Summit Media Stations in West Virginia

Most of the information for this page was provided by Al Sergi, general manager and owner of Summit Media Broadcasting.

On April 2, 2014, Summit Media Broadcasting closed on the purchase of WCWV 92.9 FM Summersville, a Class B 50,000 watt ERP station. In an email in April 2014, Mr. Sergi wrote, “Summit Media is going to upgrade the equipment and improve the signal, add RDS display, get online, and provide the state with a radio station to be proud of.”

The Summit Media Group is made up of the following stations:

  • WAFD 100.3 FM Webster Springs-Buckhannon Class B 50,000 watts
  • WCWV 92.9 FM Summersville Class B 50,000 watts
  • WDBS 97.1 FM Sutton-Summersville Class B 50,000 watts
  • WKQV 105.5 FM Cowen-Summersville Class B 25,000 watts
  • WVBD 100.7 FM Fayetteville-Beckley Class A 6,000 watts
  • WVAR 600 AM Richwood-Summersville 1,000 watts
  • WSGB 1490 AM Sutton-Gassaway 1,000 watts

In addition, the company has four FM translators: 96.5 FM Sutton for WSGB-AM, 98.1 FM Birch River for WVAR-AM, 98.9 FM Summersville for WDBS-FM, and 106.9 FM Sutton for WKQV-FM

WSGB 1490 AM Sutton

WSGB signed on the air on Jan. 22, 1964.

The 1969 Broadcasting Yearbook shows the station operating on 1490 kHz with 1000 watts day, 250 watts at night. The licensee was Braxton Broadcasting Co. Net: Keystone. Specialty programs: C&W 20 hrs wkly. Charles M. Erhard Jr., general and commercial manager; Bill Hickok, station manager; Ella May, program manager; Elizabeth Singleton, news director; William Jones, chief engineer.

In 1980 WSGB was acquired by Milliken Investment Corp.

The 1986 Broadcasting Yearbook shows WSGB operating on 1490 KHz with 1000 watts, unlimited. The owner was Milliken Investment Corp. Networks: ABC/E, Metronews. Jim Milliken, president, general manager, and chief engineer; Judy Skidmore, sales manager; Steve Douglas, program and music director and program manager.

On Jan. 1, 1987, WSGB and WCKA(FM) were acquired by Mid-State Broadcasting Corp. The president, general manager, chief engineer, and programming director was Jim Milliken.

On Dec. 30, 1999, Summit Media purchased WSGB. At that time WSGB was off the air but Summit put the station back on after repairs. During the first year WSGB simulcast with WCKA (WDBS), then WSGB split programing and began a 24 hour talk format till 2004 when a music format from ABC Hot AC started. The station changed its format to ABC Oldies Radio on Memorial Day 2005 and has gained a good following with the format. WSGB obtained a new solid state transmitter in late 2002, then a new state-of-the-art transmitter building in mid 2003. A new tower was built for WSGB as well as a new skirt antenna in August 2006. The WSGB tower site is a hub for the Summit Media stations and houses various translators and relays.

WDBS 97.1 FM Sutton

WCKA(FM) signed on the air on Apr. 25, 1987, at 97.1 MHz with 25 kw.

On Jan. 1, 1987, WSGB and WCKA(FM) were acquired by Mid-State Broadcasting Corp. The president, general manager, chief engineer, and programming director was Jim Milliken.

The 1988 Broadcasting Yearbook shows WCKA(FM) operating on 97.1 MHz with 25 kw, antenna 93 ft. The station duplicated the AM programming 75%. Format: MOR.

Summit Media purchased WCKA 97.1 FM at 25,000 watts from Mid-State Broadcasting on December 30, 1999. Summit began a total rebuild of the studios, applied for a Class B upgrade and changed the format to country. A complete rebuilding of the station began as orders were placed for a new tower, antenna, transmitter, etc. on the afternoon of September 10, 2001. The station's tower construction was completed in late 2001 and just after Christmas 2001 the big 50,000 watt signal came on the air. The good signal can be heard from Beckley to Fairmont from Snowshoe to Spencer and beyond.

The call letters were changed from WCKA to WDBS in October 2001 when the station adopted the slogan "The BOSS 97 FM" which stands for Best Of Sutton-Summersville. WDBS began to dominate the Arbitron ratings across central West Virginia, where it still is the consistent leader. In February 2003 a large ice storm across West Virginia damaged the WDBS tower site building which caused damage to all of its new (1 year old) equipment. The transmitter building was rebuilt, new transmitter installed and all damaged equipment was replaced by new again in mid-2003. WDBS has 3 translators: 96.5 FM in Sutton, 98.1 FM on Powell's Mt Birch River-Clay, and 98.9 FM Lonetree Mt. Summersville. WDBS was one of the first FM's in the area to use RDBS on all its FM channels.

WVAR 600 AM Richwood

WVAR went on the air in November 1957, according to the 1961-62 Broadcasting Yearbook. The original owner was Royal Broadcasting Co.

The 1961-62 Broadcasting Yearbook shows the station operating on 1280 kHz with 1000 watts daytime. Owner: Royal Broadcasting Co. Courtney Evans, president and general manager; Roy Henderson, manager.

On Jan. 1, 1965, R&S Broadcasting Co. acquired WVAR.

The 1969 Broadcasting Yearbook shows WVAR operating on 600 kc, 1 kw-D. Licensee was R&S Broadcasting Co. Net: Keystone. Spec programs: C&W 30 hrs wkly. Carl E. Gainer, president; Virgil Graves, general and program manager; Carroll B. Green, commercial manager & program dir; Betty J. Hess, news director; Larry Hellms, chief engineer.

In 1972 C. Farrell Johnson acquired control of R & S. Broadcasting Co., purchasing stock from Larry A. Tucker and Carl E. Gainer.

The 1986 Broadcasting Yearbook shows WVAR operating on 600 kHz with 1000 watts, DA. The owner was R&S Broadcasting Co. C. Farrell Johnson, president and general manager and chief engineer; Debbie A. Lynch, general sales manager; Dennis E. Jackson, program manager and music director.

Information provided by the station in the late 1980s showed C. Farrell Johnson, president, general manager, and chief engineer; Debbie A. Lynch, general sales manager; and Jim Andrews, program and music director. The format was country and western.

In 2003 WVAR went off the air when an ice storm took down its tower. J & K Broadcasting returned WVAR back to the air about a year before it was sold to Summit.

Summit Media purchased the station as part of the WAFD package and changed the format from ABC Classic Country to the ABC Oldies format and simulcast with WSGB in Sutton.

In a 2008 email, Al Sergi wrote, “WVAR was recently taken silent 12-17-07 by Summit Media until a studio waiver is granted or a new main studio is built in the near future. Summit has plans to apply for an FM translator for WVAR and WSGB as soon as the FCC finalizes the new regulations. WVAR should be back on the air later in 2008.”

WAFD 100.3 FM Webster Springs

WAFD went on the air in 1996 with a gospel format.

On Mar. 3, 2007, Summit Media purchased WAFD-FM and WVAR 600 AM from J & K Broadcasting on March 3, 2007, for $1.3 million. On July 4, 2007, Summit Media made a big change by switching the format to Rhythm Mix AC. Stunting began on July 1, 2007, advising listeners to switch to WCWV 92.9, which had switched from AC to Gospel earlier in 2007. The station adopted the slogan "The SUMMIT 100.3 WAFD" and has since modified its format to Bright AC.

The station operates with 50,000 watts. The main studios were moved to co-locate with WDBS-FM, WKQV-FM, WSGB-AM in Sutton.

WKQV 105.5 FM Cowen

The original city of license was Richwood.

WKQV was part of an FCC auction in 2004, Radioactive LLC headed by Randy Michaels. Radioactive sold the construction permit to Summit Media Broadcasting, LLC owned by Al Sergi.

Summit Media changed the city of license to Cowen to be able to co-locate the main studios with WDBS-FM, WAFD-FM, WSGB-AM in Sutton.

WKQV got on the air late evening of 12-31-06, but officially claims the birthdate of January 1, 2007, by design on Al Sergi's birthday. On that same date, W295AR 106.9 FM in Sutton, a translator for WKQV, also came on the air for the first time.

WKQV features an Adult Rock format with a mix of new and classic rock WKQV's slogan is "105-KQV"

WKQV has a new tower, transmitter, antenna and studio equipment. The station was built from the ground up. The tower site is Cottle Knob, the same 3,000 foot hilltop as WCWV 92.9. The station operates with 25,000 watts.

WVBD 100.7 FM Fayetteville

WVBD-FM went on the air on May 1, 2009. It is a Class A (6kw Equivalent) Owner is Daniel W. Finch, Jr. - CO-Owner of Summit Media Inc. licensee is Summit Media South (owner is Finch 100%).

WVBD stands for “West Virginia's Big Daddy” in honor of Senator Robert C. Byrd who is from Sophia, within the station's listening area.

WVBD simulcast with WDBS-FM from May 1, 2009 to July 11, 2009, then at midnight 7-12-09 it split off to start its own Classic Country format. WVBD is also the new home of WVU Mountaineers and Metro News for the Fayetteville-Oak Hill-Beckley marketplace.

WVBD is the former WSGD 100.7 FM that was moved from Arnoldsburg to Fayetteville in early 2008. WVBD is the first new full power station in the Beckley market area in 29 years. It has one of the best signals in the area from downtown Summersville to downtown Beckley. The tower is located in Layland.

WCWV 92.9 FM Summersville

The 1986 Broadcasting Yearbook shows WCWV(FM) operating on 92.9 MHz with 50 kw and an antenna height of 206 ft. It shows a construction permit for 10.95 kw and an antenna heigh of 900 ft. It indicates that the station began broadcasting on March 13, 1983. Address: 713 Main Street. Licensee: R&S Broadcasting Co., Inc. Net: NBC, West Virginia Net, Mountainnet. C. Farrell Johnson, president, general manager, and chief engineer; Jeanie Brown, general sales manager; Randy Smith, program and news director; Angela Bailes, secretary and traffic manager.

The following article was submitted for the 1989 West Virginia Broadcasters publication:

WCWV-FM-93 joined its sister station, WVAR-AM, broadcasting from facilities on Main Street in Summersville on Sunday, March 13, 1983.

With the studio nestled in the heart of Nicholas County and the tower perched atop the highest peak in the same county, C-93 became Nicholas County’s first FM radio station.

C. Farrell Johnson, WCWV’s owner and general manager, has been in broadcasting for 23 years. In 1986, he was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates. In previous years he has served as a councilman for Summersville and later as Mayor of Summersville. Randy Smith, program director for WCWV, has been with the station since it went on the air. He brought with him 18 years of broadcast experience.

Each day WCWV broadcasts 18 hours of Adult Contemporary music to almost two-thirds of West Virginia and to a portion of Ohio and Virginia. Several gospel programs are included in the week-end programming.

On April 2, 2014, Summit Media Broadcasting acquired the station.

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