|Broadcast area||Louisville metropolitan area|
|Branding||970 The Answer|
|First air date||1927 (in Hopkinsville, moved to Louisville in 1932)|
|Callsign meaning||W G TalK|
|Former callsigns||WFIW (1927-1933)|
|Affiliations||Salem Radio Network|
Townhall Radio News
|Owner||Salem Media Group |
(Salem Communications Holding Corporation)
|Sister stations||WFIA, WFIA-FM|
WGTK (970 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station in Louisville, Kentucky. It is owned by Salem Media Group and it airs a conservative talk radio format. Similar to many Salem talk stations, it calls itself "970 AM The Answer." Its studios and offices are on Corporate Campus Drive in Louisville. The transmitter is on Hamburg Pike in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
On weekdays, WGTK runs the entire line up of Salem Radio Network syndicated talk shows: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder and Joe Walsh. WGTK had aired a local midday show with former WHAS host Joe Elliott but that was discontinued in the Fall of 2015. The station begins most hours with co-owned Townhall Radio News. WGTK is the radio home of Bellarmine University men's basketball.
In the 1990s, the WGTK call letters belonged to a now defunct classic rock station in Middlebury, Vermont. When Salem acquired an FM station in the Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina radio market, it used the same call letters, with that station known as WGTK-FM since February 2013.
In 1927, the station began as WFIW in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. In 1932, WFIW was bought by George Norton Jr., and its transmitter was moved to Louisville, with the call letters being changed to WAVE. WAVE was originally on AM 940 and was an NBC Red Network affiliate. It carried NBC's schedule of dramas, comedies, news, sports, soap operas, game shows and big band broadcasts during the "Golden Age of Radio." After the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA) took effect, WAVE moved to AM 970.
In 1948, it added the first TV station in Kentucky, Channel 5 WAVE-TV, later switching to Channel 3. Because WAVE 970 had been a long-time NBC Radio affiliate, WAVE-TV primarily carried NBC-TV programs.
MOR and Oldies
As network programming shifted from radio to TV during the 1950s, WAVE began airing a full-service MOR format, which later shifted to oldies. In 1988, WAVE was sold to Radio One (not related to the company that would eventually buy stations in the Louisville market in the late 1990s). Because the TV station kept the WAVE call sign, the AM station had to changed call letters. So it switched to WAVG.
In 1991, WAVG was sold to Sunnyside Communications. On January 8, 1997, Sunnyside announced it would sell WAVG to Pulitzer, then-owners of WLKY-TV, which announced plans to flip the station to an all-news format, with AP News Radio programming and simulcasts of WLKY's TV newscasts. The changeover took place at Noon on June 16. At the same time, the WAVG call letters and standards format moved to 1450 AM, while 970 adopted the WLKY-AM call letters.
Purchase by Salem
In August 2000, Hearst-Argyle (which bought all of Pulitzer's broadcasting outlets the year before) sold the radio station to current owner Salem Communications. Salem flipped it to a talk radio format as WGTK.
On January 5, 2015, WGTK rebranded as "970 The Answer".
On December 22, 2016, it was announced that Word Broadcasting Network, owner of ION Television affiliate Channel 21 WBNA and operator of non-commercial Contemporary Christian station WJIE-FM, would take over operations of WGTK and sister stations WFIA (AM) and WFIA-FM under a local marketing agreement, effective January 3, 2017.
- "WFIW Rebuilding" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 15, 1931. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- Kieber, John E., Ed. (2001). The Encyclopedia of Louisville. The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-2100-0. P. 126.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1935 page 32
- "16 Jun 1997, Page 40 - The Courier-Journal at Newspapers.com".
- "28 Aug 2000, Page 44 - The Courier-Journal at Newspapers.com".
- Lance Venta (5 January 2015). "Salem Rebrands Seven Talkers As The Answer". RadioInsight.
- Lance Venta (22 December 2016). "Word Broadcasting Network To LMA Salem's Louisville Cluster". RadioInsight.
- WGTK Official Site
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WGTK
- Radio-Locator Information on WGTK
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WGTK
- FCC History Cards for WGTK