FM Technical Profile: WLWI

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Station Name:
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] [bird's eye] Just east of the Sunshine Village subdivision northeast of Montgomery.  Just south of Sandy Ridge Curve north of CR-64. Co-located with several other local FMs and TV stations.
Power (ERP):
100 kW
Antenna HAAT:
1,096 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
PS-I-92 | WLWI
Text-Montgomery's #1 For New Country


More Information:
[Studio] The Cumulus studios in downtown Montgomery.
WCOV, Inc. applied for a new FM station in the fall of 1965, on 92.3 MHz.  The original granted permit listed 50 kW effective radiated power at 360 feet height above average terrain (HAAT) from the WCOV-TV tower at the studios on Adrian Lane.  Of interest is the initial grant would have had the station using two different model antennas; one for the vertical polarized signal and a different one for the horizontal!  They also applied to run a Subsidiary Communications Authorization (SCA) channel on 67 kHz.

The station never got built out in its original format.  The permit was extended multiple times and then allowed to expire.  It was reinstated in 1969 using an RCA BTF-20E1 transmitter feeding a seven-bay RCA BFC-7 antenna at a HAAT of 390 feet on the WCOV-TV tower.  The station appears to have signed on in the Summer of 1969, running the Drake-Chenault "Hit Parade" music format with the "Stereo 92" slogan. 

The station was sold to Griffin Broadcasting, run by a salesman, in late 1972.  Under new ownership, the format flipped to Middle-of-the-Road (MOR) and Adult Contemporary music as WKLH.  Unusual for the time, it was operated as a standalone station with no AM or TV companion. The studios were moved in 1973 to 516 South Perry Street in Montgomery.  In 1975, a permit was issued to move the transmitter location to "3 miles south of Gunter Industrial Park, in Green Cemetery, on Perry Hill Road, Montgomery".  The actual location is today a wooded area behind the Sam's Club off Eastern Boulevard near I-85. If built, the station would have transmitted with 25 kW from 756 feet HAAT. 

The station was acquired by Colonial Broadcasting in 1978.  Under their ownership, the station flipped to Country as "I-92" WLWI.  That same year, they applied to move the transmitter site to the current location, with a Harris FM-20-H3 feeding a twelve-section Harris FMS-12B antenna for an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100 kW, at 504 feet HAAT.  A license to cover for that facility was filed in May 1979.

The station received a boost in coverage in 1991 when it raised the antenna height to 1,096 feet HAAT.  Cumulus bought the Colonial stations, including WLWI, in 1998.

In 2006, the station applied to move to the WAKA-TV tower southeast of Selma.  If built out, it would have significantly increased the station's coverage area thanks to an antenna height that would have been at 1,920 feet HAAT.  For whatever reason, it was never completed.  In 2009 and 2013, the station was again granted permits to move to the WAKA-TV tower, this time at 1,620 feet HAAT.  In both cases, the permits were allowed to expire. 

As WLWI, the station has consistently remained a country giant in the market, at or near the top of the ratings for much of the time.  It won the Small Market Station of the Year Award from the Academy of Country Music in 1984.