Greencastle-Antrim radio is one the air at WRGG

JOYCE F. NOWELL, Echo Pilot
Greg Hoover (left) and Mike Bock share a laugh as the morning team on WRGG.

Mike Bock might not like being an early riser to get to his 6 a.m. gig at the radio station, especially since it’s a volunteer shift. But being part of bringing the airwaves back to the Greencastle-Antrim community is a great incentive.

“I wanted to help out,” Bock said following the first of his 6 to 9 a.m. shift at WRGG with studios at 113 S. Carlisle St. in Greencastle. He is part of the morning drive time team with Greg Hoover, operations director at the station that went on the air for the first time earlier this month.

“I had some free time so I thought I’d volunteer to see what I could do to help. I came down Saturday morning and talked to Greg. He thought the best thing I could do was work with him from 6 to 9 a.m. in the morning Monday through Friday, so I said sure.”

We are G-A

Bringing community radio back to Greencastle-Antrim is the culmination of decades of desire by a group of radio aficionados. Ben Thomas Jr., whose father originally brought former station WKSL to the Greencastle-Antrim community in 1967, along with Wade Burkholder and  Hoover, make up the radio committee of the Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation, which is the organization that licenses and operates the station. The radio committee has been assisted in the startup by Jeff Baker, Stan Shaffer, Dwight Bard and David Kipp.

Bard and Kipp also have air shifts at the station. Kipp spins the tunes from 9 a.m. to noon and Bard rocks the night away from 9 p.m. to midnight.

The 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation, is located at 93.7 on the FM dial and on the internet at www.wrgg.org

The signal covers all of Greencastle-Antrim, as well as the Waynesboro, Mercersburg and Marion areas, and even areas south of State Line.

Going live

“It’s gone really well,” said Hoover after the second morning of broadcasting. “The first day was a fun day. We had a lot of people stopping in congratulating us and welcoming us.

“Most of it went well. We had some technical glitches that we are working on. We expected some of those.”

The station focus is news and information of the Greencastle-Antrim community, with music from the 50s and early 60s, particularly rock and roll.

“It’s a lot different,” said Hoover thinking back to his younger days in radio. “We’re using a lot of technology as compared to the olden days. You have to rely on that technology and sometimes it doesn’t work quite right, but we’re working on that.”

Bock recalled doing Exchange Club radiothons at WKSL, “I used to work with that. I was always kind of fascinated by the radio. I did the voice overs for the commercials for my family business.

“It’s kind of a community service for me. I enjoyed today. We’ll see how it goes. What I really miss is the teletype machine and they don’t have one. I loved that at WKSL. I had a good time. I’ll continue to do this. The biggest problem is getting up for 6 o’clock in the morning.”

Serving the public

For Hoover the ability to serve the community through the airwaves is worth the long hours and effort to bring the station live.

“You have to have a passion for it,” said Hoover, who will be retiring from a 39-year career in education at the end of the month. “This is fun for me.

“I really do believe it will be a great community asset as people start to use it. We’re announcing every quarter hour what’s going on in Greencastle. As people start to give us information and start to take full advantage of what we’re doing I think it will be of great value for everybody.”

Hoover feels good about the outcome of the effort.

“It’s pretty neat. We started this three years ago and to see it come to fruition is pretty amazing. There was a lot to do. We had to come up with plan ‘B’ a number of times. But it’s all come together and here we are.”

Get involved

The plan is to continue to expand the offerings on the station, including live broadcasts.

Volunteers are still being sought to fill the broadcast schedule. The station committee is looking for volunteers to work as broadcasters, news reporters and sports reporters. Anyone interested should send an email to administration@wrgg.org or by mail to WRGG, 113 S. Carlisle St., Greencastle, PA 17225.