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City of license Harrisonburg, Virginia
Broadcast area Central Shenandoah Valley
Branding "NewsRadio 550 WSVA"
Slogan "Read it Tomorrow, See it Tonight or Hear it Now!"
Frequency 550 kHz
First air date June 9, 1935
Format News/Talk/Sports
Power 5,000 Watts daytime
1,000 Watts nighttime
Class B
Facility ID 39493
Transmitter coordinates 38°27′4.0″N 78°54′29.0″W / 38.451111°N 78.908056°W / 38.451111; -78.908056
Callsign meaning We Serve Virginia Agriculture
W Shenandoah VAlley
Affiliations ABC Radio News
Owner M. Belmont VerStandig, Inc.
Sister stations WHBG, WJDV, WQPO, WTGD
Webcast WSVA Webstream
Website WSVA Online

WSVA is a News/Talk/Sports formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Harrisonburg, Virginia, serving the Central Shenandoah Valley. WSVA is owned and operated by M. Belmont VerStandig, Inc.[1]


WSVA went on the air on June 9, 1935 with 500 watts of power. It was the first radio station to serve Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Although it appears that the call letters stand for Shenandoah VAlley, they actually stand for We Serve Virginia Agriculture." The station was affiliated with NBC, and offered news, agricultural programs, music and other items of local interest.[2] Bluegrass singer Mac Wiseman worked at the station as a news reader and disc jockey in the 1940s.[3]

WSVA was originally owned by Frederick L. Allman. In 1946, it spawned the Valley's first FM station, WSVA-FM (now WQPO), and in 1953 it added a television station, WSVA-TV (now WHSV-TV). Allman sold his stations to a partnership of Transcontinent Television and former NBC executive Hamilton Shea in 1956, earning a handsome return on his investment of 21 years earlier.[4] In 1959, the Washington Evening Star, owner of WMAL AM-FM-TV in Washington, D.C., bought Transcontinent's share of the stations, as well as 1% of Shea's stake.[5] Michigan businessman James Gilmore bought the WSVA stations in 1965.[6] Gilmore sold off channel 3 in 1976,[7] but held onto the radio stations until 1987, when he sold them to VerStandig. John David Verstandig owns WSVA-AM today as well as WQPO-FM, WTGD-FM, WJDV-FM, and WHBG-AM. In 2009 the station moved into a new building located on the same property to the old one at 1820 Heritage Center Way, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.


Logo used until early 2014.

The WSVA morning show, known as "Early Mornings" airs from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and features hosts Jim Britt, Frank Wilt and Jennifer Armstrong along with news reported by Karl Magenhofer.

"Midday's" with Jim Britt airs between 10 and 11 a.m. and features local guests discussing local government leaders, gardening, pets, high tech news, health and aging.

"The Tag Sale" airs Friday mornings between 10 and 11 a.m. and gives listeners a chance to buy,sell and giveaway items by calling into the program.

Dave Ramsey airs between 1 and 3 p.m.

Clark Howard between 3 and 4 p.m.and again between 8 and 10 p.m.

Mike Schikman host Late Afternoons between 4 and 6p.m.

WSVA broadcast local sports programs including high school football, basketball and baseball along with James Madison University football and basketball broadcast.


  1. ^ "WSVA Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  2. ^ Cacchiani, John. "WSVA Nostalgia". Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  3. ^ Shelton, Pamela. "Mac Wiseman Biography". Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  4. ^ "Brisk buying surge swaps four stations, $7.7 million" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. April 9, 1956. pp. 35–6. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 10, 1959. p. 54. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Four stations sold for $6.8 million" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 7, 1965. pp. 79–80. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Worrell Newspapers Purchases TV Station". The Middlesboro Daily News. June 9, 1976. p. 11. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 

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