AM Technical Profile: WVNA

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Talk, News

Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] Near where Milk Springs Road and New Cut Road meet, just west of Old US Highway 43. Co-located with WQLT and WFIX on the tallest of the three visible towers in the street view.

Power (ERP):
Day: 5 kW
Night: 55 watts

Day & night: 1 tower

Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files



[Studio] Street View imagery of the Singing River Media studios on East 2nd Street in Muscle Shoals.

Owned by Singing River Media Group

// W244EF Florence, AL
This station dates back to an original construction permit issued to Jesse Henry Hammond (d/b/a Power Center Broadcasting Company) for a 5 kW daytime only operation on 1590 kHz.  When it signed on in early 1955, it transmitted with a Collins BC-5B transmitter from a site about two miles from downtown Tuscumbia on Memphis Pike. Studios were at 112 South Main Street in Tuscumbia.  From the very beginning, it had the WVNA calls.  The license was transferred to Elton Darby in 1956.  In 1959, the studios moved to 509 North Main Street in Tuscumbia. 

In 1960, the station received a permit to operate at night with 1 kW from a directional antenna system.  This necessitated a move to a new transmitter site just south of the junction of 2nd Street and US-72 in Sheffield.  The new facility signed on in 1964.  One year later, the station would launch an FM companion in WVNA-FM.

As far back as the early 70's, the station appears to have had a Middle of the Road (MOR) music format, leaning towards Adult Contemporary in the late 70's and early 80's.  The station flipped to a News/Talk format in the mid-80's.

For a brief time in 1999 to 2000, the station was owned by Cumulus.

The station was acquired by Clear Channel in 2000.  In 2006, the station's license was transferred to URBan Radio Licenses (Kevin Wagner).  It appears that translator W266AU on 101.1 MHz may have been paired with the station while it was News/Talk, at least briefly.  The translator went silent in 2008 after storm damage to the transmitter and never came back on the air.  (This translator was actually licensed for use with WLAY AM, and had previously been paired to Clear Channel's WJOR FM before being sold to URBan.)

In late June 2010 WVNA and Shoals-area WLAY lost the lease on their combined transmitter site.  The stations were off the air until a new site was located and facilities built. This station was transferred from URBan Radio to Kevin Wagner in January 2013.  As of December 2014 the station is on the air but only on nighttime power 24/7.  This station appears on the FCC silent list as of 12/14/2014, although it's reported to broadcast regularly.  The station finally went fully silent in April 2015.

On 7 December 2015 Kevin Wagner-led URBan Radio filed a pleading with the FCC to keep the license for this station and WLAY active, claiming to have found a buyer for both stations; the request was granted on the 15th of December.  The stations collectively will have been off for exactly a year as of the 16th, which normally means they are automatically deleted by the FCC.  As part of the request, URBan wants to return WVNA to the air from a temporary longwire installed on the WQLT-FM tower in Colbert County, with 2,000 watts.  The station resumed broadcasting the next day, on the 16th, with Rock music and WVNA-FM liners, although it is not a direct simulcast of the FM station.  That simulcast was ongoing as of January 2017, when URBan filed an application to permanently relocate the station to the WVNA-FM tower nearby on New Cut Road.  That permit was granted in late April 2017.
On 5 July 2017, Tuscumbia Utilities disconnected the power to the studios in town, causing all the stations to lose their programming feeds.  The stations fell silent (but remained on with dead air).  The station returned to the air on 12 July 2017.  After going off air again for a long period, the station popped back up at the end of December 2017 playing Classic Country music, most likely to keep the license active.

The station was granted a permit to relocate to a site south of town, where WQLT and other stations are located, in April 2017.  The station would drop from 5 kW days and night to 1 kW days and 48 watts at night.

The station was granted a construction permit for a new FM translator on 96.7 MHz in mid-September 2018.

The station was sold, along with the other URBan Radio group of stations, to Singing River Media Group in October 2018, for $1.275 million.  Singing River Media Group is headed by James Michael Self, whose father (D. Mitchell Self) was the former owner of WLAY AM and FM.

As of the start of 2020, the station is reported to be simulcasting its FM sister station WVNA-FM's Rock format.  The permit to move south of town in 2017, is still not built; in November 2020 the permit was modified to raise nighttime power slightly to 55 watts.  The station was reported off the air while the translator remained on and broadcasting in late November 2021.

In July 2022, the translator was reported to be airing a News/Talk format, while the parent station (WVNA) was off the air and WVNA-FM was still rock; about a week after the translator came on, the AM was signed back on with the News/Talk format. A license to cover for the new transmitter location was granted in mid July 2023.