In 1939, Eastern Carolina Broadcasting Company signed on 250-watt WGBR 1370 AM as Goldsboro's first radio station, joining only a handful of other radio stations operating in the eastern part of North Carolina at that time. Goldsboro native Johnny Grant, the longtime "Ceremonial Mayor of Hollywood", began his career as a news announcer at WGBR in 1939. The NARBA frequency shuffle of 1941 moved WGBR three places up the dial to 1400, where the station apparently operated into the 1950s, when a more-powerful 5,000-watt daytime/1,000-watt nighttime signal debuted at 1150 on the dial. In 1946, WGBR signed on WGBR-FM 99.7, the first FM broadcaster to sign on east of Raleigh and one of only only five FM stations in North Carolina. Curtis Media Group bought WGBR and its FM counterpart, by now known as WEQR at 96.9, in 1989. In November of 1999, one of WGBR's two radio towers was damaged when a high-speed chase through several counties ended with the suspect wrecking into the tower.