WBPT

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WBPT
WBPT-FM logo.png
City of license Homewood, Alabama
Broadcast area Birmingham, Alabama
Branding 106.9 The Eagle
Slogan "The Only Classic Rock Station"
Frequency 106.9 MHz
First air date 1947 on 102.5, then 1957 (as WBRC-FM)
Format Classic Hits
ERP 97,000 watts
HAAT 404 meters
Class C0
Facility ID 5355
Transmitter coordinates 33°29′04″N 86°48′25″W / 33.48444°N 86.80694°W / 33.48444; -86.80694
Callsign meaning Birmingham's PoinT
(former branding)
Former callsigns 1992-2001: WODL
1991-1992: WIKX
1991: WBMH
1977-1991: WKXX
1972-1977: WERC-FM
1947-48, 1957-1972: WBRC-FM [1]
Owner Summit Media LLC
(SM-WBPT, LLC)
Sister stations WAGG, WBHJ, WBHK, WENN, WEZZ-FM, WZZK
Webcast Listen Live
Website birminghamseagle.com

WBPT (106.9 FM, "106-9 The Eagle") is a classic rock music-formatted radio station licensed to Homewood, Alabama, that serves the Birmingham and central Alabama area. The station was assigned the WBPT call letters by the Federal Communications Commission on October 17, 2001.[1] Since October 2005, it has used the branding "106.9 the Eagle".[2] The station is owned by Summitmedia, LLC, along with six other stations in the cluster, and all share studios in the Cahaba neighborhood in far southeast Birmingham. Its transmitter is located atop Red Mountain in Birmingham.

History[edit]

The 106.9 frequency has been the home of several formats and callsigns throughout its history. It originally signed on as WBRC-FM in 1947 as the FM companion to WBRC, broadcasting on 102.5 FM at a power of 500,000 watts. The station was taken off the air the next year so that the station's owners could finance WBRC-TV, which debuted in 1949. The station returned to the air in 1957, broadcasting from its present frequency. Throughout the 1960s, the FM station simulcasted the AM station, a typical practice for its day. By 1971, WBRC-FM was playing Top 40 music, but it was not successful in competing against the AM Top 40 powerhouses WSGN or WVOK. In 1972, both the AM and FM radio stations were sold by Taft Broadcasting to Mooney Broadcasting; as a result, the callsigns of the radio stations were changed to WERC AM and -FM, respectively. The AM station dropped "middle of the road" music (a precursor to today's adult contemporary format) in favor of Top 40. The FM station repeated the AM station's daytime programming, while at night it featured separate album-oriented rock shows.

In 1977, the broadcast facilities of WERC-FM were upgraded, and in July of that year the callsign was changed to WKXX. After several weeks of stunting, WKXX became the only Top 40 station on the FM dial in Birmingham, with the branding "Kicks 106" on August 5, 1977. By the next year, "Kicks 106" had become the top-rated radio station in Birmingham, dethroning the longstanding ratings leader, WSGN "the Big 610" (now WAGG). The success of "Kicks 106" eventually forced both WSGN and WKXX's own AM sister station, branded "96-ERC", to abandon their Top 40 formats.[3]

Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, WKXX was the dominant FM Top 40 station in Birmingham.[4] As late as 1984, Kicks 106 held the top spot in ratings among Birmingham stations.[4] This success continued until 1985, when WAPI-FM (branded "I-95") became the second station in the market to employ the format and surpassed WKXX in the local ratings. In addition, Top 40 stations from Tuscaloosa and Gadsden could be picked up in most of the Birmingham area. By 1987, Kicks 106 modified its format, playing a hybrid of Top 40 and urban crossover music, positioning itself somewhat between I-95 and urban station WENN. Initially, the altered format was successful. However, in 1989, the station returned to a straight Top 40 format, with a new branding, "X-106". The X-106 format and nickname were not well-received, however, and in 1990, the station reverted to branding itself as Kicks 106 and returned to the Top 40/urban hybrid.[3]

In June 1991, WKXX finally abandoned its Top 40 format and became "Real Country 106.9", WBMH. Some six months later, the callsign was changed to WIKX and the Kicks 106 name reappeared (in fact, many of the old Top 40-era Kicks jingles were used), but the station retained its country format. The station was less successful playing country music than they had been in their last days as a Top 40 station.[4]

In October 1992, 106.9 took on its next callsign and format, becoming WODL, "Oldies 106.9". The station continued in this format until October 2001, when the oldies format moved from 106.9 to 97.3, which was co-owned by Cox Radio.[3] At this time, WBPT debuted on 106.9, calling itself "106-9 the Point", playing an all-1980s music format. The Point was usually ranked low in the Birmingham Arbitron ratings. In October 2005, the station added a broader rotation of rock classic hits and adopted new branding as "106-9 the Eagle". The station played hits of the 1970s through the 1990s from artists generally associated with classic rock radio stations. In mid-2014, the station changed formats once again to all classic rock, as evidenced by its new slogan ("The Only Classic Rock Station") and augmented library of songs, generally sticking to the same "rock hits of the 1970s-1990s" repertoire interspersed with a slightly expanded playlist.

The callsign WKXX is now used in Gadsden for an adult contemporary station at 102.9 FM.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. 
  2. ^ Ekman, Jennifer (September 1, 2006). "Cox rocks Birmingham". Birmingham Business Journal. 
  3. ^ a b c "FM Technical Profile: WBPT". Alabama Broadcast Media Page. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  4. ^ a b c "Birmingham 12+ Metro Share". Radio’s On-Line Library. 

External links[edit]