WBT-FM

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WBT-FM
Wbtlogo.png
City Chester, South Carolina
Broadcast area Charlotte metropolitan area
Branding News 1110/99-3 WBT
Slogan Charlotte's News, Weather and Traffic
Leading Charlotte's Conversation
Frequency 99.3 MHz
First air date July 28, 1969 (1969-07-28)
Format News/Talk
ERP 7,700 watts
HAAT 182.2 meters (598 ft)
Class C3
Facility ID 10764
Transmitter coordinates 34°47′30″N 81°16′6″W / 34.79167°N 81.26833°W / 34.79167; -81.26833
Callsign meaning Call letters inherited from sister station WBT (AM)
Former callsigns WCMJ (1969-1978)
WDZK (1978-1993)
WBZK-FM (1993-1995)
Affiliations Premiere Networks
Westwood One
ABC News Radio
Owner Entercom
(Entercom License, LLC)
Sister stations WBT, WLNK, WFNZ
Webcast Listen Live
Website WBT.com

WBT-FM ("News 1110/99.3 WBT") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Chester, South Carolina that primarily serves the western region of the Charlotte metropolitan area. The station is owned by Entercom, one of the largest owners of radio stations in the United States. The station's programming primarily consists of simulcasts of the news/talk radio format of WBT, AM 1110 in Charlotte.

WBT-FM was first licensed, as WCMJ, on December 1, 1969. It broadcasts on 99.3 MHz with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 7,700 watts, using a tower nearly 600 feet (182 meters) in height above average terrain (HAAT). The transmitter is located 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of Charlotte, off Armenia Road in Chester.[1] The station is also authorized to broadcast using the digital HD Radio format.[2]

Studios are located at One Julian Price Place on West Morehead Street, just west of Uptown Charlotte, co-located with the city's CBS affiliate WBTV, which previously had common ownership.

Programming

WBT-FM almost always simulcasts its AM sister, WBT (AM), although the two have occasionally carried separate programming.

History

Early years

The station first went on the air in on August 30, 1969 as WCMJ, owned by the York-Clover Broadcasting Company.[3] From 1978-1993 the station used the call letters WDZK and was known on the air as 'K99' playing a format that, today would be considered Adult Top 40.

WBT simulcast

Despite its clear-channel status, WBT (AM)'s signal is spotty at best in some parts of the Charlotte metropolitan area at night (particularly the western portion) because it operates with a directional antenna at night in order to avoid interfering with KFAB in Omaha, Nebraska, which also operates on 1110 kHz. To improve its local nighttime coverage, in 1947 WBT began operating a synchronous booster transmitter, located in Shelby.[4], however use of this booster ended in the early 1960s.

In 1995, WBT's then-owner Jefferson-Pilot bought WBZK to provide a better signal to the western part of the market at night. At this time the call letters were changed to WBT-FM.[5] (In 1947, an FM sister station at 99.9 MHz was put on the air.[6] That station was discontinued in the mid-1950s. Sister station WLNK also previously used the call letters WBT-FM.) In 2012, WLNK added a simulcast of WBT on its HD subcarrier.

Sale to Entercom

On July 19, 2016, Greater Media announced that it would merge with Beasley Media Group. Because Beasley already had the maximum number of stations in the Charlotte market with 5 FM's and 2 AM's, WBT-AM-FM and WLNK were spun off to a divestiture trust, eventually going to a permanent buyer.[7] On October 18, 2016, Entercom announced that it would purchase WBT AM/FM and WLNK, plus WFNZ.[8] Upon the completion of the Greater/Beasley merger on November 1, Entercom began operating the stations via a time brokerage agreement, which lasted until the sale was consummated on January 6, 2017.

References

  1. ^ "Predicted Coverage Area for WBT-FM 99.3 FM, Chester, SC" (radio-locator.com)
  2. ^ WBT-FM Station Search Details (FCC.gov)
  3. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook (1971 edition) page B-185.
  4. ^ "WBT, Charlotte, North Carolina" by Scott Fybush, May 15, 2003 (fybush.com)
  5. ^ Tim Funk and Blair Skinner, "Family Sells Off WBZK FM", The Charlotte Observer, February 2, 1995.
  6. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook (1953 edition) page 220.
  7. ^ "Beasley Acquires Greater Media" by Lance Venta, August 3, 2016 (radioinsight.com)
  8. ^ "Entercom Acquires Beasley Charlotte Spinoffs" by Lance Venta, October 18, 2016 (radioinsight.com)

External links

  • Official website
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for WBT
  • Radio-Locator information on WBT
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WBT
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