|Broadcast area||Atlanta metropolitan area|
|Frequency||105.3 MHz (HD Radio)
105.3 HD-2 Mia
|Branding||“105.3 The Beat”|
|WBIN, WBZW, WBZY, WUBL, WWPW|
First air date
|May 1994(as WYAI at 105.5)|
Former call signs
|105.5 MHz (1994–2002)|
Call sign meaning
|Similar to that of previous simulcaster WRDA (now WBZY); moved over from now-WBZW|
|HAAT||367 meters (1,204 ft)|
HD2: Listen Live
|Website||105.3 The Beat Online|
WRDG (105.3 FM, "105.3 The Beat") is an Atlanta radio station broadcasting a mainstream urban radio format. The station's transmitter is located in Newnan, Georgia and targets metro Atlanta, also covering its city of license of Bowdon, Georgia. It is owned by iHeartMedia and operates from studios located at the Peachtree Palisades building in the Brookwood Hills district of Atlanta.
Early years (1994-2004)
The station began in May 1994 as country-music "Y 105.5" WYAI-FM, a class-A serving Carrollton to the west-southwest of metro Atlanta. Having co-channel RF interference with station WCHK-FM 105.5 in Canton, Georgia (north-northwest of Atlanta), both stations changed radio frequencies (the other station now being WBZY 105.7) and moved closer to Atlanta. In late February 2002, the station upgraded to a class C1 as an Atlanta move-in. To create hype, the station stunted with classical music and comedy bits. 105.3 officially debuted as WMAX-FM "105.3 The Max", playing all 80s music, on February 18, 2002, with "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles being the first song played. On January 30, 2004, at 6 p.m., after playing "It's The End of the World" by R.E.M., it became a hot talk station known as "Real Radio 105.3" that aired talk on weekdays and '80s music on weekends. The WMAX-FM callsign now resides on another iHeartMedia station in Holland, Michigan, which is currently branded as “96.1 The Game.”
Viva to 105.3 The Buzz (2004-2006)
On September 15, 2004, at 10 a.m., following "The MJ Morning Show", the station began stunting with a heartbeat sound effect and Spanish-language liners promoting the upcoming launch of the new format. At 11 p.m. that evening, the station changed to Latin Top 40 as WWVA-FM "Viva 105.3", as part of efforts by owner iHeartMedia (then Clear Channel Communications) to expand into Hispanic radio markets. During the last quarter of 2004, it was the second-top-rated radio station in Atlanta.
On May 5, 2005, WWVA-FM would begin simulcasting on 105.7 FM, displacing oldies-formatted "Cool 105.7", as part of a frequency and format shuffle. After four days of simulcasting and a brief stunt of a loop directing listeners to the new frequency, WBZY's alternative rock format would move from 96.7 to 105.3 as "105.3 the Buzz" ("Viva" would then also begin simulcasting on 96.7 FM on May 17, also after a brief simulcasting period). For two weeks, the calls of 105.3 were changed to WLCL, so the local media wouldn't be able to predict the move. After the switch, the calls were changed to WBZY.
The Buzz to El Patrón (2006-2018)
On November 17, 2006, at 9 a.m. EST, The Buzz ceased operations. Some of the on-air staff were fired and others moved down the dial to sister station WKLS FM 96.1, which was changed from "96 Rock" to "Project 9-6-1". For several days, WBZY simulcasted the new station until it began a loop telling listeners to tune into the new station, as well as advertising the new format of the station. The 105.3 frequency debuted a new Regional Mexican format under the name El Patrón on November 26 at 9 a.m. EST.
On October 19, 2009, sister station WWVA-FM (then known as Viva 105.7), who had been broadcasting a Spanish AC format, flipped to Rhythmic AC as "Groove 105.7", thus leaving WBZY as Atlanta's only FM Spanish-language station. This move prompted Clear Channel to merge 105.7's Spanish adult contemporary format with 105.3's regional Mexican format. The "Viva" format has moved to El Patrón's HD-2 channel.
WBZY-HD2 as Mia from iHeartRadio (2013-present)
Near the end of September 2013, Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio online, commercial-free Spanish Contemporary Hit Music formatted station known as Mia, began broadcasting on WBZY-HD2. Previously, Mia was an online-only station on iHeartRadio with no local origin. However, with its beginning on WBZY-HD2, it began to identify itself as "WBZY-HD2, Bowdon, Georgia" at the top of every hour, even when listened to on iHeartRadio. Radio personalities on Mia originate from other iHeartMedia-owned stations like Humberto "El Gato" Rodríguez Calderón from WZTU in Miami and Paula Andrea from WBZY itself.
Z105.3/105.3 La Z (2018-2020)
At 5 p.m. on November 8, 2018, WBZY flipped to Spanish CHR, branded as "Z105.3". In July of the following year, the branding changed slightly to "105.3 La Z", though it would revert to the "Z105.3" branding the next year.
105.3 The Beat (2020-present)
On April 20, 2020, sister station WRDA assumed the format of WBZY, both frequencies simulcasting as a means of transition for the "Z" format. At Midnight on May 4, 2020, in the middle of "Limbo" by Daddy Yankee, WBZY dropped the simulcast and assumed the mainstream urban format of WRDG as "105.3 The Beat" (the first song on The Beat was "High Fashion" by one-time Atlanta native Roddy Ricch), as the 105.3 frequency had a much larger signal coverage (at 61,000 watts), albeit covering the Atlanta Metropolitan area from the southwestern portion of the market (roughly 80% of Fulton and DeKalb counties, a majority encompasses the city of Atlanta based on its primary signal coverage). Like the WRDA simulcast, this was a temporary simulcast; on May 18, WRDG switched to a simulcast of WBZY as WBZW. The WBZY call letters would move to 105.7 FM on May 11; in turn, the WRDA calls moved to 105.3 FM. A week later, 105.3 would adopt the WRDG call letters from 96.7.
- List of radio stations in Georgia (U.S. state)
- Georgia (U.S. state)
- List of radio stations in North and Central America
- "105.3 the Max Moves in". 18 February 2002.
- "WMAX Becomes Real Radio 105.3". 30 January 2004.
- WMAX Becomes "Viva 105.3"
- El Patrón Gives Way to Z105.3 Atlanta Radioinsight - November 8, 2018
- “Alt 105.7 Atlanta Gives Way To Spanish CHR Z105.7” from Radio Insight (April 2020)
- Alt 105.7 is off the FM dial, signal now simulcasting Latin hits Z105.3- Atlanta Journal Constitution April 20, 2020
- “The Beat Moves In Atlanta” from RadioInsight - May 4, 2020
- 105.3 The Beat website
- WRDG in the FCC FM station database
- WRDG on Radio-Locator
- WRDG in Nielsen Audio's FM station database