WMFR

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WMFR
WMFR logo
City of license High Point, North Carolina
Broadcast area Piedmont Triad
Branding Triad Sports Network
Frequency 1230 kHz
First air date October 15, 1935
Format Sports radio
Power 1,000 watts unlimited
Class C
Facility ID 73257
Transmitter coordinates 35°57′20.00″N 80°0′22.00″W / 35.9555556°N 80.0061111°W / 35.9555556; -80.0061111
Callsign meaning We Make Furniture Right[1]
Affiliations ESPN Radio
Owner Curtis Media Group
(Crescent Media Group, LLC)
Sister stations WCOG, WPCM, WSJS, WSML, WYMY
Website triadsports.com

WMFR (1230 AM; "Triad Sports Network") is a radio station broadcasting a sports radio format. Licensed to High Point, North Carolina, USA, the station serves the Piedmont Triad area. The station is currently owned by Curtis Media Group and features programing from ESPN Radio.[2]

History[edit]

WMFR signed on October 15, 1935 by the Lambeth family of Thomasville, North Carolina. Among its programs in the early years were Guy Lombardo and Boston Blackie.[1]

WFMY-TV sportscaster Charlie Harville started his career on WMFR in 1938, airing Class D Thomasville Tommies baseball as well as football games.[3][4]

The 8-story Radio Building in High Point housed several banks, including Commercial National Bank, and NCNB in the late 20th century. As of 2005, WMFR had been located in the 83-year-old building since the 1940s, the longest of anyone there, though for five years the station broadcast from outside Greensboro, returning to its former home on Dec. 26, 2000.[5][6]

In the late 40s an FM station, WMFR-FM, was added at 97.7, later moved to 99.5. In 1983 the station became WMAG.[7]

Max Meeks became morning host in 1947; at age 75, he was still there in 2000 when he took time off for heart surgery, but he had no intention of retiring. He did sell furniture for a while starting in the late 1950s, but he came back to radio. Listeners compared him to Walter Cronkite and James Stewart and considered him an old friend. He tried sounding like famous people when he started, but it didn't work. He was at his best just being a regular person. and he played a wide variety of music, even hymns. Among the stars Meeks interviewed from the WMFR studios: Eddy Arnold and The Carter Sisters, but not Elvis Presley ("I didn't think he would amount to anything"). After other medical procedures, when he couldn't drive to the studio, he just broadcast from home. He was named to the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1996.[1] [8][9] Meeks announced his retirement at the end of 2009.[10]

Winfred Red "Diamond" Carter was a WMFR personality for 17 years, playing The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and country and big band music. His Greensboro News & Record obituary said "He was a natural on the radio, warm and chatty, almost like he was sitting in your living room or the front seat of your car. He would take a minute out of every program to read a poem, most of which he had written."[11]

Changes made in 1992 by the Federal Communications Commission allowed a company to own more radio stations than previously possible. Voyager Communications owned WMFR, WMAG and WNEU and would be allowed to sell them in 1994.[12] WNEU was sold to Radio Equity Partners, owner of WSJS and WTQR, later that year.[13]

In 1994, WGLD, at 1320 AM, dropped its adult standards format for all-news radio and began airing Dennis Elliott's WMFR "Opinion Please" show.[14]

In 1995, HMW Communications moved its four stations—WMFR, WMAG, WWWB (which was WGLD) and WFXF--to a location outside Greensboro, though news director Larry Craven continued to do a morning program from the old High Point studios. Wes Jones hosted "Tell Your Neighbor," but he had a producer for the first time—Tom Jorgensen.[15]

In 1996, SFX Broadcasting purchased the HMW stations.[16] In 1997, WMFR and the other SFX stations were purchased by the Capstar Broadcasting affiliate of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Broadcasting Corp. of Dallas, Texas.[17] On July 14, 1999, the company formed by the merger of Capstar and Chancellor Media Corp. began trading as AMFM Inc.,[18] a company which in turn merged with Clear Channel Communications in a deal announced October 4, 1999.[19]

In 1998, WMFR programming was once again heard on 1320 AM (called WTCK at the time), which had changed its format to sports talk, which did not prove successful. Among the programs on WMFR at the time were Larry King Live and CBS Radio Mystery Theater.[20]

In 2001, after Infinity Broadcasting purchased the station (as well as WSJS and its simulcast partner WSML), WMFR added Paul Harvey and The Fabulous Sports Babe, and a local talk show hosted by program director Elliott replaced Dr. Toni Grant in the late afternoon. Other changes included a weekly financial talk show and a show about area businesses.[5] Later in 2001, WMFR added Sean Hannity on weekdays other than Wednesday, replacing Elliott, and Meeks' morning show added more news, focusing more on the Triad as a whole. WSJS began helping WMFR with its news coverage.[21]

WMFR's last logo as a news/talk station, used until July 2010

On February 14, 2007, WMFR (along with WSJS and WSML) was sold by CBS (formerly Infinity) to Raleigh-based Curtis Media Group. This move marries WSJS with FM news/talk station WZTK, which covers both the Triad and Triangle (as well as southern Virginia and as far south as Fayetteville).[22][23]

WMFR dropped its long-standing news/talk format on July 15, 2010, adopting its current sports radio programming.[24]

Programming[edit]

WMFR primarily airs syndicated programming, both national programming from ESPN Radio (including Mike and Mike in the Morning, as well as its nighttime and weekend programs) and the regionally-syndicated show The David Glenn Show (simulcast from WCMC-FM in Raleigh), and The Drive, with Taylor Zarzour and Marc James (simulcast from WFNZ in Charlotte). It also carries Appalachian State Mountaineers football and basketball and High Point University Panthers basketball, as well as select additional local sports coverage.[24]

Most of WMFR's programming is simulcast with WCOG (the former WGLD/WWWB/WTCK) and WSML; all three stations break away to carry certain programming as necessary.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jim Schlosser, "60 Years: WMFR Seeks Relics," Greensboro News & Record, February 3, 1995.
  2. ^ "WMFR Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  3. ^ Eric Dyer, "Thomasville Revives Hi-Toms," Greensboro News & Record, March 1, 1999.
  4. ^ Patrick Wilson, "Special Person - Broadcaster Charlie Harville Was 'Respected by Everyone in Sports,'" Winston-Salem Journal, March 3, 2002.
  5. ^ a b Tina Adams Firesheets, "WMFR Will Debut Revamped Lineup - High Point's Talk-Radio Station Will Ring in 2001 with New Local and Syndicated Shows," Greensboro News & Record, December 30, 2000.
  6. ^ Tarah Holland, "Old Art Deco Letters Show Faces Again," Greensboro News & Record, September 30, 2005.
  7. ^ "Raleigh-Durham FM Dial". Archived from the original on 2003-02-01. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  8. ^ Debra D. Bass, "Max in the Morning: The Homey Voice Listeners Turn On, Off," Greensboro News & Record, September 6, 2000.
  9. ^ John Temple, "Max Meeks - Learning New Tricks," Greensboro News & Record, November 18, 1996.
  10. ^ Kimbrough, Pat (2009-12-02). "Radio icon retiring". High Point Enterprise. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  11. ^ Bob Burchette, "Longtime Radio Voice Silenced," Greensboro News & Record, August 25, 2004.
  12. ^ Sheila Long, "Revision of Ownership Rules Allows Sale of Radio Stations," Greensboro News & Record, January 10, 1994.
  13. ^ Leigh Pressley, "Country Radio Station Gets New Owner," Greensboro News & Record, September 22, 1994.
  14. ^ Jacob Stohler, "Oldies Radio Station Goes to All News WGLD (1320 AM)," Greensboro News & Record, July 22, 1994.
  15. ^ Lex Alexander, "Four Radio Stations Relocate, Spread Out," Greensboro News & Record, May 27, 1995.
  16. ^ Susan Ladd, "4 Triad Radio Stations Under New Ownership," Greensboro News & Record, July 3, 1996
  17. ^ "Firm Becomes Third-Largest Radio Group," Greensboro News & Record, August 26, 1997.
  18. ^ "Briefing," The Denver Post, July 14, 1999.
  19. ^ "Radio Company Proposes $23 Billion Merger," Winston-Salem Journal, October 5, 1999.
  20. ^ Ed Hardin, "Sound of Silence Soon to Dominate Local Sports Radio," Greensboro News & Record, July 31, 1998.
  21. ^ Mark Binker, "Radio Station Undergoing Changes - Dennis Elliott's WMFR Show Has Been Replaced by a National Program," Greensboro News & Record, December 5, 2001.
  22. ^ Richard Craver, "Curtis Media Group Plans to Buy WSJS," Winston-Salem Journal, November 23, 2006.
  23. ^ "Baptist Turns in Application for Imaging Center," Winston-Salem Journal, February 15, 2007.
  24. ^ a b "Curtis Forms Triad Sports Network". Radio Ink. July 14, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Curtis Media Launches Triad Sports Radio Network". WXII12.com. July 16, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 

External links[edit]