WBHP (AM)

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WBHP
WBAP-AM logo new.png
City of license Huntsville, Alabama
Broadcast area Madison County, Alabama
Branding The Big Talker 800/1230
Slogan "The Valley's Big Talker"
Frequency 1230 kHz
First air date April 22, 1931 (as WBHS)
Format News/Talk
Power 1,000 watts (unlimited)
Class C
Facility ID 44025
Transmitter coordinates 34°43′09″N 86°35′42″W / 34.71917°N 86.59500°W / 34.71917; -86.59500
Callsign meaning Wilton "Buster" H. Pollard (former owner)[1]
Former callsigns WBHS (1931-1933)
Affiliations FOX Sports Radio, Fox News
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
(Capstar TX)
Sister stations WHOS, WDRM, WQRV, WTAK
Webcast Listen Live
Website wbhpam.com

WBHP (1230 AM, "The Big Talker") is a news/talk formatted radio station licensed to Huntsville, Alabama.[2] The station is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and serves all of Madison County, Alabama. WBHP programming is simulcast on WHOS (800 AM), 106.5 FM (translator), and WQRV-HD2 (HD Radio).

Programming[edit]

The 1230 AM frequency serves the greater Huntsville area, while the 800 AM frequency serves nearby Decatur. The Decatur station was formerly known as WHOS and programmed, like WBHP, a country format for many years before becoming a repeater station of its sister FM station (then owned by Mack Bramlett) WDRM, also a country-formatted station. WBHP currently airs a news and talk format with a mix of local and syndicated programs.

Notable local weekday programming includes The WBHP Morning Program with Gary Dobbs and Toni Lowery[3] plus the late-morning The Will Anderson Show. Notable syndicated weekday programming includes Coast to Coast AM with George Noory,[4] The Dave Ramsey Show, Paul Finebaum of the The Paul Finebaum Radio Network, and The Glenn Beck Program. Weekend programming includes local news and sports, Somewhere In Time hosted by Art Bell,[4] Fox News Sunday, and select programming from Fox Sports Radio.

In addition to its regularly scheduled news and talk programming, the station is an affiliate of the Auburn Tigers football radio network[5] and the Auburn Tigers men's basketball radio network.[6]

History[edit]

The station was Huntsville's first AM radio station. The station went on the air as WBHS on April 22, 1931 as a service of The Hutchens Company. "World's Best Hardware Store" is what the WBHS call letters stood for. The studios were in the Russel Erskine Hotel downtown. It was later moved to a building on Governor’s Drive.

During the Great Depression the station ran into financial problems and went off the air in 1933. The FCC re-aasigned the frequency and the new station became WBHP on May 20, 1937. Oddly, the Federal Communications Commission also briefly assigned the WBHP callsign to a low-power South Carolina station in 2000-2001.

WBHP had been through several owners until its acquisition by iHeartMedia, Inc. (formally Clear Channel Communications), its current licensee. The current call letters stem from longtime previous owner Wilton "Big-Shot" Harvey Pollard.[1]

Until the November 1997 switch to all-news, WBHP broadcast a country music format.[7][8]

In the 1960s the country music station changed its format for one hour each Sunday afternoon to classical music. The program was called “The German Hour” and catered to Wernher von Braun’s German rocket scientists and their families.

In March 2010, WBHP began simulcasting its programming on WQRV HD-2. The station can also be heard on 106.5 FM via a broadcast translator, one previously licensed to WTAK-FM.

Former programming[edit]

WBHP and sister station WHOS were the broadcast flagships for the 1999-2000 final season of the Huntsville Channel Cats and for the short-lived Huntsville Tornado for the 2000-2001 hockey season.[9] Both teams played their home games at the Von Braun Center and competed in the Central Hockey League.

Awards and honors[edit]

As a country music formatted station, WBHP on-air personality Dana Webb was nominated for and won a Country Music Association Award as "Small Market Broadcast Personality of the Year" in 1986.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nelson, Bob (2008-10-18). "Call Letter Origins". The Broadcast Archive. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  2. ^ "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. 
  3. ^ "Dobbs, Lowery now on WBHP". The Huntsville Times. May 19, 2007. p. 2B. Dobbs, the former WAAY-TV Channel 31 meteorologist, and radio and TV veteran Lowery are talk show hosts on WBHP-AM 1230 weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. 
  4. ^ a b "Alabama Affiliates". Coast to Coast AM. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Football Affiliates". The Auburn University Official Athletic Site. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Basketball Affiliates". The Auburn University Official Athletic Site. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  7. ^ Smallwood, Dean. "AM stations switch to all news format". The Huntsville Times. p. G6. 
  8. ^ "Member Facts - Ernie Ashworth". Grand Ole Opry official website. Archived from the original on 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  9. ^ Ponder, Darrell (October 5, 2000). "City's 'new' CHL club hits ice for exhibition". The Huntsville Times. p. C3. 
  10. ^ "Broadcast Awards Database: Dana Webb". Country Music Association. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 

External links[edit]