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WNGC (106.1 FM, "North Georgia Country 106.1") is a radio station in North Georgia that plays country music. Its city of license is Toccoa, Georgiamarker.

Station history

On May 1, 1948, the radio station signed on as WGAU-FM, broadcasting on 99.5 at 3600 watts, simulcasting sister station WGAU-AM. In 1956, the station moved to 102.5 because when Atlanta's channel 11 came on the air, it created a second "harmonic". During the 1962 year, WGAU-FM was broadcasting in stereo for 6 hours, the second in Georgia to do so. Also in 1962, WGAU-FM moved to 95.5. This was due to when Channel 8 came on, it created a "beat-frequency" with Channel 5 in the Athens area. Starting in 1963, and lasting until 1968, Clarke Broadcasting had an agreement with The University of Georgia School of Journalism to allow students to use WGAU-FM for 3 hours, using the format on the air at the time: beautiful music.

Then in March of 1968, WGAU-FM expanded its studios and became WNGC-FM. The following year, WNGC became North Georgia's first full-time country music station, also one of the first in the nation to program country music full-time. In 1976, WNGC went 24 hours a day, and began broadcasting at 100,000 watts from a tower located in Neece, Georgia.

Then in 1999, Clarke Broadcasting (the owners at the time) sold the WNGC call letters/studio, along with sister WGAU-AM to Southern Broadcasting. They sold the 95.5 dial position to Cox Radio in Atlanta. Southern Broadcasting already owned WSTE-FM 106.1 in Toccoa/Gainesville, and decided to move 106.1 to Athens. Until the deal was finalized, WNGC was heard on 95.5 and 106.1. The transition was made at the end of a Georgia Bulldogs game, 95.5 went dead for a few seconds, and signed back on as 95-5 The Beat, (WBTS-FM) and 106.1 became WNGC-FM.

Prior to December 1996, 106.1 was a light rock station before switching to country and calling itself "South 106." The studios had moved from Toccoa to Gainesville and finally to Athens. Its signal was hard to pick up in the Atlanta area outside of Gwinnett. In the spring of 1999, WSTE built a new tower because at the time they were still in competition with WNGC, before the two stations merged. The purpose of the deal was to try to reach a larger audience and give the two Atlanta country stations WKHX "Kicks" 101.5, and WYAY (at the time Y106) some competition.

While WNGC's City of License is in Toccoa, the transmitter is located in Lula, Georgiamarker (in northern Hall County). WNGC's signal can be heard in Downtown Atlanta, Greenville, South Carolinamarker and in parts of Asheville, North Carolinamarker, However the main coverage area is in the northeast corner of Georgia (Gainesville-Toccoa)and the Athens metro area (where the studios are located). Attempts were made in 2001 to move the transmitter to Sugar Hill in Gwinnett County, but those plans were scrapped.

In January 2008, it was announced that WNGC was sold (along with sister stations WGMGmarker, WPUPmarker, WRFCmarker and WGAU) to Cox Radio in Atlanta. Also with WYAY-FM's (Eagle 106.7) demise as a country music station in March 2008, WNGC will become the dominant country music station in North Georgia. On March 7, 2008, WNGC started running ads inviting former Eagle 106.7 listeners to switch to 106.1 WNGC. In February 2009, WNGC became an affiliate of the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN), and began carrying coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on weekends.

Current programs

  • Moby in the Morning, mornings (Former Kicks 101.5 morning host, now has a syndicated program
  • "Normal" Saturdays: North Georgia Night Train, Country Top 40, KB Travis, WNGC's Classic Country Saturday Night
  • "Football" Saturdays (September-December): UGA Football and The Fifth Quarter Show
  • Sundays: North Georgia Night Train, The Gospel Greats, Racin' Country USA, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing (February-November), CMT's Country Countdown USA

Paul Rea was a former announcer.

The Georgia Bulldogs

WNGC-FM is one of the many stations that carry The University of Georgiamarker Football Games (along with sister WRFC-AM), something it has done since January 30, 1991. WNGC was also the home of UGA men's basketball until 2005. It can now be heard on sister station 960 WRFC-AM and on Bulldog 100.1 [WPUP-FM]. In February 2009,it was announced that WNGC will also be th new radio home of Nascar in north Georgia, which was previously on WYAY.

Previous callsigns for 106.1

  • WLET-FM 1978-1985
  • WZLI 1985-1992
  • WLET-FM 1992-1997
  • WSTE-FM 1997-1999
  • WNGC 1999-Now

Previous frequencies for WNGC

  • 95.5 (as WGAU-FM 1962-1968 WNGC-FM 1968-1999)
  • 102.5 (as WGAU-FM/1957-1962)
  • 99.5 (as WGAU-FM/1948-1957)


External links

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