WABE FM 90.1 is a radio station
Radio station
Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both...

 in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. According to the 2010 census, Atlanta's population is 420,003. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is home to 5,268,860 people and is the ninth largest metropolitan area in...

, that is affiliate
An affiliate is a commercial entity with a relationship with a peer or a larger entity.- Corporate structure :A corporation may be referred to as an affiliate of another when it is related to it but not strictly controlled by it, as with a subsidiary relationship, or when it is desired to avoid...

d with National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Radio International
Public Radio International
Public Radio International is a Minneapolis-based American public radio organization, with locations in Boston, New York, London and Beijing. PRI's tagline is "Hear a different voice." PRI is a major public media content creator and also distributes programs from many sources...

 (PRI). WABE's format
Radio format
A radio format or programming format not to be confused with broadcast programming describes the overall content broadcast on a radio station. Radio formats are frequently employed as a marketing tool, and constantly evolve...

 features mostly classical music. It has lately added the short feature Atlanta Sounds (broadcast several times a day) and twice weekly previews of weekend events around the city. Beginning in 2009, its Sunday schedule changed from devoting equal time to news programs and classical music to broadcasting news programs during the daytime and playing classical music on Sunday evenings. It carries the NPR flagship programs Morning Edition
Morning Edition
Morning Edition is an American radio news program produced and distributed by National Public Radio . It airs weekday mornings and runs for two hours, and many stations repeat one or both hours. The show feeds live from 05:00 to 09:00 ET, with feeds and updates as required until noon...

and All Things Considered
All Things Considered
All Things Considered is the flagship news program on the American network National Public Radio. It was the first news program on NPR, and is broadcast live worldwide through several outlets...

, with newscasts interjected periodically.

The station is licensed to the Atlanta Board of Education
Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is a school district based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. APS is run by the Atlanta Board of Education with interim superintendent Erroll Davis...

 (hence the "ABE" in the broadcast callsign), although a non-profit umbrella corporation has been established to oversee the station's daily operations. The station's signal reaches practically all of the northwestern
Northwest Georgia
Northwest Georgia includes the counties of:*Dade County*Walker County*Catoosa County*Whitfield County*Murray County*Gordon County*Chattooga County*Floyd County*Bartow County*Paulding County*Polk County*Haralson County...

 and north-central parts of the state. WABE is the dominant public radio station in metropolitan Atlanta; Georgia Public Broadcasting
Georgia Public Broadcasting
Georgia Public Broadcasting is the public broadcasting radio and television state network in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is operated by the Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission....

 serves most of the remainder of the state with such programs.

WABE also broadcasts the Georgia Radio Reading Service
Georgia Radio Reading Service
The Georgia Radio Reading Service or GARRS is a radio reading service for the blind in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is carried via subcarrier on WABE-FM in Atlanta, and on Georgia Public Broadcasting radio stations elsewhere. A narrator reads local and regional newspapers, including the Atlanta...

 and educational programming via subcarrier
A subcarrier is a separate analog or digital signal carried on a main radio transmission, which carries extra information such as voice or data. More technically, it is an already-modulated signal, which is then modulated into another signal of higher frequency and bandwidth...

s on its frequency.


WABE has always been operated by the city school system. The registration was donated to the APS by the Rich's Foundation
Rich's was a department store retail chain, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, that operated in the southern U.S. from 1867 until March 6, 2005 when the nameplate was eliminated and replaced by Macy's...

 on September 8, 1948 and may well have been the first-ever noncommercial radio station in the Southern U.S., at least on the FM broadcast band
FM broadcast band
The FM broadcast band, used for FM broadcast radio by radio stations, differs between different parts of the world. In Europe and Africa , it spans from 87.5 to 108.0 megahertz , while in America it goes only from 88.0 to 108.0 MHz. The FM broadcast band in Japan uses 76.0 to 90 MHz...

. Its first radio studios were located in the former Atlanta City Hall
Atlanta City Hall
Since Atlanta was founded, there have been four official city halls of Atlanta.-Antebellum:After half a decade of makeshift meeting places for city business , in 1853 mayor of Atlanta John Mims purchased the four-acre "Peters's Reserve" from Richard Peters for $5,000...

. The station moved, along with television station
Television station
A television station is a business, organisation or other such as an amateur television operator that transmits content over terrestrial television. A television transmission can be by analog television signals or, more recently, by digital television. Broadcast television systems standards are...

 WETV (now WPBA) channel 30, into facilities in northeast Atlanta in 1958, where both stations remain to this day.

The school board used WABE strictly as a medium for educational (i.e., in-school) broadcasts until sometime in the early 1970s, when classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 broadcasts (and likely evening broadcasts also) premiered on the station. The early 1970s also saw the beginnings of NPR network programming and an increase of transmission power. By the early 1980s, the educational programs heard during school hours moved, thanks to the development of subcarrier
A subcarrier is a separate analog or digital signal carried on a main radio transmission, which carries extra information such as voice or data. More technically, it is an already-modulated signal, which is then modulated into another signal of higher frequency and bandwidth...

 technologies, to subchannel
- Organizations :* Schuylkill Canal Association, a non-governmental organization that maintains a section of historical canal in Pennsylvania* Scottish Canoe Association* Secular Coalition for America* Sexual Compulsives Anonymous...

s, leaving the main FM frequency free to broadcast music and news shows for adults.

The station finally expanded its hours to around-the-clock service and established a radio transmitter on Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock in Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet amsl and 825 feet above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground at its longest point into Gwinnett County...

, which it used until 2004, when transmission moved to the TV tower next to sister station
Sister station
In broadcasting, sister stations or sister channels are radio and/or television stations operated by the same ownership....

 WPBA in the DeKalb County
DeKalb County, Georgia
DeKalb County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population of the county was 691,893 at the 2010 census. Its county seat is the city of Decatur. It is bordered to the west by Fulton County and contains roughly 10% of the city of Atlanta...

 portion of East Atlanta
East Atlanta
East Atlanta is a neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia in the eastern portion of the city. The term "East Atlanta" is frequently misused to refer to the entire eastern portion of the city located in DeKalb County, roughly 10% of Atlanta's area annexed in 1909...

. The short tower atop one of the highest points in metro Atlanta was and still is that of WGTV TV 8, the GPTV (now GPB TV) station for the area. WPBA had to leave when the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

 (FCC) forced all stations to digital TV, and the tower could not hold four antenna
Antenna (radio)
An antenna is an electrical device which converts electric currents into radio waves, and vice versa. It is usually used with a radio transmitter or radio receiver...

s — the other being NOAA Weather Radio station KEC80
KEC80 is a NOAA Weather Radio station that serves the Atlanta metro area with 500 watts effective radiated power on 162.550MHz. Its radio transmitter is located east of the city atop Stone Mountain, with its radio antenna on the short tower owned by Georgia Public Broadcasting for transmitting...

. (A larger tower was out of the question, as it is scenic and within state-owned Stone Mountain Park.)

Since that time, WABE has grown steadily in listeners served, mainly because Atlanta is one of the nation's fastest-growing metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

s, and the fastest-growing of the largest 15 or so media market
Media market
A media market, broadcast market, media region, designated market area , Television Market Area , or simply market is a region where the population can receive the same television and radio station offerings, and may also include other types of media including newspapers and Internet content...

s, now ranked seventh in potential radio listeners by Arbitron
Arbitron is a consumer research company in the United States that collects listener data on radio audiences. It was founded as American Research Bureau by Jim Seiler in 1949 and became national by merging with L.A. based Coffin, Cooper and Clay in the early 1950s...


Local weekday hosts

Steve Goss — joined WABE after 28 years at Peach 94.9 FM (WPCH, later WLTM) as local host of Morning Edition
Morning Edition
Morning Edition is an American radio news program produced and distributed by National Public Radio . It airs weekday mornings and runs for two hours, and many stations repeat one or both hours. The show feeds live from 05:00 to 09:00 ET, with feeds and updates as required until noon...


Lois Reitzes — longtime host of the morning classical-music program "Second Cup Concert" and of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Robert Spano has been its music director since 2001...

broadcasts. She came to WABE in 1979 from WFIU
WFIU is a public radio FM station broadcasting from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The station is a member station of NPR, Public Radio International and American Public Media. Its program schedule consists of classical music, jazz, and news and information, with specialty programming...

-FM in Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 80,405 at the 2010 census....

. Reitzes served as a classical-music host for WFIU while working toward a double major in piano and musicology
Musicology is the scholarly study of music. The word is used in narrow, broad and intermediate senses. In the narrow sense, musicology is confined to the music history of Western culture...

 at Indiana University
Indiana University
Indiana University is a multi-campus public university system in the state of Indiana, United States. Indiana University has a combined student body of more than 100,000 students, including approximately 42,000 students enrolled at the Indiana University Bloomington campus and approximately 37,000...

. Reitzes is also an accomplished pianist
A pianist is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.-Choice of genres:...


John Lemley
John Lemley
John Smith Lemley is the WABE early-afternoon music host. From 12 to 1 p.m., he hosts an hour of music, news, and features titled City Cafe. Afternoon Classics follows for two hours, from 1 to 3 p.m...

— joined the station's on-air team in 1997 as host of an afternoon classical-music program, Daytime. The program is now known as Afternoon Classics (see above); Lemley returned to the show in early 2009 after three years as local host of the news programs in the late afternoons. Lemley also serves as host of City Cafe, a daily program which features just as much talk as it does classical music. Each week the show features a question that listeners are encouraged to answer based on their own experience, no matter how trivial or silly. Lemley can also be heard on WABE's companion television station, WPBA TV, as daytime voiceover announcer. Lemley came to WABE from WBHM-FM in Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

, where he also served as afternoon host. In Birmingham, from 1987 to 1997, he was also one of the biggest names in the Magic City's theatre scene, performing with Town & Gown Theatre, Summerfest, Birmingham-Southern
Birmingham-Southern College
Birmingham–Southern College is a 4-year, private liberal arts college located three miles northwest of downtown Birmingham. Founded in 1856, it is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Approximately 1400 students from 30 states and 23 foreign countries attend the college...

 Theatre, and Birmingham Children's Theatre.

Denis O'Hayer - the former political reporter for WXIA-TV
WXIA-TV, virtual channel 11.1 , is the NBC-affiliated television station in Atlanta, Georgia. Popularly known by its 11 Alive moniker, WXIA is owned by the Gannett Company in a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate WATL...

 and longtime news anchor at NewsRadio 640 WGST in Atlanta - anchors the afternoon drive time
Drive time
Drive time is the daypart analog to prime time for radio broadcasting. It consists of the morning hours when listeners wake up, get ready, and/or head to work or school, and the afternoon hours when they are heading home and before their evening meal. These are the periods where the number of...

 news block of The World, All Things Considered
All Things Considered
All Things Considered is the flagship news program on the American network National Public Radio. It was the first news program on NPR, and is broadcast live worldwide through several outlets...

and Marketplace
A marketplace is the space, actual, virtual or metaphorical, in which a market operates. The term is also used in a trademark law context to denote the actual consumer environment, ie. the 'real world' in which products and services are provided and consumed.-Marketplaces and street markets:A...


Robert Hubert — a veteran of over two decades on WABE's staff, Hubert hosts the evening classical-music program Nocturne and serves as the station's music librarian and webmaster. He also hosts Atlanta Music Scene, heard on Monday evenings during his regular program.

Local specialty program hosts

H. Johnson — a legendary Atlanta broadcaster in his own right, he has hosted the Saturday-night Jazz Classics show since the early 1980s. Johnson, known only by his first initial (he has admitted on the air that his actual first name is Herman), for many years was a disc jockey
Disc jockey
A disc jockey, also known as DJ, is a person who selects and plays recorded music for an audience. Originally, "disc" referred to phonograph records, not the later Compact Discs. Today, the term includes all forms of music playback, no matter the medium.There are several types of disc jockeys...

 on WAOK-AM, one of Atlanta's heritage African-American stations.

Valerie Jackson
Valerie Jackson
Valerie Jackson is an American radio host, philanthropist, and former advertising executive. She is the widow of former Atlanta, Georgia mayor Maynard Jackson.-Early life:...

— host of the book-review program Between the Lines, heard early Thursday evenings. She is the widow of Maynard Jackson
Maynard Jackson
Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr. was an American politician, a member of the Democratic Party, and the first African American mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. He served three terms, two consecutive terms from 1974 until 1982 and a third term from 1990 to 1994...

, mayor of Atlanta during the mid- and late-1970s and again later on.


WABE's call sign was WPBA-FM for a month in 1984, at the same time WETV's call sign was changed to WPBA. The radio station's call sign was changed back because of confusion.

External links

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