1400 AM Macon
WNEX > WUXL
Bill Elder morning aircheck | 1979
One of the original owners, Al Lowe Sr. (1945)
Oscar Leverette (1962)
1954: From WNEX's brief attempt at a television station, Macon's first. WETV channel 47, a joint venture with Macon station WBML. It lasted a year. Click on the image to enlarge it.
(below) Long time Macon broadcaster Ben Sandifer remembers the "Macon Whoopies." Courtesy of Ben Sandifer
WNEX Audio History
A 30-minute audio history of WNEX, produced by Pete Konenkamp in April 1980 to celebrate WNEX's 35 Anniversary, and produced to run in the station's public affairs block. The program contains classic station audio as well as historic news clips.
Edited from Wikipedia
WNEX signed on the air April 20, 1945, as an affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System. In addition to Mutual programming, the station's format included country music, local personalities, and newscasts. The station was started by Al Lowe Sr., his brother Ed Lowe, Peyton Anderson, and Ellsworth Hall; the licensee was the Macon Broadcasting Company. Supposedly, while on the phone with the FCC, pressed to come up with a call sign for the station, Al Lowe Sr. looked at a box of Kleenex on his desk and said, “WNEX.”
Charlie "Peanut" Faircloth (1927–2010) was one of the first announcers. Faircloth hosted "Farm Frolics", a show for the early morning risers. He would also entertain listeners on "Hillbilly Hit Parade" airing daily at 12:15 p.m. On Saturday nights, he could be heard on a show called "Heaps of Corn". By 1948, Faircloth's "Hoedown Party" was airing nationwide on the Mutual network.
Del Ward Napier Leslie, who for many years was the popular host of "Date With Del" on WMAZ-TV, began her broadcasting career at WNEX, hosting "Across the Breakfast Table". Another early announcer was Marion Bragg, who said in a 1980 interview that he was on air when the station signed on in 1945. The story goes that shortly before the station was to sign on, the FCC asked owner Al Lowe Sr. if he had call letters in mind, he looked down at a partially covered box of Kleenex on his desk and said, yes, "WNEX".
Foray into television
In 1953, WNEX and Douglas, Georgia radio station WOKA combined to invest in one of the south's first UHF TV stations, WETV channel 47. They hoped that, by signing with the NBC network, central Georgians would buy the set-top adaptors required to watch the station. In a matter of weeks, the expense of running the station (particularly the power bill; UHF transmitters were very inefficient) caused the owners to rethink their investment in the blossoming television industry.
WETV soon changed call letters to WOKA, then briefly to WNEX. In turning the station off, WNEX asked that Macon's channel 47 not be deleted from the FCC database while the owner tried to find a way to return to the air. The station never did.
In the 1960s, when WNEX became affiliated with ABC, it began airing Don McNeill's popular "Breakfast Club," "Paul Harvey News," and "Howard Cosell's "Speaking of Sports." The station switched to Top 40 music and like many stations in small and medium markets, almost immediately became a favorite with area teenagers. Disc jockeys such as Tom Healy, Tommy Goodwin, Larry O'Neal, Ted Clark, Paul Peyton (Paul Beliveau), Aaron Bowers (the Night Creature), Oscar Leverette, and Johnny Hayes were well-known personalities.
In the 70s, WNEX was extremely popular especially among teens and young adults even though it had only 1,000 watts of daytime power and 250 at night. Aubrey Hammock, Lamar Studstill, Merritt Buddy Wheeler, Dennis Hayes, Oscar Leverette, Sid Ingram, Jim Pryor, Bill Elder, Ben Sandifer, Dave "King Kong" Kelly, Terry Taylor, Bob Raleigh, and others kept a successful format going. Aubrey Hammock and Lamar Studstill (Jerry Walker) did the play-by-play high school football games for WNEX, as well as basketball games for the Macon area. In the 70s.
The end of music on WNEX
In the mid-1980s, hampered by FM competition, a weak 1,000-watt daytime signal and an even weaker 250 watts at night, WNEX gave up on music and began broadcasting sports around the clock, but shortly afterward, changed hands and aired a "travelers' radio", format. For a time, WNEX went dark. The studio, off Rogers Place in Macon burned to the ground but the transmitter survived the fire. Purchased by Register Communications, the station went back on the air, first with all sports programming and later "Radio Disney". In November 2008, with the "Radio Disney" contract set to expire, WNEX teamed with co-owned WPGA(FM) to broadcast a talk radio format.
In May 2010, the Macon Telegraph announced it would end its partnership with Register Communications, effective July 9. WNEX, which had been simulcasting the program along with WPGA, changed formats in mid-2011 to urban gospel.
In June 2016, WNEX and two sister stations that had been owned by Register Communications were sold by a court-appointed receiver to Creek Media, LLC.
The call letters of 1400 AM were changed to WUXL on September 3, 2021. Currently, the WNEX call letters are assigned to 100.9, 30 miles south on I-75 in Perry, GA.