After more than two years of low-power broadcasting, radio station WRCG-AM 1420 is back to full power. And that's good news for Atlanta Braves fans who haven't been able to pull in the station to hear the games locally.
This week, the station switched from a low-power, 79-watt station to a 5,000-watt broadcaster covering the better part of three counties.
"It's been a long, drawn-out process," said Chuck Thompson, Vice President and Market Manager for Archway Broadcasting, which owns the venerable AM station. "We finally got permission from the commission to back to full-power."
Archway bought WRCG as part of a $15 million, four-station purchase of McClure Broadcasting company in 2002. But the purchase did not include the site of the WRCG's transmission tower, which eventually forced Archway to go low-power until they could find a suitable transmission site. Eventually they purchased a tower site formerly used by WDAK AM-540.
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Now "the footpath is our metro: Harris County, Muscogee, Russell," Thompson said.
WRCG is home not only to Atlanta Braves baseball, but also talk radio favorites like Neil Boortz, Clark Howard and Bill Bennett. It also broadcasts Atlanta Thrashers hockey games.
The station was home to a local morning call-in show, "Talkline," for decades until it pulled the plug on the show in April 2007. After the company killed "Talkline," the Archway stations -- which also include WCGQ-FM 107.3 (Q 107-3), WRLD-FM 95.3 (Boomer) and WKCN-FM 99.3 (Kissin Country) -- were rumored to be for sale.
No more, said Thompson.
"None of the stations are for sale. We are off the market," he said. "Things are starting to click. We're relaunching all the station Web sites with live, streaming video."