Andrew Saltzman, the Zone's longtime general manager,said Lincoln Financial and its financial wherewithal helped enable the station to afford to hire Durham and Barnhart on a full-time basis.
In internal research with listeners, "nobody scores higher than Tony and Wes," he said.
Senior Vice President Rick Mack, Saltzman's new boss who also oversees top 40 station Star 94, "made this happen because he believes in the brand."
Brandon's former on-air partner Jeff Woolverton will continue to be a sideline reporter on Georgia Tech radio network and will work with 790thezone.com. He will also do fill-in work.
Barnhart and Durham have been long-time contributors to the Zone, hosting a weekly college football radio show.
Barnhart writes the Mr. College Football blog on ajc.com. He also contributes to CBS's "College Football Today" and the "Tony Barnhart Show" on CBS College Sports South.
Durham has done play-by-play for Georgia Tech football since 1995 and the Atlanta Falcons since 2004.
To accommodate their busy schedules during the football season, Barnhart will be off on Tuesdays to tape his CBS show while Durham will not work the full three hours that day. The station will use fill-ins during their absence.
Barnhart said the show will naturally focus on college footballÂ during the season but it won't preclude them from talking pro football or other sports as well. He said he keeps track of other sports just by his very nature so talking about golf or baseball won't be a stretch.