FM Technical Profile: WZBQ

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Station Name:
94.1 ZBQ
Transmitter Location:
[map] [bird's eye] [street view] About a mile south of Carrollton on Commerce Street (AL-17).
Power (ERP):
98 kW
Beam tilt ERP 100 kW
Antenna HAAT:
1,007 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
:PS-94.1ZBQ (song title/artist) Time-present Text-941ZBQ TUSCALOOSA'S HIT MUSIC PTY-None Listed PS-WZBQ-FM
More Information:
[Image] Picture of the display of an Insignia HD portable's RDS decoding the Radio Text and PS (call sign) fields.

[Studio] Street View imagery of the iHeartMedia studios in downtown Tuscaloosa.
Pickens County Broadcasting Company (P. M. Johnston, R. E. Hook, Carl Sauceman), owners of WRAG AM in Carrollton, were awarded a permit for a new FM station on 94.1 MHz in the summer of 1965.  The call sign was originally WRAG-FM, but after signing on it became WWAG.  The station initially transmitted from the current transmitter/studio site with 29.59 kW ERP from a Gates FM-5G feeding a CCM FMA-6144 antenna with 14 bays. 

The call sign changed to WAQT in either 1973 or early 1974.  It's unclear what the format was in the early days, only that it was programmed separately from the AM.  By the late 70's it was running a Country music format as "Q 94".  The station changed its city of license from Carrollton, to Carrollton-Aliceville, Alabama in 1975. The station got a boost to 100,000 watts in 1979, when they installed a Harris FM-20H3 feeding a Phelps-Dodge CFM-HP-12 twelve bay antenna at 370.5 feet HAAT.  The boost in power helped them get better coverage in both Tuscaloosa and Columbus, Mississippi. 

The station received another coverage boost in the the summer of 1989 when the antenna height was raised to 1,007 feet HAAT. 

In November 1990 the station flipped to Oldies as WCKO after being purchased by Vintage Broadcasting Corporation for $660,100.  In February 1995 the station flipped to Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) and took on the WZBQ calls that had previously been on the Jasper-licensed 102.5 MHz station broadcasting from a tall tower north of Tuscaloosa. The station also added the syndicated Steve and DC morning show.  Steve and DC had previously worked in Tuscaloosa on their way to their later home in St. Louis.  Clear Channel purchased the station (along with several others in the Tuscaloosa market) for $3.2 million in 1997.
In July 2003 the station aquired an RDS encoder, which proudly sent text advertising WNRN's programming. I assume WNRN is who they aquired the equipment from. :)  In October 2003 the RDS went off, but it was back on by December 2003, with the correct info.