|Branding||Alabama Public Radio|
|Affiliations||American Public Media, National Public Radio, Public Radio International|
|Owner||University of Alabama|
|Repeater(s)||WUAL-FM 91.5 (Tuscaloosa)|
WQPR 88.7 (Muscle Shoals)
WAPR 88.3 (Selma)
WHIL 91.3 (Mobile)
Alabama Public Radio (APR) is a network of public radio stations based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, that serves roughly the western half of the state of Alabama with classical music, folk music, and nostalgic music programs, as well as news and feature programs from the National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), and American Public Media (APM) networks. The network is operated by the University of Alabama, with studios in Tuscaloosa.
Since the station is licensed to a university with a broadcasting curriculum, students in the UA College of Communication and Information Sciences get opportunities for practical training in announcing and other varied production duties. Nonetheless, APR maintains a small professional staff, as well as several volunteer announcers from the larger community. The Alabama Public Radio newsroom has recently won over 50 awards for journalism excellence, one-third of which are at the national and international levels. This includes RTDNA's national Edward R. Murrow award for Overall Excellence. The APR news team also works extensively with journalism students at the University of Alabama. Newsroom student interns typically put in 750 hours of work, which results in 142 minutes of Alabama-centric news, heard by many Alabama residents. This provides students with valuable real-life experience and material for their resumes to seek employment, mainly in commercial media.
The University of Alabama established WUAL-FM in January 1982 as the state's fifth public radio station. It emphasized service to the immediate western Alabama area in its first several years, since most of the region had no other access to NPR programming. However, UA soon realized the potential for expansion into other parts of the state without NPR service. Since Birmingham, Huntsville, southeastern Alabama, and Mobile already had existing stations, WUAL and UA officials focused on developing relay transmitters to send WUAL's signal into northwestern and south-central Alabama. Thus, WQPR, originally a joint project with the University of North Alabama in Florence, appeared in the late 1980s. It was followed in the early 1990s by WAPR, which is a joint venture of Alabama State University, Troy University (both of which already owned NPR stations of their own in the Montgomery area) and UA.
In September 2007, WQPR received a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to assist in its conversion from analog to digital broadcasting.
In 2011, due to the desire of licensee Spring Hill College to exit public broadcasting, Spring Hill's NPR member station, WHIL-FM in Mobile, joined APR, effective July 1. That station had been affected, like many throughout the country, by declining listener contributions, which influenced the College to sell the 32-year-old outlet.
APR's studios have been housed in various locations on campus. They were first located on Bryce Lawn Drive and moved to Phifer Hall around 1990. In February 2014 they moved to the University's Digital Media Center, a facility located inside Bryant–Denny Stadium that houses commercial TV station WVUA-CD; the Center for Public Television and Radio (APR's parent organization that produces some regular programs for Alabama Public Television); and Crimson Tide Productions, which is devoted to producing shows featuring UA athletics for commercial broadcast.
Four stations currently comprise the network:
|Call sign||Frequency||City of license||Facility ID||ERP
|WHIL||91.3 FM||Mobile, Alabama||61999||100,000||325 m (1,066 ft)||Southern Alabama, Gulf Coast|
|WQPR||88.7 FM||Muscle Shoals, Alabama||65441||20,000||130.8 m (429 ft)||Northwestern Alabama to Decatur|
|WAPR||88.3 FM||Selma, Alabama||6125||53,000||427 m (1,401 ft)||Black Belt, Montgomery|
|WUAL-FM[a]||91.5 FM||Tuscaloosa, Alabama||69168||100,000||158 m (518 ft)||Birmingham to Mississippi state line|
WLJS-FM (91.9 FM), the student-operated station of Jacksonville State University which broadcasts to eastern central Alabama, simulcasts the first hour of classical music on APR each weekday. No other affiliations, either in personnel or in programming, exist between the two entities.
In addition to the full-power stations, Alabama Public Radio relays its signal via a low-powered translator to widen its broadcast area. The translator station was transferred to Edgewater Broadcasting, Inc under the authority of Summit Media and is a translator of WENN-AM 1320, with an effective radiated power of 35 watts at a height above ground level of 846 feet. Also, the WQPR signal has a translator (W264AI) that covers the Huntsville-Decatur market on 100.7 FM. The area also has two other public stations, WLRH and WJAB.
|City of license||Facility
|W261BX||100.1||Birmingham, Alabama||150818||FCC LMS||Relays WENN|
|W264AI||100.7||Maysville, Alabama||76191||FCC LMS||Relays WQPR|
Unlike many NPR-affiliated stations in recent times, APR has always featured a heavy schedule of locally hosted programs, many of which are unique in featuring special genres of music. Among them are the following: