WRGG marks third anniversary

Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com
On Tuesdays, Mary Bock joins her husband Mike, back, and Greg Hoover, front, on WRGG's "The Morning Show." They're shown with Wade Burkholder, president of Good Companion Radio and development director for the nonprofit community radio station. SHAWN HARDY/ECHO PILOT

WRGG has something for everyone because that's what community radio does.

Greencastle's low-power, nonprofit FM station went on the air three years ago on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.

People tuning in to 93.7 might laugh at the banter of "The Morning Show" with Greg Hoover and Mike Bock, cheer a Greencastle-Antrim High School sports team, tap their toes with Lanny Carbaugh on the "Bluegrass Connection" or shiver with one of the newest features, "In the PIT with Brian," the Paranormal Investigation Team of Brian Phillips.

"If you really like local, it's right here," said Hoover, the director of operations.

WRGG just celebrated its third anniversary, but its radio roots go back decades, especially to Greencastle's WKSL. That station was sold about 20 years ago and bringing radio back to Greencastle came up periodically at reunions.

Wade Burkholder, Hoover and Ben Thomas Jr., whose father owned WKSL, were central to fostering the idea and getting WRGG on the air.

They've received a lot of help and support, including starting under the umbrella of the Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation and a grant from the Shockey Family Foundation.

"A lot of things fell into place and a lot of good people helped us," Hoover said.

The roster of volunteers behind the microphone and behind the scenes stands at more than three dozen, some of whom have been on board since the beginning.

"We didn't know how, but we knew why," Hoover said of the years spent starting the station

They learned the how and the why is the station's motto: "We are G-A."

"We fill a niche corporate radio stations don't fill," said Burkholder, president of Good Companion Radio and development director for WRGG, whose wife, Linda, is finance manager and handles countless other tasks.

Good Companion was formed when, as planned from the beginning, the station became its own independent non-profit separate from GAEF in 2018.

"We go back to a time when radio was really local. We're hyperlocal," said Hoover, citing high school sports, local news and live remotes for events like Old Home Week and Relay For Life. "We talk about things that are happening in Greencastle."

That talk helps make the Morning Show so popular as people tune in to hear what Hoover, Bock and a regular set of other hosts have to say. Weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. they chat about anything and everything with Ron Oliver on Mondays, Mary Bock on Tuesdays, Lanny Carbaugh on Wednesdays, Jamie Shank and Vern McCauley on Thursdays and Ben Thomas Jr., vice president of the board of directors, on Fridays.

"It morphed into people sitting around taking about what's happening," said Hoover, who described the mornings as "entertaining and informative, with serious guests and not-so-serious guests."

"I’m so thankful to all of the volunteers that have made this low-power radio station known as WRGG a success," said Thomas. "The devoted listeners are fantastic and so supportive. We look forward to a positive future."

Listener favorites include birthdays — national and international figures as well as local celebrants; Mystery Oldie of the Day and Blast from the Past by Dave Klipp; the day in rock 'n' roll history by Chris Palidina.

There are a host of specialty music and talk shows, and programs that have grown and expanded to other stations, including "Blue Suede Connection" and "Simply Timeless" got their start at WRGG. Music shows run from country and bluegrass to rock 'n' roll and classical.

In addition to "In the PIT with Brian," another new show is "On Track with Mike," a dirt track racing program with Mike Donald.

"We've just kind of organically grow. Programming is way beyond where we thought it would be. There's something for everybody," Hoover said. "That's what community radio does."

In addition to hosting guests from the community, WRGG gives back to the community.

The station has one big fundraiser a year and this year it is Shindig in the Grove, a tribute concert with "Elvis Through the Years," starring David King, and "Celebrating Patsy Cline," starring Kip Calahan Young. It will be held at Green Grove Gardens Monday, Aug. 5, during Old Home Week and proceeds will be split with the Old Home Week Association. The evening also will include live and silent auctions, food vendors and Janzell Wines.

For more information, call 717-597-5460 or visit: