WJMA

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WJMA
Station wjma.png
City of license Culpeper, Virginia
Broadcast area Central Virginia
Branding "103.1 WJMA"
Slogan "Today's Country and Yesterday's Favorites"
Frequency 103.1 MHz (since 2004)
(also on HD Radio)
First air date November 22, 1971
Format Country
ERP 600 watts
HAAT 313 meters
Class A
Facility ID 14710
Transmitter coordinates 38°29′4.0″N 77°59′22.0″W / 38.484444°N 77.989444°W / 38.484444; -77.989444
Callsign meaning W James Madison Association
Former callsigns WCUL (?-2004)
WJMA-FM (2004-2011)
Owner Piedmont Communications, Inc.
Sister stations WCVA, WOJL, WVCV
Website WJMA Online

WJMA (103.1 FM) is a radio station licensed to serve Culpeper, Virginia, USA. The station is owned and operated by Piedmont Communications, Inc.[1] WJMA broadcasts a country music format serving Central Virginia.[2]

History[edit]

WJMA AM (1340 kHz) in Orange, Virginia, began broadcasting at noon on September 10, 1949 [3] as a Class 4 AM radio station with 250 watts of broadcast power day and night.[4] WJMA was named for James Madison, the father of the US Constitution and fourth President of the United States who was a resident of Orange County, Virginia.[5]

Woodbury S. Ober, one of the original stockholders, became the sole owner when bought shares of the other stockholders in October 1956.[6] In 1958 Ober merged WJMA with Charlottesville Broadcasting, owners of WINA-AM-FM in Charlottesville, VA.[7] Arch Harrison and WJMA Incorporated purchased the license from Charlottesville Broadcasting on July 1, 1961.[8] WJMA-FM (96.7 MHz) went on the air November 25, 1971 as a simulcast of WJMA.[9]

WJMA began using the slogan "Radio Orange" in the mid 1970s. WJMA had a strong local news and sports commitment. The music was middle of the road (MOR) which evolved into adult contemporary (AC) by the late 70s. In the Spring of 1974, Chet Burgess was hired as WJMA's first full-time news director.[10] Between 1974 and 1984, WJMA won 18 Associated Press awards. In 1982, the news staff won 4 Virginia Associated Press news awards for non-metro radio stations.[11] In addition to lots of high school sports, WJMA carried the Washington Redskins, Baltimore Orioles, the Virginia Squires of the American Basketball Association, University of Virginia (football and basketball) and Virginia Tech (football) schedules. During the brief existence of the United States Football League, WJMA carried the Washington Federals.

Digby Solomon and Solomon & Lowe purchased WJMA-AM-FM on April 1, 1984.[12] In December 1984, WJMA-FM changed call letters to WVJZ, (Z96.7), playing Adult Contemporary music while continuing to simulcast with WJMA AM. Solomon & Lowe sold to Carl Hurlbaus and Capitol Radio Holdings in 1988. The news and sports coverage was reduced and the music took on a more Top 40 flavor with the slogan "Jammin 96".

After a period of decline, the stations were purchased by a group of local business owners under the name Piedmont Communications on January 1, 1993.[13] The format was changed to country music with the slogan "Country Mix 96" and the FM call was changed back to WJMA-FM in February 1990. In 1994, News Director Phil Goodwin won a national Radio-Television News Directors Association Edward R. Murrow award for the best small market feature story [1].[14]

In June 2001, a three station shuffle to allow WSIG FM in Mount Jackson, VA, and WREL FM in Lexington, VA, to increase power, WJMA FM moved to 98.9 with a new slogan of "Your Place In The Country". WJMA AM changed call letters to WVCV AM and featured oldies and talk programs. The station now plays Adult Standards and soft hits.

In the fall of 2002, Piedmont Communications traded the 98.9 frequency to North Carolina station owner Tom Joyner for Joyner's two Culpeper, Virginia stations: WCVA AM (1490 kHz) and WCUL FM (103.1 MHz). At approximately the same time, Piedmont Communications purchased WLSA FM in Louisa, VA. On March 1, 2004, the WJMA-FM programming was added to the WCUL FM tower on Clark Mountain on the WCUL frequency of 103.1. At midnight on April 15, 2004, WJMA-FM at 98.9 was turned off thus ending almost 34 years of an FM station licensed to Orange, Virginia. The main studio and AM tower site remain in Orange. The city of license for WJMA-FM is Culpeper. WVCV plays satellite delivered Adult Standards and soft hits, plus ABC and local news. WVCV is simulcast with WCVA (1490 kHz) in Culpeper. WCVA is also a Class C AM station.

References[edit]

External links[edit]