WLNK

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WLNK
107.9 The Link logo
City of license Charlotte, North Carolina
Broadcast area Charlotte/Metrolina
Branding 107.9 The Link
Slogan Life is Short, Have Fun!
Frequency 107.9 MHz
First air date 1961 (as WBT-FM)
Format Modern Adult Contemporary
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 516 meters
Class C
Facility ID 30834
Callsign meaning W LiNK
Former callsigns WBT-FM 1961-August 31, 1978
WBCY August 31, 1978-November 22, 1989
WBT-FM November 22, 1989-July 21, 1995
WWSN July 21, 1995-March 15,1997[1]
Owner Greater Media
Webcast Listen Live
Website 1079thelink.com

WLNK, known on the air as "107.9 The Link", is a 100,000 watt radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina. It broadcasts at 107.9 MHz, primarily serving the Charlotte metropolitan area. On air programming consists of Hot Adult Contemporary music driven by radio personalities. Its studios are located west of Uptown Charlotte and shares a transmitter tower with former television partner WBTV.

Current weekday programming includes Bob & Sheri, The Kelly McKay Show, Matt & Ramona, and Anthony Michaels.

The station was owned by Philadelphia-based Lincoln Financial Group (which took over Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting in 2006) until 2008. The WLNK callsign predates its previous owner and thus, similarities to the name "Lincoln" are coincidental. On November 12, 2007, as Lincoln Financial began to liquidate its broadcasting assets, Greater Media announced plans to acquire WLNK, along with sister stations WBT and WBT-FM, for $100 million,[2] a deal which was finalized on January 31, 2008.

History[edit]

WBT-FM was first heard on the 107.9 frequency in 1961, but this was actually the second incarnation of WBT-FM. Those call letters were used on WBT's first FM service at 99.9 MHz from 1947-1954. Clyde McLean was the original announcer on WBT-FM, and the station was purposed for "Storecasting" or playing background music for businesses in the Charlotte area. Very little advertising was sold on the station, and the company's television station, WBTV was becoming profitable for the company. For that reason, Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Company decided to abandon WBT-FM.

The station's broadcasting equipment was donated to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which then started a non-commercial station, WUNC-FM.

Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Company returned to FM broadcasting in 1961. The station at 107.9 was one of the first FM stereo stations in the nation. Initially, the station aired a mixture of classical music and beautiful music, but by the mid-1960s was airing the beautiful music format produced by Schulke Radio Productions.

On August 31, 1978 at 6 P.M., beautiful music WBT-FM [3] became "WBCY-108, Charlotte's Best Rock". According to an ad appearing in The Charlotte Observer September 1, WBCY played 108 hours of music uninterrupted by commercials. Artists played included Chicago, Peter Frampton, The Rolling Stones, Carly Simon, Billy Joel, and Eddie Money. Popular announcers on the station during this time included John Lambis, Chris Jones, Alan Ryan, Becky Kent and Fred Story. Over the next 11 years, the station moved back and forth between adult top 40 and high-energy adult contemporary.

In the early '80s, WBCY hired Johnny Ray Isley as morning host, and later added Billy James as co-host. After John Boy accepted Jesus, he eventually decided he was being asked to play inappropriate songs[citation needed], and he quit WBCY in February 1986. Bob Lacey, a veteran announcer for WBT (AM) and WBTV, replaced John Boy temporarily.[4] Jim "Catfish" Prewitt also paired with Billy, who left the station in April. Later in 1986, Randy Cook and Spiff Dingle became the new morning hosts, while John Boy and Billy went to work for WRFX.[5]

WBCY was also the home of popular Contemporary Christian music program, "Visions" hosted by Ken Mayfield. The program aired every Sunday morning from 1985 until 1993 when Mayfield left to manage WRCM.

In December 1988, Randy and Spiff were fired because WBCY intended to moved toward "a more adult-oriented sound." They became the morning hosts at WFOX in Atlanta.[6] Later in the year, WBCY announced that Lacey would be the station's morning host.[7] The station returned to the WBT-FM call letters[1] and changed its format to mainstream adult contemporary under the moniker "Sunny 107.9". Sheri Lynch joined Bob in 1992. Eventually, the station's music began leaning in a top 40 direction again.

In 1995, WBT added an FM frequency to reach more listeners west of Charlotte at night, and the WBT-FM letters went to the former WBZK-FM in Chester, S.C.,[8] while Sunny 107.9 became WWSN.[9] In late 1996, the station changed its nickname to "Hits 107.9."

In 1997, the station adopted its current call letters when the format was changed to modern adult contemporary.[10][11] At the same time, it changed its moniker to "107.9 the Link." This format lasted only a few years, and the station returned to a more mainstream sound.

Matt Harris and Ramona Holloway joined WLNK as afternoon hosts in 2001.[12][13]

That same year, Pam Stone began hosting a midday talk show, which meant WLNK was now lifestyle talk during the day on weekdays[14] with music at night and on weekends. Stone's show later moved to weekends before the station ended it. Kelly McKay now hosts the midday program, which features more music than the rest of the station's daytime schedule.

The Bob and Sheri Show is widely syndicated, heard on over 40 stations. Syndication of WLNK's programming is handled by Dial Global.

In December 2010, WLNK switched formats to Hot Adult Contemporary according to the Mediabase reports. Though WLNK remains on the Hot AC Mediabase board, WLNK plays a substantial amount of late 1970s-mid-1980s content, which is out of the ordinary from most Hot AC stations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Call Sign History". Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  2. ^ http://www.greatermedia.com/press/detail.php?ID=279, retrieved on 2008/05/15.
  3. ^ Ron Alridge, "Harry Reasoner Returning to '60 Minutes' This Fall," The Charlotte Observer, August 30, 1978.
  4. ^ Jeff Borden, "Bob Lacey to Replace John-Boy on Interim Basis," The Charlotte Observer, February 13, 1986.
  5. ^ Jeff Borden, "WBCY to Introduce New Disc Jockey Duo on Morning Show," The Charlotte Observer, September 11, 1986.
  6. ^ Jeff Borden, "Randy and Spiff Hit Atlanta," The Charlotte Observer, January 21, 1989.
  7. ^ Richard Maschal, "Bob Lacey to Return to Radio," The Charlotte Observer, November 8, 1989.
  8. ^ Tim Funk and David Poole, "Hornets Factor in Station Purchase," The Charlotte Observer, February 2, 1995.
  9. ^ Tim Funk, "WBTV's Bridges to Be Police's Community Education Coordinator," The Charlotte Observer, August 30, 1995.
  10. ^ Kay McFadden, "So Long, 'Sunny,' Hello, 'Link,'" The Charlotte Observer, March 14, 1997.
  11. ^ Bill Keveney, "Radio Wrap," The Charlotte Observer, December 13, 1998.
  12. ^ Mark Washburn, "The Link Seeks Magic with Drive-Time Team," The Charlotte Observer, March 19, 2001.
  13. ^ http://www.theriseguys.com/aboutmatt.html, Retrieved on 2008/05/15.
  14. ^ Mark Washburn, "107.9 Tries Talk As 'Link' to Women," The Charlotte Observer, July 1, 2003.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°21′50″N 81°11′13″W / 35.364°N 81.187°W / 35.364; -81.187