||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (June 2011)|
|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!"|
|First air date||June 9, 1935|
|Power||5,000 Watts daytime
1,000 Watts nighttime
|Callsign meaning||We Serve Virginia Agriculture
W Shenandoah VAlley
|Affiliations||ABC Radio News|
|Owner||M. Belmont VerStandig, Inc.|
|Sister stations||WHBG, WJDV, WQPO, WTGD|
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. Bluegrass singer Mac Wiseman worked at the station as a news reader and disc jockey in the 1940s.
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. 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. Michigan businessman James Gilmore bought the WSVA stations in 1965. Gilmore sold off channel 3 in 1976, but held onto the radio stations until 1987, when he sold them to VerStandig.
The WSVA morning show, known as "Early Mornings" airs from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and features hosts Jim Britt and Frank Wilt 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 listenings a chance to buy,sell and giveaway items by calling into the program.
- "WSVA Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- Cacchiani, John. "WSVA Nostalgia". Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- Shelton, Pamela. "Mac Wiseman Biography". Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- "Brisk buying surge swaps four stations, $7.7 million" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. April 9, 1956. pp. 35–6. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 10, 1959. p. 54. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Four stations sold for $6.8 million" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 7, 1965. pp. 79–80. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Worrell Newspapers Purchases TV Station". The Middlesboro Daily News. June 9, 1976. p. 11. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- NewsRadio 550 WSVA Online
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WSVA
- Radio-Locator Information on WSVA
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WSVA