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Adding another antenna

WTLS adds another FM channel

Staff Report

Local radio station WTLS has added another FM frequency. The additional dial setting is 94.7, licensed to Pike Road.

"There are no changes with our original frequencies, 1300 AM and 106.5 FM," station owner Michael Butler said. "This just adds another option in the Montgomery area."

WTLS first hit the airwaves in Tallassee on June 1, 1954. Michael's grandfather, Ned Butler, built the daytime-only AM station at the time on Gilmer Avenue.

Michael acquired the station in 1999, making it a 24-hour operation. A new building was built in 2000 as the business relocated to the Tallassee Industrial Park with the addition of a new tower and transmitter.

"We got the first FM translator on 106.5 FM in 2007," Butler added. "It has been a great asset with our coverage."

That same year, WTLS was named the Alabama Broadcasters Association Station of the Year.

The first FM tower going up in 2011

"In 2011, we put up a new 430-foot tower behind where the old station and tower stood for almost 50 years. It enhanced our signal greatly.

"The opportunity to add another frequency opened up a few years ago. The 94.7 channel will fill in some of the gaps in the Montgomery area. A lot of our listeners experience some break up while commuting outside of Tallassee listening to our shows. They can switch between the channels to have a cleaner signal."

Butler and former mayor Bobby Payne cutting the ribbon at the station's new location in 2000

Butler hopes that the door will open for new listeners as well.

"We're a Tallassee station and always will be. Still, our programming appeals to more than just a Tallassee audience. We expect to add some new offerings that will boost the listenership even more."

The radio business has changed a lot in the 67-plus years of WTLS.

"It's always changing," Butler said. "We're always trying to adapt with the times. People listen in different ways. Many listen via the internet. There are no boundaries. We get feedback from people listening and now watching in different countries."

WTLS broadcasts regularly through Facebook with a live video feed. Some of its programming, i.e. high school sports, is also available on YouTube through Tallassee Times TV.

"The business has been around for a long time. We owe that to the listeners and sponsors. And, we're always trying to improve. The partnership with Tallassee Times has been beneficial for our advertisers. It's another way to incentivize what we have to offer."

WTLS Line-Up

6 a.m. - 9 a.m. The Wake-Up Call
9 a.m. - Noon Chris Plante
Noon - 2 p.m. River Region Sports
2 p.m. - 6 p.m. Paul Finebaum
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. The Wake-Up Call Replay
8 p.m. - Midnight 80's Flashback
Midnight - 2 a.m. America Tonight
2 a.m. - 6 a.m. Paul Finebaum Replay