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Station sale brings notes of a different flavor

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The radio station locally reached on 97.7 FM has been sold by Great South Wireless, LLC

to Taking Back the Airwaves Ministries for Revocation Radio stations.

According to Revocation’s business manager Anthony Baumann, this will be the fourth station in the Revocation Radio family.

“We were given the opportunity to purchase and thought it was great,” Baumann said.

The purchase brings the station to Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, parts of Bibb County and, of course, Chilton County.

The station can be picked up in the northern end of the county into 10 miles south of Clanton.

Revocation Radio plays Christian Rock and Hip Hop. The new call letters are WRYD.

Taking Back the Airwaves refers to the evangelistic mission of the station to provide an alternative to secular music in the same style.

“Our main mission is to spread the gospel really,” Baumann said.

He said the station “is different than anything that’s out there” in how it fulfills this mission.

The station is excited about the new station and broadcasting in the Birmingham area listening audience.

Chilton County is familiar territory to general manager Jon Walden.

Walden emceed En Feugo, the outdoor Christian concert in Verbena, from 2007 to 2009. He said he made several connections with local churches and youth groups through the events.

Revocation Radio has also promoted En Feugo for the past several years.

“It ties in perfectly with what we do,” Walden said.

He said many of the young people who attend En Fuego also like the bands played on Revocation Radio.

“We love Chilton County, because they are so dedicated and passionate,” Walden said.

Skillet, this year’s En Feugo headliner, is just one such band. Other examples include Red, Switchfoot, 21 Pilots, Lacrae, NF and Andy Mineo

The main audience for Revocation Radio is in their 20s-30s, but Walden said a range of age groups enjoy the station. The chairman of the board of directors for TBTA is 72 yeas

“We are about music that creates a positive lifestyle and speaks life, while understanding life is difficult and Christ is the answer.”

Some fans of 97.7 “The Peach” have taken to social media to express their disappointment at the change, and hope that the “Super Hits of the ’60s and ’70s” the station was formerly known for would be restored. Many of these comments are from listeners outside of Chilton County. Attempts to reach out to some local commenters received no response by press time.

“The Peach owners approached us and asked if we wanted to purchase the station,” Baumann said in a written statement. “We agreed, because we felt it would be a great investment for our ministry. We were told that we were not allowed to keep the Peach format, logo, imaging or any other assets … The Peach owners were wanting to sell and get out of radio. We agreed to buy it, but we were legally not allowed to keep the format.”

The station has also seen positive responses from others in the listening area.

Those wanting a format similar to “The Peach” might try internet-based Lite99, out of Birmingham. It can be listened to at lite99radio.com

“Lite99 plays music from the past 60 years, dating as far back as the late 50s … mostly 60s, 70s and 80s, with some music from 90s onward to today, too, played sparingly,” Joseph Tunnell of Lite99 said. “We are an easy listening/easy oldies station. Our music library comprises about 80-90 percent of the same music that WHPH ‘The Peach’ offered, which is why we are trying to reach out to Peach listeners and offer an alternative for listening to their favorite music that is no longer available on the AM/FM dial.”