WAAO shifting frequencies, moving to 93.7

Published 12:02 am Saturday, July 25, 2015

WAAO listeners will be able to find the station on 93.7 soon. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

WAAO listeners will be able to find the station on 93.7 soon. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Local country music radio station WAAO-FM 103.7 is changing its frequency to 93.7 in the coming months, station owner Blaine Wilson said Friday.

Wilson said the change in frequency will take place toward the third or fourth week of August.

“We’ve got a message on the air letting people know it,” he said.

Wilson said for several years, the previous owners of WAAO looked at raising the output power of its signal from 103.7. Radio frequency power transmission is the transmission of the output power of a transmitter to an antenna.

“Because of the stations to the north, south, east and west that were either on that frequency (103.7) or near that frequency, it would never work at raising the power and staying at our current location,” he said. “The transmitter site — which is our motor and transmission — is still at its original location here on Hwy. 29 North, just above Couch Concrete, where the city limits meets Heath.”

Wilson said the only way for his station to go up in power, as 103.7, would be to move the mechanics toward Evergreen.

“That would have been a $500,000 expense,” he said. “It was never feasible to do that.”

Three years ago, Wilson said he began working with a station owner from the Dothan market and an engineer from north Alabama to see about exchanging frequencies.

“This one station owner owns four or five stations in the Dothan, southwest Georgia area,” Wilson said. “He actually needed my frequency to accomplish something in his territory. He was willing to give me one of his frequencies so I can go and accomplish what I wanted to accomplish in my territory.”

Wilson said that 93.7, The Voice, is based out of the Dothan area.

Its current call letters are WDBT.

“The guy that owns 93.7 is going to move that format to 103.9,” he said. “In order to do what he wants to do at 103.9, he wants us to go away at 103.7. We’re going to get 93.7.”

Wilson said the application for the exchange had to be brought to the Federal Communications Commission for a minor change in licensed facilities.

“We got that approval worked out,” he said.

Wilson said the station’s format will not change.