Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rural radio station with one of best community-service records in U.S. to mark 50th birthday

One of the nation's most community-oriented radio stations celebrates its 50th anniversary tomorrow. WGOH of Grayson, Ky., population 3,800, will mark its anniversary of the station with a reception at the GO Radio Gazebo in Veterans Park in Grayson during the town’s Memory Days celebration.

WGOH went on the air June 1, 1959 and is still owned by the same local stockholders. It has a sister FM station, WUGO. It is one of only three stations in the country to have won four or more National Association of Broadcasters Crystal Radio awards for community service and programming. WUGO won the award 2003, 2005 and 2008; WGOH won it in 1999.

In giving WUGO the award last year, NAB said the station airs 220 minutes of news daily and in 2007 had 32 live broadcasts, plus 70 local high-school games and 10,320 minutes of public-service announcements. The station's news and public-affairs programs, such as "County Conversations," featured 320 local residents. In its description of its 2007 accomplishments, the station said it produced a 22-part series on county history and a 75-page book to accompany it, and distributed 2,100 free copes of the book; played an active role in local charity efforts, and donated $9,850 to local causes.

General Manager Francis Nash, left, and the other eight staffers average 32 years of service at the station. Nash is author of Towers Over Kentucky, a history of broadcasting in the state. Click here for the station's Web site.

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