FM Technical Profile: WTKE

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Station Name:
Sports Talk 100.3
Sports Talk
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] Between Memorial Parkway SW and Robinwood Drive SW, just south and off of Hollywood Boulevard NW. Co-located with WPSM, WNCV, WHWY.
Power (ERP):
3 kW
Antenna HAAT:
469 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
// WTKP Port St. Joe, FL
More Information:
R. Lee Hagan, Receiver (Fort Walton Beach License Company)
This station dates back to May 1993 when it came on the air with the WNCV (NiCeVille) calls, airing an adult contemporary format targeting the area's more affluent listeners.  It was put on the air by a company called Century 100 Broadcasting.  They sold the station to Dothan-based "Radio People" Holladay Broadcasting in 1996.  By March of 2006 the station had been sold to Cumulus.  Later in 2006, the adult contemporary format and WNCV calls moved to an existing station at 93.3 MHz, where they reside today, and this station became a classic rocker, as "K-Rock 100.3" WRKN under Ron Hale's ownership.  The switch happened in the 6 pm hour of August 2nd, 2006.  Hale, who'd owned WNCV, sold it to Cumulus for cash plus this station and AM 1400 in Fort Walton Beach. 
The history of the sports talk "Ticket" format and WTKE-FM calls the station has today goes back to the 98.1 MHz frequency when it was an Andalusia station trying to cater from a distance to the Fort Walton Beach Market.  Instead, it mostly covered cows and trees.  When that station finally managed to relocate itself right into the heart of the Fort Walton area, that station's sports format and call sign moved here.  The station began to be heard on Milton-licensed AM 1490 WTKE in the summer of 2010.  98.1 became WHWY "Highway 98" with a country format. 
Due to financial hardships, the AM WTKE in Milton was off the air after just two years of relaying "The Ticket Sports Network" programming; it really wasn't necessary to help the network serve Pensacola.  By 2010 the station was being heard on translator W246BN in Pensacola, which serves the metro area a bit better than the AM did.  Of interest is that up until May 2016 this station was listed as being a translator for Pensacola's talk station WPNN; it never was.  In May 2016 the parent changed to WDWR, the Catholic religious AM whose tower the 97.1 translator is allegedly on.  It's unclear if the translator is really there, as it remained on the air and operational when WDWR's tower was taken down a few years ago!  A further bit of questionable legality has arisen as the translator has been noted to be carrying different programming from either WDWR, WPNN or WTKE-FM.  Translators are not allowed to originate programming, so the "true" source of this translator's programming was something of a mystery. 

In early February 2018, the FCC finally dismissed the application to cover for the Pensacola-based translator facility, citing unpaid debt or unacknowledged correspondence.  The translator, however, continues to operate from downtown Pensacola, despite the application being denied.  In late March 2018, the station filed for a silent STA to take the translator off the air, citing "red light issues" but the station never actually went off the air, or ceased broadcasting illegally.  A new license to cover has been filed for the Pensacola translator as of 23 March 2018, and it is now being fed programming from Milton's WTKE AM once again.  In September 2019, the FCC again dismissed a license to cover for the translator, citing power level violations of 47 CFR 74.1235.