|City of license||Cramerton, North Carolina|
|Broadcast area||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|First air date||August 21, 1946 (as WOHS)|
|Power||10,000 watts day
190 watts night
|Former callsigns||WOHS (1946-2009)|
WZGV-AM "ESPN 730" is a Sports talk radio station, affiliated with ESPN Radio. Licensed to Cramerton, North Carolina and owned by HRN Broadcasting, the station broadcasts to the Charlotte, North Carolina area.
History of WOHS
Robert Wallace formed Western Carolina Radio Corporation in 1945 with the intent to sign on a station in Western North Carolina. He was granted a license for 730 AM with the call letters WOHS, with the transmitter located in Shelby just off Hwy 74 East. The station signed on the air August 21, 1946. Wallace signed the station on and then turned over the programming to Hugh Dover. Dover was known as the 'Happy Birthday Man' for his daily renditions to whoever was celebrating that particular day. A mainstay of homes in the community, Dover's popular "Carolina in the Morning" show would run 38 years until Dover's semi-retirement in 1984. One popular guest on the show was Cleveland County native and bluegrass legend, Earl Scruggs. Scruggs and Dover had been childhood friends, growing up in the Flint Hill Community of Cleveland County.
When Don Gibson hosted "Sons of the Soil" in the early 1950s, he told Jonas Bridges, an announcer on the show, that he would write a song that would make him rich. Bridges didn't believe him, but he ended up playing "Oh Lonesome Me" on WKMT in 1957.
WCSL, WGNC and WOHS began airing Atlanta Braves baseball in 1993.
On April 1, 1993, Hastings' KTC Broadcasting took over WLON in Lincolnton in a lease agreement. WLON's Tim 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-Chapel Hill football and basketball, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins NFL football, and CBS coverage of such events as The World Series and The Super Bowl.
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. On Memorial Day 2007, while on the air, Biggerstaff had a seizure and asked for help on the air, and a listener called 911. He ended up being interviewed by BBC London, Today and People Magazine.
History of WZGV
In April 2009, the station was listed as "licensed and silent" on the FCC database. HRN bought the dormant license, moved it to Cramerton in Gaston County, and changed its call letters to WZGV in 2009. Another Shelby radio station took the WOHS letters. WZGV planned to return to the air playing classic hits/oldies as "Groove 730" in February 2010. WOLS morning host Ken Conrad would do mornings, Liz Luke of Magic 96.1 was to be midday host, and Glenn Trent, formerly a radio personality in Asheville, North Carolina, would have the afternoon slot. General manager Lanny Ford said late in February that weather-related "construction delays" were delaying the station's debut to March.
On March 15, 2010, WZGV made its long-awaited debut with its classic hits/oldies format (though the name was Z-730). It boosted its power to 10,000 watts, allowing it to easily cover most of the Charlotte area during the day. However, at night it must power down to 195 watts to protect a cluster of clear-channel stations, including CKAC in Montreal.
In August 2010, WZGV became an affiliate of Fox sports. The oldies format had difficulty attracting advertising because it was on AM, and FM stations had similar music. WZGV moved into the former Magic 96.1 studios, and local shows began September 20. "Bottom Line" was hosted by Lanny Ford with Bill Rosinski of ESPN, Darin Gantt of The Herald and Mike Solarte of News 14 Carolina. "Sports Yapp" with Bryce Johnson moved from WAVO/WTIX. Early in 2011, Richard Walker of The Gaston Gazette began hosting the "Bottom Line" morning show on Tuesdays, Dave Mobley's "The Golf Mob" moved from WFNZ, and Ford announced WZGV would be an Atlanta Braves affiliate.
In its first week a straw poll of listeners conducted by an independent agency found the format of WZGV to be far superior to that of WFNZ. The listeners cited professionalism and signal strength as reasons for their decision.
On August 8, 2011 WZGV switched affiliations to ESPN Radio Network and rebranded itself as "ESPN 730". The change meant Mike and Mike would air in Charlotte for the first time, while Jim Rome and Dan Patrick would disappear. "The Bottom Line" moved from mornings to afternoons with Rosinski three days, Ford one day, and guest hosts on Fridays. The Herd with Colin Cowherd and The Scott Van Pelt Show would also be part of the schedule.
On February 5, 2012, The Sports Sound Off with JT and Kuveikis debuted on WZGV.
In 2012, WZGV's "America’s Garage Radio Show", hosted by Chuck "Crank" Sperry, Chris "Stick" Romeis and "The Car Chick" began national syndication, with affiliates in Greensboro, North Carolina; Arizona and Colorado.
On August 20, 2012, WZGV added David Glenn's Raleigh, North Carolina-based show at noon, and The Sports Pulse, hosted by Mike Pacheco and Rosinski, moved to afternoons. During football season, College Football Preview Show with Ford and Charles Arbuckle airs on Saturday mornings.
On September 9, 2012, WZGV added Carolina Countdown, a 2-Hour NFL pregame show that runs Sunday's beginning at 11am. The show is hosted by Jon Cupo and Travis Wilson sits in as a kick. The show has shown steady growth in the Charlotte market since its inception. It relishes on Charlotte's many different NFL fan bases.
On February 2, 2015, Lanny Ford, general manager since the station started, and former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney announced they were leasing WZGV and WZGM in Asheville, North Carolina from HRN. Hurney, also an NFL Insiders analyst, had worked for WZGV since June 2014, co-hosting one show with Al Gardner and later working with Ford. Ford also said some WZGV programs would air on WZGM.
- Joe DePriest, "Country Music Hall-of-famer, Shelby Native Dies at Age 75 - Singer/songwriter Penned Hit `I Can't Stop Loving You,'"The Charlotte Observer, November 19, 2003.
- Clark, Rebecca (13 March 2009). "Shelby Native Set to Take Paul Harvey's Timeslot on ABC Radio". Shelby Star. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
- "Radio Station WCSL Celebrates 25 Years," The Charlotte Observer, September 27, 1992.
- John Glennon, "Radio Stations to Broadcast Braves Baseball Next Season," The Charlotte Observer, December 19, 1992.
- Joe Marusak, "New Owner Will Cut Positions at WLON," The Charlotte Observer, March 24, 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, "New Friend Offers Gift for Ailing DJ," The Charlotte Observer, April 14, 2004.
- Joe DePriest, "DJ's Listeners Friends in Need and in Deed," The Charlotte Observer, June 7, 2007.
- "Affiliate Radio Stations". The Official Site of the Atlanta Braves.
- Rebecca Clark, "Local Radio Returns to Shelby," The Shelby Star, January 8, 2009.
- http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/amq?.call=WOHS, Retrieved on 2009/01/13.
- Washburn, Mark (2010-01-30). "Charlotte will soon have its 'Groove' on". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-02-02.[dead link]
- Washburn, Mark (2010-02-20). "Ratings slide tied to motorsports' move". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
- Washburn, Mark (2010-03-20). "Boomers who love oldies radio gain one, lose one". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- Washburn, Mark (2010-08-21). "WZGC shelves oldies, tackles sports format". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Washburn, Mark (2010-09-18). "Johnny Jacobs turned up volume on local radio". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- Washburn, Mark (2011-01-15). "Tucson shootings raise questions of media civility". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- Washburn, Mark (2011-08-01). "Sports radio stations flip networks". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
- Washburn, Mark (2012-02-25). "Host on 'K' beat shyness for radio work". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
- Washburn, Mark (2012-08-11). "Picker to tell N.C. toy stories on debut night". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- Washburn, Mark (2012-08-18). "Charlotte TV stations in DNC no-fly zone". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- Washburn, Mark (2012-10-06). "Struggles remain in the air for WTVI". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
- Washburn, Mark (2013-11-15). "Knights games coming to WZGV". The Charlotte Observer. p. 2C.
- Washburn, Mark (2015-02-05). "Hurney takes stake in running ESPN 730 radio". The Charlotte Observer.
- Station Website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WZGV
- Radio-Locator Information on WZGV
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WZGV