History of Mountainet

The pages of the Media Kit from 1982, provided by Joel Jackson, are here.

This article was written by Joel Jackson.

Mountainet was a network of more than fifty radio stations serving West Virginia via a wired voice connection, providing hourly newscasts and other informative material, from 1982 to 1986.

Mountainet began operation on March 15, 1982 from a basement studio at 201 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, WV, under a corner antique shop.

The network had been a project of a committee organized by the West Virginia Broadcasters Association. Paul Rose and Steve "Keith" Browning of WSLW in White Sulphur Springs found initial funding from a local real estate developer, and put together the initial staff. When the network debuted, Linda Walls, formerly at WCLG in Morgantown, was the morning anchor, followed by Rose anchoring midday newscasts, and afternoon editing anchor duties filled by Joel Jackson (given name Joel L. Thompson), who came from WTCR in Huntington.

The network also employed a fulltime reporter at the state capital of Charleston, Nancy Hill (later known professionally as Nancy Bulla) and administrative coordinator Diane Cary. Sportscasts were initially voiced by Browning.

Within months of the debut, Jim Watkins of WOAY-TV in Oak Hill was hired to take the place of Rose on the air, so Rose could devote more time to management and sales duties. Watkins also took the position of Coal Editor, focusing a daily report on West Virginia's largest industry.

Betty Fisher of WRON in Ronceverte was brought on as the network's first sales manager. Jackson was also officially confirmed to the position of news director.

The network's newscasts consisted of material generated by the local editor/anchors, as well as UPI news wire reports and contributions from air staffs at corresponding stations.

Other on-air staff during the network's existence included reporters/anchors Lynn Sample ("Lynn Jones"), Nancy Hathaway, Ralph Perrey, Bill Monroe, Sean Anderson, Greg Walsh, Cleo Bartlett, John Back, Dwight Rohr; and sports reporters/sports talk anchors Rick Sample, Bob Cannon, Eugene Cottilli.

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