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Engineer Hopes to Keep This AM Alive

Alabama station now features farm, talk and sports

If you’re looking to drive to the studios of “700TheFarm,” take a right at the barn. For real.

“There’s a new radio station in the wiregrass,” says WCNF(AM) in a recent press release. The Class D daytimer had been “Oldies 700 The Wheel,” WEEL(AM). It was owned most recently by Victory Broadcasting, and has been silent at times in recent years.

The station in Dothan, Ala., now aims itself at listeners who “long for a time when radio was just down the road. If you yearn for a station that still signs on and off with our National Anthem. And if you’re lucky enough to have an AM radio in your car, truck or tractor.”

The new owner is James Ricky Carter, CBNT, who tells Radio World he’s also the GM, chief engineer and PD. His wife Barbara handles business, traffic and community relations. They’re shown in the photo.

The station airs agricultural info, news/talk, sports and community programming on 700 kHz. The morning show is sports, hosted by Eli Gold and Stan White. Daytime syndication includes Neal Boortz and Mike Gallagher. Noon and 5 p.m. are dedicated agriculture hours.

“The transmitter plant is a 10-foot-by-10-foot portable building at the base of a 365-foot FM tower outfitted with a folded unipole skirt,” Carter told Radio World.

“The transmitter is a BE 2.5 delivering 1,600 watts in the daylight. A pair of Barix boxes (Instreamer 100 and Exstreamer100) serves as the STL. The processing is a homegrown P4 computer in the transmitter shack with an AudioScience 4500 card running Breakaway software developed by Leif Claesson. A computer equipped with a USB relay board handles the transmitter control duties and also provides remote access via VNC software. A Scott SS32 V5 admirably handles automation duties, while NaturalSoft takes care of programming and traffic logs. The automation, satellite receivers and a Barix Instreamer 500 feed the BT SS16.4 switcher for program delivery to the STL.”

Carter adds: “This is truly a mom-and-pop operation, but I couldn’t bear to stand by and let the FCC kill the frequency. It’s akin to having that old dog hit you with the ‘sad eyes’ at the shelter. You can ill afford to feed him, but you’re taking him home anyway.”