|City of license||Gallatin, Tennessee|
|Broadcast area||Nashville, Tennessee|
|Branding||104.5 The Zone|
|Slogan||THE Sports Station!|
|First air date||December 1, 1960|
|Callsign meaning||Gallatin's FoX (from its former incarnation as Classic rock 104.5 The Fox)|
|Affiliations||Tennessee Titans Radio Network
Tennessee Volunteers Vol Network
|Sister stations||WKDF, WQQK, WSM-FM, WWTN|
WGFX is a radio station broadcasting on the FM band at 104.5 MHz licensed to the city of Gallatin, Tennessee, but serving the Nashville market as a whole. It is currently branded as 104.5 The Zone, broadcasting a sports talk format. It is owned by Cumulus Media and operates out of studios in Nashville's Music Row district. Its transmitter is located just north of downtown Nashville.
The station signed on as WFMG-FM on December 1, 1960 in Gallatin, Tennessee, about 30 miles (47 km) northeast of Nashville, with a big band format. In 1971, Sumner Country Broadcasting Co., which owned WHIN in Gallatin, purchased WFMG and changed call letters to WHIN-FM. During the early years of WHIN-FM, the format was easy listening. In 1974, the station switched to an all oldies format. In July 1978, WHIN-FM switched formats to contemporary hit radio (CHR). Just over one month later, the call letters were changed to WWKX using the moniker Kix 104.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the station was very popular and featured morning DJ Coyote McCloud. Its 100,000 watt signal broadcasting from "Music Mountain", one of the highest points on the northern Highland Rim north of Gallatin and the site of several broadcasting facilities, boomed far into the rural areas of northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky. By the mid-1980s, Kix 104 was faced with competition from two new area CHRs, "96 Kiss" (WZKS, now WCJK) and "Y107" (WYHY, now WRVW). Additionally, McCloud defected to WYHY in 1985 to host its morning show. To try to differentiate itself, WWKX segued into a rock-leaning Top 40 format calling itself "Rock Hits 104, Kicks FM". This move proved unfruitful, and the station returned to mainstream CHR a year later in 1986. Faced with the success of Y107, this would not last.
In the summer of 1987, WWKX moved its tower from Music Mountain into Nashville and downgraded power, noticeably affecting signal strength in rural areas north of the city. The call letters changed to WGFX on August 13, 1987 and the moniker became 104.5 The Fox with a classic rock format. In the late 1980s, Dick Broadcasting Company (DBC) took over operations of the station through a local marketing agreement, and paired it with its popular rock and roll station WKDF (now a country music station) to form "Nashville's Rock Network". In the early 1990s, the station became known as "Arrow 104.5" (with Arrow originally standing for "All Rock n' Roll Oldies"). This format was somewhat successful and endured until the late 1990s. Although the station went through several position and moniker changes from 1987 to the early 2000s, the station's format mostly involved variations on 1970s rock music (except for 15 months from late 1998 to early 2000 when the station featured rhythmic oldies). The call letters, however, have not changed since 1987.
The station was purchased outright by DBC following the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and then Citadel Broadcasting purchased the station (along with all of DBC's assets outside the Greenville, South Carolina market) in September 2000. Citadel was acquired by Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.
104.5 The Zone
Its current format, "104.5 The Zone" (sports talk), began its life on August 11, 2003 after hiring popular personality George Plaster away from Cumulus Media station WWTN (99.7 FM), though because of a contract dispute, he did not appear on the station until two months after its launch (and left it once Cumulus acquired it in September 2011).
In the early days of the Zone's existence, the station had a heavy focus on local news, and featured general-interest talk on weekdays from 6am-Noon (with sports in other dayparts). Over the course of 18 months, the station migrated to 24/7 sports.
It is currently the Nashville affiliate for The Dan Patrick Show. WGFX has previously served as the Nashville affiliate for The Jim Rome Show, Sporting News Radio, and ESPN Radio in the past, and is currently on its second stint as an affiliate of Fox Sports Radio. It was announced that in 2013 the station would once again drop its Fox affiliation to be an affiliate of the upstart CBS Sports Radio network, but never did actually did so. Shortly afterwards, the CBS Sports Radio affiliation went to a competitor, WNSR, as WGFX retained the Fox Sports Radio affiliation; however, WGFX also retains the hourly minute-long commentaries by CBSSR personalities such as Boomer Esiason and John Feinstein.
WGFX was the flagship station for the Tennessee Oilers/Titans of the National Football League from 1997 until the completion of the 2001 season, when the rights were shifted to WGFX's sister station, WKDF. (WGFX returned as an "affiliate" station of the team's network for the 2004 season only). WGFX also aired the franchise's games in 1996, the final year the team was located in Houston, Texas. WGFX returned as the full-time flagship station of the Titans in 2010.
WGFX is the major Nashville-area affiliate for the University of Tennessee Volunteers football and men's basketball, and also broadcasts selected Belmont Bruins men's basketball games which do not conflict with the aforementioned teams. Coverage of NASCAR can now be heard on WGFX, from both Performance Racing Network and the Motor Racing Network.
Breaks in current format
- Rockin' Hits 104.5 WGFX – Classic Hits, 2002–2003
- The New 104 The Core (briefly known as The New 104—That 70's Station) – Classic rock, 2000–2002
- Groovin' Hits 104.5 (briefly known as Hot 104.5 and Jammin' Oldies 104.5) – R&B Oldies, 1998–2000
- Arrow 104.5 – Classic Hits, 1993–1998
- 104.5 The Fox – Classic Rock, 1988–1993 (call letters changed to WGFX, which stood for Gallatin's FoX)
- KX104 – Top 40, 1986–1987
- Rock Hits 104, Kicks FM – Rock/Top 40, 1985–1986
- Kix 104 – Top 40, 1978–1985 (as WHIN-FM and WWKX)
- WHIN-FM – Oldies, 1974–1978 / Easy Listening, 1971–1974
- WFMG-FM – Big Bands, 1960–1971.
- Fiona – 1999–2000
- Mike "The Duke" Donegan – 2003–2004
- Hallerin Hilton Hill – 2003–2005
- Carl P. Mayfield – 2003
- Coyote McCloud – 1980s
- Mark Howard – 1998–present
- George Plaster – 2003–2011
- Rich "Brother" Robbin – 2002–2003
- Frank Wycheck – 2004–present
- Clay Travis – 2009–2014
- Blaine Bishop – 2010–present
- Brent Dougherty – 2008–present
- Dallas Reese – 1990–1992
- Lauren McCleash – 1989–1992
- Melissa Johnson Sweeton – 1989–1992/1999–2001
- "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WGFX
- Radio-Locator information on WGFX
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WGFX