WRVC (AM)

WRVC is a radio station in Huntington, West Virginia. It is currently the Tri-State's affiliate of ESPN Radio, and is owned by Kindred Communications.

WRVC
WRVC ESPN930-94.1 logo.png
CityHuntington, West Virginia
Broadcast areaHuntington, West Virginia
Ashland, Kentucky
Ironton, Ohio
Frequency930 kHz
BrandingESPN Huntington 94.1 FM and AM 930
Programming
FormatSports
AffiliationsCincinnati Bengals Radio Network
Cleveland Cavaliers Radio Network
Pittsburgh Pirates Radio Network
ESPN Radio
Ownership
OwnerKindred Communications
History
First air date
1923
Former call signs
WSAZ (1923-1970)
WGNT (1970-1988)
WTKZ (1991-1994)
Call sign meaning
W RiVer Cities
Technical information
Facility ID21435
ClassB
Power5,000 watts (daytime)
1,000 watts (nighttime)
Translator(s)W231BS/Huntington, 94.1 MHz
Links
WebcastListen Live
Websitewrvc.com

WRVC began operations on October 16, 1923 as WSAZ, operated by Glenn Chase in his electric shop in Pomeroy, Ohio. Chase had his hands full keeping the station going; as he put it, "even a loud voice could put the station off the air." Years later, Chase claimed the station was such a burden to him that he asked the United States Department of Commerce to assign it the call letters WSAZ to signify that it was the "Worst Station from A to Z. A more likely explanation is that the call letters were sequentially assigned by the United States Department of Commerce between WSAX in Chicago, Illinois (now defunct) and WSAY in Port Chester, New York.[1][2] However, to this day local legend holds that the call letters stand for "Worst Station from A to Z"; indeed, the station used it as a slogan for many years.

By 1926, Chase realized he was in over his head making the station profitable, and moved it across and down the Ohio River to Huntington. He then sold controlling interest to Huntington businessman W. C. McKellar, but stayed on as station manager. McKellar used the station to help sell radios at his store on Fourth Avenue in downtown Huntington.[1][2]

In 1927, McKellar sold a stake in WSAZ to the Huntington Publishing Company, publisher of Huntington's two newspapers, The Herald-Dispatch and the now-defunct Huntington Advertiser.[2] Huntington Publishing bought full control in 1929.[3]

The station came into its own when it stayed on the air commercial-free for nine straight days during the 1937 Ohio River flood.[2] At the time, the station operated on 1190 kHz, and had to go off the air at sunset to protect clear-channel WOAI in San Antonio. However, it received permission from the federal government to stay on the air continuously in order to air appeals for help, information for loved ones and directives from officials working to combat the disaster. It stayed on the air for 182 hours straight from January 22 to January 31.[3] This cemented its status as the Tri-State's primary AM station.

In 1949, WSAZ-TV signed on as West Virginia's first television station. Huntington Publishing sold WSAZ-AM-TV to Goodwill Stations of Detroit in 1961 for $6 million, earning a handsome return on its investment of 34 years prior.[4][5] Goodwill was merged into Capital Cities Communications in 1964.[6] Capital Cities spun off the WSAZ stations in 1971 as a result of its purchase of several stations from Triangle Publications, with WSAZ radio going to Stoner Broadcasting.[7] After briefly announcing it would change the radio station's calls to WHWV, the calls became WGNT (for GiaNT) on June 1, 1970.[3] They became WRVC in 1988, calls it retains today, except for a three-year stint as WTKZ from 1991 to 1994.

Currently it markets itself as "ESPN 94.1 FM & AM 930" since August 2016 and before that, the addition of an FM translator and change of the format to talk/sports (as "Supertalk 94.1 FM and AM 930") was first made in May 2009.

Nationally owned competitor Clear Channel moved Rush Limbaugh and the Cincinnati Reds to WVHU, whereupon WRVC 930 AM joined Air America Radio network in 2004. In November 2006, WRVC became an almost 24/7 sports station for about three years, but also carried local music and church on weekends and daily local talk. "Supertalk" was a mix of news, talk and sports on May 18, 2009, the approximate of lineup mix the station had prior to 2006.

In 2014, the station once again went back to ESPN as its main programming, with MetroNews providing state talk, the Statewide Sportsline and other sports programming from ESPN, Westwood One, the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Cavaliers and Pittsburgh Pirates. Programming also includes "The Drive" hosted by Paul Swann, a local sports talk show that airs weekdays 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and won Best Talk Show in a ranked market at the 2019 West Virginia Broadcasters Association's Excellence in Broadcasting Awards.

WRVC also carries many local sports including Marshall Thundering Herd football, men's basketball and baseball, as well as high school sports from Huntington High School, since 2013. It has carried Thundering Herd sports for all but a few years since moving across the Ohio River. It also carries nationally syndicated games from Major League Baseball, the National Football League and playoffs up to and including the Super Bowl and the National Basketball Association, as well as NCAA Basketball and "March Madness" Championships along with many college bowl games, including the BCS Championship and other BCS Bowls.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "WSAZ Radio: "The Worst Station from A to Z"". Goldenseal. West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History. 2001.
  2. ^ a b c d James E. Casto (November 19, 2018). "Lost Huntington: WSAZ Radio". Herald-Dispatch.
  3. ^ a b c "History of WSAZ/WGNT/WRVC, Huntington, West Virginia". jeff560.tripod.com. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  4. ^ "WJR officials sign to purchase WSAZ-AM-TV". Broadcasting, February 6, 1961, pg. 51. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "The dam breaks in station sales." Broadcasting, April 3, 1961, pp. 33-35. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "Another group gets bigger." Broadcasting, March 2, 1964, pg. 64. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  7. ^ "Capcities sells its AM in Huntington, W.Va." Broadcasting, May 25, 1970, pg. 50. Retrieved August 9, 2018.

External linksEdit

FM translator

Coordinates: 38°24′03″N 82°29′42″W / 38.40083°N 82.49500°W / 38.40083; -82.49500