WIGO (AM)

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WIGO
Broadcast areaAtlanta
Frequency1570 kHz
BrandingWIGO AM 1570
Programming
FormatUrban Gospel music
Ownership
OwnerMCL/MCM Georgia, LLC
History
First air date
March 21, 1959 (1959-03-21)
Former call signs
WCPK (1959–1960)
WEAS (1960–1961)
WEAD (1961–1964)
WAIA (1964–1966)
WBAD (1966–1968)
WSSA (1968[1]–2007)
Call sign meaning
Heritage call letters of 1340 AM (1968–1995)
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID60918
ClassD
Power5,000 watts day
50 watts night
Transmitter coordinates
33°36′5.00″N 84°18′40.00″W / 33.6013889°N 84.3111111°W / 33.6013889; -84.3111111
Links
Public license information
WebcastListen Live
Websitewigoam.com

WIGO (1570 AM) is a Christian radio station broadcasting an urban gospel music radio format with some paid brokered programming. Licensed to Morrow, Georgia, it serves the Atlanta metropolitan area. The station is currently owned by MCL/MCM Georgia, LLC.

History

The station operating at 1570 kHz in the Atlanta area first began broadcasting as WCPK, a 1,000-watt daytime-only outlet licensed to College Park, Georgia, on March 21, 1959.[2] The station changed its call letters to WEAS—using a designation freshly vacated by 950 AM, causing confusion—in March 1960,[3] then to WEAD on January 1, 1961;[4] it was a "good music" station with studios at a Hilton Inn near Atlanta International Airport, in Hapeville.[5] College Park Broadcasting Corporation, the original licensee, filed for bankruptcy in 1963, and the station was sold at public auction that April;[6] the buyer was Metro Atlanta Broadcasting.[7] The call letters were changed to WAIA, reflecting its airport location, in 1964.[8]

In 1965, WAIA was acquired by John R. Dorsey for $60,000.[9] A year later, WAIA became WBAD, a Top 40 outlet.[10] The station changed call letters to WSSA and format to country in October 1968,[11] the same month it was acquired by Clayton Broadcasting Company.[4] Two years later, it was authorized to change its city of license to Morrow and increase power to 5,000 watts.[12]

In 1974, WSSA was acquired by Jim Beattie and Jim Simmons, a former station owner elsewhere on the East Coast and a North Carolina auto dealer, respectively.[13] The station continued its country format and also aired NASCAR Winston Cup Series races.[14] By 1978, the station was entirely owned by Simmons, and he sold it to the Piper brothers doing business as South Atlanta Broadcasting in a $345,000 transaction.[15]

The station began airing specialty programs of contemporary Christian music and Christian rock in 1981.[16] A year later, control of the licensee was sold to Wings Radio, in which the Pipers owned a 50 percent stake.[17] The Wings organization was named for Isaiah 40:31 ("but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."), and the group programmed the station with an entirely Christian format as well as services from more than 50 local churches and news and features for residents of Clayton County.[18]

After changing to talk programming, WSSA adopted a Christian country format in 1995, branded as "God's Country".[19] Southern gospel music was added a year later.[20] Saints, Inc., acquired control of WSSA in 1998.[21]

In the early 2000s, a local marketing agreement was reached with Ritmo Latino, which programmed the station in Spanish. That LMA, and an option to buy the station, were acquired by MCL/MCM in January 2005. The group then bought the station itself for $1.75 million in 2006.[22] The station's call letters were changed to WIGO, reviving a designation that had been used for decades at 1340 AM, the first 24-hour R&B music station in the city.[23]

References

  1. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 12, 1968. p. 71. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  2. ^ "WBAD" (PDF). Broadcasting Yearbook. 1968. p. B-43 (191). Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  3. ^ "Rose by any name" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 20, 1960. p. 71.
  4. ^ a b FCC History Cards for WIGO
  5. ^ Crawford, Jo Ann (May 5, 1962). "Station On the Go --- That Is WEAD". The Atlanta Constitution. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  6. ^ "BANKRUPTCY sale of radio station WEAD..." The Atlanta Constitution. April 24, 1963. p. 29. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  7. ^ "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 23, 1963. p. 74-C. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  8. ^ "WEAD Gets Permission To Change Call to WAIA". The Atlanta Constitution. April 20, 1964. p. 22-A. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  9. ^ "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 22, 1965. p. 60. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  10. ^ Blackwell, Beverly (November 12, 1966). "WBAD to Play Top 40 Tunes". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 4-L.
  11. ^ "The Radio Dial". The Atlanta Constitution. April 6, 1969. p. 18-F. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  12. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 1, 1970. p. 62. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  13. ^ "Station WSSA Is Sold". The Atlanta Constitution. September 16, 1974. p. 2-C. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  14. ^ Tucker, Tom (April 10, 1977). "Radio station WSSA..." The Atlanta Constitution. p. 17-D. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  15. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 24, 1978. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  16. ^ King, Bill. "WABE Fund-Raising Drive Tops Goal". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 11-B. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  17. ^ "Ownership changes" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 10, 1982. p. 108. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  18. ^ McDonald, Charles A. (December 18, 1986). "Morrow radio station finds its promised land". The Atlanta Constitution. p. Clayton Extra 5. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  19. ^ Weiss, Michael (August 17, 1995). "L.A. deejay finds 'God's country'". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. J1. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  20. ^ "Format Changes & Updates" (PDF). M Street Journal. October 30, 1996. p. 1 (43). Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  21. ^ "Proposed Station Transfers" (PDF). M Street Journal. August 12, 1998. p. 6 (16). Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  22. ^ "Atlanta AM brings 1.75M". Radio Business Report. September 5, 2006. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  23. ^ Stewart, H.D. (May 20, 1995). "The WIGO Story". The Atlanta Voice. p. 9. Retrieved July 23, 2020.

External links


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