In 1946, what now is WZAP Radio, started as WCYB Radio!
WCYB Radio 690 was founded by Fey Rogers and Robert Smith, Sr. in 1946. They had two investment partners, Attorney Charles Gore and Businessman, Harry Daniels. The four men were equal partners @ 25% each, in the Corporation, Appalachian Broadcasting, Incorporated. Messrs. Rogers and Smith were working partners and Gore and Daniels were investors and members of the Board of Directors. Rogers had a background in Sales and Smith was the Chief Engineer. These same men would later, (in the 1950's), become the founders and owners of the still existing WCYB TV-5 in Bristol, VA. All four of these gentlemen are now deceased. They owned and operated the TV and Radio stations, successfully, until December, 1969.
In 1969 both the TV and Radio Station were sold to two separate entities. WCYB TV was sold to Starr Broadcasting, Inc., whose President and chief stockholder was William F. Buckley. Mr. Buckley was also editor and founder of National Review Magazine, which was and still is, a well known news and business publication with worldwide circulation. William F. Buckley died in early 2008. At the time of his death he no longer owned WCYB TV, but he was still head of the National Review Magazine. The TV station has been sold twice since Mr. Buckley owned it.
In 1969, the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, (FCC), prohibited the sale of a TV and Radio station located in the same market to one owner. Those rules have since changed, but because of those rules the TV station was sold to Starr and Radio Station WCYB was sold to 690 Radio, Inc., James S. Ayers, President and sole stockholder. As part of the purchase agreements it was required that the radio station must change the call sign. This was done so the public would know that the TV and Radio were to be separate entities. 690 Radio, Inc., requested and received FCC permission to change the call letters to WZAP. Mr. Ayers and 690 Radio, Inc. operated the station until 1976. Mr. Ayers died in 1975. His estate decided to sell the station.
In 1976 the station was sold to RAM Communications, Inc., R. A. Morris, President. RAM Communications still owns and operates WZAP Radio 690.
In the Spring of 1973, R. A. (Al) Morris was hired as General Manager of WZAP . WZAP had always had either a "block" type format or Easy Listening. When Morris arrived, he decided to change the format to 100% Country. The station thrived on the format until July, 1982. After the untimely death of Mr. Ayers in 1975 and after RAM Communications purchased the station, WZAP continued to program the Country format until July, 1982. At that time it was announced, by Morris, that a decision had been made to switch to a 100% Christian format. WZAP has sucessfully operated as the most powerful Christian station in the Mountain Empire every day since the change was made.
God has truly blessed WZAP and we continue to try every day to serve our audience and our Programmers. Most of all, we strive to serve The Lord! We owe all our success to Him, and we have never lost sight of that indisputable fact!
WZAP thanks our faithful audience, our loyal programmers, some of whom have been on the air with us for over thirty years and most of all God, for the bountiful blessings we have enjoyed . We remain committed to sharing the Gospel.