|Broadcast area||Charlottesville, Virginia
Albemarle County, Virginia
|Slogan||"Music for Your Generation"|
|First air date||September 1980|
|Callsign meaning||W Z GeNerations|
|Former callsigns||WCMZ-FM (1980-1983)
|Sister stations||WCHV, WCHV-FM, WCYK, WHTE, WKAV|
WZGN (102.3 FM) is a Classic Hits formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Crozet, Virginia, serving Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia. WZGN is owned and operated by Monticello Media.
W. Edward "Mac" McClenahan, the owner of WPED Crozet (810 kHz) since 1974, was awarded a construction permit for what would become WCMZ-FM on November 20, 1979. The station went on the air in September 1980; together the AM-FM pair were known as the "Country Twins" and produced a locally-originated country music format from studios on Hilltop Street in Crozet. Both stations were purchased in 1981 by Elting Enterprises of New York. Elting changed the FM station's callsign to WPED-FM in June 1983.
The simulcast was split in September 1985, as the newly renamed WJLT flipped to adult contemporary as "Light 102.3", with WPED continuing the country music. A translator in downtown Charlottesville was added during this time. The AM station rejoined the pairing in early 1988, taking the WJLT callsign while the FM station adjusted to WJLT-FM.
Elting sold the two stations to Dale and Calvin High's High Communications of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in July 1989. This was followed quickly in January 1990 by a flip back to country as the first incarnation of WCYK-FM, while the AM station took the WCYK callsign.
The newly formed Clark Broadcasting Corporation purchased the two stations at the end of 1993. Clark also purchased the higher-powered WANV-FM (99.7 MHz), licensed to Staunton, but with a signal large enough for local-grade coverage of Staunton, Harrisonburg and Charlottesville.
In 1996, 99.7 MHz and 102.3 MHz swapped formats and callsigns, with 102.3 MHz flipping to oldies and the WVAO-FM callsign, and the more popular country format and WCYK-FM callsign moving to the better-signaled 99.7 MHz facility, where it remains today. The AM station kept the WCYK callsign and continued relaying the new WCYK-FM.
Clear Channel entered the Charlottesville market by buying Clark's three FM stations – WVAO-FM, WCYK-FM, and WVSY (101.9 MHz) – in June 1999. WCYK (810 kHz) was not included in the sale and went off the air after 29 years; its license expired exactly one year after the sale's approval, on August 6, 2000.
In early 2001, Clear Channel took the station on a short-lived flip to classic rock as "102.3 The Fox" WFFX. This format brought the station into competition with market-leading active rock station WWWV (97.5 MHz), and dismal ratings were the result. September 2003 brought an all-Beatles stunt, followed by a flip to classic hits as "SuperHits 94.1 and 102.3" WSUH, with a brand referencing the station's downtown Charlottesville translator.
Monticello kept the classic hits but changed the station's branding to the current "Generations 102.3 and 94.1" WZGN after the sale closed in October 2007. The only adjustment to the station's identity since then is the loss of the 94.1 translator.
In June 1987, Elting signed on broadcast translator W269AR on 101.7 MHz in order to bolster coverage in downtown Charlottesville. The 102.3 MHz facility is what is known as a rimshot station – a station licensed to a suburb or outlying area that attempts to serve a larger market. Due to its relatively low transmitter height and the hilly terrain between Crozet and Charlottesville, 102.3 has spotty coverage in the city itself, even with its highly directional signal pointed east. Most Charlottesville stations broadcast from the highest peak overlooking the city, the 1,573-foot Carter Mountain, which provides good coverage of Albemarle County.
Clark moved the translator from 101.7 MHz to 94.1 MHz in November 1993 due to interference from co-owned WVSY, which had recently moved to 101.9 MHz. The translator was given the new callsign W231AD. In 2002, it moved from its original site atop 500 Court Square (the former Monticello Hotel) in downtown Charlottesville to WKAV's tower along West Main Street immediately to the west.
On September 7, 2008, the translator shifted from simulcasting WZGN to simulcasting co-owned WCHV (1260 kHz). On January 20, 2011, W231AD returned to simulcasting WZGN as WCHV gained a full-powered repeater, WCHV-FM (107.5 MHz). In September 2015, W231AD was paired with WKAV in order to provide an FM home for that station's new classic country format.
- "WZGN Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- Staff (December 17, 1979). "For The Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. p. 76.
- Broadcasting-Cablecasting Yearbook 1982 (PDF). p. C-247.
- Staff (October 26, 1981). "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. p. 56.
- "Call letters" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 13, 1983. p. 128.
- Broadcasting-Cablecasting Yearbook 1989 (PDF). p. B-307.
- Staff (July 17, 1989). "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. pp. 70–71.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1991 (PDF). p. B-343.
- "DWCYK Facility Record". FCCData.
- "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 10, 1994. p. 70.
- "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 9, 1994. p. 67.
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1998 (PDF). pp. D–456–57, D–464.
- Holmes, Alisa; Rathbun, Elizabeth (June 14, 1999). "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. p. 125.
- "The week in review". The Hook (236). September 11, 2003.
- Corbin, Robert (September 10, 2003). "Classic Rock dumped for Oldies". VARTV.
- Corbin, Robert (June 27, 2007). "Clear Channel to sell six stations in VA". VARTV.
- "W231AD Facility Data". FCCData.
- "WCHV boosts it's [sic] signal". VARTV. September 8, 2008.
- "Monticello Media adds 94.1 to 102.3". VARTV. January 30, 2011.
- Venta, Lance (September 14, 2015). "Hank comes to Charlottesville". RadioInsight.