FM Technical Profile: WPYA
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- Station Name:
- 97.3 Play
Co-located on the American General TV tower on Red Mountain.
- Power (ERP):
- 6.2 kW
6.4 kW with beam tilt
with beam tilt
- Antenna HAAT:
- 1325 feet.
- 60 dBu protected
map, from the FCC.
PS-97.3 Play artist/song
- HD-2: Adult
Album Alternative "Birmingham Mountain Radio"
// W297BF Birmingham
PS-(song) by (artist) on BMR
Text-(song) by (artist)
// W222BK Birmingham
For 97.3 Play
For Birmingham Mountain Radio
Information on the station from the WNCB era
RDS display from the station on a GMC Yukon's radio from the sports
talk WZNN era, showing the old RDS PTY from when it was Buck
RDS display from an Insignia portable in northwest Alabama showing
the Text and PI (call sign) fields from the station's Easy 97.3 era.
RDS display from an Insignia portable in northwest Alabama showing
the Text and PI (call sign) fields from the station's 97.3 Play era.
Display showing the addition of an HD subchannel with no PAD data
AL.com article on Birmingham Mountain Radio's expansion
into the Tuscaloosa market.
Street View imagery of the building housing the SummitMedia studios
off Highway 280 in Hoover.
- J. S. Kelly, LLC
- One of the
newer additions to the Birmingham radio dial, debuting in November
1998 as WEDA, "Hot 97.3". The format was CHR. The orignal owners,
Homewood Radio LLC, sold the station August 2, 1999 to Cox Radio for
$5.5 million*, who had been programming it from the beginning. The
call letters changed to WRLR mid-September, with an active rock
format as "Rock 97.3". On October 17th , the rock went
away and was replaced with the oldies format from WODL, 106.9 FM in
Birmingham. "Dollar" Bill Lawson from WZZK's old morning show did
mornings for a while after the move. Montgomery legend from WBAM's
heyday, Joe Cook, is now on board.
- In July
2004 the station made its upgrade from a class A to C2, moving from
640 to 6,400 watts ERP. This boost allows the station to have a
larger, more solid coverage area but moved or re-allocated at least
nine other stations around
Alabama! It started
in west Alabama, where WLXY was re-allocated from Northport to
Helena, and WTUG was re-allocated from Tuscaloosa to
Northport. In Birmingham, WODL was re-licensed from Homewood
to Gardendale, and WBPT was re-licensed from Birmingham to
Homewood. Elsewhere in Alabama, Orrville's WJAM-FM moved from
97.3 to 107.9 at a new transmitter site closer to Selma; Talladega's
WSSY-FM moved to Goodwater and employed a directional antenna;
Thomaston's WAYI re-located to a new transmitter site north of town;
Clanton's WEZZ moved and re-licensed to Jemison. WZLM,
licensed to Dadeville, was re-allocated from 97.3 to 100.3 MHz.
After these moves, the WODL transmitter site relocated from
the short old tower used by WABM-TV's analog operations off Ishkooda
Road to the new American General tower overlooking downtown. After
the upgrade, the station ran ads mentioning they'd play the last
song on 16 July, which turned out to be a song titled "The Last
Song". After that, they dropped the "Oldies 97.3" slogan and
began running a more CHR-focused oldies format, centered on 70's
two months after the big switch to 70's music, the station changed
formats again. On September 24th they flipped to a
contemporary country format with the slogan, "New Country 97-3". The
calls have also changed to WNCB.
March 2010 it was reported the station dropped its longtime "New
Country" slogan for "The Buck".
station dropped the perennially low-rated Buck country format for
sports as "The Zone" on 30 August 2011 and changed calls from WNCB
to WZNN on 1 September 2011. In August 2012 the station took
over ESPN affiliation from WJOX. As part of the deal WZNN will
air ESPN during non-local programming times, and Cox stablemate WENN
(AM) will air ESPN 24/7, including on a new translator not already
linked to WENN. Also at this time WZNN added a second HD
channel to carry "Power 102.1". Also around this time the
entire Cox cluster in Birmingham was sold to upstart SummitMedia.
- In the
early summer of 2013 it became evident that the station would be
unable to woo Paul Finebaum, who went with ESPN to start a
southern/national show with syndicated by that company. In
June 2013 it was announced that WZNN would not be getting the new
show and would be shuttering the bottom-rated sports format.
On Friday 28 June 2013 the station began stunting with Hawai`ian
music as "Hula 97.3". Shortly after stunting the station
dropped the urban classics "Power 102.1" from the HD2, replacing it
with a relay of the popular online AAA station "Birmingham Mountain
Radio", with a new format for the main channel to debut on the
5th. On the 4th the station became "97-3 The Pledge" with all
patriotic music. The station's latest format from 5 July 2013 is
variety hits as "Y'all FM", which appears to be, at least at the
start, a four hour loop with the same promos, songs and
commercials. In mid-August 2013 the station added a second
subchannel, airing urban music. (Later, that second
short-lived subchannel aired gospel 610 WAGG.)
November 2013 it was announced that the variety hits "Y'all 97.3"
format was moving to WENN and translator W271BN, replacing the
classic urban "Power 102.1" previously heard there. Strong
rumors later hinted that this frequency would flip to soft AC, as
"Easy 97.3", and that happened on 21 November 2013. The calls
also changed to WEZZ-FM around the same time. In a bid to
siphon off some of Magic 96's annual Christmas goodwill, the station
flipped to Christmas music within minutes of Magic's flip on 24
October 2014, making them some of the earliest stations in the
country to go all-holiday music.
- The station briefly
stunted again with Christmas music on 25 September 2015, after teasing
a big announcement that day. They stayed with the format for
just one hour before reverting to their regular soft AC format,
shuffling the Christmas music off to the WENN (AM) and 100.1 MHz
- Rumors of a format flip
began circulation in March, 2016. The station flipped from Soft
AC to Hot Adult Contemporary on Pi Day, March 14th 2016, to try and
slot in between iHeart Radio's WQEN and the more laid-back Magic
96. The Soft AC moved to the translator at 102.1 MHz (fed by AM
station WENN) that had been carrying gospel from 610 WAGG; the gospel
in turn migrated to the 100.1 translator that was previously paired up
with 1320 WENN. The call sign changed to WPYA on 21 March 2016
and began marketing itself as "97-3 Play".
early May 2017, the Birmingham Mountain Radio feed picked up a second
translator, W222BK, in Pelham.
figure provided by the Birmingham News