AM Technical Profile: WTKI
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- Soft Adult
view] Between Bell Avenue NW and Wilson Drive NW in
South of I-565 on Langford Avenue NW, a block east of Glenwood
- Power (ERP):
- Day: 1 kW
- Night: 1 kW
- 1 tower
0.5 mV/m Daytime
Groundwave Service Contour
from the FCC's Public Files
Post] Morning Host and station owner Fred Pollard, discussing
the ending of the talk radio format in 2021.
Street View imagery of the station's studios on Holmes Avenue, under
I-565 in Huntsville.
Owned by Focus Radio Communications
- // W225AH
// W287DH Huntsville
- In 1946, an
original construction permit was issued to Huntsville Broadcasting
Company (John Garrison, Lauren Mickle and Joe S. Foster, Jr.) for a
new broadcast station. When this facility signed on in the
fall of 1946, it was assigned the WFUN call letters and ran 250
watts unlimited on 1450 kHz, with a Gates 250-C-1 transmitter.
Both transmitter and studio were at 410 Holmes Avenue West in
Huntsville. The format appears to have been full service with
news and music.
Around 1959, a Top 40 station in Miami on 790 kHz paid the station
big bucks for the WFUN call sign, and this station became
The station increased to the current 1 kW day and night power in
1969, with a Gates BC-1T transmitter. At that time, they also
moved the transmitter site from the Holmes Avenue studios to a site
off Mill Street, just north of downtown Huntsville.
Into the 70's the station had a Middle-of-the-Road (MOR) music
With the rising dominance of FM (which became greater when Arbitron
increased the Huntsville market outside the confines of Madison
County), stations like WFIX began to suffer in the ratings.
Through the 80's, the MOR format morphed to Oldies, Country, and
then back towards pop with an Adult Contemporary format. The
license was transferred to David Smith in 1987. In 1989, with
the construction of I-565 taking over their transmitter site on Mill
Street, the station's transmitter was re-located again, this time to
a site off Wilson Avenue Northwest. The application sent to
the FCC had the wrong coordinates, however, showing a site closer to
the old studios on Holmes Avenue West.
In 1990, the call sign changed to WKGL. It appears that the
station had one last hurrah with music in the Big Band/Standards
format, which lasted until 1992, when the station finally flipped to
News/Talk as WTKI, the second talker in the market after WVNN.
That same year, the station was sold to Jennings Enterprises, Inc.
for $100,000. They, in turn, sold the station to Mountain Mist
Media in 1995.
In the Summer of 2001, the station tried returning to music with a
Classic Country format, but this only lasted a year. In 2002,
the station flipped to a "Relationship Radio" format with Talk
focused on healthy living as "The Heart of Huntsville"
WHOH. The experiment didn't last and in 2002 the station
returned to the WTKI calls with ESPN Sports Talk radio. The
station was sold in 2007 to Christian Voice of Central Ohio, Inc.
for $460,000. They paired the station up with WDPT in Decatur
to launch a Christian-leaning News/Talk format as "ProTalk
- It was reported
in early February 2009 that both WTKI and WDPT were shut down by the
owners, citing the down-turned economy as a reason they could no
longer operate. Christian Voice of Central Ohio transferred
the license to Focus Radio Communications at the tail end of
December 2009 and they began LMAing the station, along with WEKI
(formerly WDPT). The stations returned to the airwaves in late
winter of 2010 with News/Talk programming.
early March of 2010 WTKI picked up its first FM translator, W225AH
in Huntsville. In late March 2010, it was discovered that WEKI
had picked up an FM translator, this time in Decatur, W232BX.
Although both stations carry similar programming and use the same
"Talk Radio for Real Life" slogan, they no longer simulcast.
the station's FCC record lists the tower location as south of I-565
where the studios were, the actual location is off Bell Avenue NW,
just north of I-565 and the former site. In 2017, the station
filed a Special Temporary Authority with the FCC to operate with
just 550 watts from an inverted-L longwire antenna at the studio,
citing the loss of their licensed transmitter site.
The station received a permit to construct a new FM translator in
Huntsville on the east side of Monte Santo Mountain on 105.3 MHz in
January, 2018. It will match a translator for their sister
station, WEKI, also on 105.3 MHz, in Athens. The Huntsville
translator signed on in late July 2018, although a license to cover
was not filed until February 2019 (!). The original
translator, W225AH, was moved to another location to relay WQRV-HD3.
In November 2020, the station received a permit to relocate to a new
transmitter site (only blocks from the "licensed" but incorrect
transmitter site coordinates), maintaining the 1 kW day and night
service. As of November 2020, the station continues to operate
on reduced power via the STA first filed back in 2017.
At the start of 2021, the station dropped its long-time conservative
Talk format and flipped to Soft Adult Contemporary, re-launching as
"Easy 105.3". The station is being run by Mike Brandt's
Southern Broadcasting via a LMA (Local Marketing Agreement);
Brandt's company had previously launched the same format on WYDL in
the Corinth, Mississippi market just a week prior to the change