FM Technical Profile: WTAK

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Station Name:
Classic Rock
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] South of Valhermoso Springs, south of West Point Road and Union Hill Road.
Power (ERP):
5.4 kW
Antenna HAAT:
725 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
HD-2:  Soft Rock
"The Breeze"
:PS-WTAK (artist/song) | WTAK Classic Rock 106.1 Time-[unknown] Text-[unknown] PTY-[unknown] TMC-Metro Traffic PI-KCPQ-FM
More Information:
[Image] Image showing the HD PAD data for the main HD channel.
[Image] Image showing the HD PAD data for the HD-2 channel.
[Image] Image showing the station's RDS data on an Insignia portable radio, with the Radio Text and PI (call sign) fields.
[Studio] Google Photos image of the iHeartMedia Huntsville studios.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the iHeartMedia studios on Peoples Road in Madison.
Dorsey Eugene Newman (as "Radio 106, Inc."), owner of WHRT AM 860, won a permit to build a new Class A FM station in Hartselle in 1991.  The station signed on in August 1992, simulcast the AM's Country music format, with the WYAM calls.  The transmitter location was originally near the intersection of Tall Pine Road and New Center Road, east of Hartselle, giving it coverage of Decatur only rimshotting Huntsville.  In 1993, Griffith Broadcasting bought the station from Newman for $1.5 million and changed it to a Classic Rock/Album Oriented Rock (AOR) hybrid with the WTAK-FM calls, bringing into sisterhood with AM 1000 WTAK in Huntsville.  They also sought an upgrade from 3 kW to 5.4 kW, from the current site, which is further east of Hartselle to better cover Huntsville.  In 1995 or thereabouts an on-channel booster was installed atop Monte Santo Mountain to improve coverage in Huntsville.  The booster ran 150 watts with a tight directional pattern aimed at Huntsville to the west and was licensed to nearby Normal. 

In 1997 the station, along with others in the Huntsville market, were bought by Clear Channel.  The format from this point onward was Classic Rock.

In 2000, the on-channel booster was dropped and converted to a standard translator operation on 106.5 MHz and dropped the aggressive directional setup, but still continued to relay WTAK until it was re-purposed for other uses in the mid-2010s.  The station added HD digital audio in 2005, with an online iHeart Alternative Rock format called "Smells Like The 90's".  That later changed to the Soft Rock "The Breeze" format at some point.