FM Technical Profile: WRSA
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- Station Name:
- Mix 96.9
- AC/Variety Hits
Due south of Redstone Arsenal in Morgan County. West of US-231 along
Telephone Tower Road, off Apple Grove Road.
- Power (ERP):
- 100 kW
- Antenna HAAT:
- 1,010 feet
- 60 dBu protected
map, from the FCC.
MIX 96.9 Time-[?] Text-MIX 96.9 (song) / (artist) PTY-[?]
Image of the radio's text display on an Insignia HD portable radio.
Street View imagery of the station's studio building on Memorial
Parkway SW in Huntsville.
- NCA, Inc.
- An original
construction permit for a Class C FM station on 103.5 MHz was
granted to Paul R. Nielsen in the summer of 1962. Nielsen came to Alabama from New Jersey to work
for NASA as a propulsion engineer at the Marshall Space Flight
Center in Huntsville. Although he had worked on such
high-profile projects as Werner von Braun's Apollo project,
radio also held a special place in his heart. Since he had
land near Laceys Spring that was good for FM broadcasting, he
located the station on his property there, building a ~800 foot
tower for it on his property.
Before the station signed on, it went through
several on-paper changes and received several extensions to the
construction permit. One of those changes was to move to 92.3
MHz, another bumped them to 96.9 MHz. Another change involved
a boost in power from 20 kW to 25 kW; still another changed the city
of license from "Decatur-Arab, Alabama" to just Decatur. The
station finally signed on in the summer of 1966, as WRSA (for RedStone
Using a Western Electric 506-B2 transmitter, feeding an Andrew
1304-1 4 bay antenna, the station carried a Beautiful Music format
from studios located on-site with the transmitter.
In 1975, the station went through some technical changes which
resulted in an even bigger signal. They modified the Western
Electric transmitter and fed it into a new Shivley 6811-14
fourteen-bay antenna with increased antenna height, giving them 50
kW of effective radiated power. In the fall of 1976, the
station installed a Gates FMS-20B transmitter and increased power
again, this time to the full 100 kW allowed. A year later, they
amended their city of license to read "Decatur-Huntsville, Alabama",
no doubt reflecting the fast growth of north Alabama's biggest
city. That same year they also added a 67 kHz SCA (Subsidiary
Paul Nielsen passed away in 2001 at the age of 72. His wife
Penny took over operations (as NCA, Inc.) and still runs the station
to this day. With the beautiful music format now being extremely
niche at the dawn of the 21st Century, the change in
ownership was an opportunity to freshen things up a bit. The
station segued to a more modern-sounding Soft Adult Contemporary
format and began branding itself as "Lite 96.9".
Further changes came in 2005, when the station re-licensed to Holly
Pond as part of a larger re-alignment of the north Alabama radio
dial. They also got a slight boost in antenna height when they
installed an RCA BFG-12 twelve-bay antenna. In 2009 they
changed antennas again, this time to an eight-bay Dielectric DCR-M8.
Over the years, the more modern sound of the station floated more
towards straightforward Adult Contemporary from the laid back,
sleepier sound of yore. The station re-branded in January 2015
to reflect the wider playlist, as "Mix 96.9", keeping the same jocks