WDOD, Chattanooga's oldest radio station, has gone silent after 86 years on the air.
The large, valuable WDOD property along the Tennessee River has been sold to Baylor School.
WDOD's last day on the air was Tuesday. It most recently had a sports format. The station had moved to an Air America format in 2005 when longtime station fixture Earl Freudenberg left to join WDYN. WDOD later moved back to easy listening.
Bernie Barker, station general manager, said, "The equipment at the station was very old and the parts were hard to get. The components had to be made in some cases."
He said Baylor School needed the property for expansion so the deal was signed on Wednesday.
Mr. Barker said the WDOD license was turned back to the FCC.
He said no employees lost their job.
The deed says the property is 22 acres and the sales price was $600,000.
Barbara Kennedy of Baylor said, "Baylor has no immediate plans for the WDOD property at this time, but now that the purchase has been finalized we will factor the best use for the land into our campus master plan."
The former station building at the property had not been used except as a transmitter since around 1999 when Bahakel also bought WDEF AM. Bahakel moved the station for WDOD and WDEF AM to the former Chattanooga Hardware on South Broad Street.
Mr. Freudenberg, who was at WDOD for four decades, recalled, "WDOD is rich in history going on the air April 13, 1925. Co-owners Norman Thomas and Earl Winger had a crystal radio company. Mr. Thomas told me they got the radio station license so folks who bought the radios would have something to listen to.
"Mr. Thomas said they got mail from as far away as Australia. I have a lengthy interview with him on tape.
"The station was very special to me since I spent about 40 years working there. "It’s a sad day for Chattanooga radio but I realize that good memories and nostalgia don’t pay the bills."
Mr. Winger and Mr. Thomas sold the station to H. Clay Evans and Interstate insurance in the late 50s. The Bahakals bought it in 1963.
The station maintained its original call letters for its entire life.
Mr. Freudenber said Cy N. Bahakal told him one time he would never sell the station, but he died several years ago and the station passed to his family.