FM Technical Profile: WVRK

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Station Name:
Rock 103
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] About a half mile north of the Lafayette Road (Walls Street) intersection with US-280, east of Fort Benning.  One tower west of the old location.
Power (ERP):
86 kW
Beam Tilt ERP: 100 kW
Antenna HAAT:
1581 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
:PS-ROCK 103 | PURE ROCK | WWW.  ROCK103 | ONLINE | .COM Time-unknown Text-Rock 103 song / artist PTY-Rock PI-WVRK-FM
AUX: 6 kW @ 73 feet. 60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
More Information:
[Picture] Image showing the Radio Text and PI (call sign) RDS fields decoded on an Insignia HD radio in Baldwin County, Alabama.
[Studio] Street View imagery of the iHeartMedia studios in Columbus.
This station was first officially licensed to broadcast in 1953 as WRBL-FM, but it actually began broadcasting all the way back in 1946, making it Georgia's first commercial FM station to go on the air.  J. W. Woodruff, Sr., operator of WRBL AM 1420 (and WRBL-TV channel 4) received authorization to temporarily began offering FM service to the Columbus area on 96.7 MHz.  His company put on a GE BT-1A transmitter with 250 watts into a 2-bay GE antenna mounted on the WRBL AM tower near the intersection of 15th Avenue and 30th Street in Columbus.  When the WRBL AM tower site moved to Phenix City in 1947, the FM followed, with service originating from a "coaxial vertical" on a 30 foot wooden pole, with 250 watts still.  Through continuous rolling authorizations filed regularly, the station continued to broadcast on FM while not yet being officially licensed; they raised the antenna height to 60 feet and power to 3 kW with a GT BT-3A transmitter.  In 1947 the frequency was changed to 93.3 MHz.  Eventually they were permitted to experiment with powers as high as 10 kW from the 60 foot pole at the WRBL AM site.

The string of temporary authorizations continued into the early 50s, with a 150 foot tower at 1350 13th Avenue (today this is the WRBL-TV studios) in Columbus being utilized at this point.  The actual licensed facility finally signed on from that location in 1952, with 46 kW.  In 1955 the station was licensed to transmit with 25 kW from a site west of Phenix City, Alabama, where WCGQ is located today.

In 1960, the station was granted a permit to move to 102.9 MHz, with 21.2 kW from a RCA-BTF-3B transmitter and an antenna 921 feet above terrain off Lafayette Road north of Cussetta.  The station began operating a Subsidiary Communications Authority (SCA) in 1962.  The station debuted a 100,000 watt signal in 1965, using a Gates FM-20B transmitter.  At this point, the station was known to play Easy Listening/Middle-of-the-Road music to the few people with FM receivers at the time.

When J. W. Woodruff Jr. passed away in 1976, the stations he inherited from his father were broken up and sold off.  When this station was sold to Voice of Columbus in 1978, the call sign was changed to WVOC.  They flipped the format to Modern Country as "V-103".

Towards the end of 1984 the station was acquired by Aylett B. Coleman.  At the start of 1985, he flipped the station to Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) as "Kiss FM" with the new WNKS calls.  Later that year the station was purchased by JRM Broadcasting for $300,000.  They flipped it to J. T. Milligan and J. R. Martin (as M&M Partnership) in 1986 for $3.25 million. In August of 1989, the station changed to WVRK and took up their present Rock format. 

Cumulus acquired the station (as well as a ton of other Columbus signals) in 1997. 

Clear Channel (now iHeart Radio) purchased the station and its Cumulus stablemates in 2002.

In late June 2011 the station received a construction permit for some minor modifications that would increase the antenna height slightly and change the power output from vertically polarized only to vertical and horizontal polarity with beam tilt.  That license to cover came through one month later.