‘The Ride’ isn’t over: Here’s why a Charlotte-area rock radio station went silent

·1 min read
Jeff Siner/jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-area rock fans tuning into 95.7 FM “The Ride” over the weekend might have encountered radio silence and not their favorite tunes from Aerosmith, The Doors, The Rolling Stones and other classic rock acts.

The independent radio station was forced off the air a lightning strike damaged its antenna and transmitter during a strong storm on Saturday, general manager Dave Lingafelt told The Charlotte Observer.

The storms caused 3,000 power outages, nearly 600 flight delays and a short “shelter in place” order at Charlotte FC’s match at Bank of America Stadium, the Observer previously reported.

As of Tuesday morning, “The Ride” is back on the air and is expected return to full power (100,000 watts) in the “very near future,” Lingafelt said.

The Ride” is headquartered in Newton in Catawba County and is licensed to serve Hickory, according to the station’s website.

Although its broadcast signal was knocked out, the station’s live stream was unaffected.

‘The Ride’ isn’t ‘going away’

The station has taken many lightning hits over the years, but nothing that caused this much damage, Lingafelt said.

“It happens to every radio station sooner or later,” he said. “The question is, how much damage is done?”

Lingafelt said the station has backup equipment — including transmitters and antennas — but sometimes strong storms can still take it off the air.

The station received “hundreds and hundreds” of messages and calls about the outage, Lingafelt said.

“It’s always gratifying to know people care,” he said. “They were afraid ‘The Ride’ was going away, it’s not!”