FM Technical Profile: WVFJ

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Station Name:
The Joy FM
Contemporary Christian, talk.
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] Northwest of Greenville, northeast of the intersection of Greenville Road (GA-100) and Forest Road.
Power (ERP):
38 kW
Antenna HAAT:
1611 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.

RDS Logo:
// W271CF Phenix City, AL

HD Logo

HD-2: Worship Music
"JOY Worship"
// W292GF Morrow, GA

HD-3: Christian Hip-Hop/Urban
"LF Radio"
// W270AS Carrollton, GA

More Information:
Radio Training Network
This station dates back to October 1966, when it came on the air as WFDR-FM, companion to 1370 WFDR in Manchester, Georgia.  The call sign stems from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who used to spend time at his residence in nearby Warm Springs, Georgia.  The station started off separately programmed from the AM, with a regional signal, running 29 kW at 490 feet, in stereo.  By the mid-70's, it had an R&B format and had upgraded to a larger signal with 61 kW.  Within Meriwether County, Georgia, Manchester's location roughly halfway between Atlanta and Columbus meant the station was quickly attracted to playing towards a larger market.  Early on it tried to market more towards Columbus with this larger signal and by 1980 was at a full 100 kW to help it better reach that growing metro area.
In August of 1981 the AM and FM were acquired by Provident Broadcasting, a company founded by businessman Bill Watkins and his wife, Joyce, as an outlet for Christian ministry.  They didn't bring the religion until later, however.  Under their early ownership, the stations flipped to country music, with the FM's call sign changing to WQCK on Halloween in 1981.  The station flipped to Christian religious teaching and music in July 1983 as WVFJ (Victory For Jesus).  During this period, the AM dropped its historic WFDR calls for WVFJ (AM) and may have taken on a short-lived stint with adult contemporary music before also going religious.  The station was marketed as "J 93.3".
Under Provident Broadcasting's ownership, the station has tried to move closer to the Atlanta market many times, without much success.  There were approximately eight different applications that were either built or dismissed in their quest to improve reception in the big city.  In 2010 the station changed community of license from Manchester to Greenville in order to facilitate some of the changes.  In this time, the station went from a full class C, down to a C1 and then up a notch to a class C0. The facility that is listed currently, with 38 kW, had a license to cover filed in 2003 but due to objections from Atlanta area broadcasters, it was not officially approved until May, 2016! 

The station requested a boost to 57 kW in 2014, employing a directional antenna pointed towards Atlanta. It was either never granted or was rescinded. 
For over 20 years of Provident Broadcasting's ownership of this station, it has been programmed and managed by Radio Training Network, a Florida-based religious organization which locally programs many radio stations throughout the southeastern US.  Provident sold the station to Radio Training Network outright in 2011.  After the acquisition, the station switched from commercial to noncommercial operation and is now listener supported.  The station picked up the syndicated "Joy FM" service in December 2011 and is now marketed as either "The Joy FM".

The station began broadcasting in the HD digital standard in the summer of 2019, with increased sideband power of 1.52 kW.

On 12 January 2023, the station's 1,600 foot tower was directly struck by a tornado during a severe weather outbreak in the region, causing it to collapse.  The station will remain off the air from that site, operating instead from the WALR auxiliary site in Newnan (metro Atlanta).  They've also switched the Morrow-based translator to relaying the main Joy FM programming instead of one of the HD subchannels to help with coverage.