WGTK-FM

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WGTK-FM
City of license Greenville, South Carolina
Broadcast area Upstate South Carolina
Branding Conservative Talk 94.5
Frequency 94.5 MHz
First air date August 15, 1960
Format Talk radio
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 454 meters
Class C
Facility ID 73296
Transmitter coordinates 34°56′29.00″N 82°24′41.00″W / 34.9413889°N 82.4113889°W / 34.9413889; -82.4113889
Former callsigns WMUU-FM (1960-2013)
Owner Salem Communications Corporation
(Caron Broadcasting, Inc.)
Webcast Listen Live
Website conservativetalk945.com

WGTK-FM (94.5 FM) is an FM radio station licensed to serve Greenville, South Carolina. WGTK-FM is currently owned by Salem Communications Corporation through licensee Caron Broadcasting, Inc.

History[edit]

Bob Jones University applied for an AM license in May 1948, and WMUU-AM went on the air on September 15, 1949 at 1260 AM, programming sacred and classical music, dramatic readings, and evangelical Christian preaching. The call letters stood for "World's Most Unusual University," an early promotional slogan of BJU. Bob Jones, Sr., the founder of BJU, intended the station to operate independently by accepting advertising rather than being supported by the university, but he did not expect the station to make a profit.

The AM station eventually increased its power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts. An FM station was added on August 15, 1960; and in 1965, it became the second stereo station in South Carolina. In 1963, WMUU-FM became the most powerful station in South Carolina, radiating 100,000 watts and increasing its listening radius from fifty to a hundred miles. Bob Jones University also bought WAVO in Atlanta but later sold it in order to focus its efforts on the Greenville station.

In 1973, the WMUU station on the BJU campus was demolished to build Founder's Memorial Amphitorium, completed in 1973. For several years, the studios were located in the FM transmitter building on Paris Mountain.[1] WMUU AM & FM eventually moved to 920 Wade Hampton Boulevard, and BJU transferred ownership of the station to the Gospel Fellowship Association, its missionary arm, headquartered in the same building. WMUU became an independent corporation, although it maintained a close relationship with BJU, and most of its employees were graduates.

Many faculty members in the university's Fine Arts division participated in the station's early operation. For the first year, Bob Pratt served as a temporary manager. He was succeeded by James Ryerson who was station manager for nearly three decades. Jim Dickson, who had earlier managed WAVO, became manager in 1979, and Paul Wright took his place in 1996.[2]

Bob Jones University eventually made most of its beautiful and sacred music exclusive to WMUU-FM, using the AM station for preaching and some religious music. Late in the 20th century, WMUU-AM independently carried mostly religious programming, although it did some simulcasting with the FM station. In 2008, WMUU sold its AM station, which became WPJF, a station with a Spanish format. Some of the programming heard on AM 1260 moved to WMUU-FM, airing late nights.

On August 24, 2012, Bob Jones III announced the sale of the station to Salem Communications, co-founded by BJU graduate Stuart Epperson, and the new owners introduced a conservative talk show format on December 3, 2012.[3] The sale price listed with the FCC was $3 million ($1 million cash, $2 million in a promissory note).[4] In 2013, the older religious and beautiful music format continued to be available via internet streaming. On February 11, 2013, Salem Communication changed the call letters of the broadcast station to WGTK-FM.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rumminger, Barbara. "WMUU: Greenville's Unique Radio". Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ When the station was sold to Salem Communications, it hired Paul Wright to serve as its manager as well. Tom Tradup, "The Birth of a Station," Townhall (February 2013), 74-75.
  3. ^ "BJU-affiliated group selling WMUU," Greenville News, August 25, 2012, 2B. Jones promised "listeners that the new owners will continue to webstream the easy listening music and Christian programming that's now offered."
  4. ^ AllAccess.com; RBR.com, September 17, 2012.

External links[edit]