Thieves Steal 200 Foot Radio Tower

[User:LimoWreck, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

WJLX-AM out of Alabama has been off the air since February 2 after one of the strangest thefts ever. 

According to local reports the general manager was left in shock when he learned that thieves had stolen the station’s 200 foot radio tower. 

NBC News has the strange details

The station, WJLX, sent a landscaping crew to the site Friday morning for spring cleaning, only to find the 200-foot radio tower gone. When a crew member called the station’s general manager to break the news, he was in disbelief.

“What do you mean the tower is gone? Are you sure you’re in the right place? I actually used more colorful words than that,” Brett Elmore recounted to NBC News. “He said there’s wires all over the ground and the tower is gone.”

Not only was the radio tower stolen, but a nearby building was also vandalized. When Elmore heard the door was left ajar, “that’s when reality was starting to set in that something bad had happened.”

The thieves stole every piece of equipment from the building, including a transmitter. Elmore has filed a report with the police.

Huffington Post reports that “WJLX listeners can still visit the station online. But a note on its webpage said that the Federal Communications Commission denied a request to broadcast on FM radio via a sister station.

Local broadcasting colleagues have reportedly offered to help find a temporary transmitter location, according to Inside Radio.

Elmore said that the tower and other equipment weren’t insured, so the station has organized a GoFundMe campaign to raise $60,000 and get back on the air.

As of Friday afternoon, the campaign had raised around $1,400, but Elmore is trying to remain optimistic.”

Earlier in the week, the station announced on its website that “the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied our request to remain on the air on 101.5 FM. Today, we shut down our transmitter and our programming will be streamed via internet and our apps only until we can restore our 1240 AM frequency. Many have asked, ‘How can we help?’

We did not have insurance on this facility. We have been given estimates of $60,000+ to build back and get our station on the air. We have established a GoFundMe, located here.”

The radio channel airs a full-service oldies music and has been a staple of Walker County since the 1950s. 

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