WGWG Sold; To Convert To Online Operation

88.3 WGWG The Range Shelby Gardner-Webb UniversityUpdate 11/21: Gardner-Webb has filed to sell WGWG to Columbia International University for $1.2 Million.

Columbia International already owns Christian AC “New Life 91.9” WRCM Wingate, NC in the Charlotte market. The two signals compliment each other with WGWG serving the western portions of the market and WRCM the east.

Original Report 6/28: Gardner-Webb University has announced it is in negotiations to sell AAA “88.3 The Range” WGWG Boiling Springs, NC and will convert the station to an online only operation.

In a statement to the Shelby Star, WGWG GM Noel Manning points out an extra incentive from switching from a non-commercial license to an online station.

“Stepping back from an FM frequency frees you a little bit,” he said. “There are certain stipulations and regulations from the FCC you have to abide by with an FM frequency. For example, as a non-commercial station, if someone wants to purchase online sponsorships from you, you’re limited by what wordage you can use. Online, we can do full-blown commercials. It opens up new opportunities for us to work with.”

WGWG serves the western edge of Charlotte, NC market and rimshots Spartanburg, SC.

The press release regarding the move of WGWG follows:

Later this year WGWG 88.3 FM plans to transition to an exclusive Internet only model of distribution. WGWG will continue to operate programming daily from the studios located at the Elliott House on 106 Emily Lane in Boiling Springs, N.C. Through online delivery, social media and on-demand programming Gardner-Webb radio will offer content at WGWG.org, soundcloud.com/wgwgdotorg and additional channels.

Discussions regarding this type of potential transition have been ongoing for several years. Technology has continued to advance for music delivery and on-demandaudio programming, and WGWG has been active in that technology. In 1998, WGWG.org was launched before many commercial stations made the move to offer an Internet radiostream. WGWG also began offering archived programming in the early2000s. With the advent of mobile devices capable of playing audio streams,and the potential mass production of smart-dashboards in vehicles capable ofthe same, the time was right for Gardner-Webb to make this move exclusively toonline distribution.

By utilizing the online platform more fully, WGWG officials aim to satisfy their current audience with an eye on expanding theirbase. “We hope to attract new online listeners as well,” said Jeff Powell,WGWG operations manager. “We also plan to expand the hands-on opportunities for students to learn radio, audio, broadcast announcing, public speaking, and writing.”

WGWG began as a radio club in 1961, and transitioned into FM radio in 1974. WGWG.org will continue to offer a variety of music and shows including student/faculty/staff-produced content, Gardner-Webb athletics and original programming produced by community volunteers. During the 2012-13 academic year, 19 students were active in WGWG on the air and behind the scenes. Faculty and staff members are already taking advantage of using wgwg.org for their departments and programs through on-air shows available live, on-demand and through social media. WGWG.org plans to increase these opportunities as well, and will offer on-demand audio archives and downloads of Gardner-Webb athletics broadcasts.

WGWG.org is available on your computer, and on your mobile device with the Tune-in Radio app. On demand programming is available at soundcloud.com/wgwgdotorg. You can also find WGWG on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wgwgradio and Twitter at @wgwgdotorg.

Negotiationsare underway with a potential buyer of the 88.3 FM signal and details will be shared when plans are finalized. The studios and the WGWG call letters are not being sold. The only items related to the sale are the FM signal, and the property and equipment located at the radio tower site in Mooresboro. N.C.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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