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WREN
City of license Carrollton, Alabama
Branding The Mighty 590
Frequency 590 AM (kHz)
First air date August 1951[1]
Format Black Gospel
(currently silent)[2]
Power 1000 watts (day)
185 watts (night)
Class D
Facility ID 70262
Transmitter coordinates 33°13′04″N 88°05′48″W / 33.21778°N 88.09667°W / 33.21778; -88.09667
Former callsigns WRAG (1951-2008)
Owner Serendipity Ventures II, LLC

WREN (590 AM, "The Mighty 590") is a radio station licensed to serve Carrollton, Alabama, USA. The station is owned by Serendipity Ventures II, LLC.

The station normally broadcasts a traditional Black Gospel music format[3] but is temporarily silent.[2] Before adopting the current format, WRAG aired Top 40, country, and rhythm and blues music formats.[1]

Contents

History

The station was originally assigned the call letters WRAG by the Federal Communications Commission and began broadcasting in August 1951.[1] The 1,000 watt daytime-only station was licensed to Pickens County Broadcasting, Inc., which was itself owned by Roth E. Hook and W.E. Farrar.[4]

Carl Sauceman and his brother John Paul, also known as the Sauceman Brothers, were among the early pioneers of Bluegrass music.[5] After performing at radio stations in North Carolina and Tennessee, Carl Sauceman brought his Green Valley Boys to WRAG in early 1952 for a decade-long run as the station's studio band.[5][6] Sauceman was elevated to program director in 1954[7] then general manager of the station in 1955.[8] The Green Valley Boys' broadcasts are credited with popularizing Bluegrass in central Alabama and eastern Mississippi.[5]

In June 1990, after nearly 40 years of ownership, Pickens County Broadcasting Company, Inc., made a deal to sell WRAG to Vintage Broadcasting Corporation. The deal was approved by the FCC on August 7, 1990, and the transaction was consummated on October 1, 1990.[9]

In May 1994, Vintage Broadcasting Corporation agreed to sell this station to Firststar Broadcasting Systems, Inc. The deal was approved by the FCC on August 3, 1994, but the transaction was not consummated and WRAG was placed back on the market.[10] In September 1994, Vintage Broadcasting Corporation reached an agreement to sell this station to Grant Radio Group, LLC. The deal was approved by the FCC on December 14, 1994, and the transaction was consummated on February 15, 1995.[11]

In July 1997, Grant Radio Group, LLC, contracted to sell this station to Willis Broadcasting subsidiary Birmingham Christian Radio, Inc. The deal was approved by the FCC on October 16, 1997, and the transaction was consummated on June 30, 1998.[12]

In April 2006, Willis Broadcasting-owned Birmingham Christian Radio, Inc., reached an agreement to sell this station to Kingdom Radio of Chattanooga, LLC, as part of a two-station deal for a reported combined sale price of $200,000.[13] The deal was approved by the FCC on June 5, 2006, and the transaction was consummated on August 2, 2006.[14]

In April 2008, Kingdom Radio of Chattanooga, LLC, agreed to sell this station to Serendipity Ventures II, LLC. The deal was approved by the FCC on May 8, 2008, and the transaction was consummated on May 9, 2008.[15] The new owners had the FCC assign this station the current call letters WREN on October 14, 2008.[16] These historic call letters once belonged to a radio station in Topeka, Kansas.[17]

Silent

The station fell silent on September 29, 2008, and the licensee applied to the FCC for authority to remain silent for 180 days.[2] The licensee cited "the current economic conditions in Pickens County, Alabama" and "some other personal family health issues" for the suspension of operations.[2] They stated they expect to resume operations in "the Spring of 2009". As of January 7, 2009, the application has been accepted for filing by the FCC but not yet approved.[2]

References

  1. ^ a b c "AM History Profile: WRAG". Alabama Broadcast Media Page. http://bellsouthpwp2.net/c/r/crackedlcd/almediapage/profiles/wrag.html.  
  2. ^ a b c d e "Application Search Details (BLSTA-20080930ABY)". FCC Media Bureau. October 1, 2008. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=1269096.  
  3. ^ "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. http://www.arbitron.com/radio_stations/station_information.htm.  
  4. ^ "Directory of the AM and FM stations of the United States". 1953 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc.. 1953. p. 68.  
  5. ^ a b c "The Sauceman Brothers (Carl & J.P.)". Birthplace of Country Music (in association with The Smithsonian Institution). http://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/node/242. Retrieved January 8, 2009.  
  6. ^ "HR176 Honoring Mr. Jim Brock, Sr., on being named 2008 Aliceville Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year". Legislature of the state of Alabama. February 26, 2008. http://www.legislature.state.al.us/Searchableinstruments/2008RS/Resolutions/HR176.htm.  
  7. ^ "Directory of AM and FM stations and Market Data of the United States". Broadcasting-Telecasting 1955 Yearbook-Marketbook Issue. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc.. 1955. p. 69.  
  8. ^ "Directory of the AM and FM stations of the United States". 1956 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc.. 1956. p. 68.  
  9. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19900621ED)". FCC Media Bureau. October 1, 1990. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=149708.  
  10. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19940523GE)". FCC Media Bureau. August 3, 1994. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=199456.  
  11. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19940909GF)". FCC Media Bureau. February 15, 1995. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=202328.  
  12. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19970722EC)". FCC Media Bureau. June 30, 1998. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=250110.  
  13. ^ "Deals - 5/8/2006". Broadcasting & Cable. May 8, 2006. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6332377.html?q=WRAG.  
  14. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-20060412ACZ)". FCC Media Bureau. August 2, 2006. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=1125848.  
  15. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-20080501AAK)". FCC Media Bureau. May 9, 2008. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=1244846.  
  16. ^ "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/call_hist.pl?Facility_id=70262&Callsign=WREN.  
  17. ^ Lippman, Leopold (February 23, 1958). "Some Radio Call Letters With a Message". The New York Times. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0A1EFC385D1A7B93C1AB1789D85F4C8585F9. "Dog lovers can hear the familiar WOOF in Dothan, Ala., and bird-watchers look to Topeka, Kan., for a WREN, or to Oakland, Calif., for a KROW."  

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