AM Technical Profile: WZOB

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Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] [bird's eye: studio] On Radio Drive, off Glen Boulevard, just west of I-59, west of Fort Payne.
Power (ERP):
Day: 5 kW
Night: 112 watts
1 tower
Other Information:
0.5 mV/m Daytime Groundwave Service Contour from the FCC's Public Files
// W265DS Fort Payne, AL
Owned by Central Broadcasting Company
Glenn Gravitt put this station on the air with help from Colonel J. C. Vessels and H. V. Roberts, under the company name of Fort Payne On The Air.   The original application dates back to 1947 and was for 250 watts.  Before sign on it was upgraded to 1 kW, daytime only and had the WHAG calls.   The station signed on in 1950, with the WZOB calls, and a Western Electric 443-A1 making 1 kW, still as a daytimer.  The Wikipedia article claims the calls stand for Zella Octavia Buttram, daughter of Gravitt's mentor Johnny Buttram, who is cousin to actor Pat Buttram. 

Gravitt became the sole owner of the station in 1951.  The station received a permit to increase power to 5 kW days only in 1954, but this was never built out.  Through the later 50's, the station was a member of the Keystone broadcasting network.  His wife took over ownership after Glenn passed away in 1969. 

Gravitt sold the station to the current owners, Central Broadcasting Company, in 1970.  In 1974 the station was fined $500 by the FCC for violating a rule on promoting lotteries on air. 

The station got the station a boost in power to 5 kW in 1984, as well as an addition of nighttime service for the first time.

The station has had a country format at least as far back as the mid-70's. 

The station was awarded a construction permit for a companion FM translator on 100.9 MHz in mid-April 2018.  It signed on in the fall of 2020.