|City of license||Berry Hill, Tennessee|
|Branding||The Mighty 147|
|First air date||1951|
|Power||5,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
|Callsign meaning||VOLunteer (state nickname)|
|Former callsigns||WSOK (1951–1957)|
|Owner||Heidelberg Broadcasting, LLC|
WVOL (1470 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a Urban Oldies format. Licensed to the Nashville suburb of Berry Hill, Tennessee, USA, the station serves the Nashville area. The station is currently owned by Heidelberg Broadcasting, LLC. The station and transmitter are co-located just north of downtown Nashville in the Cumberland Heights district.
The station was founded in 1951 as WSOK. WSOK's original format was rhythm and blues and urban gospel music. WSOK was the first station in the Nashville market to program primarily to the city's African-American community. After a change in ownership in 1957, the call letters were changed to WVOL, but the station continued its focus on the local African-American community.
In 1980, The Phoenix Communication Group acquired WVOL. The station dropped live programming and affiliated with Satellite Music Network in 1988. The network, impressed with the station, launched a format based on WVOL's sound. WVOL aired satellite-fed programming until 1993. Around that time, the station was sold to Dickey Brothers Broadcasting.
In a transaction that closed in April 2000, WVOL was purchased by John Heidelberg, an African-American entrepreneur who was a former employee of both WVOL and WSM, from Dickey Brothers Broadcasting in exchange for cash and an FM construction permit that would later become WRQQ (now WLVU). WVOL's format was urban gospel during the day, and jazz overnight. In 1970, when Heidelberg was acting program director of WVOL, he was the first person to employ Oprah Winfrey, then a local high school student, as a broadcaster. Eventually becoming a news anchor on WVOL, Winfrey later launched her TV career as an anchor with WLAC-TV in Nashville, before becoming an iconic national talk show host.
In March 2011, WVOL suffered a million dollars in damage when vandals cut the transmission lines to all six of the station's towers.
- Official website
- The History Makers - John Heidelberg
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WVOL
- Radio-Locator Information on WVOL
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WVOL
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