WDCG

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WDCG
G105logo.jpg
City of license Cary, North Carolina
Broadcast area Raleigh/Durham
Research Triangle
Branding G105
Slogan The Hit Music Channel
Frequency 105.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
Translator(s) 95.3 W237BZ (Cary, relays HD2)
First air date February 29, 1948 (as WDNC-FM)
Format Top 40/CHR
HD2: Modern Rock "95X"
ERP 73,000 watts
HAAT 339 meters
Class C1
Facility ID 53597
Transmitter coordinates 35°42′50″N 78°49′4″W / 35.71389°N 78.81778°W / 35.71389; -78.81778
Callsign meaning We're Durham's Country Giant (dates back to 1974)
Former callsigns WDNC-FM (1948-1974)
Owner Clear Channel Communications
Sister stations WKSL, WRDU, WTKK
Webcast Listen Live
Website g105.com
newrock95x.com (HD2)

WDCG, or G105 on 105.1 FM is a Contemporary hit radio station in the Raleigh-Durham radio market. Its studios are located on Smoketree Court in Raleigh's Highwoods Office Park and owned by Clear Channel Worldwide, along with B93.9, Classic Rock 100.7 WRDU, and 106.1 FM More Stimulating Talk.

History[edit]

WDCG first began as a radio station on February 29, 1948 as WDNC-FM 105.1, a sister station to WDNC-AM; both were owned by The Durham Morning Herald and Durham Sun. The sign-on of the 36,000-watt FM station coincided with the AM station's power increase and frequency shift from 1490 to 620 kilohertz. In 1953, the Herald-Sun group joined WTIK owners Floyd Fletcher and Harmon Duncan in securing a license to operate a television station in Durham, which would eventually become WTVD Channel 11 the following year. Until the mid-1970s, WDNC-FM simulcast the AM programming from an antenna located atop one of AM 620's three towers on Shocoree Drive in western Durham just off Interstate 85. (The old 105.1 FM antenna is still visible on the tower nearest downtown.)

In 1974, WDNC-FM became a country station and changed its calls to WDCG-FM (Durham's Country Giant). The station later switched to rock music in the late 1970s before becoming a Top 40 station in Fall 1981. A year later, the station boosted their power to 100,000 watts and moved to the former WRDU-TV (now WRDC) tower at Terrell's Mountain in northern Chatham County. This allowed WDCG-FM to put a city grade into Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, as well as a 60 dbu signal into Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem where the station even beat the local Top 40s from 60 miles away. WDCG, licensed to Durham, was the first station in the Raleigh-Durham market to obtain a dual city of license in terms of their station identification in 1982, and surprised the stations in Raleigh with its designation of WDCG-Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill.

With no promotional dollars and against the powerhouses of WRAL-FM and WQDR-FM, WDCG grew every six months in Arbitron starting in the Fall of 1981 with a 1.8 - 4.5 - 9.0 - 9.8 - 11.1 - 14.5 by the Spring of 1984.

WDCG was operated as a loss leader for years by the Durham Herald-Sun, as the owners felt eventually newspapers would be viewed on a computer screen - and they had the distribution system via WDCG's FM sub-carrier that the Raleigh News and Observer did not have. The Durham Herald-Sun had never separated the financial books of WDCG and WDNC. The combined stations had only been profitable in 2 of the 10 years prior to 1983 - with a $10,000 profit one year and a $59,000 profit in 1979. By 1984, WDCG alone was billing just under 4 million dollars (inflation adjusted about $16,000,000 today). Over $60,000 a month was coming in from the Greensboro-High Point market, 60 miles away, where WDCG had a dedicated salesperson.

WDCG operated from the Herald-Sun building in Downtown Durham from its 1948 sign-on until 1992, when the station, along with WDNC, moved to more spacious studios at Park Forty Plaza in southern Durham near Research Triangle Park as the owners saw their loss leader turn into a cash cow. The new facilities included state of the art computer integration, including software controlled transmitters and audio playback from hard disk.

In 1993, the Herald-Sun sold WDCG to Prizm Broadcasting, which had also purchased Vilcom's WZZU 93.9 (now WKSL-FM). After following four different ownership changes, WDCG and its sister stations later moved into Raleigh's Smoketree Tower, now called the Highwoods Building, and are now owned by Clear Channel Worldwide.

In 2004, the station's FM class was slightly downgraded from a class "C" to a class "C-0", allowing WZBL, a Clear Channel station in Roanoke, Virginia, to make an upgrade to its signal. No changes were necessary to WDCG's actual facilities in the short term. In March 2005, the FCC approved the station's moving their antenna from Terrell's Mountain to the former WLFL-TV analog tower in Apex in an effort to provide better, more centralized coverage of the market. The change involved a drop in power from 100,000 watts to 73,000 watts and another downgrade in class, this time to a class "C-1". On March 13, 2008, WDCG began broadcasting from the Apex site. The move actually increased the covered population inside the station's coverage by more than 500,000 persons, improved building penetration and placed the station as the second best signal in the market, just behind its sister station WKSL 93.9. By 2011, the station moved towards an adult top 40 direction because of WPLW taking the contemporary hit radio format and also due to no adult top 40 stations in Raleigh/Durham (the company also owns its sister rhythmic contemporary station WKSL), but is still billed as contemporary hit radio per Nielsen BDS and Mediabase. In addition, higher-charting songs are below 100 spins per week. On November 16, 2012, an alternative format debuted on WDCG-HD2 and simulcast on translator station W237BZ (95.3 MHz), marketed as "95X".

Its Top 40 direction and musical leanings[edit]

Interestingly during the 1990s G105 also leaned heavily towards Modern rock, which had many in the music trades questioning whether they were moving towards that direction. But by the end of that decade they scaled back on the Alternative fare and returned to a more mainstream approach.

Like most Top 40s in the Clear Channel roster, G105 will play all of today's hits (a majority of them favoring rhythmic product) and follow the national musical trend that is reflected in Billboard and radio trades Mediabase and R&R, the latter of which has WDCG listed as a Top 40/CHR panel reporter.

On air[edit]

Weekdays

Weekends

  • 6a-10a: Best of Bob and The Showgram (Saturday Only)
  • 8a-Noon: American top 40 with Ryan Seacrest
  • 7p-Midnight: Club Kane (Sunday only)

WDCG has various weekend talent, along with weekday talent filling in on the weekends.

Bob and the Showgram[edit]

Bob and the Showgram is a morning show airing 5:00AM to 10:00AM. The Showgram has had a variety of interns over the years and used to be called the "Bob and Madison Showgram" until co-host Madison Lane left to do her own morning gig at sister station WRSN in 2004. In 2007 Bob briefly went off the air to have a brain tumor removed, and has since returned. Its cast currently is Bob, Elic, Brooke (Peanut Butter) and Erica.

Dumas, who has been with WDCG for nearly 16 years, is no stranger to controversy. In 2004, a Durham minister started an online petition to oust Dumas for what the minister called "racially incendiary" comments about "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino, who is black. Dumas used the terms "ghetto" and "low class" during the show to describe Barrino.

In 2003, he drew the wrath of bicycling enthusiasts in the Research Triangle Park area for finding humor in motorists who assault cyclists or run them down with their vehicles.[1]

On April 1, 2008, Dumas caused yet another controversy after addressing an intern who was engaged to[clarification needed] a member of the Lumbee tribe of Native Americans. He made derogatory remarks about how Indians dressed, called them "lazy" and "in-bred," insulted Pocahontas and Sacajawea while playing traditional Indian music, and referred to a "tepee-warming party."[2] Dumas and G-105 general manager Dick Harlow apologized on the air April 9, and the hosts of the show were suspended for three days. This did not satisfy people who protested at the North Carolina State Capitol, demanding the permanent firing of those who made the offensive remarks. The North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs also asked for a more serious punishment and called for a boycott of Clear Channel advertisers.[3] Those siding with the radio hosts pointed out that on the same broadcast, they also offended Hispanics, Asians, blacks and the people of North Carolina in general.[4]

Paul Brooks, chairman of the Commission for Indian Affairs, said that on April 16, his group met with Harlow, who promised there would be no more derogatory remarks about Native Americans, and that Clear Channel would broadcast information on WDCG and other stations related to "American Indian-related education and outreach." Meanwhile, Dumas caused more controversy by commenting on whether immigrants visiting Raleigh's Mexican Consulate were actually illegal.[5]

WDCG past on-air staff[edit]

WDCG has a storied history developing personalities. Many of these on-air figures become long-time Raleigh-Durham favorites, and others moved to bigger markets. Below are some of a few.

  • Rick Freeman [6]
  • Mike Edwards [7]
  • Wayne Michaels
  • Ron McKay
  • Madison Lane
  • Brody Smith
  • Will Vickers
  • Mike Mitchell
  • Jim Harrison
  • Mark Burke
  • Marc Anthony
  • Ashley
  • Sean Sellers
  • TJ Lambeth
  • Rita Chapman
  • Jeff Dantre
  • Joe Knuckles
  • Benji Norton
  • Brian Patrick
  • Christ St. John
  • Ordinary Joe Gonzales
  • Melinda Stubbee
  • Jim Sackett
  • Barry Brown
  • Tom Britt
  • John Van Pelt
  • Marc Mitchell
  • Wayne Michaels
  • Geller (now producer of The Morning Rush on sister-station WTKK

References[edit]

  1. ^ Danny Hooley, "G-105 Yanks Shock Jock: Some Want Dumas Off the Air for Good, The News and Observer, April 10, 2008.
  2. ^ Michael Futch, "Shock Jock Comments about Lumbees Labeled Racist," Fayetteville Observer, April 5, 2008.
  3. ^ http://www.nbc17.com/midatlantic/ncn/news.apx.-content-articles-NCN-2008-04-04-0007.html, Retrieved on 2008/04/21.
  4. ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24015365
  5. ^ "Apology Calms Indians, but DJ Irks Mexicans," The News & Observer, April 18, 2008.
  6. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=-SQEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PT15&lpg=PT15&dq=rick+freeman+g105&source=bl&ots=-qrNCxOZma&sig=kV7WhEIH0m88ZZhWyNseyp6OLvA&hl=en&ei=LvISTNP-CoX7lwej2pDVDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAQ
  7. ^ http://www.440int.com/namese.html#_medwa4

External links[edit]