one of the oldest radio stations in Georgia, broadcasting continuously since
December 3, 1949. Application for the new broadcast station to serve
Southwest Georgia was made to the FCC in early 1949 by Mr. W.C. Woodall, Jr.
of Dawson, Georgia. Mr. Woodall was the owner of WDWD in Dawson and
would soon open a series of radio
stations throughout Georgia.
was licensed to Grady-Mitchell Broadcasting, Inc. in 1949. Mr. Woodall owned
25% of the stock in the newly formed company with the remaining 75% held by
the Dawson Cotton Oil Company. WGRA began testing it's new transmitter
and facility on December 3, 1949 and received approval from the Federal
Communications Commission to assume fully licensed operational status in
February 1950. The station began operations as a 1000 watt daytime
station at a frequency of 1300 khz and eventually moved to 790 khz.
first General Manager of WGRA Radio was Jim Honey who had built WDWD for Mr.
in the early 1940's. Mr. Honey was the chief engineer of the
station during the testing phase and became General Manager when the
station assumed full operational status in 1950. Jim eventually moved
to Dalton, Georgia where he constructed and operated his own radio station, WRCD-AM for over 30 years.
the next fifty years, WGRA became a vital part of the community in Cairo and
Grady County. The station has featured a variety of formats throughout
the years including country, rock, southern gospel and it's present format
of News/Talk. In 1982, the station was sold by the Woodall family to
Mr. Wendell Lovett, who worked at the station as a deejay in the 50's and
later returned to become General Manager. Lovett operated the station
successfully until his retirement in 2000 upon which time the station was
sold to his son and present owner, Jeff Lovett. Jeff has made many
improvements to the facility in the last year including adding an all
News/Talk format with such personalities as Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura,
live streaming of Syrupmaker Sports on the Internet and the purchase of a
state-of-the-art digital transmitter in 2004. Many things have changed
since that opening day in 1949- but the commitment of WGRA to serve the
community has remained.