AM Technical Profile: WVMI
Talk, News, Sports
Biloxi, south of McClellan Road, west of where it intersects with
Tucker Road, north of I-10.
5,000 watts day /
4 towers day:
lobe to the south-southeast, secondary lobes to the north-northeast
east-northeast / 4 tower night: Primary lobe to the southwest,
lobes to the northwest and east-southeast.
Owned by Rainey
James H. McKee,
Odes E. Robinson and G. E. Holmes (as Radio Associates) were granted
a construction permit for this station in February 1947.
Originally meant to go on air from the Broadwater Beach Hotel in
Biloxi, the transmitter site moved to east of Biloxi (near where
Clay Boyd Park is today in Ocean Springs) before the station signed
on in March 1950. From the start, the station has had the WVMI
calls, but originally it was a 1 kW daytime only operator with a
Collins 20-K transmitter. The studios did eventually move to
the Broadwater later in 1950.
In 1960, ownership changed to New South Communications, Inc.
They moved the studios to the Trade Winds Hotel at 863 East Beach
Boulevard. At the time, the station was known to have a Top 40 music
format. They installed a Gates BC 1J transmitter in
1961. This station spawned an FM companion in 1966; the two of
them combined simulcast and at one point had a 68 share in the
embraced Top 40 on FM quickly, and by 1969 the station had begun
transitioning to a Country music format, and was full-in with
country by 1970.
The station received a permit to boost power to 5 kW days and
install their first nighttime service — 1 kW, directional, using a
six tower array — in 1974. That facility signed on in 1976,
using a CCA AM-5000DS transmitter, from the last-used transmitter
site, described above. At some point in the early 70's, the
studios moved to 570 DeBuys Road in Biloxi.
The station began broadcasting in C-Quam AM stereo around 1986 or
'87. Family Group Radio Inc. bought the station in 1987.
They, in turn, sold it to Telesouth Communications in 1990, along
with the FM, for $2.1 million. Telesouth flipped the format
from country to News/Talk. At some point since then the
station tried a return to country, focusing on older country hits,
but it didn't last and the format was soon back to talk radio.
G&R Radio bought the station in 1995 for $125,000. The
station applied for an AM expanded band companion station in 1997,
seeking to move to 1640 kHz. That permit was granted in 2000
and was assigned the WTNI calls for "Talk News Information".
Triad (as Monterey Licenses) bought the station in 2000 for $900,000
(this may have included other G&R stations.) After the
companion expanded band station signed on in June 2003, this
facility's days were numbered. In the first week of November
2003, the station went dark and all programming moved to 1640 kHz.