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WKGC / Gulf Coast State College
5230 West U.S. Highway 98
Panama City, FL 32401

(850) 873-3500

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STATION HISTORY

WKGC was the dream of two GCCC students, Charlie Wooten and Ron Johnson. Starting with a 10-watt FM transmitter using parts both begged and borrowed, Wooten and Johnson began WKGC in 1968 with a signal that barely left the campus parking lot. Over the years, the signal grew from its humble 10 watts to a 1,300 watt transmitter (located on the old WJHG tower), and finally to a 100,000 watt signal that reached across 10 counties in Northwest Florida and into Southwest Alabama and Southeast Georgia.

Their dream also spawned a Radio-Television Studies program at GCSC and a building that has housed two radio stations. The presence of a real-world, full-time radio station on campus helped nurture the careers of hundreds of aspiring radio and television broadcasters and journalists. This process was helped immeasurably through the donation of WGNE-AM to GCSC (renamed Alter-Nation AM 1480) which became an academic laboratory for students with access to local airwaves for the first time.

WKGC has grown over the years to serve as the community’s American Public Media affiliate in addition to being a working classroom/learning laboratory for students. It provides a diverse lineup of programming including local and international news, jazz, blues, adult album alternative, classical, folk, Broadway and more, as well as being the sole radio station to provide opera to the region. WKGC also fields its own news department and provides in-depth coverage of local issues through daily news to election coverage to its weekly news talk show, “Rapline.”

In March 2009, WKGC began broadcasting from its new 420’ tower located at the College’s North Bay Campus in Southport, FL. The tower holds the new digital transmitters for FM, AM, and new HD broadcasts. It is also an integral part of the communications infrastructure for the new GCSC/Bay County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

WKGC has always been on the cutting edge of new technology:
1. WKGC was the first station in Panama City to own a CD player and use CDs to replace the turntable. (1979)
2. WKGC was the first station in Panama City to be equipped with a satellite dish to receive network programming. (1978)
3. WKGC was the first station in Panama City to go “digital” using the industry standard IBOC HD system. (2009)


WKGC Staff
 

Emily Balazs  |  News Director

Emily was born and raised in Flint, Michigan.  She graduated, with honors, from Gulf Coast Community College and Florida State University.  Prior to accepting the News Director position here at WKGC, Emily worked in commercial radio broadcasting as an Assistant Creative Director, DJ and Voice talent for local and national commercials as well as the Public Information Officer for the Bay County Sheriff's Office.   She has received many awards including the Dale Carnegie Highest Achievement Award, several Addy Awards, the FSU Notable 'Nole award and the First Amendment Award for her series on the homeless of Bay County.  When not at the station, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband John and thier 'kids' Rocco and Roman, their adopted Boston Terriers. 

 

Curtis "C.C." Carter  |  Producer of Specialized Programming and host of "Soul with CC" and "Blues Before Midnight"

A native of Panama City, Curtis Carter, Jr. graduated from Rutherford High School and received an Associate of Arts degree from Gulf Coast State College. "C.C." started working at WKGC in 1974, its first year on the air. In his off hours, C.C. spends his time working with the youth of our community trying to help them build confidence in themselves and advising them to stay in school and stick to their goals. "I try to communicate subtle messages to the kids that will have a positive influence on them," he states. C.C. also enjoys "spinning records" at local school dances and at the Glenwood Recreation Center here in Panama City.

 

Harley  |  Operations Manager & Host of "The Morning Vibe" & "Gourmet Jazz "

"Some are born to radio...others have radio thrust upon them."  The first part of that statement would seem to hold true for GC-90.7's Harley Pummill.  From the day he discovered his squeaky adolescent voice had been replaced with a James Earl Jones/Sam Elliot hybrid, he was destined to be in front of a microphone.  First as a race announcer, then as a commercial voice actor and finally a radio host.

Harley traces his love of contemporary jazz back to his teenage years when he would listen to his brother's album collection of artists like Tim Weisberg, Deodato and Herbie Hancock.  Even his rock preferences, like Traffic, Jethro Tull and of course, Steely Dan had jazzy sides.  One of his favorite pursuits in high school was to turn his friends on to new music.

40 years later, Harley is still turning people on to new music.  One new song, every hour, every day on The Vibe.  And he starts every hour of Gourmet Jazz with a new release. 

After four decades of spinning everything from country to Top 40 to Rock and Roll to oldies, Harley feels his career has come full circle.  "I'm right back where I started...playing really cool jazz for friends.  I'm right where I'm supposed to be."

 

Davis Lynn  |  Host of "The Retro Lounge"

Bio to come...

 

Robin McNew  |  Community Calendar & "Funk 180"

Robin is a native Hoosier but grew up as a Georgia peach. She traveled the world during her service in the United States Navy and served during Operation Desert Storm. Other jobs of note include the distribution of hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to the needy via homeless shelters, food pantries and orphanages as the former Director of the local, non-profit Lighthouse Food Bank and former Publicist at Black Swans Books for Author and Historical Character Interpreter Anne Chancey Dalton.

She is the blushing bride of Bill McNew, a Captain in the Merchant Marines, and the Captain of her heart! Together they are parenting a daughter, Alyssa, and a son, Christian. Completing the chaos are an overly timid dog and two spastic cats. Her number one passion is living a sold out life for God. Other passions include quality time with family, the Bay High School Million Dollar Band (GO TORNADOES!), the Bay Breeze Competitive Winterguard, being an encourager, cooking, and investing in the lives of teens through the Godchasers Youth Ministry at Springfield ‘New Lighted’ Methodist Church.  Robin is currently pursuing her degree in communications at GCSC and has happily worked at WKGC since 1999 as a producer, writer, website contributor and voice.

 

Chris Thomes  |  Executive Director of Marketing & Communications; WKGC Station Manager

Chris Thomes is a native Floridian and has lived in Panama City since 1996. He graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in Advertising in 1992 and began his career with an in-house ad agency at the headquarters of a Florida-based department store chain. After earning a master’s in Social Science Education in 1996 from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Chris moved to Panama City where he taught social sciences, desktop publishing and newspaper journalism at Rutherford High School. In 2001, he took a position as Associate Director of Campus Communications at FSU Panama City and then moved to Gulf Coast State College in 2005 as Community Relations Coordinator. In 2006, he was promoted to Director of Marketing & Public Relations and currently holds the position of Executive Director of Marketing & Communications. In 2008, the position of WKGC General Manager was added to the current responsibilities.

   
 
A Broadcast Service of Gulf Coast State College | 5230 West Highway 98 | Panama City, FL 32401
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