WTIX (AM)

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WTIX
City Concord, North Carolina
Broadcast area Charlotte, North Carolina
Branding Memories 98.3
Frequency 1410 kHz
Translator(s) 98.3 W252DI
First air date 1942 (as WEGO)
Format 60s, 70,s, 80s (1410am simulcast)
Power 1,000 watts (day)
67 watts (night)
Class D
Facility ID 13555
Transmitter coordinates 35°24′29.00″N 80°36′41.00″W / 35.4080556°N 80.6113889°W / 35.4080556; -80.6113889
Former callsigns WEGO (1942-2009)
Owner William Marc Graham
(2B Productions LLC)
Sister stations WSAT,
Webcast Listen Live
Website [1]

WTIX (1410 AM) is a radio station licensed to serve Concord, North Carolina, which simulcasts WSAT in Salisbury, North Carolina.

History[edit]

The 1410 spot on the dial was first heard from Concord in 1942. WEGO was owned by Wayne H. Nelson, who constructed the station's studios along Highway 29 (now Concord Parkway), just west of the city.

In 1953, the city's newspaper, The Concord Tribune (now Independent-Tribune) purchased the station. Over the next few years WEGO began airing local newscasts, in addition to the Associated Press wire stories and the T-N News Network. In 1960, The Tribune sold WEGO to the Suburban Radio Group of Belmont, North Carolina, which began the station's greatest period of growth and popularity.

In 1961, WEGO-FM was launched, and a few years later, General Manager Jim Keel renamed it WPEG, for his wife, Peggy. Keel encouraged a more contemporary presentation on WEGO-AM. Announcer Gene Hinson launched "The Show Without a Name" and gained a sizable teen audience every afternoon. Other popular announcers on the station during this period included Bob Raiford, Jack Becknell, Chief Engineer Ken Kennedy and Richard Irwin.

The station dropped the last vestiges of block programming, and began airing a full-time "Easy Top-40" format. Popular announcers on the station in these years included Jay Driggers, John Stiles, Bill Biggerstaff, Gary Walker and Dick Reid Norwood.

Broadcaster Charlie Hicks was a program host and general manager of the station from 1969-80.

Throughout the 1970s, WEGO went through a succession of unsuccessful formats as competition tightened in the market. By 1980, the station was automated through most of its daytime broadcasting hours, and alternated format choices over those years between country and oldies. Station managers included Jim Mintzer and Mark Herman. The "Mark In The Morning" show became a popular morning drive staple on WEGO in the mid 80's. Mark Herman alternated music with funny bits/voices coupled with news reports and contests. With improved profitability, The Suburban Radio Group began courting a purchaser for the station.

In 1985, that purchaser was found in former station Manager Charlie Hicks. Soon after his purchase of WEGO, the station's format changed to oldies. While the transmitter remained at the Highway 29 location, Hicks moved the studios of the station to 70 Cabarrus Avenue West, 3 blocks from downtown Concord. It was the first studio move in the 49-year history of the station.

After owning WEGO for eight years, and purchasing WABZ-FM in Albemarle, Hicks sold the two stations back to Suburban in 1993. Suburban ran WEGO until its sale to current owner GHB Broadcasting in 2003. For several years ending in 2008, WEGO aired the "Stardust" adult standards format from ABC Radio, which later called itself "Timeless" and emphasized soft oldies.

The Morning Announcer was Bob Brown. In 2007, GHB Broadcasting moved the transmitter and tower to a new site about 1/2 mile southwest of their old site, ending 61 years of continuous broadcasting from 520 Concord Parkway. In late November, 2008, GHB announced that the WEGO studios were being consolidated with GHB's other broadcast properties in a studio complex on North Tryon Street in Charlotte.[1] The format changed back to adult standards as WEGO began simulcasting WAVO.[2]

Prior to the format change, the station was an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves radio network, the largest radio affiliate network in Major League Baseball.[3]

"The Bob and Mark Show" and "The Trading Post," plus other community-oriented programming such as sports, returned on the Radio Free Cabarrus web site. Mark Plemmons served as general manager, news director and sports director. The web site broadcast also includes oldies and beach music.[4]

Morning host Ken Conrad moved from WOLS when it switched to Spanish, and he added an afternoon show. Several months later he was dropped after more than ten years at WNMX, WOLS and WAVO/WEGO. Morning in America with Bill Bennett replaced him in the morning, and SRN News was added.[5]

WEGO changed its letters to WTIX at the end of 2009. Early in 2010, WAVO/WTIX added two sports talk programs. Bryce Johnson began hosting "Sports Yapp" at 9 A.M. weekdays in February.[6] On April 5 the show began airing an hour earlier. Also, on April 3, Chris Pardo, who moved to York County, South Carolina in 2008, began hosting "New York Sports Talk", two hours long starting at noon on both Saturday and Sunday. Pardo, the son of announcer Don Pardo, said that WFNZ rarely offered news about New York sports. He found that others from New York wished there was more coverage of their teams. Pardo publicized the show on web sites and by handing out information to people wearing team apparel.[7] Pardo has since come to realize he is no longer in New York.

On July 4, 2010, WAVO/WTIX added "Crank and Case", an automobile advice program similar to Car Talk, hosted by mechanics Chuck Sperry and Stick Case Roneis.[8]

On September 20, WZGV added "Sports Yapp" to its afternoon schedule.[9]

WTIX continued to broadcast from the same antenna on U.S. 29 until November 2011.[citation needed] During part of that month, WTIX went off the air during a switch to a new tower expected to improve the station's signal.[10]

When WTIX came back March 4, 2012, it was called "Country Legends 1410 WTIX".[citation needed] The studios are located off Church Street in Concord. A local morning show began April 2, hosted by Mac McCoy, known in Charlotte radio as Jeff Pilot and as Magic 96.1's Sky King.[11]

In 2014, WTIX began simulcasting WHVN "Heaven Radio".[12]

In December 2015, it was announced that Catawba College Foundation and 2B Productions will be buying WTIX. WTIX will simulcast the adult standards format of WSAT in Salisbury, with local news, sports and information for an area that will also include Concord and Kannapolis. 2B Productions will change its name to Rowan-Cabarrus Radio, and Catawba students will train for journalism and communications careers on its three stations.[13] The purchase, at a price of $65,000, was consummated on January 11, 2016.

In 2016 WTIX added a translator W252DI at 98.3.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www2.independenttribune.com/content/2008/nov/14/wego-moving-headquarters-charlotte/news-local/
  2. ^ Mark Washburn, "106.1 FM Will Shift to All-Spanish," The Charlotte Observer, November 20, 2008.
  3. ^ "Affiliate Radio Stations". The Official Site of the Atlanta Braves. 
  4. ^ "Cabarrus radio favorites back on air via Internet," Salisbury Post, June 10, 2009.
  5. ^ Washburn, Mark (2008-08-01). "Velvet-voiced radio host says goodbye in cutbacks". The Charlotte Observer. 
  6. ^ Washburn, Mark (2010-02-13). "Odegaard to launch 'Charlotte Today'". The Charlotte Observer. 
  7. ^ Washburn, Mark (2010-04-03). "Like N.Y. sports? New show could be for you". The Charlotte Observer. 
  8. ^ Washburn, Mark (2010-07-03). "Acerbic golf competitor expanding radio show". The Charlotte Observer. 
  9. ^ Washburn, Mark (2010-09-18). "Johnny Jacobs turned up volume on local radio". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  10. ^ Washburn, Mark (2011-11-19). "WBT taps social media for host contest". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  11. ^ Plemmons, Mark (2012-04-02). "WTIX is back on the air in Concord". Independent Tribune. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  12. ^ "Concord radio station sold to Catawba Foundation in Salisbury". Independent Tribune. 2016-01-07. Retrieved 2016-01-08. 
  13. ^ Whisenant, David (2016-01-06). "New details on Catawba College Foundation purchase of Concord radio station". WBTV. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 

External links[edit]