|Broadcast area||Lynchburg, Virginia
|First air date||1930|
|Power||250 Watts daytime
14 Watts nighttime
|Callsign meaning||W Lynchburg VirginiA|
|Affiliations||Carolina Panthers Radio Network|
WLVA was Lynchburg's first radio station, signing on for the first time at 7:00 PM on April 21, 1930 on 1230kHz (W Lynchburg, VirginiA). By 1934, WLVA was broadcasting at a power of 100 watts. At a time when many local radio stations were owned by or affiliated with newspapers, WLVA was not; consequently, the station frequently found itself in direct competition with Lynchburg's papers. In 1934, WLVA allied itself with the Washington Herald which was attempting to increase circulation in the Lynchburg area. The Herald's Lynchburg correspondent, Nowlin Puckett, furnished local news on WLVA from August until December 1934. In late 1934, WLVA experimented with rebroadcasting selected programs from station WLW (Cincinnati, Ohio). Most listeners in Lynchburg could not ordinarily receive WLW, but WLVA installed a special high-powered receiver on the outskirts of Lynchburg which it used to tune in WLW and re-broadcast the signal to Lynchburg listeners.
In December 1935, WLVA moved to a new building in Lynchburg and boasted a "selling staff" of 12, headed by Glenn E. Jackson. At that time, Jimmy Moore was director of programs; Al Heiser was chief engineer, and Jim Howe was head of continuity. In late 1939, under president Edward A. Allen, WLVA acquired station WBTM (Danville, Virginia). On January 1, 1940, the two joined together to form the fledgling Piedmont Broadcasting System. Each station took turns originating programs that were heard over both simultaneously. The network expanded in late 1940 to include station WSLS (Roanoke, Virginia). When Glenn Jackson, after 13 years at WLVA, killed himself at age 33 on April 9, 1942, the news was reported in Variety
Beginning in 1935 and continuing well into the 1950s, WLVA hosted an annual "Christmas Party" to raise money and clothing for needy children in the area. The all-day broadcast (usually the Sunday before Christmas) featured local performers who stopped by to entertain the listening audience. In between performances, announcers read the names of contributors. In 1942, WLVA's "Christmas Party" made national news when Byron Price, war censorship chief in Washington, D.C., forbade the station to read the names of donors on-air, fearing that doing so might "tipoff, accidentally...enemy agents."
WLVA radio moved to 590kHz in 1947.
Until the late 1970s, WLVA had many listeners, but FM radio took away a lot of the audience. During part of the 1990s WLVA was part of the three stations known as "The Lake," simulacasting on 106.9 FM and 880AM from Smith Mountain Lake. The format was "All the Great Songs," very similar to The Music of Your Life format. For several years during the 1990s, WLVA became a talk-radio station. Most of this programming was lost within a year after WLNI-FM signed-on.
In 2005, Truth Broadcasting purchased WLVA from Kovas Communications. The station was off the air at that time. In 2008, Truth Broadcasting, whose president was Stuart Epperson, Jr., announced WLVA's sale to Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corp., whose president was Nancy Epperson. In 2011, another of Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting's stations, WLES-AM of Bon Air/Richmond started broadcasting on 590 kHz, while the still silent WLVA was given 580 kHz.
As of June 1, 2012, WLVA switched formats from Religious to Oldies/Classic Rock format as "QRockRadio". In November 2012, WLVA began simulcasting on translator W294BO on 106.7FM from nearby Concord, Virginia.
May 31, 2013 was the final day that WLVA and W293BY transmitted QRockRadio. On June 1, 2013, W293BY started simulcasting gospel stations WKBA/WKPA (AM 1550 from Vinton / AM 1390 from Lynchburg). For most of June, WLVA rebroadcast the output of local talk station 1050 WBRG. On September 1, WLVA returned to the air with a Talk format.
On February 16, 2014, Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting sold WLVA to Brent Epperson, at a purchase price of $55,000.
- "WLVA Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "WLVA, Linchburg, fights local rags". Variety. Vol. 115 no. 8 (published August 7, 1934). August 6, 1934. p. 31 – via Internet Archive.
- "WLVA, Lynchburg, VA., rebroadcasts WLW". Variety. Vol. 116 no. 9 (published November 13, 1934). November 12, 1934. p. 36 – via Internet Archive.
- "WLVA Spreading Out". Variety. Vol. 120 no. 13 (published December 11, 1935). December 10, 1935. p. 50 – via Internet Archive.
- "WLVA, Lynchburg, Buys Into Danville, Va., Station; May Form Piedmont Web". Variety. Vol. 137 no. 2 (published December 20, 1939). December 19, 1939. p. 23 – via Internet Archive.
- "Virginia Triangle". Variety. Vol. 140 no. 3 (published September 25, 1940). September 24, 1940. p. 42 – via Internet Archive.
- "Glenn Jackson Kills Self". Variety. Vol. 146 no. 6 (published April 15, 1942). April 14, 1942. p. 27 – via Internet Archive.
- "War Censorship Crimps Xmas Stunt at WLVA". Variety. Vol. 148 no. 11 (published November 18, 1942). November 17, 1942. p. 34 – via Internet Archive.
- "WGTM WLVA WSLS Get Power Increase, Lower Frequency in FCC Decision" (PDF). Broadcasting Telecasting. July 7, 1947. p. 34 – via AmericanRadioHistory.com.
- Bethany Fuller, "WLVA Lands New Owner," The News & Advance, October 8, 2005.
- "Deals," Broadcasting & Cable, December 15, 2008.