WRGC (AM)

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WRGC
WRCG-AM 2016.png
City Sylva, North Carolina
Broadcast area Western North Carolina
Branding "540 WRGC, The River"
Frequency 540 AM kHz
First air date November 1957
Format Full Service
Power 5,000 Watts daytime
140 Watts nighttime
Class D
Facility ID 73286
Transmitter coordinates 35°23′35.0″N 83°11′38.0″W / 35.393056°N 83.193889°W / 35.393056; -83.193889
Callsign meaning W Ronnie G. Childers
(son of founder Jimmy Childers)
Former callsigns WMSJ
Affiliations Atlanta Braves Radio Network
Westwood One News
North Carolina News Network
Owner Five Forty Broadcasting Company, LLC
(Five Forty Broadcasting Company, LLC)
Sister stations 1590 WBHN, Bryson City, NC
Webcast WRGC Webstream
Website WRGC Online

WRGC is a Full Service formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Sylva, North Carolina, serving Western North Carolina.[1] WRGC is owned and operated by Five Forty Broadcasting Company, LLC.[2]

History[edit]

680 AM[edit]

Jimmy Childers and Asheville resident Harold Thomas signed on WMSJ in November 1957. The call letters WRGC come from the initials of Ronnie Childress, the former owner's son who was electrocuted while working on the transmitter during a thunderstorm in the 1970s. WRGC broadcasts sports from Western Carolina University and Smoky Mountain High School, as well as local election results and weather. WRGC airs a "buy-sell-and-trade call-in show". Georgia-Carolina Radiocasting Company bought WRGC in 2002, changing the format from country and gospel to soft rock.

WRGC had about 8,000 listeners in Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties, though 98 percent of its advertising revenue came from Jackson County. The economic crisis hit the station hard, as several car dealers closed and other potential advertisers cut spending.[3]

On August 31, 2011, the station turned off its transmitter. A posting on their website stated, "WRGC has left the air due to the severe economic conditions." The statement also addressed the permanency of this event, "Our long term plans for WRGC are not decided, but we have notified the Federal Communications Commission to go off the air until a decision is made."[4][5] Art Sutton, president of Georgia-Carolina Radiocasting Company, hoped someone local could buy the station, because a local owner could "better develop relationships with those smaller businesses" needed to make a station successful, as his company's stations WNCC-FM and WFSC in nearby Franklin were.[3]

540 AM[edit]

Roy Burnette of 540 Broadcasting Company announced plans to increase the signal of WRGC to 5,000 watts, with the help of a county loan of $289,000, for which a public hearing was planned for December 12, 2011. The stronger signal will likely attract more advertisers. Burnette said, "We want to offer in-depth service to Jackson, Macon, Swain and Haywood."[6]

After test broadcasts on April 1, the new 540 AM WRGC officially signed on at 12:05 PM with a welcoming statement by new owner, Roy Burnette, and the playing of the National Anthem (the Star Spangled Banner).

References[edit]

External links[edit]