Clear Channel Atlanta dumped news/talk 640/WGST-AM in late September in favor of a syndicated sports Hispanic talk format ESPN Desportes. But it has changed its mind after a mere eight months.
On June 3, the company plans to bring WGST back - but without Rush Limbaugh, which had been the station's most popular host for many years.
Limbaugh moved to AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.
This latest incarnation of WGST has dumped any local programming during weekdays, opting for all syndication.
But WGST will be bringing back both Glenn Beck (9 a.m. to noon) and Dave Ramsey (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.). Both shows are currently on 1160/WCFO-AM. (Jeff Davis, who runs that station, declined to comment after informed of this news.)
UPDATE: 4/24/13: For contractual reasons, Beck won't start again at WGST until July 22.
Andrea Tantaros, who is part of the Fox News' "The Five," will be the syndicated host from noon to 2 p.m. The Wall Street Journal This Morning will be the morning show.
ESPN Desportes has been bringing in a fraction of what WGST had been drawing before the change. ESPN drew just a 0.2 rating in January and February but increased to 0.4 in March. In comparison, WGST was bringing in a 1.2 to 1.5 through the first nine months of 2012.
GST had tried local talk in two dayparts in 2011-12: mornings and afternoon, including Rob Johnson in mornings and Rusty Humphries in afternoons. It didn't impact ratings all that much.
For many fans of GST, the station had become a shadow of its former self by 2012. Many still miss Kim "the Kimmer" Peterson and Tom Hughes. The station's heyday was the 1990s when it had the Braves and competed with WSB aggressively. An FM simulcast that reached into the outer burbs helped. But it was in steady retreat through the 2000s after it lost the FM simulcast.
UPDATE: In a shocking development, Clear Channel Atlanta GM Matt Scarano has acknowledged my existence, responding to an email about this development by sending me a press release! That's progress!
The press release provides the entire weekday lineup at WGST starting June 3:
640 WGST's weekday programming lineup:
· Midnight – 1 a.m. Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis
· 1 – 5 a.m. Coast to Coast with George Noory
· 5 – 7 a.m. Bloomberg - The First Word with Ken Prewitt
· 7 – 9 a.m. The Wall Street Journal - This Morning with Gordon Deal
· 9 a.m. – Noon Glenn Beck (Beginning July 9, 2013)
· Noon – 2 p.m. Andrea Tantaros
· 2 – 6 p.m. Dave Ramsey
· 6 – 8 p.m. Michael Berry
· 8 – 10 p.m. Todd Schnitt
· 10 p.m. – Midnight Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis
ESPN Desportes is moving to FM 92.3, which had been the comedy channel the past six months.