  It's quite unclear whether the license was actually re-instated or not.  The station was listed by the (link now defunct) AM Station Logbook website as silent in May 1998, which would imply that the license was re-instated at some point, but the FCC and other sources seem to have no evidence of this happening.  Any operation or ownership beyond 1992 is a mystery at this point.  Of equal mystery is exactly where the station's studio and transmitter were located.  Some data puts it dozens of miles away from Walker County in far northwest Alabama.  Others show it closer to Parrish but in a barren field, near railroad tracks and thousands of feet from any trails, roads or power lines.  The most likely location appears to be behind a home on Old Thompson Road, about a half-mile north of the Parrish City limits.  A Bing Bird's Eye View of the property is available and it at least in my opinion it appears that there is a small transmitter shack in a field behind the house.  There is no historical imagery or current Street View here to get a closer look, so this is all speculation, but in the original application the studio and transmitter were noted to be on the same property, a half-mile north of the Parrish city limits on "Road 1282" which is not listed on any current mapping service that I'm aware of.  However, the Old Thompson Road property in the Bing link above fits the distances quoted and the property conforms to the listing that the studio was "on the road" and the transmitter site was "2500 feet west of the studio".