This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Broadcast area||Albany, Georgia|
|Branding||WALG News/Talk 1590|
|First air date||May 1941|
|Power||5,000 watts (day)|
1,000 watts (Night)
|Callsign meaning||ALbany, Georgia|
|Former callsigns||WALB (1941–1960)|
|Affiliations||Westwood One News|
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
|Owner||Cumulus Media |
(Cumulus Licensing LLC)
|Sister stations||WEGC, WGPC, WJAD, WKAK, WNUQ, WQVE|
As of July 2014[update], weekday syndicated programming includes shows by John Batchelor, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage plus Red Eye Radio and America's Morning News. Weekend programming includes the syndicated The Kim Komando Show hosted by Kim Komando, Smoke This! hosted by Cigar Dave, and Sporting News Radio, and talk shows hosted by Clark Howard, Larry Kudlow, and Gary Sullivan.
On air disc-jockeys included Brother Dave Miller, Bill Young, Steve Preston, Ron Mani, Lil' Country Joe, Ranger Rick Stewart a.k.a. Ricky Horror, Ken Ayers, Tim Rainey, Lisa Lee, and Skip Elliott.
This station was launched as WALB in May 1941 by The Albany Herald. In 1954, the Herald signed on a TV station with the callsign WALB-TV. The AM radio station has been assigned the "WALG" call letters by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) since it was sold by the Herald to Allen Woodall, Sr., in 1960.
From 1959 till about 1970 the station was known as "Johnny Reb Radio". The rock and roll station was a reporting station for the Gavin Report during those years and therefore had much influence in the southeast U.S.
The studios were located in an area north of the city of Albany near a swamp. The area surrounding the station was low country and covered with water most of the time. A raised walkway led from the small parking lot to the studio. Many deejays were delayed in their air shifts because a fat cottonmouth snake would be sunning themselves on the walkway.
WALG was the 'white' pop/rock station in Albany for decades, and was on the cutting edge of the ever-changing pop music scene for most of that period. There were radio alternatives in Albany such as WGPC, Albany's first station which signed on in 1933. It played beautiful music, and was a charter station for the Atlanta Braves when they moved to Georgia in 1966. For country fans, there was WJAZ at 960 AM, and WLYB went on the air in the 1960s, at 1250AM. Its studio was off Old Leesburg Road, near WALG's transmitter. The 'black' station was WJIZ-FM. Its 100,000–watt transmitter put a listenable signal into Panama City, Florida.
At one time, WALG even featured traffic reports from an airplane flying over the city, broadcast via 2-way radio piped through the radio console. WALG was also a social innovator. At a time when black voices were only heard on black radio stations, WALG News featured Eddie Grissom, the first black news voice on a 'white' Albany station. It began as a 1,000-watt station, omnidirectional, and then went to 5 kW day, and 1 kW night, with a southerly directional signal that protected WTGA, also at 1590, in Thomaston, Georgia. A "First Phone" license was required to operate the station until more modern equipment was installed in the 1970s, because at power change, the 'Phase Angle' of the signal had to be changed as part of the FCC requirements.
The transmitter was and is located off Old Leesburg Road, at the end of Dunbar Lane, but the studio was for many years located in the Holiday Inn, downtown. This was set to music in some WALG jingles that sang: "We're in a Holiday Inn!"
Cumulus moved the WALG studio to the old First State Bank building on the corner of South Slappey Blvd. and Broad Avenue in the 1990s, and the old studio building on Dunbar is boarded up today. For a time that building was leased to a small FM station licensed to Camilla.
On-air personalities from the 1970s included Ron Mani, "Buzz One" (Ron Brown), J.J. Stone (Billy Thorman) Christopher Hayes, Rick Ledbetter, Jim King, Sonny Lofton, "Jane", Bill Young, Skip Elliott, Kris Van Dyke, Dave Miller, Jack O'Brien, Mike Speers, Carol Ward, 'Spanky', Rick Stewart, Hal Edwards, Otis Ulm, and Steve Preston. Rockin Rodney did over nights in the early 1970s and later returned as Jaxon Riley in the mid–seventies. The name Jaxon was given to him by Howard Toole aka Howard J Clark.
WALG was managed by many different people through the years, but perhaps its most memorable GM was Mark Shor. Mark was a New Yorker who sold radio ads in deepest South Georgia. Under Shor, WALG, and later with WKAK in the mix, the station saw it highest billing. At its apogee, WALG & WKAK employed thirty people, was live 24/7. Shor mostly worked for the Woodalls, first Whitfield, then Alan. There was a period when Shor parted way with the Woodalls, circa 1973-1975.
John Long was General Manager under owner Ilene Berns, who also owned Bang Records.
- Miller, Dave (2006-02-03). "A brief history of WALB". WALB-TV website. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
- Fletcher, Carlton (February 7, 2009). "'Wake Up' says good night to the Good Life City". Albany Herald.[dead link]
- Fletcher, Carlton (June 24, 2007). "New radio show in town". Albany Herald.[dead link]
- "Directory of Standard Broadcasting Stations of the United States". 1944 Broadcasting-Telecasting Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1944. p. 88.
- "Obituaries: Birchfield, William P. (Bill)". Dougherty County GA Archives. 2002-10-24. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19.
- WALG News/Talk 1590 official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WALG
- Radio-Locator Information on WALG
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WALG