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WAAV logo.png
City of license Leland, North Carolina
Broadcast area Wilmington
Slogan "News,Talk & Sports, 980 The Wave"
Frequency 980 kHz
Format News/Talk/Sports
Power 5000 Watts
Class B
Transmitter coordinates 34°14′54″N 78°00′6″W / 34.24833°N 78.00167°W / 34.24833; -78.00167
Owner Cumulus Media
Sister stations WGNI, WKXS-FM, WMNX, WWQQ-FM
Webcast Listen Live
Website Official website

WAAV (980 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a News/Talk format. Licensed to Leland, North Carolina, USA, it serves the Wilmington area. The station is currently owned by Cumulus Media.


WKLM was a Top 40 station at 740 AM. The station later moved to 980 and increased power to 5000 watts, though it was daytime-only[1].

Because of FCC regulations regarding the number of stations one owner could have, WAAV had to be sold in 1984. Don Ansell bought the station and ran it until selling to Cumulus in 1997. Among those he interviewed over the years: Velma Barfield, the first woman executed in North Carolina after the return of capital punishment.

After Hurricane Diana hit the area in September 1984, WAAV had just started its news/talk format, and it was the only radio station on the air, using a diesel generator named "Old Bessie." Ansell stayed on the air for 24 hours using a flashlight and a telephone. Ansell said, "It put us on the map." He said to The Star-News back then, "'It's quite a bit different when there are no crutches. No tapes, no music, no commercials - just your voice."[2].

Starting in September 1994, WAAV planned an FM station at 94.1 which would air sports talk. The AM station already had a number of sports programs. Roman Gabriel III, a USFL player and son of Los Angeles Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel, began hosting the station's first five-day-a-week sports talk program August 1, 1994. At that time, the station aired UNC and N. C. State football and basketball (including coaches' shows), "ACC Hotline," NASCAR races and talk shows, high school football, college football, "Monday Night Football," the NBA Charlotte Hornets, the CBS Radio baseball game of the week, The World Series, UNCW baseball and women's basketball[3], and American Legion baseball[4]. For their two years in the area, WAAV also aired the games of the minor league baseball Port City Roosters[5][6].

On April 30, 1997, Cumulus Broadcasting announced its purchase of WAAV, WWQQ, WXQR, and WQSL[7]. Ansell stayed as host of "Talk of the Town".[2] After the purchase WAAV dropped UNCW sports. UNCW games moved first to WMFD[8] and then to WLGX before returning to WAAV three years later[4].

On December 21, 2006, Ansell retired after 22 years as WAAV morning host[2].


  1. ^, Retrieved on 2008/07/24.
  2. ^ a b c Bonnie Eksten, "Voice, Over - He's Interviewed Murderers, Politicians and Smelly Radicals. After 22 Lively Years, WAAV Host Donn Ansell Unplugs the Mic," Star-News, December 21, 2006.
  3. ^ Chuck Carree, "TV and Radio Sports/WJKA Will Carry ACC Football; New Talk Show Highlights WAAV Offerings," Star-News, August 1, 1994.
  4. ^ a b Brian Hendrickson, "UNCW on the Radio; Seahawks' Games Go Back to WAAV," Star-News, May 18, 2000.
  5. ^ Chuck Carree, "Minor League Baseball; Awakened Public Quick to Pick Up Rooster Tickets," Star-News, February 17, 1995.
  6. ^ Chuck Carree, "Waves Baseball; Sports Station to Carry All Games," Star-News, November 16, 2000.
  7. ^ Tricia Vance, "WAAV, 'Q' GROUP; 4 Radio Stations Are Sold," Star-News, May 1, 1997.
  8. ^ Carter Strickland, "WMFD Replaces WAAV; Seahawks Find a New Radio Outlet for Games," Star-News, September 13, 1997.

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