|City of license||Athens, Georgia|
|Broadcast area||Athens Metro|
|Branding||SportsRadio 960 The Ref|
|Power||5,000 watts day
2,500 watts night
(Cox Radio, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WNGC, WGAU, WGMG, WPUP, WXKT|
WRFC (960 AM) is a sports radio station licensed to Athens, Georgia, USA. The format was easy listening until the late 1960s, when it changed to a light rock format. The station was previously owned by Southern Broadcasting of Athens, Inc. until June 2008, when it was purchased, along with its sister station WXKT, by Cox Radio, Inc. in Atlanta. The transmitter site was relocated in the late 1990s due to development of the area where it had been located and a change in antenna pattern which allowed for an increase in power to 2,500 watts at night. It had been 500 watts at night. The founder of the station in 1948 and long-time owner was Mr. L. H. Christian, hence the call sign (after his father, Robert Franklin Christian).
WRFC operated for many years at 5,000 watts non-directional daytime and 500 watts directional nighttime using a three-tower array northeast of Athens, broadcasting from an impressive mansion in downtown Athens.
On February 20, 1971, NORAD at Cheyenne Mountain broadcast a normal required weekly test of the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS). However, AT&T reported that the United States Air Force used the wrong tape for the test by accident, and initiated an Emergency Action Notification, normally issued by the President. This prompted all north Georgia radio stations by order of the FCC to operate under emergency procedures and feed the broadcast from WSB in Atlanta through their transmitters. Everett Langford was at the microphone at WRFC at the time, and he had no idea what was going on. He listened to WSB, but heard no emergency announcements. He was attempting to call the owner, L.H. Christian, when he heard the corrected message from the Air Force; you could hear in his voice that he was very relieved that it was only a mistake.
In 2008, WRFC was sold (along with sister stations WGMG, WPUP, WNGC and WGAU) to Cox Radio in Atlanta. The announcement had been made in January 2008. Southern Broadcasting of Athens and associated owners continue as a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox.
Former on-air staff
John Holliman (news, later with CNN) (deceased)
Bill Hartman (sports and news)
Johnny Jay (real name: Howard Toole)
Larry Melear (1965–1975) (was also Chief Engineer 1965-1970 and 1971-1975) (deceased)
Earl Pledger (1969–1971)
Everett Langford (1967–1971) (was also Chief Engineer 1970-1971)
Ed Thilenius (sports)
A.O. "Red" Healan
Kate Murphy (Kathleen Emerson-Lambert)
Morris "Night Owl" Knight
Chuck Evans (real name: Charles Norman Pinckney)
- "Deals," Broadcasting & Cable, January 28, 2008.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WRFC
- Radio-Locator Information on WRFC
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WRFC