WEAL ("Big WEAL") is a gospel radio station in Greensboro, North Carolina targeting African Americans. It is located at 1510 and broadcasts only during daylight hours allowing "clear channel" station WLAC in Nashville, Tennessee to cover the southern portion of the Atlantic coast. Owned by Entercom, the station's studios are located near Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, and a transmitter site is located downtown.
|City||Greensboro, North Carolina|
|Broadcast area||Greensboro and Vicinity|
|Power||820 watts (Daytime)|
200 watts (Critical hours)
|Callsign meaning||Pronounced Wheel|
|Owner||Entercom Communications |
(Entercom License, LLC)
After success with a similar station in Charlotte, Francis Fitzgerald started Greensboro's first black radio station after realizing Greensboro's African-American community listened to a Winston-Salem station.
WEAL provided music and information; for people who could not read, WEAL provided an important service. In 1963, Bill Mitchell left WPET to run WEAL. Among his accomplishments: the program "Sounder", co-hosted by a black man and a white woman. Black advertisers did well on the station, but white-owned businesses hesitated before relenting. WEAL was the top station in Greensboro because white listeners had several choices.
Among WEAL's best-known DJs were Alfred G. Richard and "Merrill the Pearl" Watson. Fitzgerald hired Richard, who was already well known in South Carolina, for twice the money he was receiving. Additional announcers were Prince Ike, Sam the Sham Tate, The "Cookin Ty Miller", Tony "TonyB" Welborne, and Bob Jones.
In 1997, Sinclair Broadcast Group purchased WEAL and WQMG from Max Media, which bought the stations in 1996. The deal also included WMQX and WJMH. In July 1999, Sinclair announced it would sell its four Greensboro radio stations to Entercom Communications.
With FM reaching the same audience by the 1990s, the station began phasing out secular music. For several years, the station's call letters were WQMG-AM.
- Nancy McLaughlin, "WEAL spins 50 years' worth of memories," Greensboro News & Record, February 26, 2012.
- Jeri Rowe, "WEAL - When Guilford's First Black Radio Station Came on the Air in 1962, People Learned to Depend on It; The Same Is True Today," Greensboro News & Record, February 20, 2000.
- Jeri Rowe, "'King' of Local Radio Dies at Age 78 - Radio Pioneer Bill Mitchell Helped Introduce Rock 'N' Roll to the City," Greensboro News & Record, December 6, 2000.
- Tanya N. Ballard, "Radio Legend Still Riding High on the Local Airwaves," Greensboro News & Record, October 11, 1997.
- Jeri Rowe, "Triad Radio Cranks It Up - The Triad's Radio Market Has Been Transformed from a Mom-And-Pop Outfit Into Big Business," Greensboro News & Record, January 3, 1999.
- Amy Joyner, "Popular Triad Radio Stations to Be Sold Soon - Four Stations Will Change Hands, But Their Formats Reportedly Won't Be Altered," Greensboro News & Record, July 28, 1999.