WRFC (AM)

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WRFC
City Athens, Georgia
Broadcast area Athens Metro
Branding SportsRadio 960 The Ref
Frequency 960 kHz
Format Sports
Power 5,000 watts day
2,500 watts night
Class B
Facility ID 1218
Transmitter coordinates 33°59′58.00″N 83°26′0.00″W / 33.9994444°N 83.4333333°W / 33.9994444; -83.4333333
Affiliations ESPN Radio
Owner Cox Radio
(Cox Radio, Inc.)
Sister stations WNGC, WGAU, WGMG, WPUP, WXKT
Webcast Listen Live
Website 960theref.com

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 pop/rock. It 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 1985 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 callsign after his father, Robert Franklin Christian).

History[edit]

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 broadcast a normal required weekly test of the Emergency Broadcast System. However, AT&T reported that the US Air Force used the wrong tape by accident, initiating an Emergency Action Notification, normally issued by the president. It 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 and had no idea what had happened. 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; one could hear in his voice that he was very relieved it was only a mistake.

In January 2008, WRFC was sold (along with sister stations WGMG, WPUP, WNGC, and WGAU) to Cox Radio in Atlanta. Southern Broadcasting of Athens and associated owners continue as a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox.[1]

Former on-air staff[edit]

  • John Holliman (news, later with CNN) (deceased)
  • Bill Hartman (sports and news)
  • Johnny Jay (real name: Howard Toole)
  • Larry Melear (1965–75) (was also chief engineer 1965–70 and 1971–75) (deceased)
  • Jim Byard (1968 -1970)
  • Tom Collins (1968 - 1971)
  • Earl Pledger (1969–71)
  • Everett Langford (1967–71) (was also chief engineer 1970–71)
  • Ed Thilenius (sports)
  • A.O. "Red" Healan
  • Kate Murphy (Kathleen Emerson-Lambert)
  • Jim Koger
  • Morris "Night Owl" Knight
  • Larry Johnson
  • Charles Pinckney

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Deals," Broadcasting & Cable, January 28, 2008.

External links[edit]