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WBAP-AM logo new.png
City Decatur, Alabama
Broadcast area Huntsville, Alabama
Branding The Big Talker - 800 & 1230
Slogan "The Valley's Big Talker"
Frequency 800 kHz
First air date October 1948
Format News/Talk
Power 1000 watts (day)
215 watts (night)
Class D
Facility ID 44023
Transmitter coordinates 34°35′55″N 87°00′24″W / 34.59861°N 87.00667°W / 34.59861; -87.00667
Affiliations Fox Sports Radio
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
(Capstar TX LLC)
Sister stations WBHP (AM), WDRM, WQRV, WTAK
Website wbhpam.com

WHOS (800 AM, "The Big Talker") is a radio station licensed to serve Decatur, Alabama, USA. The station is currently owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and the broadcast license is held by Capstar TX Limited Partnership. WHOS is one of five stations in the Huntsville, Alabama, market owned by iHeartMedia, Inc..[1] The station is also simulcast on WBHP at 1230 AM in Huntsville, a 106.5 FM broadcast translator in Huntsville, and on WQRV-HD2 (HD Radio).


WHOS broadcasts a news/talk format that serves northwest Alabama and south-central Tennessee.[2] The station's current programming is a simulcast of Huntsville, Alabama, sister station WBHP (1230 AM), "The Valley's Big Talker." The studios for both stations are located in nearby Madison, Alabama.

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,[5] Paul Finebaum of the The Paul Finebaum Radio Network,[6] 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 Atlanta Braves radio network,[7] the Auburn Tigers football radio network,[8] and the Auburn Tigers men's basketball radio network.[9]


This station began licensed operation in October 1948 as a 1,000 watt daytime-only station broadcasting at 800 kHz.[10] Originally owned by North Alabama Broadcasting, the station was assigned the WHOS call letters by the Federal Communications Commission.[11] It ran a country music format for most of its first 40 years.

In February 1987, the broadcast license for WHOS was transferred from Dixie Broadcasting, Inc., to Dixie Broadcasting, Inc. as Debtor-In-Possession. The transfer was approved by the FCC on February 26, 1987.[12] Dixie Broadcasting had filed bankruptcy in an effort to stave off an adverse civil lawsuit outcome regarding the contracted sale of WDRM to W.H. Pollard, Jr., the then-owner of WBHP (1230 AM) in Huntsville, Alabama.[13]

In October 1988, the station, which had been airing a Gospel music format, flipped to an all-Elvis Presley format using the advertising tagline "WHOS alive?".[14] This novel format garnered the station national media attention but failed to gain a local audience and lasted just six months.[15] After the stunt ended WHOS switched to a simulcast of then co-owned WDRM and its country music format.

In January 1992, a deal was reached for the broadcast license for WHOS to be transferred from Dixie Broadcasting, Inc. as Debtor-In-Possession back to Dixie Broadcasting, Inc. The deal was approved by the FCC on March 26, 1992, and the transaction was consummated on September 15, 1992.[16]

In December 1991, Dixie Broadcasting, Inc., reached an agreement to merge ownership of this station with the ownership of WBHP to a new company named Mountain Lakes Broadcasting, Inc., pending the resolution of Dixie's legal difficulties.[17] In October 1993, with Dixie Broadcasting back in good financial standing and the legal issues settled by the appeals courts, the merger moved forward.[18] The deal was approved by the FCC on November 3, 1993, and the transaction was consummated on November 11, 1993.[19]

In November 1996, J. Mack Bramlett, W.H. Pollard Jr., and Trust B Under The Will Of W.H. Pollard Sr. reached an agreement to transfer control of Mountain Lakes Broadcasting, licensee of this station as well as WDRM and WBHP, to Osborn Communications Corporation.[20] The deal was approved by the FCC on January 29, 1997.[21] In November 1997, WHOS and WBHP dropped their shared country music format for an all-news format featuring CNN Radio 24 hours a day.[22]

In August 1998, Osborn-owned Mountain Lakes Broadcasting, LLC, reached an agreement to sell this station to AMFM Inc. subsidiary Ameron Broadcasting Corporation.[23] The deal was approved by the FCC on October 2, 1998, and the transaction was consummated on November 5, 1998.[24]

In February 1999, AMFM Inc.'s Ameron Broadcasting Corporation made a deal to sell this station to Clear Channel Communications through their Capstar Royalty II Corporation subsidiary.[25] The deal was approved by the FCC on March 2, 1999, and the transaction was consummated on March 5, 1999.[26] This deal, a small part of a larger $16.6 billion transaction, included all five of the Huntsville stations currently in Clear Channel's Huntsville station group.[25]

Former on-air staff[edit]

Notable former WHOS on-air staff include George Rose who, along with his alter-ego "Cousin Josh" character, hosted "The Cousin Josh Jam-O-Ree" on several North Alabama radio stations in a career than began in 1948 and ended with his death in 2006.[27]

Former programming[edit]

WHOS and sister station WBHP 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.[28] Both teams played their home games at the Von Braun Center and competed in the Central Hockey League.


  1. ^ Welch, Chris (August 29, 2004). "Critics blast Clear Channel; Superpower of radio, music dominates markets". The Huntsville Times. p. 3G. 
  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. ^ Betowt, Yvonne (April 6, 2002). "Forgive us our debts". The Huntsville Times. p. D1. 
  6. ^ Welch, Chris (March 11, 2001). "Huntsville media outlets keep their doors revolving". The Huntsville Times. p. G5. 
  7. ^ "Affiliate Radio Stations". The Official Site of the Atlanta Braves. 
  8. ^ "Football Affiliates". The Auburn University Official Athletic Site. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Basketball Affiliates". The Auburn University Official Athletic Site. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  10. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook. Broadcasting Publications. 1952. 
  11. ^ "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. 
  12. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19870217GF)". FCC Media Bureau. February 26, 1987. 
  13. ^ "871 F.2d 1023 In re Dixie Broadcasting Inc.". United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. April 28, 1989. 
  14. ^ Voland, John (1988-10-05). "Radio". Los Angeles Times. Straight from the gospel to the Pelvis . . . such is the overnight odyssey of radio station WHOS in Decatur, Ala., which switched formats overnight from gospel music and religious programming to an all-Elvis format Monday morning... 
  15. ^ Plasketes, George (1997). Images of Elvis Presley in American Culture, 1977-1997: The Mystery Terrain. Haworth Press. p. 22. ISBN 1-56024-910-2. WHOS in Decatur, Alabama underwent a similar short-lived experiment, converting from gospel to an all-Elvis format, which for six months generated more media attention than listenership. 
  16. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19920129HE)". FCC Media Bureau. September 15, 1992. 
  17. ^ "Application Search Details (BTC-19911204HS)". FCC Media Bureau. November 11, 1993. 
  18. ^ "Area radio stations merge". The Huntsville Times. November 20, 1993. p. A2. 
  19. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19931008GE)". FCC Media Bureau. November 11, 1993. 
  20. ^ Kaylor, Mike (November 21, 1996). "WDRM gets new owner; format to stay country". The Huntsville Times. p. B1. 
  21. ^ "Application Search Details (BTC-19961205GJ)". FCC Media Bureau. January 29, 1997. 
  22. ^ Smallwood, Dean. "AM stations switch to all news format". The Huntsville Times. p. G6. 
  23. ^ "Five area stations involved in radio merger". The Huntsville Times. August 27, 1998. p. B6. 
  24. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19980928GE)". FCC Media Bureau. November 5, 1998. 
  25. ^ a b "Clear Channel buys AMFM for $16.6B". The Huntsville Times. October 5, 1999. p. B6. 
  26. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19990203GK)". FCC Media Bureau. March 5, 1999. 
  27. ^ Bishop, Kristen (2006-12-09). "George Rose, famous as radio's 'Cousin Josh,' dies at 78; funeral today.". The Decatur Daily. 
  28. ^ Ponder, Darrell (October 5, 2000). "City's 'new' CHL club hits ice for exhibition". The Huntsville Times. p. C3. 

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