AM Technical Profile: WQNO

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Frequency:
690
Format:
Catholic Religious
Transmitter Location:
[map] Chalmette, just west of LA-45 (Paris Rd.) Roughly behind the St Bernard Parish Urban Rapid Transit facility, jutting out into the lake.
Power (ERP):
Day: 9.1 kW
Night: 2.1 Kw
Antenna:
Day: 1 tower
Night: 2 towers [pattern - PDF]
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook Group] A group dedicated to remember the heyday of the station when it was WTIX.
// K285FF Metarie, LA
Owned by Baton Rouge Catholic Community Radio
History:
This station was top 40 WWEZ until 1958, when WTIX 1450 (a class IV AM signal) bought the more desirable frequency. WTIX was one of the 6 Storz stations (Storz was among the nation's earliest and most dominant top 40 broadcasters). WTIX remained a powerhouse in the market from 1958 until the late 70's, AM top 40 became a dinosaur. Keeping the legendary calls, it then embarked on various attempts at a viable format... Oldies, all-talk, nostalgia and back to all-talk. The daytime signal covers a large area; night time one did in theory, but Cuban interference keeps it from being a reality.
 
After hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, the station's transmitter site was heavily damanged and the station remained off the air for some time.  Originally running 10 kW days and 5 kW nights into a 4 tower array, the station had to make do with low power into just one tower after returning to the air in early December 2005.  While off, the calls changed to WIST.  The station came back with a news/talk format as "The Talk Station".  The station, as of December 2009, still ran 2.5 kW days, 1.25 kW nights, off the single tower of the original four that was left standing.  The owners have cited high costs as the reason they are unable to reconstruct the original four tower array.  As of early January 2010, the station is applying to rebuild two of the three felled towers, to increase day power to 8 kW non-directional, and use 2.5 kW directional at night from the original site.  That site is rather unusual, in that the four original towers all in row were built on what appears to be an artificial jetty jutting out into a lake.
 
As the new year 2009 dawned, the station flipped back to music with a standards/nostalgia type format.
 
In early January 2010 the station flipped back to a talk and sports talk hybrid format, airing local hosts noon to 6pm and Fox Sports Radio the rest of the time. Early in October 2010 the station received a construction permit to drop their daytime directional setup for omnidirectional transmissions at slightly reduced power.  That permit appears to be dismissed as of February 2012.  A new and similar permit was issued at the end of May 2012, and it was modified again in the fall of 2014 for increasing nighttime power from 106 watts with one tower to 2.1 kW with two towers.
 
In August 2012 the station was sold by GHB Broadcasting to Catholic Community Radio, who flipped the station to Catholic-based religious programming in December of 2012.  The calls changed from WIST to WQNO at that time.  The 9.1/2.1 kW facility finally came on the air in 2014.  Amazingly, a license to cover for that setup was not sought until July 2017!