Special to The Times
Attorney G. Courtney French of Fuston, Petway & French has bought Birmingham radio station 900 Gold WATV. French acquired the station from MCL/MCM Alabama, LLC, a subsidiary of Sheridan Broadcasting.
French, who owns the station under the company name Courtney French Broadcasting, LLC, said he wants the station to remain an integral source of information for the community.
“I want WATV to continue to provide great music and valuable information to our community,” he said. “I humbly stand on the shoulders of many foot soldiers and civil rights activists who paved the way before me, so that a child from West End could one day be the owner of a radio station such as this and I firmly believe the best is yet to come.”
The station opened in 1946 and became the leading radio station in Birmingham during the mid-1970s. Tall Paul, Rev. Dr. Erskine Faush Sr., Maurice “Thin Man” King, Weldon Clark, and Shelley Stewart were some of the personalities that helped catapult WATV from an easy listening station into the number one station in the city.
“I’m so happy 900 Gold is back home and locally owned. I have so much joy in my heart,” said Stewart, who, aside from working as a WATV radio announcer, also co-owned the station with Faush until 2002. “…The baton has now been passed on and it comes with great humility and responsibility.”
On-air personality Ron January said the new ownership will preserve WATV’s history.
“The innovative journey WTV is about to present to its listeners in Birmingham and surrounding counties will be one that will preserve our station’s iconic legacy while continuing to strive to educate, inform and entertain many generations for decades…to come.”