|City of license||Lincolnton, North Carolina|
|Power||1,000 watts day
231 watts night
|Affiliations||Jones Radio Network|
|Owner||Hrn Broadcasting, Inc.|
WLON(1050 AM) is a radio station broadcasting an classic country format and serving the Lincolnton, North Carolina area, and owned and operated by HRN Broadcasting. WLON AM is also the home of Lincolnton High School football every Friday night, Atlanta Braves baseball, NC State Wolfpack and UNC Tar Heels college basketball.
WLON's morning show is called "Morning Magic with Milton Baker" and is hosted by Lincoln County native Milton Baker. News is broadcast by longtime news director Larry Seagle. Voice production is primarily done by talent Lilly White.
Jon Mayhew, owner and publisher of The Carolina Scoop, once produced Cherryville Ironman football games on sister station WCSL (1590AM) and produced a classic rock/oldies show on 1050AM called "Groovy Tunes."
WLON also carries Mike Walker's "Saving the 70s", a show devoted to the music and culture of the 1970s, on Monday afternoons at 4pm.
Frank Hall of Lake Wylie, Tommy Hunter of Belmont and Jeff and Vivian Nichols of Lincolnton owned the 34-year-old WLON, the only radio station in Lincoln County. Jeff Nichols was general manager. The format was adult contemporary/oldies. Larry Seagle had been news director for 18 years. Tim Biggerstaff had been a DJ for about 10 years.
On April 1, 1993, Cherryville-based KTC Broadcasting Inc. took over WLON in a lease agreement. KTC was buying the station but would operate it under a lease agreement until the Federal Communications Commission approved the sale. WLON would join The Piedmont Superstations Radio Network of WCSL in Cherryville, WGNC in Gastonia and WOHS (730 AM) in Shelby, which simulcast most of their programming. The change would mean 24-hour broadcasts on WLON for the first time with the addition of a call-in sports talk show from Las Vegas. Biggerstaff would remain as morning DJ, and his show would be heard on all four KTC stations. News for the entire area would be expanded. The four stations aired UNC football and basketball, Atlanta Braves baseball, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins NFL football, and CBS coverage of such events as The World Series and The Super Bowl.
Some WLON listeners did not like hearing their station lose its local focus, and they signed a petition to bring back the old WLON.
The four stations added the NFL Carolina Panthers when the team began playing in 1995. They also aired games of the NBA Charlotte Hornets. In 2000, the stations began airing the Redskins again instead of the Panthers (WGNC aired the Panthers if there was no conflict).
Late in 1999, the four stations changed from country music to "super oldies." Biggerstaff, the program director, said country had moved away from its traditional sound. Lillie White remained as midday host, and Andy Foster was afternoon host. Local and sports remained important, and the stations aired the One-on-One sports radio network at night.
In 2004, Biggerstaff was still hosting his show on WCSL and WLON despite diabetes-related health problems. Later he moved to Lincolnton-based Hometown Radio's Shelby operation. On WADA he played classic country music and hosted a "Swap Shop" show on WGNC and WOHS. By this time he had experienced a kidney transplant and two pancreas transplants.
- Joe Marusak, "New Owner Will Cut Positions at WLON," The Charlotte Observer, March 24, 1993.
- Joe DePriest, "New Friend Offers Gift for Ailing DJ," The Charlotte Observer, April 14, 2004.
- Richard Walker, "Changing Their Tune with Emergence of Stronger FM Stations, AMs Must Adapt to Survive," The Charlotte Observer, August 14, 1993.
- David Poole, "Sports Finds Many Homes on Dial," The Charlotte Observer, October 4, 1995.
- David Scott, "Sports Business," The Charlotte Observer, November 20, 2000.
- Sharon E. White, "Up-Tempo Oldies Push Country Aside at 4 Stations in Regional AM Network," The Charlotte Observer, December 5, 1999.
- Joe DePriest, "DJ's Listeners Friends in Need and in Deed," The Charlotte Observer, June 7, 2007.