WSGE began broadcasting on October 27, 1980 on the assigned frequency 91.7 FM, with an effective radiating power of 3,000 watts. The station was part of Gaston College’s Broadcast Production and Technology Department, and it provided practical training opportunities for students. In 1997, The Board of Trustees voted to separate the operation of the station from the academic sector. A year later, WSGE became part of the Marketing Department.
WSGE received a construction permit from the FCC in 2002 to increase its effective radiating power from 3,000 to 6,000 watts. In the same year, WSGE received funding from the North Carolina Legislature to renovate its studios and to acquire a new transmitter site. Approximately three years later, the station held its first open house to showcase its renovated studios.
In March 2006, the radio station was reassigned to Academic Affairs. It will again partner with the Broadcasting and Production Technology Program to enhance student experiences for the workplace. The station’s application for an additional 1,500 watt power increase was approved by the FCC on September 26, 2006. WSGE is now authorized to broadcast at an effective radiating power of 7,500 watts and has the potential of reaching 550,000 persons in approximately 10 counties.
WSGE is a volunteer driven station that operates 24 hours per day. The station’s slogan, “Your Independent Music Source,” aptly describes WSGE’s programming. Listeners are treated to a mix of music not commonly heard on commercial radio. The following genres are prominently featured on the station: Alternative Country, Folk, Blues, Beach/Shag, Rock n’ Roll, Gospel and Jazz. WSGE also serves as a source for local news and information as well as stimulating talk programs.