AM Technical Profile: WMOB


Frequency:
1360
Format:
Religious
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] Near the USS Alabama battleship on the Mobile Causeway, at the former WLVV/WNGL 1410 site.
Power (ERP):
Day: 9 kW
Night: 200 watts
Antenna:
Day: 2 towers, major lobe due north, minor lobe due south. [pattern - PDF]
Night: 2 towers, major lobes east and west, nulled north to south. [pattern - PDF]
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[FCC]
[FCCdata.org]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Article] Mobile Press-Register story on the interference caused to WMOB at its original transmitting site when Austal and AIDT began building buildings near the site.
[Google Maps] Link to the location of the original transmitter site for the station, now an Austal outbuilding. 
Owned by Buddy Tucker Associates
History:
FCC records say this station was first licensed in May 1961, put on the air by Jemcon Broadcasting Company (E. B. Jemison and Frank Conwell).  For the first five months of the station's existence, it was WCIQ.  Alabama Educational Television (now APT) requested the call sign for their channel 7 broadcast from atop Mount Cheaha east of Birmingham, so the station became WLIQ in October 1959. 

The station had a classy easy listening format from the start, broadcasting from studios at 58 St. Michael Street in downtown Mobile.  The transmitter was originally just east of downtown, on the east bank of the Alabama River on Blakely Island, about 1,600 feet east southeast of the Wallace Tunnel exit. 

Hartzog Broadcasting bought the station in 1964 and moved the studios to the Battle House Hotel in 1970.  It's likely that they changed the format to a Middle of the Road (MOR) presentation. 

The station was sold again in 1971, this time to Southland of Alabama, who put on a country music format.  In 1973 the studios moved to 1755 Springhill Avenue.  Stiff country competition from both WALA and growing FM stations meant the station struggled to attract strong ratings.  Being a directional daytime only signal did not help.  It's possible the station had a top 40 format for a short time in the mid to late 70's. 

WLIQ, Inc. (David Siegel, Jeff Stacy and Jerry Shiverdecker) acquired the license in 1978.  It appears that the station had a religious format during this time. 

The station flipped to a talk format in June 1980, with the WPCY calls.  The station license was transferred to WPCY, Inc. in February 1981.  Beacon Broadcasting acquired the license just a few months later in June 1981; they kept the news/talk format but changed the calls to WIXO in November 1981. 

Syndicated preacher Buddy Tucker bought the station in April 1984 for  $395,000 and put his own religious programming on the station, changing the call sign to WMOB in the process.  For many years, the studio was located next to the two towers on Blakely Island. 

Shipbuilders Austal began building a new facility adjacent to the WMOB studio and transmitter site in 2008.  The building, which is made of metal, is nine acres in size and began to cause pattern distortions to WMOB's signal.  Workers erecting the metal structure also were receiving electric shocks due to the RF energy radiated out from the station.  An AL.com article (linked above) details the tribulations of the station versus Austal and Tucker's quest to relocate the station.  By 2010, AIDT was building their Maritime Training Center on the other side of the WMOB property, causing further disruption to the signal.  That year, Tucker bought the former WLVV 1410 site further down the Causeway for $455,000 and began working to move his station to that site.

After several Special Temporary Authority grants to get the station on the air from the WLVV site, the FCC finally granted a full construction permit in July 2012.  Along with the move, Tucker was able to secure higher daytime power (up to 9 kW from 5 kW).  The station was officially licensed to its current site in November 2015.

Buddy Tucker passed away in mid-December 2017; the stations he ran including this one continue to be operated by his widow, Levaughn Tucker.