|City of license||Athens, Georgia|
|Broadcast area||North Georgia|
|First air date||May 1, 1938|
|Power||1,000 watts unlimited|
|Sister stations||WGMG, WPUP, WRFC, WNGC, WXKT|
WGAU (1340 AM, "News-Talk 1340") is a radio station licensed to serve Athens, Georgia, United States, that broadcasts a News/Talk format. The transmitter is located at the studios (with WNGC) in the Five Points area of Downtown Athens.
WGAU began broadcasting on May 1, 1938. It was purchased in 1956 by Clarke Broadcasting Company, owned by H. Randolph Holder and Tom Lloyd, two broadcasters who also owned WLAQ in Rome, Georgia, and WGRI in Griffin, Georgia. Holder was a popular Athens newsman whose morning and midday news commentaries had a wide following.
The station has played many different musical formats before switching to the current format of news and talk in the early 1990s. Over the years, it served as a launching pad for a number of successful broadcasters who worked at WGAU during their student days at the Henry Grady College of Journalism at the nearby University of Georgia. These included Harry Chapman, later with WTVF in Nashville, Tennessee, and Bruce Bartley, the lead newscaster of Atlanta's WSB Radio.
Country legend Bill Anderson was a DJ on WGAU in the 1950s when he was 19, and was fired for playing country music. In an interview with Tim Bryant , Bill said H. Randolph Holder, owner of WGAU, offered him a job under the condition he would not play country music. One evening, Bill was running an Atlanta Crackers baseball game which became rained out. Instructions in the studio said if the game gets rained out, to switch to the CBS Radio Network. When Bill switched to the network, The "Louisiana Hay Ride" was on, and Johnny Horton's "Honky Tonk Man" was playing. Before the song was finished, Holder had called Bill to get the program off the air. Holder fired Bill that following Monday, but got him a job at a new radio station in Commerce.
July 26, 1985, WGAU began broadcasting in AM STEREO.
WGAU, along with sister WNGC, was sold to Southern Broadcasting in 1999. In January 2008, it was announced that WGAU and WNGC were sold (along with sister stations WGMG, WPUP, WRFC) to Cox Radio in Atlanta. WGAU was the home to many University of Georgia sports, which air now on sister "Sports Radio 960 WRFC"
Current notable local programming includes "Athens Morning News" with Matt Caesar and Tim Bryant, "Liz Talk" with Liz Dalton, and "Newsmakers" with Tim Bryant. Notable syndicated programming includes talk shows by right-wing conservatives Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, as well as consumer advocate Clark Howard and the paranormal Coast to Coast AM radio show.
- "Deals," Broadcasting & Cable, January 28, 2008.
- "Affiliate Radio Stations". The Official Site of the Atlanta Braves.
- WGAU official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WGAU
- Radio-Locator Information on WGAU
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WGAU