AM Technical Profile: WREN


Frequency:
590
Format:
Religious
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] A few miles south of Carrollton on AL-17.
Power (ERP):
Day: 1 kW
Night: 185 watts
Antenna:
Omnidirectional
Other Information:
[FCC]
[Radio-Locator]
[Wikipedia]
History:
WRAG came on in August 1951 as a daytimer with 1 kW along with WRAG-FM (now WZBQ). At one time it was owned by Roth E. Hook.  Before going to their current gospel format, the station had stints as top 40, country and R&B.  In the late 90's the tower was struck by lightning, sending the station off the air for quite some time. In more modern times, the station (owned by Willis Broadcasting Network of Virginia) had been alive and kicking with traditional black gospel music. Disc jockey and station manager Willie Washington has been with the station for over 42 years. He currently runs it with another jock, Al Hinton.  Their slogan is "The Mighty 590 AM".  At some point, Bishop Willis likely had to divest the station as part of a settlement with the FCC over character issues.  It came under ownership of Serendipity Ventures.
.
In December of 2008 the station was reported to have changed calls from WRAG to WREN.  This station has been on the FCC silent list since June 2009.  The station was deleted by Serendipity's request in September, 2011.  The letter to the FCC can be viewed here.  Despite what the letter says, it is being reported that the station was for sale at a price no one was willing to meet.  Rather than sell the station at a reasonable price, the owners turned in the license.  Another rumor is that the station, when active, created some type of RF noise problem with WZBQ-FM, whose transmitter and tower are on site with the AM, and that Clear Channel, owner of WZBQ, talked the owners of WREN into surrendering the license.