Technical Profile: WKLF
- Southern Gospel
Off Old Billingsly Road, on the north side of AL-22 (4th Avenue N),
just west of Clanton.
- Power (ERP):
- 1.0 kW Days Only
- Day: 1 tower
- 0.5 mV/m Daytime
Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public
Street View imagery of the studios of WZNN and WKLF in Clanton.
Street View link from 2009, before the tornado brought the
AM tower down.
Story from The Clanton
Advertiser on the station's 70th Anniversary
celebrations in February 2019.
// W238CS Clanton
Owned by WKLF, Inc. (Christopher W. Johnson)
- This station
came on the air in late 1947 as WKFL, operated by Southeastern
Broadcasting, run by J. Kelley Robinson, J. S. Robinson and Hugh I.
Webb. Before ever signing on, the station went through several
frequency and power changes: first it was to be on 1450 kHz as a 250
watt full time operation; then it was changed to 760 kHz with 500
watts as a daytimer. By the time it signed on, it was on 980
kHz, still as a daytimer, but now with 1,000 watts. The
transmitter site has always been at the same place it is now, but
from sign-on until 1953, the studios were located at 703½ Second
Avenue North in Clanton. Around the time the studios moved out
on Selma Highway, where the transmitter is, the company had put on
one of the state's early FM broadcasts with WKLF-FM.
It's not known what the format was in the early days of the station,
but by 1970 it was doing mostly Country & Western music, with
some black programming and gospel, too. Starting in the late
70's, some oldies were added for good measure. Some of this
programming was simulcast on the FM up through at least the late
70's. By the mid-80's, the format was Religious programming
- This station
appears to have run into license difficulties after the FM moved out
of town, and was at one point deleted from the FCC database.
The station has apparently remained on the air through much or all
of this time, fighting its license revocation. During this
time, it managed to snag an FM translator, W238BS in Clanton.
On 23 January 2012 a tornado struck Maplesville and Clanton,
destroying the WKLF tower. The station had been on the air
despite having a deleted license, although its license was
eventually reinstated. In mid-July 2015 it was reported that
WKLF was also being heard on area FM WZNN in Maplesville. The
license was officially reinstated in early September, 2016.
Ownership during this time was with Southeastern Broadcasting
Company; they transferred the license to Great South Wireless in the
summer of 2016 and the FCC approved the transfer in October of that
In the summer of 2016 the translator was sold and moved to
Birmingham (to 94.1 MHz, relaying WJLD Fairfield) but Reynolds
Technical Associates quickly acquired a translator move-in from
LaGrange, GA to replace it, on the same frequency, from the WKLF
site west of Clanton. This station has been reported off the
air numerous times over the last few years, and as recently as early
Great South Wireless applied to move the station to 1000 kHz in June
2017; one month later they erected a new tower and put the station
on the air at 980 kHz, but that was short lived. The FCC
granted the permit to change to 1000 kHz in September 2017, and the
station was reported to have moved to 1000 kHz just one month later.
The station was sold to WKLF, Inc. in August 2018, for
$200,000. The principal behind the company is Christopher W.
Johnson, who owns Chilton County's noncommercial station WPJN, via a
non-profit, as well as the Troy-area WSMX-FM.