|City||Asheville, North Carolina|
|Branding||News Radio 570|
|Slogan||The Talk Of The Mountains|
|Affiliations||Fox News Radio|
|Owner||iHeartMedia, Inc. |
(iHM Licenses, LLC)
|WKSF, WQNQ, WQNS, WPEK, WMXF|
First air date
|February 21, 1927|
Call sign meaning
|Wonderful Western North Carolina|
WWNC (570 AM) is a radio station in Asheville, North Carolina, United States. It transmits at 5,000 watts of power. It currently[when?] has a News/Talk format and is affiliated with Fox News Radio. WWNC is under the ownership of iHeartMedia, Inc..
WWNC, whose call letters stand for "Wonderful Western North Carolina", signed on the air on February 21, 1927, as Asheville's first radio station, broadcasting from the Vanderbilt Hotel. Other broadcast locations have included the Flatiron Building and the Citizen-Times building.
In its early days, WWNC, started by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, provided weather and road reports, and music at night. Jimmie Rodgers was among the stars who performed on the station.
On October 10, 1931, WWNC changed its network affiliation from CBS to NBC.
On September 10, 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt spoke at McCormick Field. WWNC broadcast the speech.
The first time the world heard Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys was February 2, 1939, at 3:30 pm when the group played a fifteen-minute segment on Mountain Music Time. At the time, WWNC was an NBC affiliate, owned by the Asheville Citizen-Times. Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys played the daily 3:30-3:45 Mountain Music spot until April 1, 1939, when WWNC became a CBS affiliate and moved to the Asheville Citizen-Times building.
At one time, the station was home to Amos and Andy, Fibber McGee and Molly and Jack Benny. In 1938, WWNC was one of the many stations broadcasting Orson Welles' The War of the Worlds. Before 1969, when the format changed to country music, WWNC played middle of the road music.
In the days before FM became popular, WWNC was sometimes the most popular station in the United States with an Arbitron share over 40 percent, sometimes as high as 50 percent for Scotty Rhodarmer. It was the top station in the Asheville market as of 1994 and had been for many years.
In 2002, WWNC changed its format from country music (except for the morning show) to news/talk, taking over talk shows previously heard on WTZY (now WPEK). In 2004, Rhodarmer retired as WWNC morning host after more than 40 years in the position and 50 years as a station employee. In 1979, he had 56 percent of the audience according to Arbitron, more than any other local radio personality. His theme song was "Carolina in the Morning".
On June 18, 2010, many of the former DJs had a reunion. They included Rhodarmer, Frank Byrd, Wiley Carpenter, John Roten, John Anderson and Randy Houston. Roten now produces the morning show.
Western Carolina University broadcast a program in December 2010 on WWNC recreating Welles' 1938 broadcast of A Christmas Carol, including Arthur Anderson, who at age 16 performed with Welles in the original broadcast.
On January 23, 2012, Pete Kaliner, who worked at WBT in Charlotte, North Carolina, from 1999 to 2011, took the afternoon slot. Sean Hannity moved from 3 p.m. back to 6 p.m., where his show had been since Matt Mittan left the station. Kaliner said his show would feature "a wide-ranging discussion of all things in Western North Carolina".