AM Technical Profile: WMMA

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Frequency:
1480
Format:
Religious: Catholic
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] Just off US 78 in the Rose Hill area of Irondale. Approx. 1/2 mile north of I-20.
Power (ERP):
5,000 watts day
28 watts night
Antenna:
1 tower: Omnidirectional
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[FCC]
[FCCData.org]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Bhamwiki] Information on the station from the WLPH era
[Bhamwiki] Information on the station from its short-lived time as WRLM
[Bhamwiki] Information on the station as WQOH
Owned by La Promesa Foundation
// WDWR Pensacola, FL
// W250CA Irondale, AL
// WQHC Hanceville, AL
// W224CK Vestavia Hills, AL
:
PS-Guadalupe Radio
Time-
[?]
Text-Catholic Radio for your Soul
PTY-
Religious Talk 

PI-
[?]

History:
Jefferson Radio Company signed the station on around 1960 as WIXI "Wixie in Dixie" with a Top 40 format, but also with blocks of R&B and Country Music.  During this era of the station's life, a DJ named Larry Parker, a student at Woodlawn High School, recorded some songs during his down time at the station.  One of those, "Panama City Blues", went on to become a local hit for his band, Larry & The Loafers.

The station appears to have failed in the mid 60's, not lasting long enough to show up in any Broadcasting Yearbook editions from the early 60's. 

In 1963, Birmingham Broadcasting Company (Ellis J. Parker III) filed for to revive the silent WIXI, and received a Special Temporary Authority to return the former facility to the air at the end of August 1964.  The STA was extended multiple times until the FCC granted the station its own license to operate as a 5 kW daytime only station with a Gates BC-5P transmitter, from the existing site WIXI used in Irondale which, incidentally, is the same site the station uses today.  That license to cover was filed in July 1965.  They appear to have kept the same Top 40 with Country & Western plus Black Music formula.

That formula didn't work for Birmingham Broadcasting Company, either, so in 1970 the license was transferred to Alabama Religious Broadcasting Company.  They changed the call letters to WLPH (for owners Lang, Power and Hyde, although later it was said to mean We're The Lord's Power House).  They changed the format to a Black Gospel music format.

In 1997, the station was sold to Bishop Willis' Birmingham Christian Radio.  During this time, the station kept the Black Gospel format, but began experiencing regular technical troubles ranging from operating after dark with what appeared to be low power, to playing music from CDs that would often skip all night long.
.
In November 2006 the station was sold by Willis to Davidson Media Group for $500,000.  They changed calls to WRLM (Radio Latino Mix) and moved to Hispanic music programming.  It had been reported that after the switch the station began staying on full power at night on a regular basis.
.
In March 2008 it was announced that Davidson Media sold the station to Queen of Heaven Catholic Radio for $575,000; they flipped the station to an EWTN-heavy mix of Catholic programming in July of 2008.  In January 2009 it was reported that the station was off the air while a new grounding system was being installed.  The station returned with a strong signal a short time later. 

In June 2014 it was announced that Queen of Heaven donated the station and translator W224CK to Pensacola-based Divine Word Catholic Radio.  That transfer was finalized in November 2014.  The station was reported off air in late July 2015, and wasn't removed from the silent list until early October of that same year.  The station also converted from commercial to non-commercial operating status when it returned to the air.
 

Divine Word merged with La Promesa Foundation in 2015; La Promesa operated a network of Spanish-language Catholic stations across the southwest.  The former Divine Word stations continued offering English-language Catholic programming, including shows hosted by EWTN after the merger.  The license was transferred to
La Promesa Foundation just after Christmas of 2015.  In October of 2016, the station changed call sign to WMMA.  They also acquired a move-in translator (W250CA at 97.9 MHz) construction permit.  The move-in translator signed on in March 2019 from atop Red Mountain.  Today, the station carries programming from the Guadalupe Radio Network.