WBHP (AM)

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WBHP
WBAP-AM logo new.png
City Huntsville, Alabama
Broadcast area Madison County, Alabama
Branding The Big Talker 800/1230
Slogan "The Valley's Big Talker"
Frequency 1230 kHz
Translator(s) 106.5 W293AH (Huntsville)
First air date April 22, 1931 (as WBHS)
Format 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 Premiere Networks
Fox News Radio
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
(Capstar TX LLC)
Sister stations WHOS, WDRM, WQRV, WTAK
Webcast Listen Live
Website wbhpam.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 880 WHOS in nearby Decatur, FM translator W293AH at 106.5 FM, and on 100.3 WQRV-HD2 (HD Radio).

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, Dave Ramsey, Michael Berry, Clyde Lewis and Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.

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] Oddly, the Federal Communications Commission also briefly assigned the WBHP call letters to an FM 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 "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 March 2010, WBHP began simulcasting its programming on WQRV HD-2. The station can also be heard on 106.5 FM, on a 250 watt translator.

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]