|City||Union City, Georgia|
|Broadcast area||South Suburban Atlanta|
|Frequency||96.7 MHz (HD Radio)|
|Branding||El Patron 96.7|
(iHM Licenses, LLC)
|WBIN, WBZY, WRDG, WUBL, WWPW|
First air date
|1952 (as WCOH-FM)|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|Similar to that of former simulcaster WBZY|
|HAAT||173 meters (568 ft)|
|Translator(s)||97.5 W248BV (Cumming)|
|Repeater(s)||WANN-CD 29 (DTV 32.24)|
Public license information
WBZW (96.7 FM) is an Atlanta radio station broadcasting a Regional Mexican radio format. It is owned by iHeartMedia and is licensed to serve Union City, Georgia. It operates from studios located at the Peachtree Palisades building in the Brookwood Hills district of Atlanta, and the transmitter is located in Tyrone.
96.7 began in April 1985 as WBUS, then became WWER in March 1987. Just a few months later, it became adult contemporary-formatted WMKJ "Magic 96.7" in November 1987, staying there for well over a decade. The "Magic" brand would be resurrected just one year after the demise of WMKJ when AC formatted "Mix 98.1" WMAX-FM (now WMGP) Hogansville, GA rebranded as "Magic 98.1." WMGP would shift to Classic Hits not long after still retaining the "Magic" branding. In October 2000, it became Rhythmic Top 40 WLDA, branded as "Wild 96.7". This lasted for only a year, becoming a simulcast of Rock AC-formatted "WMXV (Mix 105.7)" as WXVV on October 8, 2001.
The station was WBZY-FM, "96.7 the Buzz" from April 5, 2002 to May 5, 2005. On that date, the Buzz was moved to 105.3 (and then to WKLS FM 96.1 as "Project 9-6-1"). It was then WVWA ("Viva 96.7"), returning to a simulcast in south metro Atlanta of north metro's WWVA-FM "Viva 105.7" (formerly "Viva 105.3"). (Although this was the first time this broadcast callsign had actually been legally assigned , it had been previously used in a famous parody of radio, see links.)
On December 20, 2006, WVWA broke from the simulcast again and became adult contemporary as 96.7 Lite FM. The format and moniker and WLTM call letters were previously held locally on 94.9, which flipped to country music as "94.9 the Bull" and adopted new callsign WUBL two days earlier.
When WLTM aired as "94.9 Lite FM", it was the Atlanta affiliate for the nationally syndicated Delilah nighttime show; this was not the case on its 96.7 revival, as her show would be picked up by rival station WSB-FM ("B98.5"), and aired there until it was dropped in 2011.
In November 2007, the station again began playing Christmas music, though with a decidedly more modern and diverse musical style than in its previous years on 94.9, and than competitor WSB-FM. When the format was suddenly moved and changed in December 2006, it ceased playing Christmas music, even though it was before Christmas Day.
On December 26, 2007, WLTM became WWLG and took the moniker "96.7 the Legend", and began airing a classic country format. During this tenure, WWLG's morning show was hosted by Chris East who also doubled as WWLG's assistant program director. WWLG's program director was WUBL afternoon jock, Lance Houston.
On September 6, 2010, WWLG started simulcasting rhythmic CHR sister station WWVA-FM 105.7, in effort to increase its overall market coverage, mostly in the southern parts of the Atlanta metropolitan area. (The classic country format and "Legend" branding were moved to WUBL-HD2.) The last songs on "The Legend" were "If We Make It Through December" by Merle Haggard and Linda Ronstadt's "When Will I Be Loved", which was then cut in the middle with "Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas, launching the simulcast. This marked the station's return to a rhythmic format since WLDA's exit in October 2001, and marks the third time the two stations simulcasted each other. On November 14, 2010, the station changed its name to "WiLD 105.7 & 96.7", retaining the "Atlanta's Party Station" slogan.
On March 28, 2013, at 11:00 a.m., due to low ratings most likely caused by Power 96-1's launch in August 2012, WWVA/WWLG began stunting with a loop of "What's the Frequency, Kenneth" and "Radio Song" by R.E.M.. Just after Noon, the stations became "Radio 105.7", with an alternative rock format similar to 92.9 Dave FM and 99X, which both flipped in late 2012. On April 11, 2013, WWLG's call letters were changed to WRDG, while WWVA's call letters were changed to WRDA.
On November 11, 2016, at 9:23 a.m., WRDG dropped the simulcast of WRDA (who continued with the alternative format), flipped to mainstream urban as "92.3 & 96.7 The Beat", and began simulcasting on translator W222AF FM 92.3 (who also dropped its contemporary Spanish format). "The Beat" launched with 10,000 songs in a row, and began carrying The Breakfast Club (which had previously been heard on W233BF) in morning drive starting December 5. The flip made the pair the fourth current-based hip hop station in the market, the other three being WVEE, WHTA and the aforementioned W233BF.
On May 4, 2020, iHeart moved the "Beat" moniker, airstaff, and urban format to WBZY (105.3 FM), as that signal has a larger coverage area than 96.7. WRDG continued to simulcast 105.3 FM until May 18, when it switched to a fourth simulcast with 105.7 FM (now WBZY). The WRDG call letters moved to 105.3 on the same date; in turn, 96.7 FM adopted the WRDA call sign and then the WBZW calls on May 26, 2020.
On November 5, 2021, the station broke from the 105.7 simulcast once again and began stunting with Christmas music as "Christmas 96.7", running commercial free through the holiday season. On January 1, 2022, WBZW switched to a Regional Mexican format, branded as "96.7 El Patrón". The flip returned the format and branding to the iHeart cluster for the first time since the now-WRDG flipped to Spanish contemporary hits in November 2018.
- FCC History Cards for WBZW
- WMKJ Becomes Wild 96.7
- 96.7 The Buzz Moves to 105.3
- Lite FM Atlanta Rekindled at 96.7
- 2007 Holiday Format Change Rundown
- Atlanta Doubles Its Groove
- Groove Atlanta Evolving Wildly
- Alternative Returns to Atlanta
- Radio 105.7 Launches
- iHeart Debuts The Beat 92.3/96.7 Atlanta
- Another Atlanta FM Loses Its Translator
- The Beat Moves in Atlanta
- Z105.7 Atlanta Readds 96.7 Simulcast Radioinsight - May 18, 2020
- Commercial-Free Christmas Comes To Atlanta
- "El Patrón Returns to Atlanta". Radioinsght. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
- WBZW in the FCC FM station database
- WBZW on Radio-Locator
- WBZW in Nielsen Audio's FM station database
- WVWA Parody Site
- Scott Fybush's article on (the fake) WVWA