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Encyclopedia > WFMV

WFMV was the callsign for an FM broadcast radio station in Richmond, Virginia from 1961-1971. One of the most favorably equipped of Virginia's early FM stations, it was Virginia's first station to broadcast in stereo. WFMV had a fine music (classical) format throughout its existence, as well as a small, but loyal and influential listener group. In broadcasting and radio communication, a callsign or call sign (also call letters) is a unique designation for a transmitting station. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards and appeal to a wider international audience, this article may require cleanup. ... Flag Seal Nickname: River City Motto: Sic Itur Ad Astra Location Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia Coordinates , Government Country State County United States Virginia Independent City Mayor L. Douglas Wilder (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 62. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Label for 2. ...


New owners changed the format and callsign around 1971. However, groups of listeners and employees followed the station (or at least its music library and format) through 2 changes to its current place on a non-commercial frequency as WCVE-FM, a NPR member. (The former WFMV callsign was later reassigned by the FCC to an FM station in South Carolina). WCVE-FM is a public radio station licensed to Richmond, Virginia. ... NPR logo For other meanings of NPR see NPR (disambiguation) National Public Radio (NPR) is a private, not-for-profit corporation that sells programming to member radio stations; together they are a loosely organized public radio network in the United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston(1670-1789) Columbia(1790-present) Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32°430N to 35...

Contents


History

Virginia's first stereo radio station

New technology was added to FM radio in the early 1960s to allow FM stereo transmissions, where the frequency modulated radio signal is used to carry stereophonic sound, using the pilot-tone multiplex system. WFMV was the first radio station in Virginia to broadcast in multiplex stereo. At 103.7 MHz, it was licensed for 74,000 watts. The transmitter site which was favorably located on high ground (200 ft above sea level) west of Richmond in the woods off Old Bon Air Road in Chesterfield County near Bon Air, had a tower extending another 125' and signals could be heard in Charlottesville, about 70 miles away. FM radio is a broadcast technology invented by Edwin Howard Armstrong that uses frequency modulation to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... Stereophonic means having two channels of audio. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Label for 2. ... Chesterfield County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States. ... Bon Air is a census-designated place and an unincorporated community located in Chesterfield County, Virginia. ... Motto: Nickname: Map Political Statistics Founded 1762 Incorporated Independent City Mayor David Brown Geographic Statistics Area  - Total  - Land  - Water 177. ...


The station went on the air in 1961 and was operated by Professional Broadcasting, Inc. In 1964, Fidelity Bankers Life Insurance Company (founded in Richmond in 1953) bought the station as an investment and moved the studios to their suburban headquarters at Willow Lawn in Henrico County. For a time, it was co managed with WGOE, a 1000 watt AM daytime station owned by brothers Major and J. Sargeant Reynolds. By 1968, station owners Richmond-based Fidelity Bankers Life Insurance Company had grown to became one of the largest insurance holding companies in the United States, controlling over $4.5 billion of life insurance and assets of over $500 million. 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... Location in the state of Virginia Formed 1634 Seat Richmond Area  - Total  - Water 634 km² (245 mi²) 17 km² (7 mi²) 2. ... WGOE was a 5000 watt daytime AM radio station in Richmond, Virginia. ... Julian Sargeant Reynolds (June 30, 1936-June 13, 1971) of Richmond, Virginia was a teacher, businessman, and politician. ...


Sold as an investment; spartan operating conditions

In 1969, Fidelity Bankers sold WFMV to Ben Thomas, an investor and a mobile home manufacturer from Greencastle, Pennsylvania. Thomas, who managed the operation from his base in Pennsylvania, relocated the studios into two used office trailers at the rural transmitter site. The remote location was located on a dirt road, essentially an old fire trail, which wound through the woods to reach the site. During rain and snow, it was often accessible only by foot. 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... A modern double-wide manufactured home Mobile homes (or manufactured homes) are housing units built in factories, rather than on site, and then taken to the place where they will be occupied, usually by being carried by tractor-trailers over public highways. ... Greencastle is a borough located in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. ...


Thomas had financial problems, and employees, mostly college students, were bolstered by loyal listeners and continued to man the station even when payrolls were late and inclement weather blocked access to the site. Engineering staff from nearby stations, notably the well-funded WRVA ("The 50,000 watt Voice of Virginia"), loaned parts and repair talent to help maintain the aging transmitting equipment. Although privately-owned, WFMV had become something of a community effort. WRVA is an AM radio station in Richmond, Virginia in the United States. ...


Save Fine Music and listeners win format retention, changes

In 1971, Thomas sold the station to EZ Communications of Northern Virginia, which operated WEEL (AM) and WEZR (FM) in Manassas. The new owners were anxious to upgrade the equipment and wanted to change the format to turn the finances around, as WFMV Arbitron listener ratings and advertising revenue had each had been very low. 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1971 calendar). ... EZ Communications, Inc. ... Northern Virginia is a regional area consisting of Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford counties and the independent cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, and Manassas Park. ... WEEL was an AM radio station licensed to Fairfax, Virginia. ... WEZR was an FM radio station licensed to Manassas, Virginia. ... Manassas is an independent city located in the state of Virginia. ... Arbitron is a radio audience research company in the United States. ...


Fearing loss of Richmond's only classical music station, a group of loyal listeners then formed the "Save Fine Music" committee which lobbied the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and EZ Communications to block the transfer and keep the classical format for another year or until arrangements could be made with Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education to upgrade their station, WRFK (FM), to take over the format in the community. This was accomplished and EZ Communications donated the WFMV library to WRFK, and changed formats and call sign to become WEZS(FM).( That station has been thru a plethora of owners and is now WMXB ) The FCCs official seal. ... Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education is an institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA). ... The tone of this article is inappropriate for an encyclopedia article. ... WEZS,now (WMXB) is an FM radio station licensed to Richmond, Virginia. ...


WRFK, long operated by the not-for-profit seminary, was on 106.5 MHz, a commercial frequency. This worked out for a while until a decision was made by the school to sell the increasingly valuable commercial frequency. Another transition was coordinated, this time to a non-commercial frequency operated by the Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Company, the local PBS affiliate which operated WCVE-TV (Channel 23) which was headed by Virginia broadcasting pioneer Ben Spiller. The new station became WCVE-FM at 88.9 MHz, with transmitter, tower, and studios located at the Channel 23/57 complex located at 23 Sesame Street in Bon Air. WCVE (WCVE-TV since WCVE-FM was added in 1988) is a public television station licensed to Richmond, Virginia. ... Note: Public Broadcasting Services is a broadcaster in Malta. ... WCVE (WCVE-TV since WCVE-FM was added in 1988) is a public television station licensed to Richmond, Virginia. ... Billy Wade Bill Spiller (June 24, 1926 - September 23, 2004) was a public broadcasting pioneer in the U.S. state of Virginia. ... WCVE-FM is a public radio station licensed to Richmond, Virginia. ...


The legend of WFMV lives on in Richmond

Grete Dollitz's program, "An Hour With the Guitar" was originally on WFMV. After more than 30 years, is still heard on WCVE-FM, a National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate. NPR logo NPR redirects here. ...


Sources

Fisher, Mark D. (2005) A Brief History of WFMV: Virginia's first stereophonic good music station, Richmond Radio Group on Yahoo; Richmond, VA


External links

  • WCVE-FM information
  • "An Hour With the Guitar" information
  • Richmond Radio Yahoo Group

  Results from FactBites:
 
WFMV - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (782 words)
WFMV was the callsign for an FM broadcast radio station in Richmond, Virginia from 1961-1971.
(The former WFMV callsign was later reassigned by the FCC to an FM station in South Carolina).
WFMV was the first radio station in Virginia to broadcast in multiplex stereo.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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