WRGC, Sylva's Local Radio Station is Silenced

Real Estate Broker/Owner with MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC NC# 218097

I can't believe it. Sylva and Jackson County, NC's local radio station - WRGC has just been silenced!  Jackson County which just this year created one of the most fabulous public libraries I've ever seen and who is growing daily with the addition of wonderful new businesses and restaurants no longer has its AM radio station, WRGC.

 People who live in larger towns can't understand what it means to lose a local radio station.    Since long before the 70s, WRGC was owned by Jimmie (Uncle Jimmie) Childress and operated by him and his children.  The call letters are named after one of Jimmie's sons, Ronnie G. Childress, who was killed in an unfortunate accident by electrocution while working at the radio.


Sometime towards the end of the 90s, WRGC was purchased by a Georgia corporation who operated it until August 31, 2011.  Listeners found out the radio station was off the air when they turned their radios on and were greeted by nothing more than static.  Posted on the station's website was the corporation's "explanation".  Citing economics and the inability to keep advertising revenues up, the corporation felt they had no alternative other than to silence Sylva's radio station.


This started me thinking, were advertisers reluctant to run commercials on the radio because money was tight or were they finding more viable places to advertise? Or...did the corporation just not try hard enough to work with the community?


When we still had a retail store here in Sylva, ad reps would drop in on a regular basis to sell all kinds of creative advertising packages.  Sometimes it would be sponsorships for the high school football games, or supporting Toys for Tots or other charitable events.  WRGC would tie community events in with advertising...the Sylva Christmas Parade, Dillsboro Luminaires Festival, the Dillsboro Arts and Music Festival. Sylva's Greening Up the Mountains Festival, etc.  WRGC would then have a booth at these events and do on air promotions and interviews. 

I don't know the answer.  Maybe AM radio is a dinosaur, all I know is that I am going to miss being able to tune into local news and weather reports, the community calendar, Tradio and yes...even listening to local advertising.  Funny, you think you can't stand listening to radio ads...until you can't hear them anymore.

It makes me sad to know that Sylva's local radio station, WRGC has been silenced.



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Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA
Liz Harris Realty - Chandler, AZ

Changes like this one are sad, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason.

Sep 02, 2011 03:35 PM #1
Karen Hawkins, MBA - Langley & Surrey, BC
Royal Pro Real Estate Network - Langley, BC

A very touching tribute to WRCG, Mona.  I love hearing about the history of these towns and cities, and also lament that AM radio might be soon extinct'ish (we still need them as sister stations to anchor the FM's)  Most of our AM stations here are talk, traffic or news.

Sep 02, 2011 03:47 PM #2
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

How sad and near and dear to my heart.  I still carry my FCC license in my pocket.  I used to be a DJ for a small radio station that went the way of the dinosaur as well. 

Sep 02, 2011 05:24 PM #3
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hi Mona-first I would like to say CONGRATS on making the 100K mark! I have been here since mid June and am more than half way there with a goal of that milestone by Nov 13th.

Second-it is very sad when a community looses something that is significantly part of it.  I remember growning up in  Syracuse NY where there was trememendous industrial pride and wealth only to watch one by one as each plant and company left town. It was like a personal hit to each and every individual. Now you go there and just the decaying buildings sit with their huge empty parking lots once filled with 3 shifts of workers a day. It is sad no matter what the loss is.

Have a fab holiday weekend!

Sep 03, 2011 12:14 AM #4
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Mona,

It is sad to see the station silenced thanks for the tribute. Speaking of tributes I just read Barbara's post and stopped by to congratulate you for passing over the 100,000 point mark!! Ya hoo!!!

Sep 03, 2011 02:50 AM #5
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

I hate that for your area. The economy has hit almost everyone in every business.

Sep 03, 2011 03:09 AM #6
Leslie G. Rojohn
MoonDancer Realty - Sylva, NC
GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty

Got to wonder how much of an effort was really made on the part of this big corporation to try and keep this station going.  Yes the economy is rough, but sometimes it seems to be more of a self fulfilling prophesy.  We haven't seen much of an effort on their part for a long time, and I'm sure if the community had been given any input on them leaving, there would have been much support to keep them going.  This was not just a radio station, it was this community's only radio station.  Now our only connections to the world are the country music station from two counties over or the constantly changing signal from the PBS station.

Small towns and especially rural ones are just put on the scrap heap of corporate America.  I hope someone can step up and bring it back.  It's beyond sad, it's outrageous!!

Sep 03, 2011 04:52 AM #7
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Hi Liz, thanks for commenting.  The only reason I can think of for this happening is that the corporation didn't explore its options...one of which would have been to offer it for sale.

Hi Karen, this one did play music, have contests, interviewed local charities.  It's a big loss.

Tammy...how did such a youngster as you have this many careers? You must have started working when you were 8!

Thank you Marco.  I can't even imagine how devastating its been to see these factories go when generations of families formerly were employed there.

Hello Dorie, thanks - I was stressing over getting to that point of 100,000. Now, I guess I'm gunning for 200,000.  I hope someone offers to purchase the station and brings it back to life.

Hi Sheila, no industry seems to have escaped some sort of hit.

Well said Leslie, you and I have talked about this often.


Sep 03, 2011 04:06 PM #8
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Mona Gersky

GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
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