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City Charlottesville, Virginia
Broadcast area Charlottesville, Virginia
Albemarle County, Virginia
Branding "C-Ville 107.5 and 1260"
Frequency 1260 kHz
First air date October 24, 1929
Format News/Talk/Sports
Power 5,000 watts daytime
2,500 watts nighttime
Class B
Facility ID 19838
Transmitter coordinates 38°6′52.0″N 78°27′18.0″W / 38.114444°N 78.455000°W / 38.114444; -78.455000
Callsign meaning W CHarlottesVille
Former callsigns WEHC (1929–1935)
Former frequencies 1370 kHz (1929)
1200 kHz (1930–1931)
1350 kHz (1931–1935)
1420 kHz (1935–1941)
1450 kHz (1941–1944)
1240 kHz (1944–1955)
Affiliations Fox News Radio
Premiere Radio Networks
Wall Street Journal Radio Network
Owner Monticello Media
(Monticello Media, LLC)
Sister stations WCHV-FM, WCYK, WHTE, WKAV, WZGN
Webcast WCHV Webstream
Website WCHV Online

WCHV is a news/talk-formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Charlottesville, Virginia, serving Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia.[2] WCHV is owned and operated by Monticello Media.


Early history: WEHC[edit]

What would become Charlottesville's first radio station originated some two hundred miles away. WEHC, owned by Emory and Henry College in Emory, Virginia, signed on October 24, 1929, on 1370 kHz. Behind WRVA Richmond, it was the second radio station in the state to commence operation. The station was run mostly by students and represented before the FCC by faculty member W. Byron Brown.[1][3] In fall 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression, the college sold the station to Brown's Community Broadcasting Corporation for $5,000 (equivalent to $87,768 in 2016). Brown then filed to relocate to Charlottesville.[4][5] The last broadcast from Emory was on December 2, when the station filed to go silent in preparation for the move.[1]

Terrestrial college radio returned to Emory in 1992 with the sign-on of an FM station, which also took the callsign WEHC.

In Charlottesville[edit]

The new station was built and on the air on 1350 kHz in Charlottesville in September 1933, but did not change to its current callsign until 1935.[1]

With no network affiliations yet available, WCHV inaugurated its own network on February 1, 1936: the Virginia Broadcasting System, with affiliates WBTM Danville, WLVA Lynchburg, WGH Newport News, and WPHR Richmond. A planned 16-hour day of common programming failed in three months due to the high cost of telephone lines, although the network links remained to carry advertised broadcasts of Virginia Cavaliers sports and other one-off programming. It is unknown when exactly the network dissolved.[6][7]

WCHV eventually became a partial affiliate of Mutual in 1938 by gaining permission to rebroadcast the signals of WCLE Cleveland and WOR Newark during sustaining programs only.[8] In September 1941, it formally joined the NBC Blue Network.[9] The station would stick with the network when it became ABC Radio, then one of ABC's split networks through 1991.[10] The station's programming day settled on what is now called full service with middle-of-the-road music.[11]

After W.B. Brown sold control of Community Broadcasting in 1936,[12] the corporation changed hands several times, until local businessman Charles Barham, Jr. took majority ownership in 1940. By 1942, he owned over 99 percent of the company, and transferred legal control to himself and his wife under the name Barham and Barham.[13][14]

The Barhams sold to Roger and Louise Neuhoff's Eastern Broadcasting Corporation in 1958 after a sale to one of the station's announcers fell through.[15]

The Neuhoffs signed on a companion FM station, WCCV on 97.5 MHz, in 1960. Unusually for an AM-FM pairing at the time, the FM station was programmed independently with an easy listening format to flank the AM station, which had evolved to adult contemporary. The FM station is now active rock WWWV.[16]

The two stations went through three more ownership changes; the Neuhoffs sold the two stations to Charlottesville resident Edward S. Evans, Jr. in 1968, and Evans then sold them to Lyell B. Clay's Clay Broadcasting in 1973. [17][18] Clay sold all of his broadcasting interests in 1987; WCHV and WWWV went to Eure Communications, then-owners of WXEZ Yorktown.[19]

Eure tweaked the station to oldies music with news from CNN Radio during 1992. A C-QUAM AM stereo signal was put into operation around this time.[20] The music flipped again to urban contemporary in 1997.[21][22]

Eure concluded a merger deal with Charlottesville Broadcasting Corp., owners of WINA (1070 kHz), WQMZ (95.1 MHz), and WKAV (1400 kHz), in 1998. The deal was scrutinized by the FCC and Department of Justice as it would have resulted in one entity owning five popular stations in the small market. The transaction was completed in 2000 after the new Eure was forced to spin off WCHV and WKAV to Clear Channel.[23][24]

Clear Channel first flipped the station to sports talk programming from Fox Sports Radio under the brand "Sports Radio 1260".[25] In mid-2001, this programming was moved to WKAV, and WCHV was flipped again to news and talk as "AM 1260 WCHV".[26]

George Reed's Sistema 102, LLC, later renamed to Monticello Media, bought all of Clear Channel's Charlottesville stations in June 2007.[27] After taking control, Monticello added a downtown Charlottesville FM translator (94.1 MHz, previously associated with WZGN) and tweaked the branding to "News Talk 1260 WCHV", but kept programming the same.[28]

Monticello replaced the translator with a full-powered FM simulcast on January 20, 2011, by flipping its 107.5 MHz facility from adult hits. This station took the callsign WCHV-FM to match.[29]

With the August 2015 flip of WKAV from sports to classic country, WCHV and WCHV-FM picked up that station's affiliations with the Washington Nationals, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Washington Redskins, and Virginia Tech Hokies radio networks.[30] No longer strictly broadcasting news and talk, the stations' branding adjusted to the current "C-Ville 107.5 and 1260".


In 1952, as the FCC was reallocating television channels, Charlottesville was given only one – UHF channel 45 reserved for educational use. Charles Barham attempted to have VHF channel 8 moved from Petersburg. This effort was unsuccessful, although the FCC added channel 64 for commercial use as a result.[31] The Barhams settled for channel 64 and were granted Charlottesville's first television permit, WCHV-TV, on January 29, 1953.[32] The permit lasted just over a year, when it was returned to the FCC citing insufficient prospects for economic support.[33] Early UHF stations were largely futile efforts until Congress mandated UHF tuners with the 1961 All-Channel Receiver Act. After radio competitor WINA also failed to put a television station on the air in the late 1960s, Charlottesville did not get one until WVIR's sign-on in 1973.


  1. ^ a b c d "WCHV History Card (1929–1968 Facility Record)". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  2. ^ "Arbitron Station Information Profiles". Nielsen Audio/Nielsen Holdings. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  3. ^ Dulaney, Ben (1932). "10". A Social and Economic Survey of Washington County, Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia. 
  4. ^ "History of WEHC-FM". Emory and Henry College. 
  5. ^ "[no title]" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 15, 1932. p. 18. 
  6. ^ "[Virginia Broadcasting System Ad]" (PDF). Broadcaasting. February 1, 1936. p. 5. 
  7. ^ Cox, Jim (2009). American Radio Networks: A History. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. pp. 113–114. 
  8. ^ Staff (January 15, 1938). "WCHV Rebroadcasts" (PDF). Broadcasting. p. 56. 
  9. ^ Staff (September 15, 1941). "Six outlets join NBC-Blue Network" (PDF). Broadcasting. p. 26. 
  10. ^ Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook 1991 (PDF). p. B-342.  Last edition showing affiliation with ABC – 1992 (cited later) shows CNN
  11. ^ "WCHV Sample Schedule". Charlottesville Daily Progress. October 17, 1949. p. 2.  – From University of Virginia Library.
  12. ^ Staff (June 15, 1936). "Actions of the Federal Communications Commission" (PDF). Broadcasting. p. 50. 
  13. ^ "Charles Barham Jr.". Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia. Thomas Jefferson Foundation. 
  14. ^ "WCHV Seeks Change" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 9, 1942. p. 42. 
  15. ^ "WCHV Charlottesville, Va. Sold" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 3, 1958. p. 9. 
  16. ^ Staff (May 2, 1960). "On-the-air" (PDF). Broadcasting. p. 56. 
  17. ^ "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 4, 1967. p. 34. 
  18. ^ "Ownership changes" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 24, 1973. p. 82. 
  19. ^ "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 25, 1988. p. 83. 
  20. ^ Broadcasting and Cable Market Place 1992 (PDF). p. A-362.  – 1991 Yearbook w/ AC and ABC affiliation cited earlier
  21. ^ "Rebecca's and Radio: A Natural Fit" (PDF). Radio and Records. May 1, 1998. p. 20. 
  22. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1998 (PDF). p. D-455. 
  23. ^ Spencer, Hawes (March 13, 2003). "MIXed message: Will FCC "clear" WUMX sale?". The Hook (210). 
  24. ^ Brown, Sara (November 10, 1997). "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. p. 133. 
  25. ^ "Sports Radio 1260 WCHV-AM". Clear Channel. Archived from the original on June 11, 2001. 
  26. ^ "AM 1260 WCHV Central Virginia News Radio". Archived from the original on February 4, 2002. 
  27. ^ Corbin, Robert (June 27, 2007). "Clear Channel to sell six stations in VA". VARTV. 
  28. ^ "WCHV boosts it's [sic] signal". VARTV. September 8, 2008. 
  29. ^ "News/Talk WCHV-FM moves from 94.1 to 107.5". VARTV. February 1, 2011. 
  30. ^ Venta, Lance (September 14, 2015). "Hank Comes to Charlottesville". RadioInsight. 
  31. ^ Federal Communications Commission (April 14, 1952). "Richmond, Charlottesville, and Petersburg, Virginia" (PDF). Broadcasting. p. 90-92. 
  32. ^ Staff (September 7, 1953). "New Grantees' Commencement Target Dates" (PDF). Broadcasting. p. 102. 
  33. ^ "3 Granted, 5 Dropped; Court Favors Zenith" (PDF). Television Digest with Electronics Reports. Radio News Bureau. January 23, 1954. p. 2. 

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