WBHP

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WBHP
CityHuntsville, Alabama
Broadcast areaMadison County, Alabama
BrandingThe Big Talker 800/1230
SloganHuntsville's Big Talker
Frequency1230 kHz
Translator(s)102.5 W273CX (Huntsville)
Repeater(s)102.1-2 WDRM-HD2
First air dateApril 22, 1931 (as WBHS)
FormatTalk
Power1,000 watts (unlimited)
ClassC
Facility ID44025
Transmitter coordinates34°43′09″N 86°35′42″W / 34.71917°N 86.59500°W / 34.71917; -86.59500Coordinates: 34°43′09″N 86°35′42″W / 34.71917°N 86.59500°W / 34.71917; -86.59500
Call sign meaningWilton "Buster" H. Pollard (former owner)[1]
Former call signsWBHS (1931–1933)
AffiliationsPremiere Networks
Fox News Radio
OwneriHeartMedia, Inc.
(Capstar TX LLC)
Sister stationsWHOS, WDRM, WQRV, WTAK
WebcastListen Live
Websitewbhpam.iheart.com

WBHP (1230 kHz, "The Big Talker") is a commercial AM radio station in Huntsville, Alabama and serves Madison County.[2] The station is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and airs a talk radio format. WBHP programming is simulcast on AM 800 WHOS in nearby Decatur, FM translator at 102.5 FM and on 102.1 WDRM-HD2 (HD Radio). Its studios are located in Madison, Alabama and its transmitter is located southwest of downtown Huntsville.

Programming[edit]

WBHP and WHOS have a local morning drive news and talk show hosted by Toni Lowery and Gary Dobbs.[3] The rest of the weekday schedule is made up of nationally syndicated talk shows, mostly from co-owned Premiere Networks: Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michael Berry, Clyde Lewis and Coast to Coast AM with George Noory. Independently syndicated Dave Ramsey is heard middays, instead of Rush Limbaugh. Even though Limbaugh is syndicated by Premiere, his show airs on talk radio rival 770 WVNN and 92.5 WVNN-FM, owned by Cumulus Media.

Weekends feature shows on money, real estate, cars, travel and home repair. Weekend syndicated hosts include Rudy Maxa, Joe Pags, Gary Sullivan and Bill Cunningham. Most hours begin with world and national news from Fox News Radio.

In addition to its regularly scheduled talk programming, the station is an affiliate of the Auburn Tigers football radio network[4] and the Auburn Tigers men's basketball radio network.[5]

History[edit]

The station went on the air as WBHS on April 22, 1931, as the first radio station in Huntsville. It was a service of The Hutchens Company, a hardware firm. The call sign stood for "World's Best Hardware Store." The studios were in the Russel Erskine Hotel downtown. WBHS 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 reassigned the frequency and the new station returned to the air on May 23, 1937 as WBHP.[6]

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 "Buster" Harvey Pollard.[1]

From its early days until the November 1997 switch to an all-news format, WBHP broadcast country music.[7][8] In the 1960s the country music station changed its format for one hour each Sunday afternoon to air classical music. The program was called “The German Hour” and catered to Wernher von Braun’s German rocket scientists and their families. More than 1500 German scientists, engineers and technicians were brought to Huntsville to work on developing rockets as part of Operation Paperclip.

In 2018, WBHP launched an FM translator on 102.5 to simulcast the station.

Former programming[edit]

WBHP and sister station WHOS were the flagship stations 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. ^ "Football Affiliates". The Auburn University Official Athletic Site. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
  5. ^ "Basketball Affiliates". The Auburn University Official Athletic Site. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
  6. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-5
  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]