AM Technical Profile: WRBZ
- Classic Hits
view] About 4 miles south of Wetumpka in Elmore County.
Along and west of US-231 between Periwinkle Lane and Jasmine Forest
- Power (ERP):
- Day: 5 kW
- Night: 80 watts
- Day &
night: 1 tower, omnidirectional
0.5 mV/m Daytime
Groundwave Service Contour from the
FCC's Public Files
- // W238CE
Owned by Terry Barber Enterprises (TBE, LLC) as Little
- WETU (WETUmpka)
is reported to have signed on in October 1954 at 1570 kHz with 250
watts daytime. In 1956 the station had a permit to move to the
present dial position of 1250 kHz, with 1,000 watts daytime.
By 1958 the station had upgraded to 5 kw. This change was
facilitated by WCOV in Montgomery, who moved from 1240 kHz to former
the WJJJ frequency of 1170 kHz. 1570 kHz was later occupied by
WRWJ in Selma.
- The format of
that time was country with a real western influence. It was
owned by Elmore Service Corporation, who in some ways also started
WNUZ in Talladega and WRFS in Alexander City. Charles and James
Whatley were involved in Elmore. James took on the business
end and Charles was the engineer.
- The original
site of the station was an old saw mill just north of town; the
antenna was a 180 ft free standing tower. Since the station
started on a higher frequency, they moved to a taller tower when
they went down the dial.. The old tower lay unused until later
purchased for use as a CB antenna (!) which is still standing near
Weoka Creek in Titus.
- In the 60's the
station tried to get into the Montgomery market but didn't have much
- Supposedly this
station had an FM allocation, and when a new studio was built in the
60's an FM studio was included; the FM license was never put on the
air. Another story has this station battling with another in
Wetumpka, Oklahoma for the WETU calls. Oklahoma is west of the
Mississippi and therefore the calls start with 'K' but who knows
what may have happened in the heyday of AM radio! Perhaps it
wasn't Oklahoma but Wetumpka, Florida or some other locale.
- The station
switched to a black gospel format from black adult contemporary
music at some point between 2000-2004 (!) and also airs a lot of
brokered (paid) programming.
- In the summer
of 2006 the station adopted some urban oriented talk programs,
adding the moniker, "The People's Station". They are keeping some
gospel in the lineup.
- It was
reported in mid-January 2009 that the station is now staying on 24
hours. They have had an authorization to run 80 watts at night
for quite some time.
- As of
late June 2009 the station had acquired a Special Temporary
Authority (STA) to rebroadcast on a translator in the Montgomery
area. W239BN, licensed to Headland, previously carried WAQS
out of Ozark. The translator had a Construction Permit (CP) at
the time to increase power to 250 watts, moving to north Montgomery.
March of 2010 it was reported that the station began airing soul
music at night.
middle of March 2011 saw a complete format flip, from gospel and
urban "Soul Classics" to classic hits as "KOOL 95.7", with calls
changing from WAPZ to WRBZ. The oldies music is fed via Dial
Global's Kool Gold satellite feed. The
Spanish-language programming, including a top 40 type music show,
continue to air on weekends.
October 2011, Greenville-area station WKXN relocated from 95.9 to
95.7, causing interference to WRBZ's FM translator. The
translator quickly moved to 95.5 MHz, with almost identical
coverage. In May of 2015 the station was sold J&W LLC for
$210,000 to Terry Barber Enterprises. Barber already owns WMGY
AM and is a former Bluewater GM in the city. In addition to
the AM, Barber will be operating this station's FM translator via a
LMA (Local Marketing Agreement) starting 1 May 2015. In late April
2016 it was noted that the studio/office space in Wetumpka appears
to have been vacated. In August 2016 it was noted that the
weekend limited Spanish programming was gone.