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Alabama Broadcast Media Page
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Technical and historical information on Alabama's broadcast radio & TV stations.
Technical and historical information on Alabama's broadcast radio & TV stations.

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If you're one of the many people who have missed listening to Fairhope's WABF 1220 after they lost their tower site, you can now hear them on AM 1480, WERM. 

There's no website or social media presence yet, but it appears that iHeart has launched a new country format in Tuscaloosa as WTXT-HD3/92.1 W221DB are now "92.1 The Possum".

That's not to be confused with "92.1 The Possum", a Dallas-area rimshot country station, or the defunct "93.3 The Possum" that once stalked the roads around Huntsville, or the classic country "103.9 The Possum" in Montgomery. We must really like our critters in the deep south. And our country — this will make signal number EIGHT in T-Town with the format. Yikes.

As we do every year, file this one under TOO SOON:

Summit Media has flipped Birmingham AM/translator combo Easy 102.1 WENN to Christmas music.

Because it worked so well last time, right guys?

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East central Alabama's WFXO is about to move back to Sylacauga after a decade serving Clay County from Ashland. The station was purchased by Marble City Media, LLC back in July 2016 and they took over operation in August, switching the format from urban to CHR as Fox 98.3. Now, they've gotten a permit to move it back into Sylacauga again. It'll transmit from the same site it was at prior to the move to Ashland, just south of Sylacauga on US-280. The station will get a little coverage boost out of this, and re-license to the community of Stewartville in the process.

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One of today's releases from the FCC concerns a pirate operator, in Guntersville, of all places. The person responsible was caught twice, and now faces a $15,000 fine. Details in the linked PDF.

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Here's an interesting post by Lance Venta over at Radio Insight. It's about the "secret" format changes he's witnessed so far this year, and it's an interesting insight into how stations have failed to market themselves after they changed formats. The list includes three format flips in Alabama, one of which I managed to completely miss as well: WGZZ HD-4/W242AX in Auburn is now on air with Hot AC as "96.3 W-LEE". Although the station has both Facebook and Twitter presences, it does not appear they marketed the station at all, and none of my usual contributors in that part of the state even noticed that it was new.

The same can be said of the flip of WCNF and its translator in Dothan; it was gospel as "Praise 107.7" until the owners fell on hard times and went off the air. Apparently it's back on as sports with ESPN programming, but no one has noticed. Even their "new" website (http://www.espn1077.com/) is offline.

One has to wonder why stations go through the trouble of revamping their formats, only to not market the change at all, then wonder why they do so poorly with new listeners.

Just a quick heads-up to anyone who might be trying to access ABMP this evening, I'm in the process of migrating to a new server and wound up going about it all backwards, so many of you may experience errors or missing pages for the few hours. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Nielsen has recently released their radio and TV market rankings for 2016 and I thought it would interesting to share the rankings for Alabama's metros as well others nearby markets covered by the website.

First for radio, from biggest to smallest markets:

Birmingham — Market #61, it hasn't changed ranking since last year.
Mobile — Market #100 this year, it was #98 last year.
Huntsville — Market #107 this year, it was #106 last year.
Montgomery — Market #157, it hasn't changed ranking since last year.
Columbus, GA/Phenix City — Market #185, down from #180 last year.
Dothan — Market #192, unchanged since last year.
Tuscaloosa — Market #213, up considerably from #228 last year.

Outside of Alabama:

Biloxi-Gulfport-Pascagoula, MS — Market #145, unchanged.
Pensacola, FL — Market #125, up one slot from #126 last year.
Fort Walton Beach, FL — Market #183, unchanged.

Although Mobile slipped two places, the market itself grew; it just happens that other larger markets grew more, pushing everyone else down a bit. This also affected Montgomery. Columbus' drop was due to this but also population loss in the ranked area.

The Shoals area is the only metro page on the website that is not a ranked market. Some of the stronger stations from the Tupelo, Mississippi market make it into this area, though, and last year it was ranked #193; this year it's been dropped from the rankings entirely. This is likely due to no one in the market subscribing anymore to the ratings. If there are no subscribers, Nielsen won't rank the market at all.

Moving on, let's check out television, which is a vastly different landscape, market-wise:

Birmingham — Market #45, unchanged from last year.
Mobile, Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach — Market #60, down two from year's 58th place.
Huntsville-Decatur-Florence — Market #79, unchanged.
Montgomery-Selma — Market #123, down one from 2015.
Columbus-Opelika — Market #127, unchanged from last year.
Dothan — Market #173, unchanged.

Outside of Alabama:

Panama City — Market #154, unchanged from 2015.
Biloxi-Gulfport — Market #157, up one from 2015.

Once again, Mobile-Pensacola is down a bit but not due to loss of population, just more growth in higher-ranking markets. Although Panama City, Florida is not a covered market on my website, several of the Dothan TV stations have towers south of the state line to cover both that market and Dothan, and in some cases enjoy cable TV coverage in both markets. Some of the bigger Panama City stations are listed on the Dothan page.

As you can see, the TV markets cover everything; there are no unranked television markets. They also cover a lot more territory than the radio markets!

As a bit of trivia, depending on what browser you use, you may see a "popup tip" if you hover over each metro area's graphical button on the left side of the main index screen. They show the radio market ranking number for each metro area. These have recently been updated with the 2016 numbers.



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Local news in Mobile is reporting that the University of South Alabama's student-run station, "The Prowl", is set to sign on its low power FM signal Friday at 10 am.

The station, whose antenna was recently installed on a light pole overlooking one of the athletic fields on campus, will broadcast with 22 watts of power and cover the University and surrounding areas.


Fan of Shoals-area country WLAY-FM take note: the station announced earlier this month plans to move to their new frequency of 100.1 MHz on August 10th. The move will allow the K-Love affiliate in Huntsville to increase its coverage area, which should happen shortly after WLAY makes the switch.
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