WEGG

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WEGG
Surge 100 logo.png
City of license Rose Hill, North Carolina
Broadcast area Goldsboro-Wilmington.
Branding Surge 100
Slogan Duplin County's Most Music (Primary)
Respect The Music (Secondary)
Frequency 710 kHz
Repeaters 100.5 MHz (W263BE)
First air date 1970s
Format Adult Top 40/Dance Hits
Power 2,500 watts daytime only
Class D
Facility ID 17745
Transmitter coordinates 34°51′48″N 78°02′16″W / 34.86333°N 78.03778°W / 34.86333; -78.03778
Owner Conner Media Corporation
Sister stations WZUP
Webcast http://streamdb5web.securenetsystems.net/v5/WEGG
Website http://www.surgeradio.org/

WEGG (710 AM), Surge 100 is an American radio station licensed to serve the community of Rose Hill, North Carolina, USA. The station broadcasts a Rhythmic AC-leaning Adult Top 40 format during the daytime and features many Dance remixes and Classic Dance tracks. After 6pm, the format shifts to more of a Dance-leaning Adult Top 40 format, featuring more Dance remixes and some Dance currents. After midnight, the format becomes fully Dance Hits, featuring all Dance currents and Dance remixes, until 4am when it begins transitioning back to the daytime format, resuming the daytime format at 5am.[1]

WEGG's General Manager is Suzanne Wilson (no relation to founder Jeff Barnes Wilson), who has been working at WEGG since 1976 (age 14). WEGG's Program Director is Ken Santarelli, former co-owner and Program Director of Dance-formatted internet radio station, "The Surge of SoCal", and former Station Rep for KFXM 96.7 FM. WEGG's Music Director is Michael Oaks, current Program Director of KXJM-HD2-Too Wild 107.5-2, former Music Director of KVBE-94.5 The Vibe in Las Vegas, Nevada and former Program Director of KNRJ-Energy 92.7 & 101.1 in Phoenix, Arizona.

WEGG features twice hourly weather reports for Duplin, Pender, and New Hanover counties; news segments from IRN/USA Radio Network at the top of the hour from 5am-9am; obituary information from funeral homes in Rose Hill, Wallace, and Burgaw; and House music mix shows after 10pm on weekends from DJ Mirage, DJ Beatz, Garage Sound System, and Rohit Bangera; as well as Gospel Music, Christian Talk, and Public Affairs programming on Sundays.

WEGG rebroadcasts on FM translator W263BE 100.5 FM. WEGG and W263BE are currently owned by Conner Media Corporation, but W263BE is currently pending sale to Surge Media, LLC which is operating WEGG via local marketing agreement. WEGG reaches all of Duplin County as well as the cities of Benson, Burgaw, Clinton, Elizabethtown, Goldboro, Greenville, Kinston, Jacksonville, New Bern, Smithfield, and Wilmington. Depending on weather conditions, WEGG can be heard as far away as Durham, Fayetteville, Florence, South Carolina, and Raleigh. WEGG's 250-watt translator, W263BE, covers most of Duplin County, extending as far north as Warsaw, North Carolina and as far south as Burgaw, North Carolina in Pender County. While 710 AM is only available during daylight hours, 100.5 FM is available 24 hours a day.

History[edit]

WEGG was founded by Jeff Barnes Wilson in the 1970s. It started out as a country music station and then eventually became Full Service, incorporating Southern Gospel music and Religious programming with the Country format. Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee was part of the programming throughout Wilson's ownership of the station. Many local churches aired their ministries on the station as well. The station carried ABC News as well as The North Carolina News Network. James Kenan High School Football and Wake Forest Sports were part of the programming as well.

The call letters were intended to reflect the poultry industry which is next door to the radio station. Mr. Wilson referred to WEGG as The Wonderful Egg. Charlie Robinson hosted a gospel music program called "All Gospel For All People" and coined the call letters as standing for "WEGG - Where Everyone Glorifies God". WEGG operates on 710 AM - a clear channel. One of the liners for the station was "Clear Channel Radio 71", a Clear station in Rose Hill on the air.

In 1995, Jeff Barnes Wilson, a few months before he passed away, sold the radio station to Dr. Ronald Benfield. The station, shortly afterward, became Country Bear 104.7 & 710 simulcasting with 104.7 FM WBSY. The full time Country format proved to be unsuccessful, and the format was changed to full time Southern Gospel. For a brief time, WEGG and WBSY held a Fundamental Baptist Christian format, then became traditional black gospel.

In late 2000, WEGG and WBSY flipped to a Regional Mexican format. This resulted in a major listener backlash, and a local minister organized a committee to bring Gospel music back to the radio station. WEGG's owner, Dr. Ronald Benfield was invited to a committee meeting at a local church and was met with approximately 500 concerned individuals who wanted the Gospel format back on the radio. WEGG also received threats of the NAACP potentially getting involved. Eventually, WEGG once again returned to Southern Gospel. However, WBSY remained with the Regional Mexican format, changed its call sign to WZUP, and was eventually relocated to Kinston, North Carolina. Though WBSY was no longer apart of the simulcast, WEGG continued to use invoice forms, in which the letterhead read, "WEGG 710 AM / WBSY 104.7 FM" until 2014.

In 2006, WEGG was granted a construction permit for a power increase from 250 watts to 2500 watts, and replaced the original Collins 300G transmitter with a Broadcast Electronics AM2.5E transmitter. Shortly after the upgrade, WEGG was put up for sale, and remained on the market until 2014.

In October 2007, WEGG was branded 710 The Light with a traditional black gospel music format, simulcasting with 104.5 FM WSTK and 98.3 FM WLGT.

In May 2008, WEGG was branded Glory 710 with a traditional black gospel music format, simulcasting with 104.5 FM WSTK and 98.3 FM WLGT.

In June 2008, WEGG was branded Joy 710 with a traditional black gospel music format, simulcasting with 104.5 FM WSTK.

In October 2008, WEGG was branded Gospel Superstation 710 with a traditional black gospel music format, simulcasting with 104.5 FM WSTK.

In 2009, WEGG added FM translator W240BN 95.9 FM which allowed WEGG to broadcast 24 hours a day while the AM signal goes silent in the overnight hours. On June 1, 2009 104.5 FM WSTK broke away from the simulcast and went silent until July 1, 2010 when it returned to simulcasting WEGG.

In January 2011, WEGG was branded Your Christian Radio 710 & 95.9 with a traditional black gospel music format. 104.5 FM WSTK also used the same branding for a time, but was no longer simulcasting at this point. Sermons from local ministers were frequently broadcast. Local ministers also participated in the "Noon Day Prayer" each day at noon, during which time a local minister would offer a 15 - 20 minute prayer, and afterward listeners could call in and request prayer from the minister or share a testimony. The station also featured daily reading of all announcements for the local churches, as well as all the local obituaries.

In early 2013, W240BN was relocated and changed frequencies. A new translator, W263BE 100.5 FM, was launched and the station brand was adjusted to Your Christian Radio 710 & 100.5 accordingly.

In August 2014, Ken Santarelli, former co-owner of "The Surge of SoCal", began talks with Conner Media Corporation about possibly purchasing the radio station. On October 22, 2014 Surge Media, LLC was organized and an agreement was proposed that Surge Media, LLC would purchase FM translator W263BE, and operate WEGG via local marketing agreement for a time, and then Surge Media, LLC would purchase WEGG as well.

On November 1, 2014 Conner Media Corporation entered into a LMA with Surge Media, LLC. On November 4, 2014 an application was filed with the FCC to transfer ownership of translator W263BE from Conner Media Corporation to Surge Media, LLC.[2] On November 15, 2014 Surge Media, LLC flipped the format to Adult Top 40 as Surge 100. Your Christian Radio 710 & 100.5 signed off with "You Can Search" by the Angelic Gospel Singers, and Surge 100 signed on at 2pm with "Hello" by Martin Solveig & Dragonette. WEGG also began streaming online for the first time in its history.

Over the next two weeks after the format change, the radio station received over 100 phone calls from former listeners, many of which were very rude[citation needed]. Many offered to help start a fundraiser to get the Gospel format back on the air. However, Ken Santarelli, owner and manager of Surge Media, refused, stating that the new format was for the purpose of reaching a larger group of people, better serving the needs of the community, and building a stronger income to help keep the radio station alive[citation needed]. Several individuals even began inquiring about trying to purchase the radio station, but Ken stated that he's not in a position to sell the radio station at this time, nor would he be interested in doing so[citation needed]. Some individuals even approached Suzanne Wilson, WEGG's General Manager, directly about purchasing the radio station, but she stated that Surge Media, LLC is already in the process of buying the translator and intends to buy WEGG as well. WEGG continues to offer Gospel music and Christian talk programming from local ministries on Sundays. However, a group of concerned individuals organized a committee for the purpose of bringing the Gospel format back to the station during the week, and invited Ken Santarelli to their committee meeting, but Ken respectfully declined the invitation[citation needed]. The committee was headed by an individual who previously wanted to buy the radio station, but didn't have the funds to do so. Other individuals made comments to Ken that they were convinced that the devil had sent him to take their radio station down, not knowing that Ken is actually a devout Christian and an ordained minister with 3 theological college degrees[citation needed]. After the second week, the commotion calmed down considerably[citation needed].

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. 
  2. ^ "FCC Application". Federal Communications Commission. 

External links[edit]