Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Famous Fairhope Radio Station Could Be Demolished

Fairhope, Alabama

406 S. Section St.


If "informal" proposals by applicant Mike McElmurry discussed at a recent planning commission meeting come to fruition, the 406 S. Section street studio of WABF  radio will be demolished to make way for a new six-lot residential project.

Several neighbors came forward to raise concerns about drainage, number of driveway accesses needed, and saving the big live oak tree located on the property.

antennas to be removed
Mayor Kant and commissioner Clark (who owned the property at one time) raised similar concerns, especially about the large amount of storm water that flows through the property.

Planning Director Smith said his department had no objections to the proposal if problems were adequately addressed (especailly drainage) and it would be an opportunity to get rid of the unsightly antenna in the residential neighborhood.

A formal proposal would have to be brought to and voted on by the commission at a future meeting.
WABF is now owned by Eternity Media Group  of Hattiesburg Ms. which also owns AM station WERM in Mobile.

According to previous reports, WABF will continue operating in its current format using the Mobile station's transmitter and antennas; a new studio will be located here, possibly somewhere on Church Street, according to informed sources.


From Wikipedia:

This station began regular operations as "WABF" on August 12, 1961. Licensed to Eastern Shore Broadcasters, Inc., the station was originally part of the J. Dige Bishop Stations Group.[2] It broadcast with 1,000 watts of power, daytime-only, to protect WGAR (now WHKW) in Cleveland, Ohio, from skywave interference.[3]

Almost two decades later, Eastern Shore Broadcasters, Inc., sold WABF to Bee Cee Broadcasting, Inc., in a deal that closed on July 1, 1978.[4] In March 1992, Bee Cee Broadcasting, Inc., reached a deal to sell WABF to Jubilee Broadcasting Company, Inc., for $350,000. The deal was approved by the FCC on April 20, 1992, and consummated on May 11, 1992.[5] In February 1999, Jubilee Broadcasting Company, Inc., contracted to transfer the broadcast license for WABF to Gulf Coast Broadcasting Company, Inc. The deal gained FCC approval on May 5, 1999, and the transaction was formally consummated on May 20, 1999.[6]

In June 2001, the station applied to increase its nighttime signal strength from 4 to 30 watts while eliminating the directional array in use both day and night to reduce skywave interference. The FCC granted a construction permit for these changes on October 1, 2001, with a scheduled expiration date of October 1, 2004.[7] With construction and testing complete in January 2002, the station applied for a new broadcast license to cover these changes. The FCC granted the new license on March 11, 2002.[8]

possible six lot plan


Anonymous said...

Progress ?

Anonymous said...

OK, sounds good. Does the city have a "fence height" restriction? We have one going up in our neighborhood that is 10" tall.

Kori Meyer said...

I grew up in Fairhope in the 70's and have been dismayed by the commercialism I see taking over my lovely little town each time I visit. It seems that developers are taking over my old town and it saddens me. I had hoped to bring my children and grandchildren and show them where I grew up, but obviously it doesn't exist anymore.

Anonymous said...

Huh? I would think the neighbors would be glad to get rid of it .....

Joe Dirte' said...

Why would neighbors want to get rid of it? It's a Fairhope treasure. If I had the money, I'd buy the land and keep it as is, and turn the station into a museum, preserving WABF's history as OUR voice. That's the problem with all the outsiders moving in. You can't appreciate the charm this town one had. It's just build build build, me me me.

Anonymous said...

In the spirit of keeping everything the same, I think we should turn city hall back into a Delchamp's and the antique store across the street into a 7-11.

Anonymous said...

The civic center was the Delchamps and city hall was the token exchange. Great hang out for a kid back then. I agree turning back the clock! I want a slurpee too!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is to the people who grew up in Fairhope "back in the day" and who constantly whine about "how everything is changing" and how "it's not like the town I grew up in" - well, wake up and accept reality or move it along folks. Life is constantly changing - that's a fact of life. There is a book titled "Who Moved my Cheese." I suggest you purchase this book and read it. It's about accepting change. Look, Fairhope was a great town "back in the day" and is a great town now. Yes, I know, when you were growing up here "back in the day" in the land of milk and honey you could walk around town at night bare footed, eat bottomless buckets of ice cream and frolic in the bay all day long without a care in the world. You would squint your eyes and peer across the bay wondering what that place called Mobile was like? Well, it sucked! Fairhope is much better. Now, us Mobile folks and others from around the country and world love Fairhope, as well. As such, these people need places to live so they to can enjoy the bottomless buckets of ice cream and endless frolics in the bay too. To be honest, that bay is probably not as clean now as it was "back in the day." So, I'll frolic in the pool. Anyway, back to the point I was trying to make - tear down that rat haven, termite infested, old radio building and construct some nice new homes so others can enjoy a slice of Fairhope as well!

Joe Dirte' said...

Heck yeah.. slurpies and arcade games!

Anonymous said...

To Mr. sarchastic, I've read the book, I'am very awake, and there are many a small town that did not bow to the developers and a small few and past zoning that enabled them to remain as they were. Many of these towns enjoy a higher quality of life while still retaining good property values. Its your type that has made Fairhope less desirable!

Anonymous said...

Funny, but many a younger person is voting for Karen because they now desire "back in the day".

Anonymous said...

What's next, two red lights in Silverhill. Baahaaabaa
What's this world coming too.

Anonymous said...

If you actually tune into WABF 1220 am, you we hear great home town radio, and it is a great gem of Fairhope no matter what buidling it comes from.
Thank you Lori and Mark