AM Technical Profile: WVNN

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Talk, News
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] Day: Just west of the Limestone/Madison county border on US 72, west of the intersection with CR-87.
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] (Former) Night:  Just east of I-65, north of the intersection with US-31 north of Athens. Discontinued in late 2019.

Power (ERP):
Day: 7 kW

Day: 1 tower, omnidirectional

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

[Studio] Street View of the Huntsville market Cumulus studios on Lee Highway in Athens.

Owned by Cumulus Broadcasting LLC

Athens Broadcasting Company (Homer F. Dunnavant) was granted an original construction permit for a new station in November 1947.  The station was originally on 1010 kHz, and ran 250 watts daytime only.  It signed on in December 1948 as WJMW with a Gates BC-250-GY transmitter from a site on Hines Road next to what is now the Athens Fitness Park. 

In the winter of 1953 the station applied to change from 1010 kHz to 730 kHz; by the fall of that same year it was on the air on the new frequency and with 1 kW, albeit still as a daytimer. 

From at least the 60s, and possibly from the beginning, the station aired a Country music format and was strictly a local Athens station. 

The station sought a big change in 1981 when it applied to move to 770 kHz.  That move allowed it to boost power during the day to 10 kW and incorporate nighttime service for the first time, with 500 watts directional.  The new transmitter site was relocated out of Athens city limits and just off I-65 on Looney Road.  The new facility signed on in 1984 and broadcast in stereo with the Harris system.  The station dropped its longtime country format for News/Talk in 1988, and has been talking ever since. 

In the early 90s, the station changed to a two-site operation, lowering the daytime power to 7 kW from the current daytime listed above, while retaining the old site for nighttime directional operation. 

After the death of Homer Dunnavant, Bill Dunnavant began running the station, along with a few other Huntsville area stations.  They were all sold to Cumulus in 2003.  In 2006, Cumulus added an FM simulcast on 92.5 MHz, and that station became known as WVNN-FM. 
This station has spawned some national talent:  Sean Hannity got his start here, with Dave Stone as his news sidekick.  Hannity also met his wife while working in Huntsville.

The station won a construction permit for a new FM translator in Athens in June 2018. It was never built out and the permit eventually expired.

In October 2019, the station's nighttime transmitter failed and the station began signing off at sunset through a Special Temporary Authority (STA).  That was renewed as recently as November 2020.

The station received a permit to drop nighttime service completely in April 2021, broadcasting during the daytime only with the currently-authorized 7 kW.