History of WOBU/WCHS Radio, Charleston, W. Va. (2022)

Some pictures of WCHS radio and television arehere.

This history was provided by the station.

WCHS-AM Radio went on the air Sept. 15, 1927 at 580 khz. Thestation was the third station in West Virginia to go on the air. Itsfirst call letters were actually WOBU, with the first location beingin the Ruffner Hotel on Kanawha Boulevard. It was founded by WalterFredericks who had an electric shop, but couldn't sell radios with nolocal stations. So he built one, later calling it WCHS (acronym forCharleston). Fredericks was a contractor who built homes in theCharleston area for many years. The station moved into MiddleburgAuditorium, then named it 'WCHS Auditorium'. Offices were on aU-shaped balcony. The auditorium was used for various events. OnFriday nights, the "Old Farm Hour", pulling as many as 2,000 peoplewith its hill talent was broadcast successfully. It was also thelocation for dances, rented out for such big bands as Bunny Berrigan,Artie Shaw and Stan Kenton. One of the early shows broadcast was the"Miss 580 Club", and from 1938 to 1948 it was hosted by Mrs. MelvaChernoff, wife of Howard Chernoff, one of the earliest managers ofstation.

It was a 'phone in' show, with Melva giving advice to thelovelorn, recipes, other information and was highly successful. Oncea year there was an annual party for all club members, held in theauditorium, broadcast, naturally and this was a big event.

The founder and first president of the West Virginia BroadcastersAssociation was at the time general manager of WCHS. Howard Chernoffsent letters to all West Virginia stations, getting about twelvemembers of the informal group together in 1946. In a recentconversation with Executive Director Fletcher, Chernoff recalled somestories from those early years. He said that WCHS had the firstfull-time news director named Harold Miller, who was drafted into themarines in 1940, then became News Director at WCHS after World WarII. An outstanding reporter, Miller is now a Washington, DC lobbyistwith his company, Miller Associates. When Senator Harley Kilgore wascampaigning in 1946, Miller was hired as Kilgore's AdministrativeAssistant. Following Miller in the news slot was Ross Edwards.According to Harry Brawley, Edwards was a brilliant newsman who endedhis career at WCHS by committing suicide.

Other air personalities included Sam Poland and Tom Murphy, whomade up the popular early morning team of "Sam 'N Denzil." Murphy wasalso active directing local theater and musical groups. With a reallove of opera and knowledge of foreign languages, Murphy was a totalopposite with his 'hillbilly' character on the air at WCHS. Murphydied in 1986. He had left the radio business some years prior tothat, working with the WV Department of Natural Resources, where hedid a weekly television program for cable broadcast.

Sports broadcasting attained local prominence with Ernie Saundersjoining the station. His brother was program director Bert Sonis backin 1945. Ernie was sports director plus being Sales and GeneralManager at one time, too, for many years, with the longest continuoussportscast in the state, "The Sports Page of the Air". In retirementhe continues to appear on WCHS sports program with John Dickensheets.Other personalities at the station through the years include Elton"Butch" McClung, John Kristof, Bill Richards, Ned Skaff and JoeFarris, to name but a few.

Howard Chernoff thinks that WCHS may be the only station in WestVirginia to have won a Peabody Award. In 1943, Harold Miller wrote"The Home Front", with Bert Sonis narrating the program. Wives ofservicemen who were having problems getting their military allotmentchecks were encouraged to send or phone in their problem to thestation. Then the station assisted in solving those situations. Thatprogram won a Peabody Award. Chernoff went to Europe to serve as areporter during World War II, interviewed military personnel,claiming that he was the first broadcaster from an independentnetwork (The West Virginia Network) to be a correspondent in the war.He sought out West Virginians, interviewed and taped segments, sentthem to CBS in New York, where they were put on 'platters', thenbroadcast. On occasion, Chernoff also broadcast live from Europe, avery expensive operation, sponsored by Cohen Drug Company. (In 1981,Chernoff gave his collection of war platters to the West VirginiaHistorical Society, stored at the Cultural Center, Charleston, WV.)

In 1945 Chernoff had many of those interviews published in bookform, called Anybody Here From West Virginia? The introduction waswritten by Edward R. Murrow, then European Director for CBS. (A copyof the book is in WCHS Radio's files.) In 1981, Mr. and Mrs.Chernoff were brought back to West Virginia by then GovernorRockefeller, and were made Honorary West Virginians. Servicepersonnel whom Howard had interviewed during World War II were alsobrought in from all over the country for that special occasion.(Other papers from his private collection of papers and speeches havebeen given to the Archives of Contemporary History, University ofWyoming.)

Chernoff tried to retire in 1948, he says, but went to work forthe founder of the WV Network, John A. Kennedy in California withKFMB. He later retired from broadcasting, went to the U. S.Information Agency, became U. S. Ambassador to Expo'70 in Japan, thenwith the U. S. State Department on a mission to Mongolia.

John A. Kennedy, founder of the West Virginia Network in 1936 diedin 1987 in California. He was 88 years old.

In 1945, Chernoff hired Harry Brawley to be Director of PublicAffairs and Education at WCHS and for the West Virginia Network. Inthat job Harry fed programs from Charleston for coverage in theHuntington, Clarksburg and Parkersburg markets. Harry began what wasthe forerunner of public broadcasting's educational programs when hestarted in-school listening programming in many subjects. Morecomprehensive reviews of his broadcasting career may be found in hisbook, titled Twenty Years On An Oasis in the "Vast Wasteland,"published in 1981.

WCHS was recognized by CBS in 1947 for having done the best job inthe nation in promoting their "School of the Air." In 1954 Harrybegan TV Classroom in addition to the radio programs, which hecontinued as associate professor at Morris Harvey College (now theUniversity of Charleston) until 1978. Brawley left the stations in1965 to become Executive Secretary of the West Virginia EducationalBroadcast Authority. (He is now retired.)

WBES-FM, sister station of WCHS went on the air September 16, 1969at 96.1 mhz, 50 kw stereo. Located in the same building, 1111Virginia St., E. in Charleston, it went on the air with a BeautifulMusic format, until it was changed to "Warm 96" in 1988, with callletters changed to WVNS (West Virginia Ninety-Six). General Managerof both stations is now Jim Nesbit. At one time he worked for RollinsCommunications, traveling coast-to-coast to various Rollins stations,including WCHS in Charleston.

Radio Station War Is Waged in Public

WOBU Charges Huntington Unit is Trying to “Hog” Air Channel for Self

This article appeared in the Charleston Daily Mail on Mar. 28, 1930.

The wavelength fight of WSAZ, Huntington radio station, and WOBU, Charleston station,came into the open with a statement issued Friday by Walter Fredericks,owner and operator of WOBU, in which it is charged that theHuntington station is endeavoring to force WOBU out of existence inorder to obtain its wavelength of 580 kilocycles.

Three endeavors, Mr. Fredericks says in his statement, have beenmade to force him to relinquish the wavelength.

His statement follows, in part:

“...In view of the fact that we are now forcedto defend the interests of Charleston radio listeners and the possiblecontinuation of public service the following exact statement of factsare released for the information of the public.

“Early in January, 1930, the manager of station WSAZ,Huntington, W. Va., approached station WOBU asking that thefacilities of WOBU be sold and conveyed to WSAZ, with thestatement that they wished to acquire control of our frequencyof 580 kilocycles and to operate full time, either closingdown WOBU or operating it an hour or two a day at such times when theydid not wish to broadcast in Huntington. In other words,any time that Huntington did not want would be given to operation of WOBUCharleston. The management of WOBU point blank refused....

“The Huntington management then came back a second timeseeking to lease the station or compel us by intimidation to sell to them.

“They came back a third time, and stated that ifwe would not sell out nor lease the station, they were going to use ‘rough shod’methods and leave no stone unturned to force us off the air, fair means or foul.

“...they endeavored to discredit Charleston and its radio station.

“They applied for higher power and a different wave length,all of which has been refused by the federal radio commission.

“Station WSAZ, Huntington, now seeks to force WOBU off the airand appropriate the 580 kilocycle frequency, without regard or fairnessto the city of Charleston....

“Many radio receivers in Charleston are unable to evenhear WSAZ on the air, others cannot hear them withany satisfaction or quality, so that particularly during the spring andsummer months WOBU is the only station which can be heard and enjoyedfree form disturbances and static in this region.

“The time has now come for the citizens of Charleston to protecttheir own interests, to assert themselves and not permit the capitalcity of the state to be deprived of its radio facilities, affordedmorning, afternoon and evening each day. There is no reason why therecannot continue the division of time on the 580 kilocycle frequency, withouteither station desiring to ‘hog’ the air. With radiofrequencies and facilities at a premium throughout the United States,Charleston will never again be afforded a local station if Huntingtonis permitted to arbitrarily force the capital city off the air.

“Station WOBU, which for nearly three years has beenserving in all matters of civic, religious, educational as wellas entertainment purposes, affording regular and efficient service,and which has just recently spent some thousands of dollarsin modern transmission improvements, employs a force of six employeesregularly and over 100 staff artists each week, with holdings ofover $25,000.00 in the community, the loss of which would prove adistinct loss to the city and state.”

High-Frequency Station Sought

This article appeared in the Charleston Daily Mail on Apr. 12, 1944.

The Charleston Broadcasting Co. has applied to the federal communicationscommission for permission to construct frequency modulation broadcastingstation, Howard Chernoff, managing director of the West Virginia network,said Wednesday.

Frequency modulation, a new type of broadcasting with which 15or 20 stations in the U. S. are currently experimenting,tends to avoid static and interference. This company is believedto be the first in West Virginia to apply for such a station.

The Charleston company will apply for 50,000 watts andplans to cover all of southern West Virginia from the new station,which will be entirely separate from WCHS, Mr. Chernoff explained.Since the new broadcasting is of such a refined nature, it is doubtfulthat even the WCHS studios can be used. The new stationwill call for an investment of about $200,000.

From the FCC microfiche files, November 8, 1994.

WCHS

8/16/27 Granted a C.P. for a new station on 1120kc with 50 watts,
unlimited, at Charleston, West Virginia.

11/1/27 Date first licensed. The licensee was Charleston Radio
Broadcasting Co. (an unincorporated Assn.) Walter Fredericks,
Station Manager. The first listed station location was
Charleston, WV. The first listed call letters were WOBU.

4/11/28 Granted a C.P. for 1120kc, 250 watts, and change of station
location to "On hill outside city limits, Charleston, W.VA."

5/22/28 Granted 1120kc with 250 watts.

11/1/28 Reallocated to 580kc with 250 watts, shared with WSAZ.

4/19/29 Studio location changed to Hotel Huffner, Charleston, WV.

5/29/30 Vol. assign. of lic. to WOBU Inc.

6/26/31 Granted 580kc, 250 watts, 500 watts LS, shared with WSAZ.

3/21/33 Granted 580kc, 250 watts, 500 watts LS, unlimited, using the
facilities of WSAZ, Huntington, WV, eff. 4/4/33.

11/10/33 Granted Conditional Authority to operate on 580kc with an
additional 250 watts at night, unlimited.

2/15/34 The call letters changed to WCHS.

4/13/34 Granted 580kc, 500 watts, unlimited.

5/4/34 Vol. mod. of lic. to change the name of the licensee to Charleston
Broadcasting Corp.

6/1/34 Granted 580kc, 500 watts, 1kw LS, unlimited.

10/27/36 Vol. assign. of lic. to Charleston Broadcasting Co.

6/20/39 Granted a C.P. for 580kc, 500 watts, 5kw LS. License to cover the
C.P. granted 11/6/39.

7/16/40 Granted a C.P. for 580kc, 5kw DA-N. License to cover the C.P.
granted 1/30/41.

3/24/41 Under NARBA, they remained on 580kc with 5kw DA-N.

10/13/41 Application made for change of freq. to 640kc and increase of
power 50kw. Dismissed 5/29/42 at the request of the attorney.
Petition to reinstate denied 6/20/44.

11/30/49 Vol. assign. of lic. to The Tierney Co., eff. 1/16/50.

5/1/56 Invol. transfer of cont. of lic. corp. from Lewis C. Tierney to
Kanawha Banking and Trust Co. and Mrs. Helen Scott
Tierney,co-Executors of the Estate of Lewis C. Tierney, deceased,
eff. 3/26/56.

5/16/56 Vol. transfer of cont. of lic. corp. to H.D. Battle, Voting
Trustee.

9/28/60 Vol. assign. of lic. to C-B-T, Inc., eff. 11/1/60.

3/23/61 Vol. mod. of lic. to change the name of the licensee to WCHS-AM-TV
Corp.

(Video) I Wanna Be Loved - Bill Cox and Cliff Hobbs (The Dixie Songbirds)(Vocalion)

4/27/73 Vol. assign. of lic. to Rollins Broadcasting of Delaware, Inc.,
eff. 4/30/73.

Frank Annand

The following obituary appeared in the Charleston Gazette.

Frank Annand, 78, of Charleston died on Sept. 5, 1998 at home after along illness.

He was retired from the state Department of Highways and was a memberof St. Matthews Episcopal Church, Charleston. He was an Army veteran ofWorld War 11, a longtime resident of Charleston and was a member of LionsClub and Kanawha Players. He was a former on-air personality for WCHSradio and television stations.

Surviving: wife, Shirley Spradlin Annand; daughters, Kati Lyon of SouthCharleston, Mollie Hunter of Tucson, Arziz, Megan Annand of Charleston;sons, Stephen D of Charleston, Michael of Wilmington, N.C., John ofPortland, Ore, Frank "Jay" of Atlanta; sister, Julia Grier of Woodbridge, Va;16 grandchildren; one great-grandchild.

Services will be 2pm, Wednesday at St. Matthews EpiscopalChurch, Charleston, with Rev. Knute Jacobson Officiating. Burial in StMatthewsColumbarium. There will be no visitation. In lieu of flowers, thefamilysuggests donations to Kanawha Hospice care or St. Matthews EpiscopalChurch. Barlow-Bonsall Funeral Homes, Charleston, is in charge ofarrangements.

[Additional notes - After leaving WCHS for the State Highway Department,Frank did part time/fill in work at WTIP/WTIO. Frank’s wife, Shirley, wasalso in radio. Her career spanned over 30 years at WTIP/WTIO and is mostremembered by her noontime talk show and talent. She was the female voiceon most of the commercials you would hear on WTIP/WTIO in the 50s, 60sand 70s. Shirley is retired, very active with the Charleston Light Opera Guildand still will be heard on Charleston radio, from time to time.Information courtesy of Mark Aulabaugh]

S. W. (Cap) Pritchard, 68 Veteran Radio Star, Dies

This obituary appeared in the Charleston Gazette on July 8, 1957.

Samuel Warren Caplinger Pritchard, 68, well-known Charleston radio announcer of the "Cap, Andy and Flip" trio died yesterday of a heart attack. Labeled "Mr. Folk Music," Pritchard had been a figure of the Charleston radio scene for 21 years. He had organized the "Cap, Andy and Flip" team in Akron, Ohio, and his group came to Charleston in 1936. "Cap" first broadcast over station WCHS for 12 years. In 1949, he moved to WKNA where he was heard for four years as the star and proprietor of "Cap's Trading Post," and "Saturday in the Valley."

A Lover of America's folk songs, gospel music and country music,he also was with station WGKV for about two years where he continued his homespun type program. Pritchard retired from radio about a year ago.

He was born on a small farm near Parkersburg. He left the farm when he was 18 and moved to Akron, where he worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. until he organized the "Cap, Andy and Flip" trio in 1928.

Pritchard, who resided at 1314 E. Virginia St. was stricken at his home and was dead on arrival at Charleston General hospital.

He was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and was active in civic and charitable promotions.

Surviving are his wife, Evelyn; four sons, Warren of Akron, Omer of Big Chimney, Kenneth of Charleston, and Raymond, with the Air Force in Arizona; three daughters, Mrs. Kay Wilson of Fairmont, Mrs. Violet Vandergrift of Parkersburg, and Beechie of Phoenix, Arizona; four sisters, Mrs. Robert Runion and Mrs. C. C. Holmes, both of Akron, Ohio, Mrs. Sam Emrick of Belpre, Ohio and Mrs. Rosa Nicholas of Parkersburg; and two brothers, Everett of Akron; and Ralph of Parkersburg; 16 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Service will be conducted at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Charleston Seventh Day Adventist Church by Rev. Ben J. Mondics. Burial will be in Cunningham Memorial Park at St. Albans.

The body will remain at Simpson-Chandler mortuary until one hour prior to the service.

Other Notes

An April 1931 newspaper adevertisement for WOBU shows F. Beckley Smith as general manager, J. Stanley Stephens assales manager, and Bernard B. Beane as announcer.

Heterodyning in the Hills - The WOBU Story

Prepared by
James Martin Owston
December 16, 1989
HIST 550, History of the Prohibition Era
Dr. Richard Morton
West Virginia College of Graduate Studies

PREFACE

The author expresses heartfelt appreciation to Robert H. Fredericksfor providing necessary data and details, to Mrs. Walter Fredericksfor her hospitality and for being receptive to the project, allowingme to peruse documents and photographs, to Jeff Miller for knowingmore about West Virginia radio than anyone else, and to Richard andDeborah Fauss, of the Archives section in the Cultural Center, forbeing extremely helpful and interested in the truth.

Apologies are extended to the West Virginia Broadcasters Association.I believe their work was a long overdue noble gesture, but, sadly itis filled with many inaccuracies and contradictions. Journalists andbroadcasters have many times (and rightfully so) been accused ofmisrepresenting the facts. We, of all people, need to be extracareful in the dissemination of information. For as Marshall McLuhanso appropriately stated "the medium is the message." (Head,Broadcasting in America, p. 506)

The pursuit of truth has prompted this researcher to replace tertiaryand secondary sources, when available, with those that are of aprimary nature.

Finally, this account is dedicated to Walter Fredericks (1894-1974),a man with a vision towards the future.

I. INTRODUCTION

History has devoted little space to Charleston, West Virginia radiostation WOBU. The written account of what would eventually becomeWCHS-AM is often riddled with error. The 1989 publication ofBroadcasting in West Virginia, A History inaccurately records theearly years of this pioneer radio station. The book, which was writtenby the West Virginia Broadcasters Association, focuses only a portionof one paragraph to WOBU.

"WCHS-AM Radio went on the air September 15, 1927 at 580 khz. [sic]The station was the third station in West Virginia to go on the air.Its first call letters were actually WOBU, with the first locationbeing the Ruffner Hotel on Kanawha Boulevard. It was founded byWalter Fredericks who had an electric shop, but couldn't sell radioswith no local stations. [sic] So he built one, later calling it WCHS(acronym for Charleston). Fredericks was a contractor who built homesin the Charleston area for many years." (1)

WOBU was not West Virginia's third radio station. It did not sign onthe air on September 15, 1927. Its initial studio location was not inthe Ruffner Hotel. Walter Fredericks did not later name the facilityWCHS and its first broadcast did not originate on WCHS-AM's currentfrequency of 580 kHz. (2)

Clearly, an accurate portrayal of this very important radio station isneeded. An account that not only depicts WOBU's historical record,but describes radio's impact in the 1920s on West Virginians.

II. WEST VIRGINIA'S THIRD RADIO STATION?

History generally cites the November 2, 1920 broadcast of theHarding-Cox election returns by KDKA in Pittsburgh as the genesis ofcommercial broadcasting. (3) However, KDKA was not the first stationon the air. KQW in San Jose, California started broadcasting in 1909and followed a regular schedule in 1912. (4) New Rochelle, New York'samateur station 2ZK broadcast music on a regular schedule in 1916.(5) Even in KDKA's hometown of Pittsburgh, station KQV had an earliersign on date of 1919. (6) The importance placed on KDKA (formeramateur station 8XK) is that it was the first station to be licensedby the United States Commerce Department specifically for commercialbroadcasting. (7) Radio was no longer a toy for the amateurbroadcasters, radio would become an entertainment medium and abusiness that would permeate into every state of the nation,including West Virginia.

When consulting a copy of Broadcasting-Cablecasting Yearbook, it wouldbe easy to surmise that what is now WCHS-AM was West Virginia's thirdradio station. Current editions of the yearbook list only 2 olderradio stations: WRVC-AM (formerly WSAZ) Huntington and WWVA Wheeling.(8) However, the Broadcasting-Cablecasting Yearbook only listsstations that have continued broadcasting to the present.

Ironically, Broadcasting, which identifies WOBU as the third radiostation in the state, also lists seven radio stations being licensedin West Virginia from 1922 to 1925. (9) The first, WHD in Morgantownwas licensed by the Commerce Department on March 16, 1922. (10)Little is known concerning this facility except that it continuedbroadcasting through 1923. (11) West Virginia native and broadcasthistorian, Jeff Miller suggests that WHD was probably licensed to theScience Department of West Virginia University and was sporadicallyoperated by students. (12)

WHAJ in Bluefield was started by brothers Jim and Hugh Shott, Jr. in1922. Operating out of their father's office in the Bluefield DailyTelegraph, the Shotts infrequently broadcast live and recorded music.When battery acid spilled on a treasured rug belonging to theirfather, Hugh I. Shott, Sr. suspended their operations. The Shottbrothers would return to broadcasting in 1929 with WHIS. (13)

Other early stations included WAAO Charleston (1922-1923), WAARHuntington (1922-1923), WPAZ Charleston (1922 or 1923-1925), WHAKClarksburg (1922 or 1923-1925) and WIBR Weirton (licensed to ThurmanA. Owings: 1925). (14) Information is lacking concerning thesestations. Even when WOBU signed on the air in 1927, WalterFredericks, the licensee, and the Charleston newspapers may have beenignorant of the Kanawha Valley's two previous stations: WAAO and WPAZ.The Charleston Gazette recorded "Radio Station WOBU, Charleston'sfirst radio station will go on the air. . .tonight." (15) Jeff Millersuggests that the other stations, including WAAR and WPAZ, "could haveoperated for only a short period of time, been on the air for alimited broadcast schedule, or an amateur's unsuccessful briefencounter with commercial broadcasting. (16) Miller also hypothesizedthat "these stations were licensed to individuals, call lettersassigned, yet never went on the air." (17) Prior to 1925, WestVirginia newspapers, the various city directories, and editions of theWest Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manual ignored the subject oflocal radio stations. The particulars of these outlets can only beconjecture.

On December 6, 1926, the Commerce Department granted Wheeling physicsteacher John C. Stroebel permission to broadcast with fifty watts ofpower on 860 kHz. (18) Within ten days, WWVA Wheeling was on the air.(19) During WWVA's first year of operation, Stroebel broadcast fromhis home on Sunday mornings starting at 2:15 AM for a short period oftime, Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 3:00 PM and Monday evenings 7:30to 11:00 PM. (20) In April 1927, WSAZ Pomeroy, Ohio moved toHuntington. (21) Glenn E. Chase, owner of Chase Electric Company,signed the station on the air on October 16, 1923. In February 1927,Chase leased the station's equipment to Huntington's McKellar ElectricCompany. (22) The station's power change from 50 to 100 watts,frequency change from 1230 kHz to 1240 kHz, and change of locationoccurred prior to the formation of the Federal Radio Commission andwere unauthorized by the government. (23) Both WWVA and WSAZ wouldlater figure into developments at Charleston's WOBU.

When Fredericks signed on WOBU, it was at least the tenth station tobe assigned a broadcast license in West Virginia. However of thefacilities that remain, WCHS-AM (the former WOBU) is the state's thirdoldest in existence. WOBU would become the third permanent station inWest Virginia.

III. WOBU: ONE MAN'S DREAM COME TRUE

Walter Fredericks, personal secretary to Charleston real estatemagnate S. A. Moore, had a dream to put music across the airwaves andnot just talk. Fredericks, according to his son Robert, had played inorchestras and bands throughout Kentucky and Ohio as well as havingpublished a book of his original poetry. It was natural that he wouldtake advantage of the new medium sweeping the country. (24) In 1926,Fredericks started the Charleston Radio Supply Company operating outof the Moore Building at 1021 Quarrier Street. (25) At the timeFredericks started his business, eleven other radio dealers existed inCharleston. (26)

Charleston Radio Supply Company sold Crosley brand radios, from thesmall battery sets with headphones to, as Robert Fredericks relates,"the super-duper console type with vacuum tubes and loudspeakers."(27) To give that personal, competitive edge, Walter Fredericks wouldtravel to perspective customers residence in the afternoon, string awire antenna, set up the battery powered receiver, and wait tillnightfall to tune in distant radio stations. (28) An advertisementconfirms Fredericks desire to satisfy his customer: "Our expert willcall at your home. . .to test and adjust your Atwater Kent or CrosleyRadio receiver, without charge. This service will be rendered to allAtwater Kent and Crosley owners regardless of where you purchasedyour receiver. (29)

In 1927, Walter Fredericks applied to the newly formed Federal RadioCommission for permission to start a broadcasting facility inCharleston. Former WOBU newsman Sol Padlibsky wrote in his CharlestonDaily Mail column that "Charleston got its first radio station becauseMr. Fredericks, then in the radio business, had to find more outletsfor his merchandise. (30) On June 16, 1927, Fredericks signed anagreement with S. A. Moore to lease additional space in the MooreBuilding for the Charleston Radio Broadcasting Company. (31)According to his son, the elder Fredericks could not get sufficientfinancial backing for this new project. (32) This would lead to atermination of additional rental space. In a letter to Moore, datedAugust 30, 1927, Walter Fredericks apologized by saying "I am sorry toadvise that due to the fact that financial arrangements have not beencompleted on the Charleston Radio Broadcasting matter, and due to theabsence of finances, the matter cannot be carried on further until Idig this money up myself. (33) Fredericks, eventually, received a loanfrom Kanawha Valley Bank and his dream would soon be reality. (34)

Both Broadcasting in West Virginia, A History and theBroadcasting-Cablecasting Yearbook list September 15, 1927 as thestation's sign on date. (35) WOBU, however, would not take to the airuntil nearly a month later. A September 20th advertisement for theCharleston Radio Supply Company states that it was the "home of RadioStation WOBU - now under construction." (36) Broadcast historian,Jeff Miller suggests that the September 15th date was "probably thedate the Federal Radio Commission granted WOBU's license." (37) Ofhis father, Robert H. Fredericks states that "he probably put thestation on the air even before he got his license." (37) No matterwhat date is given, WOBU would officially take to the airwaves at 7:00PM on Columbus Day and Walter Fredericks would repay the KanawhaValley Bank within thirty days. (38)

IV. RADIO FANS WITHIN A THOUSAND MILES

On October 12, 1927, The Charleston Daily Mail reported "Radio fanswithin a radius of 1,000 miles tonight will be hearing, if their dialsare properly adjusted, the words: "This is WOBU at Charleston, WestVirginia." (40) The Charleston Gazette announced that WOBU would "goon the air at 7 o'clock tonight, barring unforeseen accidents." (41)The originating studios were in the Moore Building with a wire strungantenna across the structure. (42) The public was invited to tune to1120 kilocycles (now known as kiloHertz or kHz) for this firstbroadcast. Installation engineers urged "all Charleston radio fanswhose sets are not extremely selective to disconnect the set from theantenna and then tune in on the station with the idea of hearing thestation programs which come in from a distance." They also advisedthat "to get the station too loud will spoil the reception." (43)

Both Charleston daily newspapers listed the schedule for WOBU'sinitial broadcast. Lutheran minister, Rev. Harold Rose would deliverthe invocation. L. E. Hoke of the City School of Music introducedCharleston Mayor W. W. Wertz. WOBU's first musical selection was"Hail West Virginia," performed by the WOBU Orchestra featuring a soloby Billy Burke. The remainder of the evening would consist ofimpromptu speeches by Governor Howard M. Gore and Senator Walter B.Hallanan and other musical selections.

Scheduled performers, besides Burke and the WOBU Orchestra, that nightincluded:

Solo vocalists: Perli Barti, G. Holt Steck, Mrs. Potten, and Mrs.Jack Goldstein,

Solo violinists: Dorothy Smith and Betty Williams,

Sax and accordion Duo: Stanley Gill and Bill Schadel,

The WOBU Trio, The WOBU Happy Harmonizing Four, and Professor L. E.Hoke on Piano,

The evening's closing number of "West Virginia Hills" was promised tobe used as the conclusion to every broadcast. (44) Though currently,no documentation exists concerning how far away WOBU's inauguralprogram would be heard, Walter Fredericks would receive confirmationof the signal from a distance of over a thousand miles.

Distant AM radio signals travel far distances during night, this isdue to the hardening of the upper ionosphere when it cools. The lackof solar radiation, causes favorable conditions for slow moving AMsignals to bounce off of the ionosphere. (45) WOBU would receive longdistance confirmation letters even when they only broadcast with fiftywatts of power. Conditions were extremely favorable on the morning ofJune 6, 1928. WOBU received two confirmation letters both requestingan Ekko reception stamp. The Ekko company sold a stamp album for"dxers" (long distance listeners) to obtain a reception verificationfrom the station and thus attempt to fill up their album. (46)

C. S. Morgan of East 179th Street in New York City writes: "Were youdedicating a new station, Sunday January 6 at 1:10 AM E. S. T. with"Hail, Hail the Gangs All Here?" "Static was wicked." (47)

William Weber of Brooklyn, New York comments "On January 6, 1928 at2:05 A. M., Eastern Standard, I heard your station. . . broadcasting.. . Orchestra playing "Turkey in the Straw." "Announcer regrettedthat he did not have two more hour's time, but due to batteriesheating the filament of the tubes, the time was exhausted and had tosign off." (48)

Alvin Nebb of Belleville, Illinois writes concerning January 8, 1928:"I tuned in on your station tonight about 10:30 PM and your receptionwas good. I heard you announce your contest in which you are awardingthe most distant party tuning in on your station, a dynamic speakerand therefore I am one to enter that contest." (49)

Within a year after the initial broadcast, WOBU would receive federalauthorization to increase power to 250 watts. (50) The new powerwould generate further long distance listeners.

A. H. Fasolas of Turtle Creek, PA responded on January 7, 1929: "At12:15 early Sunday morning I heard your station for the first time andsure did enjoy the program. I heard the oldtimer musicians play"Turkey in the Straw." The reception was clear and loud. Will tune inyour station often." (51)

L. S.. Cranse of Summit, N. J. commented concerning the same morning:"Picked up your station early Sunday morning, January 6th, and heard"Kiss Me Again," at 1:32 A. M. E. S. T. (52)

Ione Hunker of Superior, Wisconsin was also listening: "I tuned yourstation in about midnight last night. There was some static butotherwise it came in good. The orchestra was best on the air. Thechief surly knows his music. I am in hopes I will get to hear theorchestra real often." (53)

By 1930, the most westerly report would come from Chula Vista, CA, themost easterly and northern from Halifax, Nova Scotia and the mostsoutherly confirmation was from Havana, Cuba. (54)

V. THE DREAM CONTINUES

Within several months following the initial broadcast, an earlymorning fire forced Walter Fredericks to move his studios andtransmitter. The studio and offices relocated to the mezzanine of theRuffner Hotel. The new studios were made soundproof with the wallscovered in green burlap drapes. (55) The transmitter and antenna wasmoved to a building on John Moore's property on Ferry Branch Road (thepresent location of Oakwood Road and Corridor "G"). (56) WalterFredericks and the musicians would dress in tuxedos to perform for aninvisible audience. (57)

The studios were much like modern day radio stations with a doubleturntable set-up. This was used, primarily, for transcriptionbroadcasts. (58) Since WOBU was not a network affiliate,transcription programs were scheduled. This gave Fredericks a breakand provided programming when live music was not available. (59) From11:15 to 11:25 AM, "Aunt Sammy's Housekeeper's Chat," a transcriptiondisc, gave recipes, explained the National School Lunch Program andprovided canning tips for housewives. (60)

The Meadows Manufacturing Company hosted, the weekly program, "TheSunny Meadows Show." Meadows would provide music from Ray Miller andhis Orchestra with classic songs of the period as "The Royal GardenBlues," "You're the Cream in My Coffee," and "Digadigadoo."Interspersed within the show were advertisements for the Meadows EightSpeed Washing Machine. The announcer's pitch included gems as "havehappiness fifty-two weeks a year" and "You can't appreciate what moneycan buy until you have seen the Meadows Eight Speed Washerdemonstrated." "Your Meadows dealer would cheerfully demonstrate theproduct in your home." (61)

Other products advertised on WOBU would include local businesses asPiggly Wiggly, Krogers, and Charleston area Dodge, Chevrolet andPackard dealerships. (62) Kanawha Cash Grocery provided an innovativeform of advertising. Listeners were invited to submit jingles to theradio station with the hope of winning a prize. Several examples werefound among Walter Frederick's personal papers.

When I was buying on credit
We was always on the rocks
My husband couldn't save enough
To buy him a pair of socks
but now I'm buying at the Kanawha Cash
At South Charleston, it isn't far
And next year we will save enough
to buy ourselves a car."
Mrs. Wirt Runner
St. Albans (63)

When you give your boy some money,
Take a peep and you will see,
Down the street he'll swiftly hasten
to the store called K. C. G.
There you find the choicest groceries,
cheapest prices in the town.
With a courteous smile they great you
never with a snarl or frown.

July 7, 1929
D. E. Tinsley
St. Albans (64)

I'm a K. C. G. booster, I crow like a rooster
And I tell everyone, so I do.
To go to their store and you'll always go more
And if you don't deal at Orts, you ought to."

July 2, 1929
Mrs. Lizzie Johnson
East Bank, WV (65)

Besides transcription programs, live services from various churchesand the Union Mission could be heard weekly on WOBU. (66) A broadcastschedule dated January 19, 1930 lists "Report: Charleston PoliceDepartment" scheduled from 11:01 to 11:05 AM. (67) Robert Fredericksexplained that his father "frequently aired messages intended forCharleston city police cars equipped with AM radios." He adds that the"aerials for these early car radios were wire strung betweeninsulators attached to the underside of the running boards. "When rainor snow hit those wires - that was it." (68) Fredericks not onlyprovided a service to the local police department, WOBU was the onlyoutside communication source to hundreds stranded by high water duringthe July 4, 1929 Elk River flood. (69)

WOBU was a haven for many talented performers in the Kanawha Valley.Always innovative, Fredericks added "Dickey," the trained canary, tothe lineup of the program "Old Mountain Ballads." "Dickey" receivedas many fan letters as his human co-hosts, the Kessinger Brothers andRaymond Kiefer. (70) As his son recalls, Walter Fredericks was prettyproud of his station - he put all of what he had into it." (71) WOBUwas a success, however, outside forces would challenge Fredericks andhe would divorce himself from the broadcast industry.

VI. THE END OF A DREAM

Walter Fredericks' dream began to crumble with increased Federal RadioCommission regulations. On November 11, 1928, the Commission forcedan extensive frequency reallocation plan upon American broadcasters.With the reassignment of stations, WSAZ in Huntington would sharebroadcast time with WOBU on 580 kHz. Within a month, WSAZ would alsoraise power to 250 watts. (72) This allowed WSAZ to have the 580 kHzfrequency part of the day and then the remaining time belonged toWOBU. Early WOBU broadcast schedules indicate that the station was onthe air during the following time periods:

Monday through Saturday10:00 AM to 12 Noon
1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

Monday Wednesday and Friday
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Tuesday and Thursday
8:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Saturday
9:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Sunday
11:00 AM to 12 Noon
5:00 PM to 7:30 PM. (73)

WSAZ would operate during the times that WOBU was not on the air. Thisarrangement, which was common on a national scale, went smoothly until1930. Early that year, WSAZ requested that the government give themfulltime status and a raise in power. When the request was denied,tactics changed. On March 27, 1930, WSAZ applied to the Federal RadioCommission for fulltime operating privileges on 580 kHz regardless ofa power increase. Such fulltime applications were, usually, grantedwithout a hearing. However, former Congressman Frank D. Scottannounced that he would fight this proposed change. (74) WSAZ'srequest would eventually be denied. WSAZ and WOBU would continue toshare time on 580 kHz until 1933. On March 21, 1933, the FederalRadio Commission granted fulltime status to both stations with WOBU(at this time WCHS) on 580 kHz and WSAZ on 1190 kHz. (75)

During the late twenties, Fredericks considered investing in Wheelingstation WWVA. However, the great distance between the two cities,compounded with the lack of a good direct travel route, wereinfluential in his decision to turn down the offer. (76) On July 1,1929, WWVA was sold to the West Virginia Broadcasting Corporation whowas granted permission to move the station to Charleston and set upstudios in the Daniel Boone Hotel. WOBU fought this proposed changeand won; WWVA would remain in Wheeling. (77) Arguments for thisproposed change may or may not have occurred while Fredericks ownedthe station. The West Virginia Broadcasting Corporation owned WWVAfrom July 1, 1929 to March 19, 1931. (78) With increased pressurefrom WSAZ (and possibly WWVA) Fredericks sold WOBU to the Long family,owners of the Huntington Publishing Company. The Long's alsocontrolled a large interest in WSAZ. (79) An agreement was signed byFredericks on May 12, 1930 that guaranteed three investors a return ontheir involvement. This granted both his former employer S. A. Mooreand banker M. E. Moore, each $750.; banker A. R. Eckman wouldreceive $500. (80) By June 1, 1930, WOBU was under the control ofits new owners. (81) Robert Fredericks relates that the WSAZconflict, compounded by the depression, gave his father theopportunity to divest his interest at the best possible time. Toremain in the business, he would take the chance of "getting bigger orgetting covered up completely." (82) The facility would remain asWOBU until late 1932 or early 1933 when the call letters were changedto WCHS. (83)

VII. WOBU'S IMPACT UPON THE COMMUNITY

In an early 1929 edition of Radio Digest-Illustrated, the article"WOBU Livens Up A Dead Spot" stated why a station was needed in WestVirginia's capital which "boasted the distinction of being the richestcity in the U. S." "None of the powerful stations could be heardbefore dark and their night programs seemed to have an awful struggleto reach. . .Charleston." "Besides, the moonshiners in themountain(s) began to complain they were too busy to come out. . .toget the news and such, so there had to be a local station." (84)Robert Fredericks adds that radio was popular because it "beat storytelling and looking at the moon. . .it's human interaction." (85)

The popularity of the medium is witnessed in a combined effort byCharleston area radio dealers from September 5th through the 7th,1929. The dealers united to present a "Radio Show" at the CharlestonArmory. Twenty five different radio models would be displayed andthey would give away approximately a thousand dollars worth of prizes. The show was augmented by performances by "radio artists." Performersincluded national stars as Dancin' Eddie "Clayton" Jones of Hollywoodand Vocalion recording artists The Reynolds Brothers, as well as, ahost of local artists familiar to WOBU listeners. Area talent wouldinclude Gill and Schadel, Bill Cox and (at this time) "Charleston'sonly phonograph recording artists," The Kessinger Brothers. (86)

Walter Fredericks would encourage talent and several of WOBU'sperformers would achieve greater fame. The Kessinger Brothers (Clarkand Luches) recorded fifty-eight songs for the Brunswick Company andClark Kessinger released twelve solo fiddle tunes for Vocalion. (87)Pianist Bill Fogelsong, who performed as a thirteen year old on WOBU's"Children's Hour," would later be a member of the Dell Staton Trio.The trio would appear on Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town" and "ArthurGodfrey's Friends." (88)

The most popular Charleston area recording artist was Bill Cox. RobertFredericks comments that "Bill was a reprobate from the word go." "Toget him to perform, the first thing you would have to do, would be tosober him up." (89) It was because of his reputation for not showingup for scheduled live radio shows that Walter Fredericks suggestedthat he make some records that could be played in his absence. Likehis mentor Jimmie Rodgers, "The Singing Brakeman," Bill Cox would alsotake a nickname - "The Dixie Songbird." Between 1929 and 1940, Coxwould record a least 148 sides (sixty of those would be with CliffHobbs). (90) During the depression years, he would record under hisown name on the Gennett, Perfect and Columbia labels while using thepseudonyms Luke Baldwin (for Champion) and Charley Blake (forSupertone), no doubt, to maximize his exposure and income. (91)Comedy songs like "Alimony Woman" (Champion 16254 A) and "Don't EverMarry A Widow" (Test pressing 1/8/31) are examples of his wit and hismusical talent, featuring guitar, harmonica, vocal and yodeling. (92)Cox's closest brush with national fame happened when numerous artistsrecorded his song "Sparklin' Brown Eyes." Tex Ritter would even singit in a film. (93) Ritter would later display Bill Cox's beat-upguitar in the Country Music Hall of Fame. (94) Shortly before hisdeath in 1968, Cox was living in a shack in a Charleston slum.(95)

By the end of 1928, other stations were exerting their influence inWest Virginia. Fifty watt WIBR would move across the Ohio River toSteubenville and share time on 1420 kHz with Weirton's newer, sixtywatt outlet, WQBJ (owned by John Raikes). J. H. Thompson wasoperating WQBZ in Clarksburg (sixty-five watts at 1200 kHz). OnDecember 22, 1928, the Holt-Rowe Novelty Company of Fairmont signed onWMMN (operating with 500 watts at 890 kHz). At the beginning of 1929,Wheeling's WWVA was operating with five thousand watts of power andsharing time with WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana. (96) By Spring,Bluefield's WHIS would be on the air sharing time with Roanoke,Virginia's WRBX (1420 kHz). (97)

The 1930 U. S. Census lists the percentage of families that own radiosets. For the entire country, 40.3 percent of the population owned aradio. West Virginia's figures can be compared to its neighboringstates as follows:

STATEPERCENTAGE OF
POPULATION
WITH RADIOS (98)
West Virginia23.3
Pennsylvania48.1
Ohio47.7
Maryland42.9
Kentucky18.3
Virginia18.2

According to the Radio Digest-Illustrated, of these states, onlyKentucky had less radio stations than West Virginia. (99) WestVirginia's stations were younger than those found in the five otherstates. (100) Only Virginia and Kentucky have similar ruralpopulations. Therefore, by comparing West Virginia to Virginia (whichhas more urban areas, more radio stations and older radio stations),the stations within West Virginia were more influential than those inneighboring rural states.

Eighteen West Virginia Counties exhibited a higher percentage of radiosets that the state's average (23.3%). Certain Mountain Statestations would exert more influence. This can be inferred by a higherpercentage of radio sets listed in neighboring counties. Thefollowing counties have a greater than average percentage ofreceivers:

COUNTY
ALPHABETICALLY
PERCENTAGE OF
POPULATION
WITH RADIO
SETS (101)
NEAREST STATION
Berkeley26.9NONE
Brooke39.8WWVA/WQBJ/WIBR
Cabell31.9WSAZ
Hancock37.7WQBJ/WIBR/WWVA
Harrison27.4WQBZ
Kanawha29.8WOBU
Marion33.6WMMN
Marshall34.5WWVA
Mercer24.5WHIS
Mineral25.3WTBO
Monongalia28.3WMMN
Ohio46.7WWVA
Pleasants24.5NONE
Preston24.1WMMN
Taylor28.7WMMN
Tyler26.8NONE
Wetzel24.8WMMN
Wood29.4NONE

NONE is defined as no radio station in that or an adjacent county.Because of the short air mile distance between Wheeling and HancockCounty, WWVA's influence extends to this non-adjacent county.Likewise, Preston County was affected by WMMN. WTBO is a Cumberland,Maryland station (50 watts at 1420 kHz). (102)

The four counties that did not appear to be directly influenced by anyradio station are border counties. While WOBU, WSAZ, WQBZ and WHISshow no influence outside of their respective counties, WWVA and WMMNaffected neighboring counties. WQBJ Weirton's two countyeffectiveness is negligible; Weirton is in both Brooke and Hancock.Only assumptions can be made for the reasons for WWVA and WMMN'sstrength. Both were more powerful, existed in less mountainousterrain, and their time share relationship. WMMN did not share itsfrequency and WWVA only shared at night with distant WOWO. (103)

Of the state three most populous cities, Charleston had a higherpercentage of receivers than Huntington.

CITY LISTED
BY POPULATION
PERCENTAGE OF
POPULATION
WITH RADIO
SETS (104)
NEAREST STATION
Huntington35.7WSAZ
Wheeling47.6WWVA
Charleston40.8WOBU
Parkersburg38.6NONE
Clarksburg36.0WQBZ
Fairmont41.8WMMN
Bluefield37.0WHIS
Morgantown40.0WMMN
Martinsburg34.9NONE
Moundsville37.4WWVA

Even with nominal power, a time share arrangement with WSAZ, andmountainous terrain of the state's largest county, WOBU would cause asignificant portion of the population to buy a radio. WOBU launchedthe careers of several performers. The history of Walter Fredericks'dream, WOBU, is an important part of past West Virginia socialculture. An influence that is felt today with the operation of WCHSand the other AM, FM and television stations located within theKanawha Valley.

FOOTNOTES

1 Martha Jane Becker and Marilyn Fletcher, Broadcasting in WestVirginia: A History (South Charleston, WV: West Virginia BroadcastersAssociation, 1989), p. 46.

2 Ibid., p. i. To be fair, The West Virginia Broadcasters Associationstated that they could not guarantee the accuracy of theirpublication.

3 Sydney W. Head, Broadcasting in America, 3rd ed. (Boston: HoughtonMifflin Company, 1976), p. 109.

4 Ibid., p. 112.

5 Ibid.

6 Broadcasting Publications, Broadcasting-Cablecasting Yearbook 1985.(Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, 1985), p. B-232.

7 Sydney W. Head, Broadcasting in America,. p. 113.

8 Broadcasting Publications Broadcasting-Cablecasting Yearbook 1985(Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, 1989), pp. B-322-326.

9 Martha Jane Becker and Marilyn Fletcher, Broadcasting in WestVirginia: A History. pp. 28, 42.

10 Ibid. p. 28

11 Ibid.

12 interview with Jeff Miller, Broadcast Historian, Tampa FL (bytelephone) 13 November 1989.

13 Martha Jane Becker and Marilyn Fletcher, Broadcasting in WestVirginia: A History. p. 42.

14 Ibid. p. 28.

15 "WOBU to Take Air Tonight," The Charleston Gazette, 12 October 1927p. 8.

16 Interview with Jeff Miller.

17 Ibid.

18 Martha Jane Becker and Marilyn Fletcher, Broadcasting in WestVirginia: A History. p. 77.

19 R. L. Polk and Company, Polk's Wheeling (West Virginia) CityDirectory 1928 (Pittsburgh: R. L. Polk & Company, 1927), p. iv.

20. Ibid.

21 Broadcast Pro-file, Station Profile of WGNT. (Hollywood, CA:Broadcast Pro-file, 1973), p. 1.

22 Ibid.

23 Ibid.

24 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks, Son of Walter Fredericks,Charleston, WV (by telephone) 18 November 1989.

25 R. L. Polk and Company, Polk's Wheeling Greater Charleston(Pittsburgh: R. L. Polk & Company, 1926), pp. 332-336, 885.

26 Virginia Gandy, ed., Charleston Business Directory 1924-1925(Charleston, WV: Virginia Gandy, 1924) pp. 924-925.

27 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks.

28 ibid.

29 Walter Fredericks, "Charleston Radio Supply Advertisement,"Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

30 Sol Padlibsky, "Of All Things," The Charleston Daily Mail, Undatedclipping (circa 1954), among Walter Fredericks Collection. Archives,Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center, Charleston,WV.

31 Walter Fredericks, "Letter to S. A. Moore, 30 August 1927."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

32 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks.

33 Walter Fredericks, "Letter to S. A. Moore, 30 August 1927."

34 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks.

35 Martha Jane Becker and Marilyn Fletcher, Broadcasting in WestVirginia: A History. p. 46.

36 Charleston Radio Supply Advertisement," The Charleston Gazette, 20September 1927, p. 7.

37 Interview with Jeff Miller.

38 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks.

39 Ibid.

40 "Station WOBU to Go On Air Tonight," The Charleston Daily Mail, 12October 1927, p. 4.

41 "WOBU to Take Air Tonight," The Charleston Gazette, 12 October1927, p. 8.

42 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks.

43 "WOBU to Take Air Tonight," The Charleston Gazette, 12 October1927, p. 8.

44 Ibid.

45 Frederick K. Lutgens and Edward J. Tarbuck, The Atmosphere: AnIntroduction to Meteorology, 4th ed. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: PrenticeHall, 1989), pp. 24-25.

46 Walter Fredericks, "Letter from William Weber, 7 January 1928."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

47 Walter Fredericks, "Letter from C. S. Morgan, 7 January 1928."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

48 Walter Fredericks, "Letter from William Weber, 7 January 1928."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

49 Walter Fredericks, "Letter from Alvin Nebb, 8 January 1927."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

50 "WOBU Livens a Dead Spot," Radio Digest-Illustrated. No date isgiven because first 17 pages are missing. This magazine is in thepossession of Mrs. Walter Fredericks. This is a Winter edition -probably January 1929] p. 69.

51 Walter Fredericks, "Letter from A. H. Fasolas, 7 January 1929."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

52 Walter Fredericks, "Letter from L. S. J. Cranse, 7 January 1929."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

53 Walter Fredericks, "Letter from Ione Hunker, 6 January 1929."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

54 "Bits O' Static From WOBU," Charleston Daily Mail. 19 January1930, p. 3.

55 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks, Son of Walter FredericksCharleston, WV (in person) 7 December 1989.

56 Ibid.

57 Ibid.

58 Ibid.

59 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks, Son of Walter FredericksCharleston, WV (by telephone) 18 November 1989.

60 Walter Fredericks, "Letters to Aunt Sammy, 1929." ArchivesDepartment of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center, Charleston,WV.

61 "The Sunny Meadows Show," National Radio Advertising CompanyTranscription Broadcast for the Meadows Manufacturing Company. Circa1930. Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, CulturalCenter, Charleston, WV.

62 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks, 18 November 1989.

63 Walter Fredericks, "Letter from Mrs. Wirt Runner, Circa 1929."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

64 Walter Fredericks, "Letter from Mrs. D. E. Tinsley, 7 July 1929."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

65 Walter Fredericks, "Letter from Mrs. Lizzie Johnson, 2 July 1929."Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

66 Walter Fredericks, "WOBU Broadcast Schedule, Week of 19 January1930." Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, CulturalCenter, Charleston, WV.

67 Ibid.

68 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks, 18 November 1989.

69 Sol Padlibsky, "Of All Things," The Charleston Daily Mail, Undatedclipping (circa 1954).

70 "Bits O' Static From WOBU," Charleston Daily Mail.

71 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks, 18 November 1989.

72 Broadcast Pro-file, Station Profile of WGNT.

73 Walter Fredericks, "WOBU Broadcast Schedule, Week of 19 January1930."

74 Paul May, "WOBU Station May Lose Place on Air," Charleston DailyMail, 28 March 1930, p. 3.

75 Broadcast Pro-file, Station Profile of WGNT.

76 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks, 7 December 1989.

77 Martha Jane Becker and Marilyn Fletcher, Broadcasting in WestVirginia: A History. pp. 77-78.

78 Interview with Terri Phillips, Assistant Promotions Director WWVA,Wheeling, WV (by telephone) 7 December 1989.

79 Sol Padlibsky, "Of All Things," The Charleston Daily Mail, Undatedclipping (circa 1954).

80 Walter Fredericks, "WOBU Sale Agreement, 12 May 1930." Archives,Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center, Charleston,WV.

81 Walter Fredericks, "Notes on WOBU, May 1930." Archives, Departmentof Education and the Arts, Cultural Center, Charleston, WV.

82 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks, 18 November 1989.

83 Charles Lively, ed., West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manualand Official Register (The Blue Book), 1933 (Charleston, WV: The Stateof West Virginia, 1933), p. 403.

84 "WOBU Livens a Dead Spot," Radio Digest- Illustrated.

85 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks, 18 November 1989.

86 "Charleston's Own Radio Show," The Charleston Gazette, 4 September1929, p. 6.

87 Ivan M. Tribe, Mountaineer Jamboree (Lexington, KY: The UniversityPress of Kentucky, 1984), pp. 34.

88 Sol Padlibsky, "Of All Things," The Charleston Daily Mail, Undatedclipping (circa 1954).

89 Interview with Robert H. Fredericks, 18 November 1989.

90 Ivan M. Tribe, Mountaineer Jamboree, pp. 35-36.

91 Jim Comstock, ed., The West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, vol.23: West Virginia Songbag (Richwood, WV: Jim Comstock, 1974), pp.176-177.

92 Luke Baldwin [Bill Cox], "Alimony Woman." Champion 16254 A, Circa1930.

Bill Cox, "Don't Ever Marry A Widow," Test pressing 8 January,1931.

93 Ivan M. Tribe, Mountaineer Jamboree, p. 36.

94 Jim Comstock, ed., The West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, vol.23: West Virginia Songbag (Richwood, WV: Jim Comstock, 1974), pp.176-177.

95 Ivan M. Tribe, Mountaineer Jamboree, pp. 36-37.

96 Radio Digest-Illustrated. pp. 100-103.

97 Martha Jane Becker and Marilyn Fletcher, Broadcasting in WestVirginia: A History. p. 42.

98 Leon E. Truesdell, ed. Fifteenth Census of the United States: 1930.Population, Vol. 6, Families (Washington D. C.: Government PrintingOffice, 1933), p. 53.

99 Radio Digest-Illustrated, pp. 102-103.

100 Broadcasting Publications, Broadcasting-Cablecasting Yearbook1985, pp. 105-297.

101 M. S. Hodges, ed., West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manualand Official Register, 1931 (Charleston, WV: The State of WestVirginia, 1931), p. 798.

102 Radio Digest-Illustrated. p. 102.

103 Ibid.

104 M. S. Hodges, ed., West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manualand Official Register, 1931, p. 791.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baldwin, Luke [Bill Cox]. "Alimony Woman." Champion 16254. Circa1930.

Becker, Martha Jane and Fletcher, Marilyn. Broadcasting in WestVirginia: A History. South Charleston, WV: West VirginiaBroadcasters Association, 1989.

Broadcasting Publications. Broadcasting-Cablecasting Yearbook 1985.Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, 1985.

Broadcasting Publications. Broadcasting-Cablecasting Yearbook 1989.Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, 1989.

The Charleston Daily Mail. 12 October 1927-28 March 1930.

The Charleston Gazette. 20 September-28 March 1930.

Charleston, WV. Archives, Department of Art and Education, CulturalCenter. Walter Fredericks Collection.

Comstock, Jim, ed. The West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, vol. 23:West Virginia Songbag. Richwood, WV: Jim Comstock, 1974.

Cox, Bill. "Don't Ever Marry A Widow." Test pressing. 8 January,1931.

Fredericks, Robert H., Son of Walter Fredericks. Charleston, WV.Personal Interview. 7 December 1989.

Fredericks, Robert H. , Son of Walter Fredericks. Charleston, WV.Telephone Interview. 18 November 1989.

Gandy, Virginia, ed., Charleston Business Directory 1924-1925.Charleston, WV: Virginia Gandy, 1924.

Hammond's Family Reference World Atlas. New York, NY: C. S. Hammondand Company. 1957.

Head Sydney W. Broadcasting in America, 3rd ed. Boston: HoughtonMifflin Company, 1976.

Hodges, M. S., ed. West Virginia Legislative Handbook and Manual andOfficial Register, 1931. Charleston, WV: The State of West Virginia,1931.

Lively, Charles, ed. West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manualand Official Register (The Blue Book), 1933. Charleston, WV: TheState of West Virginia, 1933.

Lutgens, Frederick K. and Tarbuck, Edward J. The Atmosphere: AnIntroduction to Meteorology, 4th ed. Inglewood Cliffs, NJ: PrenticeHall, 1989.

Miller, Jeff. Broadcast Historian, Tampa, FL. Telephone Interview. 13November 1989.

Padlibsky, Sol. "Of All Things," The Charleston Daily Mail. Undatedclipping (circa 1954). among Walter Fredericks Collection. Archives,Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center, Charleston,WV.

Phillips, Terri. Assistant Promotions Director, WWVA. Wheeling, WV.Telephone Interview. 7 December 1989.

Polk, R. L. and Company. Polk's Greater Charleston Area Directory.Pittsburgh: R. L. Polk & Company, 1926.

Polk, R. L. and Company. Polk's Wheeling (West Virginia) CityDirectory 1928. Pittsburgh: R. L. Polk & Company, 1927.

Radio Digest-Illustrated. [No date is given because the first 17pages are missing. This magazine is in the possession of Mrs. WalterFredericks. This is a Winter edition - probably January 1929].

"Station Profile of WGNT." Broadcast Pro-file. Hollywood, CA:1973.

"The Sunny Meadows Show," National Radio Advertising CompanyTranscription Broadcast for the Meadows Manufacturing Company. Circa1930. Archives, Department of Education and the Arts, Cultural Center,Charleston, WV.

Tribe, Ivan M. Mountaineer Jamboree. Lexington, KY: The UniversityPress of Kentucky, 1984.

Truesdell, Leon E., ed. Fifteenth Census of the United States: 1930,Population, Vol. 6, Families. Washington, D. C: Government PrintingOffice, 1933.

FAQs

Who owns WCHS? ›

WCHS and is a WV based station and ABC Television affiliate owned and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group. WVAH is a WV based station and Fox Television affiliate owned and operated by Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation and receives certain services from an affiliation of Sinclair Broadcast Group.

What was the first television station in West Virginia? ›

The first public television station in West Virginia signed on July 14, 1969 under the callsign WMUL-TV, broadcasting from Marshall University in Huntington.

What station is WCHS? ›

96.5. 104.5 & 580 WCHS - The legendary voice of Charleston since 1927!

What channel is ABC in Charleston West Virginia? ›

Stations for Huntington, West Virginia
Display ChannelDigital ChannelNetwork
WSAZ-TVHUNTINGTON, WV
08-122.5ABC
WCHS-TVCHARLESTON, WV
08-129.3ABC
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Suddenlink Communications, an Altice USA company, has determined to discontinue the carriage of WCHS-TV and FOX11. The retransmission agreement with Suddenlink to carry WCHS-TV and FOX11 expired June 30, 2021 and Suddenlink and WCHS-TV and FOX11 were not able to reach an agreement that allows for fu...

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WCHS
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05:00 amEyewitness News @ 5AM
06:00 amEyewitness News @ 6AM
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Where is Whitney Wetzel Now? ›

Whitney Wetzel joined the Eyewitness News team in 2015 an anchor and reporter. You can see her weeknights at 5:30 and 11:00 p.m. on WCHS-TV8 and at 6:30 p.m. on FOX 11.

What channel is Fox in Charleston WV? ›

WVAH TV/FOX 11.

What channel is CBS Charleston WV? ›

WOWK-TV is a Nexstar station in Huntington and Charleston, West Virginia. Broadcasting on channel 13, it is the CBS affiliate for the Charleston–Huntington market, the second largest television market (in terms of area) east of the Mississippi River.

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WSAZ-TV is owned by Gray Television alongside Portsmouth, Ohio-licensed CW affiliate WQCW (channel 30).

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Parkersburg, WV WOVA FOX 22 A3 HD is on channel 22.

What channels did Suddenlink drop? ›

Early last week, Suddenlink dropped the Viacom family of channels, including MTV, TVLand, Comedy Central and Spike TV. The contract between the two companies expired and the channels were replaced with alternatives. People took the news personally.

Is Suddenlink dropping CBS? ›

Redwood Television Partners channels KIEM-NBC and KVIQ-CBS are no longer available via Suddenlink's channel lineups due to an ongoing dispute between Altice/Suddenlink and Cox Media Group.

Has Suddenlink dropped Fox News? ›

Margaret Shipley was relieved to learn that her cable provider in Greenwood is not dropping Fox News, as she had been led to believe.

What time is Wsaz on? ›

WSAZ HDTV
TimeTV Show
10:00 amToday with Hoda & Jenna 10-14-2022 - Season 2022 Episode 198
11:00 amWSAZ's Studio 3
12:00 pmWSAZ NewsChannel 3 Midday
1:00 pmNBC News Daily 10-14-2022 - Season 1 Episode 22
25 more rows

What channels can I get in my area with an antenna? ›

An antenna is a great way to watch 100% free HD TV from networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Not only that, but in many areas you will also find networks like PBS, The CW, Comet, Buzzr, MeTV, and so many more.

Where is wowk 13? ›

Charleston-Huntington News & Weather | Charleston-Huntington, WV | WOWK 13 News.

What Channel Is CBS on Suddenlink WV? ›

Cable TV Information
Sudden Link Channel Line Up
1Suddenlink On Demand58
8WCHS-ABC Charleston, WV65
10WVNS-HD-FOX Lewisburg, WV66
11WVNS-CBS-HD Lewisburg, WV67
97 more rows

What channel is CMT on Suddenlink in WV? ›

What channel is CMT on Suddenlink?
Channel NameChannel Number
Suddenlink392

What channel is Fox in WV? ›

Parkersburg, WV WOVA FOX 22 A3 HD is on channel 22.

What channel is NBC in Huntington WV? ›

WSAZ-TV (channel 3) is a television station licensed to Huntington, West Virginia, United States, affiliated with NBC.

What channel is NBC on Suddenlink WV? ›

Suddenlink HD Channels
Channel #Channel Name
9Local FOX Extra
10Local FOX
12Local NBC
13UniMAS
215 more rows

What channel is ABC on in WV? ›

Parkersburg, WV WCHS ABC 8 A3 HD is on channel 8.

How can I watch WSAZ without cable? ›

You can stream WSAZ (NBC affiliate) with Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV and YouTube TV.

What network is WSAZ? ›

Find the cable channel for the WSAZ 10 O'clock News on the Tri-State's CW for these West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky Counties. If you subscribe to Dish or Direct Satellite you can watch The Tri-State's CW on channel 30.

What time is Wsaz on? ›

WSAZ HDTV
TimeTV Show
10:00 amToday with Hoda & Jenna 10-14-2022 - Season 2022 Episode 198
11:00 amWSAZ's Studio 3
12:00 pmWSAZ NewsChannel 3 Midday
1:00 pmNBC News Daily 10-14-2022 - Season 1 Episode 22
25 more rows

What channel is NBC in Clarksburg WV? ›

12-1 12.3

What is channel 96 on Suddenlink? ›

The channel originated as a partnership between Westinghouse Broadcasting and radio station WSM.
...
What channel is Paramount Network on other Providers.
Service ProviderChannel Number
SuddenlinkChannel 96
Orby TVChannel 116
Dish NetworkChannel 241
12 more rows
18 Nov 2020

What channel Is CBS on Suddenlink Charleston WV? ›

Cable TV Information
Sudden Link Channel Line Up
1Suddenlink On Demand58
10WVNS-HD-FOX Lewisburg, WV66
11WVNS-CBS-HD Lewisburg, WV67
14WVAH-FOX Charleston, WV68
97 more rows

What happened to Court TV channel? ›

Now today the channel has been replaced with grit TV.

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