WGAU FM > WNGC
WBTS > WSBB FM
WNGC / WGAU Air talent (1983)
Courtesy of David Wesley
David Wesley | WNGC (1983)
History Edited from Wikipedia
WSBB-FM (95.5 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Doraville, Georgia, and serving Metro Atlanta. It is owned by the Cox Media Group. WSBB-FM is simulcast with news/talk WSB. The studios and offices are on West Peachtree Street NE in Atlanta, in the WSB-TV and Radio Group Building. The transmitter is on the WSB-FM broadcast tower in Edgewood, just east of Downtown Atlanta.
Early years (WGAU-FM, WNGC)
The station first signed on the air on May 1, 1948, as WGAU-FM on 99.5 MHz in Athens, Georgia. It broadcast at 3,600 watts, simulcasting sister station WGAU. In 1956, when Channel 11 (now WXIA-TV) came on the air in Atlanta, WGAU-FM created a second harmonic at 199.0 which caused interference for WXIA-TV, so WGAU-FM got permission from the FCC to move to 102.5 MHz. In 1962, WGAU-FM began broadcasting each day in stereo for six hours, the second station in Georgia to devote a significant part of its day to playing music in stereo.
In 1962, WGAU-FM moved to 95.5, and in 1968 became WNGC, standing for "North Georgia Country". It was North Georgia's first full-time FM country music station and one of the first stand-alone FM country stations in the nation, not simply rebroadcasting a country AM station. WNGC went to a 24 hours a day schedule in 1976 and increased power to 100,000 watts from the Neese Tower in Madison County.
In 1999, Clarke Broadcasting, long-time owner of WNGC and WGAU, wanted to sell its Athens properties to Cox Radio for $78 million. Cox flipped WNGC to Top 40, briefly using the WYAP call letters before settling on WBTS, using the moniker "The Beat."
When "The Beat" officially signed on September 27, its direction focused on mainstream pop, dance, and rock, even though it had a rhythmic lean. Under the direction of Program Director Dale O'Brian, it would drop all mainstream pop/rock and go rhythmic full-time.
In October 2005, the station switched its slogan from "Atlanta's New #1 Hit Music Station" to "Atlanta's New #1 for Hip Hop". Also in 2005, Cox got the FCC to change WBTS's city of license from Athens, a city 40 miles from Atlanta, to Doraville, a suburb of Atlanta; the station's studios and transmitter did not move with that change.
On August 16, 2010, Cox abruptly flipped WBTS to a simulcast of WSB. The callsign was changed to WSBB-FM that October 1, a move made to adjust the callsign to parallel its AM parent (the heritage WSB-FM callsign remains at 98.5 FM).
On July 31, 2019, WSBB-FM re-branded as "95.5 WSB", dropping all references to the AM 750 simulcast, except for hourly legal station identification. WSBB-FM began broadcasting from its new transmitter location east of Atlanta on August 20, 2019.