WEHC-FM moved into its new space and began transmitting from the McGlothlin Center of the Arts just in time for the Emory & Henry vs. Catholic football game from Washington, D.C. on Saturday, October 24th.
Engineer Paxton Durham from our partner station, WVTF in Roanoke, Virginia, connected the new antennas on the roof of the McGlothlin Center of the Arts on Thursday. Students Aaron Taylor and Matt Lutz, Station Manager Richard Graves and General Manager Dr. Teresa Keller began moving equipment on Friday afternoon.
After two 18 hour days and with the pressure of the football game looming, Paxton went to the transmitter site that is located on the hill near the antenna at the McGlothlin Center of the Arts. There is where he made the switch at around 11:45am on Saturday, October 24th to the new signal and studio.
With 15 minutes to spare the sports show, “Keys to the Game”, ran from the station's automation system. This was the first local program broadcast form the new facilities. After that, Paxton returned to the studio and finish the setup of the live production, recording, and editing studios. At 12:20 the castors in Washington D.C had issues calling in to actually broadcast the show. Thankfully, Catholic made the phone call and even paid for the broadcast. We got the phone call on the air around 12:30, just barely for the pregame show.
Emory & Henry Colleges radio station WEHC 90.7 officially switched over to Solar Power on February 22nd 2015. On that Saturday Morning we debuted our new solar array that will power the campus radio station tower. That makes us the first FM Station in the Southeast to be powered by a solar array. Geography Professor Ed Davis led the project in keeping with his commitment to sustainable energy. By far this is the most visible project yet, drivers along I-81 near exit 26 can see the solar array, all 96 panels. The panels now power 2/3 of the energy needed to run the station.
WEHC–AM was the second AM station on the air in Virginia! WRVA in Richmond was first. Merely ten years after broadcasting officially began in 1920, W. Byron Brown and Walter Grey founded WEHC-AM on October 24, 1929 on the Emory & Henry campus.
The College sold WEHC for $5,000 during The Great Depression and WEHC broadcast its last AM signal on Dec. 2, 1932. The station became WCHV in Charlottesville and the call letters WEHC remained unused until WEHC-FM went on the air in 1992. Between the two periods of FCC licensing, Emory & Henry College continued to explore methods of radio communication.
In the fall of 1950, Dr. Thomas Graybeal served as technical advisor for interested students and began WGLG. At times, the station operated with homemade transmitters. Signals may also have been transmitted by cable to several locations. The station reportedly replayed some programs from Bristol station WOPI.
In 1981, the station became known as WLRC, which stood for “Looney’s Radio Club.” Professor Tom Yost initiated the idea of connecting various buildings with phone wire. The cafeteria, The Hut, Hillman, and Carriger-Matthews were wired.
In 1982, the carrier current system became known as WASP.
In 1990, Hampton and Susie Allison of Alexandria, Virginia offered to pay for the cost of a transmitter and antenna for an FCC-licensed, over-the-air signal – if the College would pay for the engineering work. Mr. Allison had worked in radio engineering in Richmond and Washington, D.C. and had been involved in the early WEHC-AM. When Mass Communications Professor Teresa Keller called President Charles Sydnor to ask if the College could support the project, his words were “Proceed forthwith!”
The FCC approved WEHC-FM for broadcasting at 100 watts, and the station was launched on 90.7 MHz in the FM band from studios in Martin Brock on October 17, 1992. Emory & Henry had reclaimed the call letters WEHC.
Within a short time, it became clear that a stronger signal would be better, so in 1995, the College applied to the FCC for an increase in power to 500 watts. In the same time frame, the Virginia Tech Foundation and American Family Association also made requests with the FCC for use of 90.7 in the Bristol area. If WEHC received its 500 watts, WVTF and AFA could not receive their requests. In FCC language the three requests were MXd – or mutually exclusive. The College waited until 2007 when the FCC granted WEHC’s request based on a point system for resolving noncommercial MX situations.
WEHC began broadcasting with 500 watts on September 7, 2007. The College revised the mission of the station to become a College-operated campus and community station with a General Manager appointed by the president of the college.
WEHC entered a programming agreement with the Virginia Tech Foundation to run its Radio IQ programs for part of each day when college is in session and full time during summer and other breaks from classes. Again, the realization set in that a larger coverage area would be better and Emory & Henry applied for a significant power increase. Because Virginia Tech will benefit from the increased power that transmits its programs, the staff of WVTF became partners in WEHC’s planned signal expansion.
On October 26, 2009, WEHC started broadcasting from the new transmitter at 9,000 watts. At its opening ceremony, Susie Allison, the contributor of the first transmitter in 1992, flipped the switch at a ceremony that was held at the site of the new tower. Speakers included General Manager Dr. Teresa Keller, Station Manager Richard Graves, President Dr. Rosalind Reichard , Delegate Joe Johnson, and Virginia Congressman Rick Boucher. WEHC was then able to spread its excellent programming to a wider audience and play a bigger role in the community. Our minimum broadcast range is to Richlands in the North, Mountain City to the South, Rural Retreat in the East, and Blountville in the West.