|City||Wingate, North Carolina|
|Slogan||Positive, Encouraging, K-LOVE|
|First air date||June 14, 1993|
|Format||Contemporary Christian music|
|Callsign meaning||W Robertson C. McQuilkin (Former president of Columbia Bible College, the former owner)|
|Owner||Educational Media Foundation|
|Sister stations||WWLV, WMHK|
WRCM is a radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina. It airs contemporary Christian music and identifies itself as "K-LOVE". It is a non-commercial listener supported ministry. The station is licensed to Wingate, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte.
Columbia International University, then known as Columbia Bible College, applied to the FCC for the license in 1982. Internally, this was known as The 92 FM Project. Other entities applied on top of CBC including Wingate College (now Wingate University) and a church in Waxhaw, North Carolina area. After 10 years of negotiations with the other groups, WRCM was granted the license and was signed on the air by founding general manager Ken Mayfield at 12 noon on June 14, 1993. Present at sign on were CIU president, Johnny Miller; CIU vice president John Davidson and former CIU president, Robertson C. McQuilken. (The station's call letters -RCM- were in honor of his father, Robertson C. McQuilkin, the first president of Columbia Bible College.)
WRCM's first staff consisted of full-timers Ken Mayfield, the station's first general manager and afternoon personality, program director and morning host, Rodney Baucom, and Karen Wycoff, who served as mid-day announcer and secretary. Mayfield had built and managed another contemporary Christian station, WNOW and had hosted a very popular Sunday morning Contemporary Christian music program for 7 years on Charlotte's 100,000 watt WBCY (now WLNK). Part-time staff members included Shelly Mitchell and Joe Paulo. Paulo stepped into the role of general manager shortly after Mayfield departed in 1999.
WRCM garnered immediate success with a 2.4 in its first Arbitron ratings. This success was in spite of the lack of advertising. Almost all of the "promotion" for the fledgling station had to come by word of mouth and from the station staff at Christian concerts.
Original plans were for WRCM to be a satellite station of Columbia Bible College's original station, WMHK. However, these plans were scrapped, and the station has been largely operated and programmed separately from WMHK. However, longtime general manager Joe Paulo was named director of broadcasting at CIU after the departure of WMHK's General Manager Jerry Grimes, with oversight over both stations. Under his watch, WMHK began simulcasting WRCM's "Family Friendly Morning Show," and the two stations both aired the syndicated "Scott and Sam" show on weeknights.
During its time as a local broadcaster, the station identified itself as "New Life 91.9, WRCM Wingate/Charlotte" and heavily promoted churches throughout the Charlotte metropolitan area. However, its signal is not as strong as those of the major FM stations in the Charlotte area. For most of its history, it operated at only 10,000 watts, resulting in marginal coverage even in some parts of Charlotte. In many of Charlotte's inner-ring suburbs, it could only be heard on car radios. It has since increased its power to 30,000 watts. However, it still operates from a tiny (by modern broadcasting standards) 495-foot tower near its former studios in Indian Trail. This is necessary to protect WSGE in Dallas, which is located on adjacent 91.7 FM. As a result, it still only provides grade B coverage to large parts of the market. Most Christian music fans in the western part of the market get a better signal from WMIT in Asheville.
Before its switch to K-LOVE, WRCM's music rotation consisted of six or seven current songs in heavy rotation and a mix of six or seven new songs and "classics" from the last two to five years in medium rotation played in a tight format, often back to back with only the station jingle separating songs from each other. New songs were chosen with the help of the listener advisory panel.
The station often promoted live concerts by Contemporary Christian (CCM) musicians, and carried out its Christian mission by performing good works such as collecting donations of baby clothes to support mothers in need who might otherwise consider getting abortions.
WRCM used the "Charlotte's Number One" Radio Jingle package from RadioScape until it switched to the K-LOVE programming format.
On October 6, 2014, it was announced that WRCM, along with translators WRZM, W268BU, and sister station WMHK, were being sold to EMF Broadcasting. The deal closed on December 19, 2014, a day later than expected because of last-minute legal issues. General manager Joe Paulo signed the station off as a local broadcasting entity with a prayer and Chris Rice's rendition of "Great is Thy Faithfulness" at 4:32 p.m. At that point, WRCM flipped its programming to the national K-LOVE network. Paulo said that the hymn was the first song ever played on WRCM when it signed on in 1993. K-LOVE already owned WWLV in Lexington, North Carolina; which provides a fairly strong signal to the northern portion of the Charlotte market. The combined footprint of WMHK, WRCM/WLXK, WWLV, and WKVK gives K-LOVE at least secondary coverage to more than half of North and South Carolina.
- Washburn, Mark (April 26, 2014). "Davidson students bring Shakespeare drama to the radio". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- "GWU to sell 88.3 radio frequency". The Shelby Star. November 22, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- "Call Sign History (WLXK)". Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- WRCM/WMHK to Flip to K-Love, December 17, 2014
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WRCM
- Radio-Locator information on WRCM
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WRCM