1340 AM ATLANTA
WBGE > WAKE > WIGO > WIFN
Click to enlarge photos
WAKE Top 40- April 1961
WAKE "Carroll's Hamburgers promotion circa 1962
WAKE Promo LP
All photos courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University.
WIGO 1991 Aircheck
Photos courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University.
The 1340 signal was signed on as WBGE in 1946, owned by The General Broadcasting Company from studios in the Georgian Terrace Hotel. Reportedly, among the station's first employees was Don Kennedy, later host of WSB TV's "Popeye Club" and the "K" of WKLS.
Interestingly, the original December 1944 application requested a limited time license with 1kw at 640am, but the application was amended in July 1946 for 250 watts unlimited at 1340.
The original transmitter was located at the United Motors Building at West Peachtree at Grant Place with studios at the Georgian Terrace Hotel (Across from the Fox Theater).
By 1955, the station had been sold to Bartel Broadcadsting, one of the early group owners in the Top 40 wars of the '60s, and shortly, the call letters were changed to WAKE. As WAKE, the station was a historic Top-40 station that battled for dominance with WQXI, with studios still at the Georgian Terrace Hotel on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. During the late '50s, the station's programming staff included such luminaries as legendary Top 40 consultants Bill Drake and Paul Drew. Drake, born Phillip Yarbrough, chose his air name from family names because "Drake" rhymed with "WAKE." The station increased daytime power to 1,000 watts in 1961.
In around 1963, the station had changed hands, now owned by Basic Communications, and call letters were changed. As WIGO, the station was an important Urban station with studios located on the west side of the city. Early staffers included Herman Johnson (Later a successful Atlanta businessman), John "Jivemaster" Persons, Paul "Sir Raggedy" Flagg, and the only non-African-American on the announcing staff, Tommy Goodwin. Later, WVEE/WAOK newscaster and talk host Hal Lamar got a start there. The station was programmed in the early 70s by Scotty Andrews who went on to program WVEE and from 1982 to 1985, by Mike Roberts, another WIGO PD who later migrated to V-103 and became the PD and celebrated long-time morning man there, sharing the morning show microphone with Carol Blackmon.
Currently, the station is sports-formatted WIFN, co-owned with 680 The Fan and 1230 WFOM.