|City of license||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|First air date||1954|
|Power||4,400 watts (day)
5,000 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||With Grace For You|
|Former callsigns||WWOK (1954-1969)
|Owner||Charlotte Advent Media Corporation|
WGFY (1480 AM) is a radio station serving the Charlotte, North Carolina, market. The station is owned by the Charlotte Advent Media Corporation. WGFY broadcasts with a power of 4,400 watts daytime (5,000 watts at night). It broadcasts a Christian radio format as an affiliate of LifeTalk Radio.
The 1480 frequency arrived in Charlotte in 1954 with the call letters WWOK. Initially a daytime operation with 1000 watts, the station added a directional antenna system and nighttime operation in the late 1950s. The station was Charlotte's Mutual Broadcasting System affiliate, and played middle of the road music.
By 1961, WWOK played country music. In 1969, the station was purchased by Mission Broadcasting of San Antonio, Texas, an early ancestor of Clear Channel Communications. Around this same time, Mission also purchased Miami R&B station WAME ("The Whammy in Miami"). The company flipped the call letters on its two acquisitions, sending WWOK to Florida and bringing WAME to Charlotte.
As WAME, the station was responsible for one of the first radio controversies in Charlotte, when the station's billboards showed a woman in tight jeans (and little else) having the WAME logo branded on her posterior. Popular DJ's in WAME's Country Music days included Ed Galloway, "Easy Edd" Robinson, "Large" Larry English, Bill Alexander, John Sutton and Bob Brandon. The phrases "Whammy" and "Top Dog in Charlotte Country" were used extensively to promote the station in those days.
Jimmy Swaggart, though his subsidiary Sonlife Radio, bought the station in December 1978, and brought some of the first Contemporary Christian Music to the airwaves of Charlotte Radio. In early 1980, Swaggart denounced Contemporary Christian Music through his publication The Evangelist, and WAME began gradually moving toward a mixture of conservative Christian music and teaching programs. Popular DJ's in WAME's Christian days were Danny Dyer, Teresa Gardner and Bob Harris.
In March 1990, WAME was sold to a subsidiary of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, which changed the call letters to WCNT and began its own in-house syndicated talk network which included Harley David, Cliff Kincaid and Bob Kwessel. Following the demise of the network shows, WCNT became a primarily local talk radio station. Gerry Vaillancourt started his talk show on WCNT, and H. A. Thompson did a daily show on the station for several months.
Early in 1993, new owners Christ Covenant Church returned the station to the air as WCNV ("Charlotte's News Voice"), airing the audio portion of CNN's Headline News Channel 24 hours a day. As with its previous format, unprofitability and expenses forced the station silent by year's end.
In 1994, the owners of WHVN took over the station's operations under a local marketing agreement with Christ Covenant, and brought the station back in 1994 as WIST with an adult standards format utilizing the "Stardust" format from Satellite Music Networks (now part of ABC Radio Networks). (The WIST callsign had been used in Charlotte from 1947 to 1983, last residing on what is now WHVN.) Talk shows and some sports programming were eventually added to the AM station after WIST added an FM frequency in 1995. John Sullivan was the most notable of the local hosts. Both the AM and FM stations began using the WNMX call letters in 1996.
In July 1997, WNMX-AM, the current WAME in Statesville, and WAVO in Rock Hill, South Carolina formed the "Total Radio Network". WNMX-AM became WTLT, and WAME became WTLI. The stations aired local and syndicated talk shows as well as news. But the format did not work, and WTLT returned to playing adult standards in November, starting with Christmas music during the holidays, while continuing to air syndicated hosts until their contracts ended. WTLT simulcast the Christian programming of WHVN beginning in early 1998 before Disney bought it and adopted the children's radio format of "Radio Disney" that fall, along with the current WGFY call letters.
On August 13, 2014, Disney put WGFY and twenty-two other Radio Disney stations up for sale, in order to focus more on digital distribution of the Radio Disney network. On January 26, 2015, Radio Disney Group filed to sell WGFY to the Charlotte Advent Media Corporation. Charlotte Advent Media bought the station for $600,000. The sale was consummated on May 5, 2015. On the same day, WGFY dropped Radio Disney programming and went silent. The station reasumed the operations on June 9. It is an affiliate of the Christian radio network LifeTalk Radio. WGFY carries hourly newscasts from Salem Radio Network.
- LifeTalk Radio: Stations, LifeTalk Radio. Accessed August 20, 2015
- Tim Funk, "Radio Show Aims to Please - And Rankle", The Charlotte Observer, April 25, 1990.
- Tim Funk, "Inside Business: WCNT Adds Business News to Format", The Charlotte Observer, April 25, 1991.
- Tim Funk, "Listen Up: From 'Radio Free Bubba' to 'The Shadow,' Area Radio's Ready to Turn You On," The Charlotte Observer, July 12, 1991.
- Tim Funk, "Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Radio Stations Are Bustling with Activity," The Charlotte Observer, December 14, 1991.
- Tim Funk, "Wistful For Music of the '40s? New Radio Station Brings It Back", The Charlotte Observer, May 19, 1994.
- Kay McFadden and Bob Meadows, "Sullivan Adds Voice to AM in the A.M.", The Charlotte Observer, August 16, 1996.
- Kay McFadden, "Talk-Radio Station Signs on to Battle for WBT Listeners", The Charlotte Observer, July 8, 1997.
- Jim Morrill, "The Unlikely Rebel Behind the Microphone," The Charlotte Observer, October 19, 1997.
- Kay McFadden, "Format Change Will Be Blow to Charlotte Talk Radio," The Charlotte Observer, November 22, 1997.
- Lafayette, Jon (August 13, 2014). "Exclusive: Radio Disney Moving Off Air to Digital". Retrieved August 13, 2014.
- "Radio Disney to Sell the Majority of Its Stations". Billboard. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
- Venta, Lance (January 26, 2015). "Radio Disney Sells Off Charlotte". Radio Insight. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
- Consummation Notice - Federal Communications Commission
- Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA - Federal Communications Commission
- Resumption of Operations - Federal Communications Commission
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WGFY
- Radio-Locator Information on WGFY
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WGFY