Athens Media Scene: The Inside Scoop

As the vibrant college town of Athens continues to grow, so does its wealth of media outlets and resources. Home to the University of Georgia, Athens has cultivated a dynamic mix of journalism, music, film, and more.

This definitive local’s guide will give you the inside scoop on all the best places to find information and entertainment in Athens.

The Athens Banner-Herald is the main daily newspaper, while several weekly and monthly publications also serve the community.

The Athens Banner-Herald

Published 7 days a week, this is Athens’ newspaper of record for over 200 years. Owned by Gannett, the Banner-Herald offers reporting on local news, sports, business, lifestyles and more. The Monday paper highlights local entertainment options.

Flagpole Magazine

Published every Tuesday, Flagpole is the top weekly alternative paper in Athens. Known for its liberal slant, Flagpole started out covering the local punk rock scene. Now it’s the go-to guide for arts, culture, food and progressive politics.

Other Notable Publications

  • Athens Today -Weekly lifestyles and entertainment magazine
  • The Arch – UGA’s independent student newspaper
  • The Red & Black – UGA’s editorially independent student newspaper

Radio Stations: Music and Talk Radio Outlets

From pop hits to public radio, Athens airwaves deliver diverse audio content.

88.9 FM WUOG

The University of Georgia’s student-run radio station showcases indie bands, hip hop, electronica and other music you won’t hear on Top 40 stations. WUOG also airs specialty programs spotlighting genres like punk, metal, reggae and more.

91.7 FM WUGA

This NPR affiliate provides an outlet for national talk and entertainment programming. Local offerings range from news talk shows to broadcasts of UGA athletic events.

97.5 FM WATC

This Top 40 station brands itself as Alice 97.5. Alongside chart-topping hits, Alice provides tongue-in-cheek segments during its morning drive time show. Contests and giveaways are also popular.

TV Stations: Local Broadcast and Public TV

From local news to niche cable networks, here’s where to find Athens TV programming.


This low-powered Toccoa station runs satellite feeds of local news and syndicated fare on channel 32. major network affiliates can be found on cable and satellite providers.


CBS affiliate on cable channel 3 focusing on west Georgia/east Alabama regional news during local segments

WRDW 12 / WJBF 12

Augusta-based ABC affiliate on cable channel 12 with some Athens metro area news


Augusta NBC affiliate on cable channel 26, with some coverage beyond Richmond County


The local PBS station features educational content along with BBC America programming

Cinema Scene: Art House Venue and Multiplexes

Athens has one historic single screen theater along with a multiplex catering to mainstream studio films. Beyond that, the film studies program at UGA ensures no shortage of serious cinephiles.

Athens Ciné

Downtown’s restored movie palace shows indie flicks, cult classics, foreign films, festivals and more in an ornate setting harkening back to Hollywood’s Golden Age. Beer, wine and food round out the retro moviegoing experience.

Quick Picks:

  • Admission prices: $7 matinee, $9 evening
  • Free parking around back!
  • Schedule highlights Hollywood hits after initial theater run

Beechwood Stadium 12

Located in west Athens, this modern megaplex plays the biggest new releases on screens of various sizes and sound systems. Generic fare like popcorn and candy is available at the concession stand.

Top Tips:

  • Reserve seats online in advance
  • Discount matinee shows before noon daily
  • Summer kids’ series on Wed. mornings

UGA Film Studies

Through coursework and special programming, UGA’s film studies majors and cinephiles tap into various aspects of cinema.

  • Department-sponsored Screening Room series every Friday night
  • Global Perspectives Film Festival held annually in spring
  • Student film organization coordinates outside screenings and events

Media Production Scene

Athens has nurtured the launch of many musical acts, films, podcasts and other media productions over the years. Local community media outlets provide resources for creating original content.

Music Production

Thanks to its vibrant local music scene, Athens has recording studios, instrument retailers and other services to support artists. The city has fostered acclaimed bands like R.E.M. and the B-52’s.

Top Local Studios:

  • Chase Park Transduction – Founded by R.E.M.’s Mitch Easter
  • SoundFoundry Recording Studio – Caters to local and national acts

Independent Cinema

From Hollywood blockbusters to micro-budget indies, UGA film students and graduates have made Athens their filmmaking hub. Established directors like Phil Morrison and Jeff Nichols shot early films locally.

Prominent Production Companies:

  • Ciné – Award-winning narrative/documentary projects
  • Cleanup Squad Productions – Horror/sci-fi features and shorts

Community Access TV

Local origination channel ACTV shows public access content provided by area residents and nonprofits wanting to get their message out. Schedule ranges from talk shows to music programs.

Of Note:

  • Channel available to AT&T Uverse customers
  • Program submissions welcome from public
  • Athens media makers gain production skills

Influential Media Figures and Events

Behind the major media outlets and productions lies the creative talent that makes them come to life each day.

Flagpole Founders

Pete McCommons and Steve Shellnut launched the alt-weekly in 1994. It has won national awards and helped launch writing careers.

Ed Lett – Voice of the Bulldogs

As UGA football announcer since 1985, his calls can be heard across the SEC region on station affiliates.

AthFest Music Festival

Launched in 1997 to raise funds for AthFest Educates youth programs, this non-profit fest now serves as Athens’ annual showcase of top local bands each summer. 220 acts across multiple venues take the stage while 40,000 fans enjoy the shows over three days.

From daily newspapers to a thriving local music scene, Athens delivers quality media content to townies and UGA students alike. So take in a film, tune into some eclectic radio or catch a rising act playing live. Athens provides plenty of outlets for staying informed and entertained.

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  • Head south on Prince Ave toward E Broad St/US-78 Trunk/GA-10 Loop. Continue to follow Prince Ave past GA-10 Loop/US-78 Trunk/N Lumpkin St. Turn left onto Smith St, then take the 1st right onto Roywood Dr. Make a slight left onto Prometheus Cir, then turn right. Turn left onto Smokey Rd/Woodstone Dr, then turn right to stay on Smokey Rd. Turn right onto Foundry St, then turn left at the 1st cross street onto Round Table Rd. The destination, 130 Round Table Rd, will be on the right.
  • rom the start point, take a left turn onto Franklin St. Turn left onto Dearing St, then continue onto Plaza Dr. Turn right onto Forest Hills Rd, then continue onto Smokey Rd. Turn right onto Foundry St, then turn left at the 1st cross street onto Round Table Rd. The destination, 130 Round Table Rd, will be on the right.
  • Take a left onto E Broad St/US-78 Trunk/GA-10 Loop and continue as it turns slightly right and becomes Gaines School Rd. Turn left onto Lexington Hwy/GA-10 Loop/GA-335/US-129/US-78, then take the 1st right onto Old Hull Rd. Take the 2nd left onto Smokey Rd, then turn right to stay on Smokey Rd. Turn right onto Foundry St, then turn left at the 1st cross street onto Round Table Rd. The final destination, 130 Round Table Rd, is on the right.