Photo: Rodney Ho/Radio and TV Talk
Photo: Rodney Ho/Radio and TV Talk

Christopher Rude joins Winder rock station WJBB at 107.1 as morning host

Originally posted Friday, December 7, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Christopher Rude, who lost his gig on sports talk 680/93.7 The Fan after 15 years last year, has landed a morning show job on a small Winder rock station WJBB on 107.1/1300.

Rude, who was one of the key figures during 96Rock’s heyday, is back where he is most comfortable: rock music. And WJBB plays songs from 1965 to 1990. It skews older than its closest rival 97.1/The River. He is joined by Blake McCarrin, a veteran of radio in North Georgia, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays.

Via Messenger, Rude said he is enjoying the freedom of working for an independent owner. “It doesn’t take a week and five meetings to get a segment or a promotion on the air,” he wrote. “Reminds me a lot of what got me into radio in the first place. A group of people who are hungry to see the station grow and they all wear several hats doing it.” 

The station’s limited FM signal covers mostly three counties: Barrow, Jackson and Clarke. You can also find the station on the TuneIn app or the website

Jeff Batten, the station owner who purchased the signal in 2014, said he was able to offer Rude enough money to make his commute an hour each way from North Fulton to Winder worthwhile. “We may never make a profit again,” he joked.

More seriously, he hopes Rude’s legacy in the metro Atlanta market will generate a nice return of investment. And since Rude began last month, Batten has been impressed with Rude’s work ethic. 

“He’s like a kid,” Batten said. “He does show prep, he brings audio. He’s not just showing up. He’s leading this thing.” 

Rude said he admires Batten as well: He’s “in the trenches with us. He’s cutting spots and doing the music and programming. Great to be back on rock radio!” 

The station does not rely on Nielsen ratings and its advertisers are primarily local small businesses such as car dealerships, flooring installers, painters and plumbers. That works to Batten’s advantage. He doesn’t have to cater to the 25-54 demo most stations do. 

Instead, he aims for 35 to 64 and enables WJBB to play more late 1960s and early 1970s cuts by the likes of Cream, Badfinger and America that the River eschews. I also heard Christopher Cross so a bit of yacht rock is thrown in as well. 

“If you love your area,” Batten said, “they’ll hopefully love you back.”

Here is the estimated coverage area for the FM signal:

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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