FM Technical Profile: WQSB

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Station Name:


Mainstream Country

Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] Several miles east of Mountainboro, east of Leeth Gap Cutoff Road, on the south side of John L Gap Road.

Power (ERP):
2.55 kW


Antenna HAAT:
1,023 feet

Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.

More Information:



[Studio] Street View imagery of the WQSB and WAVU studios on US-431 in Albertville.

Sand Mountain Broadcasting

This station dates back to an original construction permit issued in October 1948 to Pat Murphy Courington for a new Class B FM station on 98.7 MHz from Albertville, with 2.16 kW ERP (Effective Radiated Power) at an antenna HAAT (Height Above Average Terrain) of 368 feet. Shortly after granting the permit, it was amended to move to 105.1 MHz.  In 1949 the license was transferred to Sand Mountain Broadcasting (Pat Courington and Ivo Sparkman).  That same year the permit was modified to raise ERP to 3.24 kW at 350 feet HAAT. A Gates BF-3D transmitter was specified.  The station's original call sign was WAVU-FM, as it was spawned from WAVU AM in Albertville. The early format of the station is unknown but it likely simulcast the AM much of the time, as was common for early FM "sister stations" to more established AM broadcasters.

In early 1950 another modification was made, to raise power again, this time to 4.7 kW using a Western Electric 504-B-2 transmitter. A license to cover for this facility was filed in June 1950.  At the start, the transmitter was located approximately 2.5 miles southeast of Albertville, presumably along what is today US-431. The studio was listed as 338 E. Baltimore Street in Albertville.  In 1955, the transmitter site was moved to 1.5 miles southeast of Albertville on what is now US-431. 

In 1962, a permit was granted to raise power to 20 kW at an antenna height of 323 feet HAAT. The transmitter was listed as a Gates FM-5B, feeding an Andrew Multi-V 8-bay antenna. A license to cover for this change was filed in January 1964. Later that year, the station would begin broadcasting an SCA (Subsidiary Communications Authorization) on 67 kHz. They would also change the call sign to WQSB, which was said to stand for “Quality Stereo Broadcasters”.  At the start of 1965 the studio was listed as being moved to 103˝ Simpson Street in Albertville, however less than a year later the studio location would be changed to the transmitter location on US-431. The studios are still at this location to this day.

By the mid-70's, the station was reported to be programmed separately from the AM; it was listed in the 1974 Broadcasting Yearbook as having a MOR (Middle-of-the-Road) music format.  In 1976 the station filed to re-describe the existing studio and transmitter location as “2240 Hooper Drive” in Albertville; no such location exists today. In April of that year the station was granted a permit to change transmitter to a Harris 7.5H3, feeding a Harris FMC-7B seven bay FM antenna at a height of 323 feet HAAT.  Control of Sand Mountain Broadcasting passed from Pat Courington (Sr.) to his son Pat Jr. in 1977.  At this time the station was listed in Broadcasting Yearbook as having a Contemporary Hit Music format.

The station was granted a permit to increase power to 100 kW in May 1977. A Harris FM-20H transmitter feeding a Harris FMS-10 ten bay antenna at a height of 313 feet HAAT was specified.  A license to cover for this facility was filed in January 1980. Around this time is when they dropped pop music to go Country, a format the station's had ever since. In 1985 the station received a permit to relocate the transmitter site to its current spot east of Sardis City for better coverage of the growing Gadsden and Anniston areas.  A license to cover for that change was filed in July 1988.

This station was noted to be likely one of the first handful of stations in the state of Alabama to install and run RDS (Radio Data System) on their station, in the mid to late 90's.

In June of 2000, the station was granted a change to drop power to just 2.7 kW from the existing transmitter site.  This was likely done to accommodate Clear Channel, who wanted to optimize some signals of theirs in the nearby Atlanta market, including moving their 105.5 MHz signal licensed to Carrollton to Bowden on 105.3 MHz, for better coverage of Atlanta.

The station filed to make some slight changes to their license in August 2023; it included a drop in power from 2.7 to 2.55 kW, but an antenna HAAT increase from 1,001 to 1,023 feet. A change of directional antenna is also listed, but the coverage should be identical once it's implemented. 

A license to cover for those minor technical changes was filed in early February 2024.