WTNI
WTNI 1640 Logo.jpg
Frequency1640 kHz
BrandingBob 106.3
Programming
FormatAdult hits (WANG simulcast)
Ownership
Owner
WXYK, WOSM, WCPR-FM, WGBL, WANG
History
First air date
1950 (570 kHz as WVMI)
2003 (1640 kHz as WTNI)
Call sign meaning
Talk, News, Information (former format)
Technical information
Facility ID87159
ClassB
Power10,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
Links
WebcastListen live
Websitebob1063fm.com

WTNI (1640 AM) is a radio station licensed to Biloxi, Mississippi, which broadcasts an adult hits format as "Bob 106.3" with 10,000 watts daytime and 1,000 watts at night. The station is one of only six broadcasting stations in the United States licensed for 1640 kHz.

History

WTNI began as the "expanded band" twin to WVMI on AM 570. WVMI was initially licensed to Radio Associates in Biloxi. It was granted a Construction Permit in February 1947, and signed on in March 1950. The station originally was limited to daytime-only operation with 1,000 watts. In 1976, the signal was upgraded to 5,000 watts daytime, and 1,000 watts at night. In 1990, WVMI was sold to Telesouth Communications, which changed the format from country music to News/Talk.[1]

Expanded Band assignment

On March 17, 1997 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that eighty-eight stations had been given permission to move to newly available "Expanded Band" transmitting frequencies, ranging from 1610 to 1700 kHz, with WVMI authorized to move from 570 kHz to 1640 kHz.[2]

A construction permit for the expanded band station, also located in Biloxi, was assigned the call letters WTNI on December 13, 2002.[3] The FCC's initial policy was that both the original station and its expanded band counterpart could operate simultaneously for up to five years, after which owners would have to turn in one of the two licenses, depending on whether they preferred the new assignment or elected to remain on the original frequency,[2] although this deadline was extended multiple times.

The new operation on 1640 kHz was licensed in 2003. The WTNI call sign stood for "Talk, News, Information", and the station continued WVMI's News/Talk format. Later that year WVMI ceased operations on 570 kHz., and its license was cancelled on June 26, 2003.[4][1]

Later history

WTNI later began simulcasting WANG 1490 AM's "The Champ" sports format. This simulcast was discontinued on March 8, 2019, with WANG switching to a Classic Country format, and WTNI continuing with sports.[5] However, the following June WTNI returned to simulcasting WANG, now carrying that station's Classic Country programming as "103.5 The Possum".

On December 22, 2020, WTNI and WANG flipped to a tourist information format as 106.3 Casino Radio; the stations primarily carried segments and advertising highlighting local casinos, restaurants, and other attractions in the Biloxi area.[6]

In late October 2021, 106.3 FM began "stunting", playing novelty Christmas music followed by rotating sets of odd songs, including the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song, along with songs from O Brother, Where Art Thou?, including "Big Rock Candy Mountain", and "Man of Constant Sorrow". On October 8, they also ran a teaser between songs, announcing a "brand new station" coming at 5:00. At that time the station flipped to the "Bob" format, which plays "80s, 90s and Whatever". This format was formerly played on WQBB, 105.9 FM, which was changed to "The Monkey" on March 1, 2019.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b "Alabama Broadcast Media Page: AM Technical Profile: WVMI" (almediapage.com)
  2. ^ a b "FCC Public Notice: Mass Media Bureau Announces Revised AM Expanded Band Allotment Plan and Filing Window for Eligible Stations" (FCC DA 97-537), March 17, 1997.
  3. ^ Call Sign History for 1640 (Facility ID:87159)
  4. ^ FCC Station Search Details: DWVMI (Facility ID: 61369)
  5. ^ "Pair Of Classic Country Flips In Biloxi" by Lance Venta, March 8, 2019 (radioinsight.com)
  6. ^ "Casino Radio Debuts In Biloxi". RadioInsight. 2020-12-22. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  7. ^ "Bob Returns To Biloxi/Gulfport" by Lance Venta, October 10, 2021 (radioinsight.com)

Coordinates: 30°28′27″N 88°51′23″W / 30.47417°N 88.85639°W / 30.47417; -88.85639