AM Technical Profile: WNTM

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Talk, News

Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] [view #2] Telegraph Road, north of downtown.

Power (ERP):
Day and night: 1 kW

Day: 1 tower
Night: 3 towers. Large lobe to the southwest towards Mobile and Tillmans Corner. [pattern - PDF]

Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files



[Audio] Top of the hour ID audio, recorded 9 March 2021.  M4A format. 190 kb, 18 seconds.

Owned by

This station began operations in 1946, when Kenneth R. Giddens (as Giddens & Restor Radio) put the station on the air.  The call sign, WKRG, reflects his initials.  From the early days, the station had CBS affiliation, and played Middle of the Road (MOR) music along with talk radio programming.  The station has always transmitted from the same location they use today, although it started off with 1,000 watts non directional during the day and 500 watts directional at night, using three towers.  This station later spawned FM and TV counterparts.  By 1956, the company name had changed to WKRG, Inc.

As the 80's progressed, music struggled to retain listeners on AM radio, so the station began adding more Talk Radio programming to the lineup.  By 1990, the station was fully News/Talk along with some Sports programming.

In October 1994, the call letters changed to WTNM for News-Talk-Mobile. Clear Channel purchased the station and its FM sister (but not WKRG TV)  in November 1997 as part of a larger acquisition of stations in the Mobile and Pensacola markets.  Interestingly, this put the station under the same ownership umbrella as another TV station in the market, NBC affiliate WPMI-TV. 

When the FCC opened up the expanded AM band in the mid-90's, the station applied for and was granted a permit to move to 1660 kHz as a remedy from Cuban interference.  As with all expanded band stations, the requirement was for 10 kW days and 1 kW nights non directional, with AM stereo.  For reasons unknown, Clear Channel never built the new facility out and the permit expired.  To this day, the station continues to suffer from reception difficulties in the evenings and after dark due to the presence of high power Radio Rebelde broadcasts from Cuba, from multiple transmitter sites, on 710 kHz.

In October 2002, the station was granted a permit to relocate from their existing site to a location off US-43 near Industrial Parkway in Saraland.  That facility would have run 6 kW non directional during the day and 2.1 kW with a four tower directional array at night.  Much like the aforementioned expanded band permit, this was never built out.

With the station being owned along with Mobile NBC affiliate station WPMI-TV, Clear Channel changed the call sign of this station to WPMI in August 2004 as part of a co-branding effort with the TV's stations newsroom.  News breaks were expanded as part of the partnership, and the station changed from its longtime ABC Radio News affiliation to NBC Radio News.  After just a year, the station dropped NBC News Radio for Fox News Radio services.  At the end of June 2007, the call sign reverted back to WNTM.

At some point in the summer of 2010, this station began simulcasting on the new HD-2 subchannel of WRKH-FM.  Clear Channel re-branded as iHeartMedia in 2014.