History of WHJC(AM) and WVKM(FM), Matewan

Former WHJC site, photographed on Sept. 13, 2014, by Bill Harms.

This page was last revised on Sept. 27, 2015. It was contributed by Clarke Ingram.

June 9, 1950. Three States Bcstg. Co. seeks 1360 kc, 1 kw-D. Estimated construction cost $18,791.02. Principals in Three States include: Fred A. Staples, pastor Striker Bible Church, president and general manager, 25%; Fred L. Morningstar, assistant director Southern Highland Evangel Inc., Biggs, Ky., vice president, 25%; Joseph P. Pickering, owner 25% stock in wholesale plumbing and heating business, treasurer, 25 %; Donna M. Bjork, 25%.

December 14, 1950. Three States Bcstg. Co. granted 1360 kc, 1 kw-D, as above.  The station is assigned the call letters WHJC.

April 9, 1951. Broadcasting reports that WHJC is granted mod. of CP for approval of ant. trans. and studio location.

November 16, 1951. WHJC seeks mod. of CP for new AM station for extension of completion date.

December 10, 1951. An article in Broadcasting mentions WHJC as a newly-appointed member station of the NARTB Radio Board.

December 10, 1951. WHJC seeks mod. of CP, as modified, authorizing new AM station, for extension of completion date.

Feb. 17, 1952. An article about Matewan in the Charleston Gazette-Mail has: “An item in this growth is Matewan’s new 1,000-watt radio station WHJC. The station, which is located just on the Kentucky side of the Tug, was built by Fred Morningstar, Fred Staples, and E. G. Stanley, and is one of the more powerful in southern West Virginia. It began broadcasting last Thanksgiving.”

April 27, 1953. Broadcasting reports that the FCC has returned an application by WHJC seeking voluntary assignment of license to Three States Bcstg. Co.

September 23, 1953. Three States Bcstg Co. is granted assignment of WHJC license to a new corporation of the same name for 50 shares of stock each. Marvin J. Peterson and Ed G. Stanley each purchase 50 shares for $5,000. All stockholders will now own 16% interest.

July 6, 1959. An ad in Broadcasting quotes WHJC as a customer of music-licensing company SESAC's New Sounds, "bright, new material and top flight arrangements by the finest talent available from every major record label. SESAC's New Sounds are now being released on twelve-inch, long-playing microgroove records especially produced and handsomely packaged, designed for repeated listening."  Says WHJC of the service, "Very, very good. Send more like it."

Mar. 22, 1963. An article about flooding in Matewan in the Charleston Gazette has: “The boys relayed the emergency messages, traveling as far as five miles to deliver them. Messages beyond that distance were given to a local radio station, WHJC (‘We Herald Jesus Christ’) which broadcast them.”

December 14, 1964. A Broadcasting article on small-market radio describes WHJC as "middle of the road with popular, country and gospel music." George F. Warren, manager, calls it "a true representation of our area. We are not in an industrial area where pop music is in demand, nor are we so rural that country music is in demand."

May 5, 1965. WHJC seeks transfer of control of licensee corporation, Three States Broadcasting Co., from Joseph Pickering and Marvin J. Peterson (each 25% before, none after), through sale of stock to George D. Warren Jr. (none before, 25% after), Otto Goertsen and Paul King (each none before, 12.5% after). Consideration: $11,812. Mrs. Florence Morningstar and Mrs. Donna Bjork Lee retain their 25% interest.

August 4, 1965. WHJC is granted transfer of control of licensee corporation, as above.

November 7, 1966. FCC notifies WHJC of apparent liability in amount of $100 for late filing of its license renewal application.

February 15, 1967. WHJC is subject of two forfeiture actions taken by FCC. In one, FCC issued memorandum opinion and order for Three States Broadcasting Co., licensee of WHJC, to pay $30 for violation of Sec. 1.539(8) of rules by filing its renewal application 30 days after due date. In other, FCC issued notice of apparent liability in amount of $500 for rule violations including operation of trans. by other than properly licensed operator and failure to keep maintenance and operating logs as required.

April 3, 1967. Broadcasting lists WHJC as a new affiliate station for the radio feature "Rush To Judgment," syndicated by Ted White Productions.

November 6, 1967. As part of a rulemaking proceeding involving radio stations across the country, the FCC grants WHJC pre-sunrise authority (PSRA) with 500 watts.

February 27, 1969 - August 21, 1975. Three States Bcstg. Co., licensee of WHJC, and Harvit Bcstg. Corp, licensee of WBTH Williamson, engage in protracted hearings before the FCC over competing applications seeking vacant FM channel 243 (96.5 mhz).  After six-and-a-half years, the channel is granted to WBTH, which puts the station on the air in 1978 as WXCC.

February 18, 1970. FCC notifies WHJC of apparent liability for forfeiture of $25 for failing to file renewal application at least 90 days prior to expiration date of license.

August 18, 1971. FCC notifies WHJC of apparent liability for forfeiture of $2.000 for violation of technical and sponsorship identification rules.

April 26, 1972. FCC orders WHJC to pay $2,000 forfeiture for repeated violations of rules and Communications Act, including various technical violations, failure to announce and log sponsorship identification on record program, and failure to log entire content of program as commercial matter.

October 5, 1972. FCC denies application by WHJC for mitigation or remission of $2,000 forfeiture. Forfeiture was imposed for repeated violations involving engineering irregularities and improper broadcast and logging of programs. Licensee contended that $2,000 forfeiture was out of proportion to violations involved.

May 9, 1973. FCC denies petition by WHJC for reconsideration of FCC action denying request for remission or mitigation of $2,000 forfeiture.

February 14, 1977. WHJC seeks transfer of control of Three States Broadcasting Co. from Florence Morningstar et al. (25.5% before; none after) to George D. Warren Jr. et al. (74.5% before; 100% after). Consideration: $9,520. Principals: Miss Morningstar is transferring her stock to Clifton Branham (17% before). Other principals are Mr. Warren and Gladys Yeats. None have other broadcast interests.

May 31, 1977. FCC grants transfer of control of Three States Broadcasting Co., as above.

March 5, 1984. Broadcasting reports that under Docket 80-90, FCC proposes allocating channel 294A (106.7 mhz) to Matewan as its first FM assignment.

July 30, 1984. Broadcasting lists a revised table of FM allocations for Docket 80-90, proposing 106.7 at Matewan, with a counterproposal for the same channel at Inez, Ky.

November 12, 1986. Three States Broadcasting Co. seeks 106.7 mhz. 1.0 kw; HAAT: 573 ft. Address: Radio Hill. Box 68. Matewan, W. Va. 25678. Principal is principally owned by Clifton Branham. It also owns co-located WHJC(AM).

November 25, 1986. Hometown Broadcasting of Matewan Inc. seeks 106.7 mhz: 645 w: 682.2 ft. Address: Rte. 49 at Murphy Branch. 25678. Principal Robert L. Scheibly. who has interest in WLGC-AM-FM Greenup, Ky.

February 23, 1988. FCC designates for hearing mutually exclusive applications of Three States Broadcasting Co.. Inc., and Hometown Broadcasting of Matewan, Inc. for new FM station on channel 294A (106.7 mhz) at Matewan.

May 3, 1988. FCC approves settlement agreement between Three States and Hometown and dismisses with prejudice application of Hometown Broadcasting of Matewan; grants application of Three States Broadcasting for new FM station on channel 294A (106.7 mhz) at Matewan; and terminates proceeding.

August 18, 1988. The station is assigned the call letters WVKM.

October 3, 1988. WVKM seeks mod. of CP to make changes; ERP: 1.18 kw H&V and TL: on mountain 0.6 miles N of Matewan.

1989. The entry for WJHC in the 1989 WVBA book is: “At 1360 khz with 1 kw power, WHJC first aired programming on December 2, 1951. The format is country and western music. Owned by Three States Broadcasting Co., its president and chief engineer is Clifton Branham, and George D. Warren Jr. is the general manager. The station is located on Radio Hill, Matewan. The station has had FCC approval for an FM station, to be in the WHJC facility.”

May 12, 1989. FCC grants WVKM mod. of CP to change ERP: 1.18 kw H&V: TL: 0.6 mi N of Matewan.

June 14, 1990. WVKM seeks mod. of CP to change ERP: 2.45 kw H &V.

June 17, 1991. FCC amends FM table of allocations by substituting channel 294C3 for channel 294A at Matewan, among other changes, and modifies license of WVKM(FM) Matewan accordingly, effective August 12.

March 11, 1992. FCC grants WVKM CP to change ERP: 2.45 kw (H&V); change channel to 294C3.

November 15, 1993. FCC grants WVKM mod. of CP to make changes; ERP: 4.3 kw; ant. 229 m.; TL: 1.9 km WSW of Buskirk, KY.

June 3, 2013. Radio + Television Business Report reports, “$250K WVKM-FM Matewan WV from Hatfield McCoy Communications Inc. (George Warren) to Hatfield McCoy Broadcasting Inc. (Dreama Thornsburg). Cash. Seller retains WHJC-AM Matewan WV. [FCC file date 5/17/13].”

May 2014. WVKM is reported to be off the air. According to a local broadcaster, the station was granted a special temporary authorization to remain silent but was warned that if it did not return to the air by May 2015 the license would be forfeited.

June 2014. radioinsight.com reports, “Hatfield McCoy Broadcasting is returning Silent 106.7 WVKM Matewan, WV to Three States Broadcasting for the forgiveness of obligations owed.”

June 26, 2014. Inside Radio reports, “Three States Broadcasting Company files to regain ownership of WVKM, Matewan, WV (106.7) a year after selling the now-silent FM to Dreama Thornsbury’s Hatfield McCoy Broadcasting for $250,000. The FCC filing says no payments have been made since January and Thornsbury still owes $179,000. So Three States will retake ownership and pair it with its gospel daytimer WHJC, Matewan (1360). WVKM went off the air in May telling the FCC that its transmitter had stopped working and repairs were necessary.”

Oct. 2014. The West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority authorizes the purchase of WVKM-FM 106.7 for $280,000. At this time the station was owned by George and Evelyn Warren.

2015. The WVEBA applies to move WVKM to a location near Delbarton.

A local broadcaster recalls that WHJC went silent after its tower fell, although the station used a long wire antenna for a while.

According to a local broadcaster, WVKM was hit by lightning several years ago, and the station received a STA for a tower on Buffalo Moutain with 1 KW. The station then applied for a site in Pike County. The application was opposed by another broadcast station. The FM was then sold to Thornsbury’s ex wife. She subsequently defaulted on payment.

The WVKM Facebook page, created on Dec. 17, 2013, and viewed in Jan. 2014, referred to the station as “Your Classic-Country Music Station” and stated that the station was under new ownership and management, Hatfield McCoy Broadcasting Corp., and was located at 111 Ten Pin Alley in Williamson.

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