|City of license||Richmond, Virginia|
|Broadcast area||Metro Richmond|
|Branding||"Fox Sports 910"|
|First air date||1937|
|Power||5,000 Watts daytime
1,500 Watts nighttime
|Callsign meaning||W Richmond's News Leader|
|Affiliations||Fox Sports Radio|
(CC Licenses, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBTJ, WRXL, WRVA, WRVQ, WTVR-FM|
WRNL began operations in 1937 with a frequency of 880 KHz and 500 W power (daytime). Its studios were at 323 East Grace Street in Richmond, and the transmitter was in Henrico County, Virginia. The station had been in Petersburg, Virginia, with the call letters WPHR, before it was moved to Richmond and renamed by its owner, The Richmond News Leader.
Changes from 1940 ownership merger
On September 1, 1940, The Richmond News Leader merged with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, owner of station WRTD (a 100 W station on 1500 KHz) in Richmond. (The newspapers remained separate entities, but they were owned by the same company, Richmond Newspapers, Incorporated.) As part of the merger, WRTD voluntarily surrendered its license to the Federal Communications Commission effective midnight August 31, 1940. At the same time, WRNL became the NBC Blue affiliate in Richmond. WRNL simultaneously went to 1KW power (fulltime).
In the late 1940s, the 111 Building (at 111 North Fourth Street) was built for WRNL.
WRNL provided one of the first broadcasting opportunities on a U.S. radio station for the country/folk group the Carter Family. Beginning June 1, 1943, Maybelle Carter and her daughters, using the name "The Carter Sisters," had a program on WRNL that was sponsored by Nolde Brothers Bakery.
Douglas Southall Freeman
In addition to being a journalist and historian, Douglas Southall Freeman was part-owner of WRNL. The editor of The Richmond News Leader, he extended his journalistic activities to broadcasting with twice-daily newscasts at 8 a.m. and noon. Among those interviewed by Freeman was poet Robert Frost, in what Frost said was his first time to knowingly appear on radio. Biographer Charles Johnson wrote about Freeman's first broadcast of each day: "He steps up to the microphone at 8:00, and thousands of Virginians mark the beginning of their day. ... They might just be beginning their day, but he has been observing the world for more than five hours and will tell them what they need to know."
A Gospel quartet that began when its members were students at an elementary school in Richmond, the Harmonizing Four began singing on WRNL in 1943, soon after recording eight songs for Decca in New York City. Described as "the area's top quartet," the group "would have Sunday breakfast with Richmond for nearly two decades, sponsored by People's Furniture."
Mudd joined the staff of the News-Leader in 1953, then shifted to broadcast journalism with WRNL, where he became news director before moving on to a career in network news with CBS and, later, NBC.
Schreiner came to WRNL in 1950. Among other duties, he had a program, "The Mailbag." Schreiner also served as program director and covered farm news, winning a Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters' award for his work in 1959.
"A large portion of Richmond’s baby-boom generation grew up with Mr. Soden’s distinctive descriptions of baseball, basketball and football games percolating in the background on radio station WRNL." Soden was general manager and executive vice president at WRNL, but he was best-known for bringing sports events into the homes of people in central Virginia. He did play-by-play for the Richmond Braves and Richmond Virginians minor league baseball teams for three decades and broadcast University of Richmond basketball (24 years) and football (11 years) and Virginia Tech football (12 years). Soden's accolades included a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Richmond Broadcasting Hall of Fame, two awards as Virginia's Sportscaster of the Year from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and induction into six halls of fame.
Organist Eddie Weaver, who played at a movie theater in Richmond, was also heard in many homes via WRNL. His weekday morning program, "Eddie Weaver's Open House," featured music and chatter. The program began in September 1949 and was still going strong a decade later.
|1951||Dr. Douglas Southall Freeman||best news commentary over larger radio stations||Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters|
|1951||Howard Hamrick||comprehensive news broadcast over Class 1 stations||Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters|
|1955||WRNL||Douglas Southall Freeman Award for public service in radio journalism||Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters|
|1966||WRNL||Douglas Southall Freeman Award for public service in radio journalism||Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters|
|1966||Ken Collins||metropolitan radio interview||Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters|
|1969||WRNL||best documentary -- metropolitan radio||Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters|
|1970||WRNL||Douglas Southall Freeman Award||Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters|
- "WRNL Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1938). The 1938 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. P. 383.
- "Changes in Virginia". Radio Daily. February 9, 1937. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- "WRTD, Richmond, Quits Operation; WRNL Full-Time". Broadcasting. September 1, 1940. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- Rayner, Bob (September 7, 2000). "Downtown Richmond, Va., Building to Undergo Renovations". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Retrieved 20 January 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- Ruhlmann, William (2001). "Carter Family, The". Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. Farmington Hills, Michigan.: Gale Group, Inc. Retrieved 20 January 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- Wolfe, Charles K. (2000). Classic Country: Legends of Country Music. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780415928267. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- Stoddard, Brooke C. "Words Read ’Round the World". Virginia Living. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- Johnson, David E. (2002). Douglas Southall Freeman. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company. ISBN 1-58980-021-4. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Robert Frost & Dr. Douglas Southall Freeman : WRNL Richmond, Va.". WorldCat. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- editor, W.K. McNeil, (2010). Encyclopedia of American gospel music. New York: Routledge. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-415-87569-1. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Harrison, Don. "Lonnie's Boys". Style Weekly. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- "State Press Group Honors Roger Mudd". The Virginian-Pilot. July 20, 1997. Retrieved 20 January 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- "air-casters". Broadcasting. July 31, 1950. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1961). The 1961 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. P. 593.
- "Virginia AP Men Present News Awards". Broadcasting. May 4, 1959. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Dorr, Vic (October 22, 2013). "Broadcast legend Frank P. Soden dies". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "(photo caption)". Richmond.com. Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Freeman Wins Award For News Commentary". Kingsport News. April 6, 1951. p. 3. Retrieved March 22, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Va. AP Honors WRNL, WSVS For Public Service in Radio". Broadcasting. November 14, 1955. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Area Radio Stations Win 16 Awards". The Danville Register. May 14, 1966. p. 7. Retrieved March 22, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "WDVA Wins Radio Award For Editorial". The Danville Register. May 10, 1969. p. 6. Retrieved March 22, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "WDVA Is Among Award Winners". The Bee. May 9, 1970. p. 5 – via Newspapers.com.
- Fox Sports 910 Online
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WRNL
- Radio-Locator Information on WRNL
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WRNL