WPEK
Broadcast areaAsheville metropolitan area
Frequency880 kHz
BrandingESPN Asheville
Programming
FormatSports
AffiliationsESPN Radio
Ownership
Owner
History
First air date
July 4, 1997; 26 years ago (1997-07-04)
Former call signs
WTZY (1997–2004)
Call sign meaning
Peak (previous format)
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID41565
ClassD
Power5,000 watts (Daytime)
Translator(s)92.9 W225CJ (Asheville)
Repeater(s)1400 WMXF (Waynesville)
Links
Public license information
WebcastListen Live
Websiteespnavl.iheart.com

WPEK (880 kHz) is a commercial AM daytimer radio station, known as "ESPN Asheville." It is licensed to Fairview, North Carolina and serves the Asheville metropolitan area. The station airs an all-sports radio format and is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. Most programming comes from ESPN Radio. WPEK is largely simulcast on WMXF (1400 AM) in Waynesville, North Carolina.

WPEK broadcasts with 5,000 watts by day using a non-directional antenna. Because 880 AM is a United States clear channel frequency reserved for 50,000 watt Class A WCBS in New York City, WPEK must sign-off at night to avoid interference. The transmitter is on Sales Farm Drive in Asheville.[2] WPEK can be heard around the clock on 180-watt FM translator station W225CJ at 92.9 MHz in Asheville.[3]

History

In 1988, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a construction permit for a new radio station in Fairview, North Carolina, on 880 AM, but it took nine years to build it. On July 4, 1997, the station signed on as WTZY.[4] It was owned by EEI Communications and aired a talk radio format. It was the second Asheville area station to air The Rush Limbaugh Show (after WSKY). WTZY was an affiliate of CBS Radio News.

When the station's talk programming was moved to WWNC, WTZY became WPEK "The Peak", a classic country station. Later, the format was adult standards.

WPEK's logo as a progressive talk station

In 2004,[5] the format was switched to progressive talk. For several years, much of the programming came from Air America Media. Later, WPEK had its own schedule of syndicated progressive talk hosts, including Bill Press, Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz,[6] Thom Hartmann and Norman Goldman.

In 2010, WPEK dropped Thom Hartmann, who moved to WPVM-LP, added to a schedule that included weekday hosts Lesley Groetsch and Blake Butler, whose "Local Edge Radio" includes "politics, arts and entertainment, live music and local listener call-ins."[7] Weekend programming included Mountain Music Time, a program of traditional bluegrass and mountain music broadcast on Saturday mornings, followed by an hour of the Errington Thompson Show.

On June 11, 2018, WPEK flipped to sports, branded as "ESPN Asheville," with programming from ESPN Radio. The progressive talk programming, still branded "The Revolution", was moved to W266CP (101.1 FM)/WKSF-HD3.[8] The progressive talk format ultimately ended in late 2018, when W266CP/WKSF-HD3 switched to alternative rock.

References

  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WPEK". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ Radio-Locator.com/WPEK
  3. ^ Radio-Locator.com/W225CJ
  4. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2000 page D-324
  5. ^ "Citizen-Times Article". Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2007.
  6. ^ Kiss, Tony (January 22, 2010). "Air America radio network's demise to have little local impact". Asheville Citizen-Times. Retrieved January 22, 2010. [dead link]
  7. ^ "More changes come to 880-AM radio station". Asheville Citizen-Times. February 15, 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ ESPN Returns to Asheville as Revolution Moves to FM Radioinsight - June 11, 2018

35°32′48″N 82°28′15″W / 35.54667°N 82.47083°W / 35.54667; -82.47083