History of WVBD, Fayetteville

The new WVBD 100.7 FM Fayetteville debuted on the air in the late afternoon of April 30, 2009. WVBD "West Virginia's Big Daddy" was named in honor of Robert C. Byrd. The station owner Daniel W. Finch Jr. has other broadcast ownership interests in Summit Media's WAFD-FM and WVAR-AM.

WVBD covers the greater Beckley market area and has a strong signal in Fayette, Nicholas and Raleigh Counties. WVBD is presently simulcasting sister station WDBS-FM "The BOSS 97 FM" while new studios are completed in Summersville.

WVBD was originally WSGD 100.7 Arnoldsburg, in Calhoun County, which is a very rural area in the state. The original coverage area would have served approximately 20,000 people. The ownership took advantage of an FCC regulation change that permitted the relocation to another community without a licensed station, Fayetteville was available for the upgrade. WVBD now covers approximately 100,000 people from its new location.

[Submitted by Al Sergi, May 15, 2009]

Cowboy Will Back on Regional Airwaves on BOSS97


This article appeared in the Register-Herald on May 23, 2009.

Cowboy Will is back in the saddle, riding the radio airwaves in southern West Virginia once more in the country-western music circuit.

In fact, for the first time in 29 years, the greater Beckley area and Fayette County can now tune in to a new full-powered FM radio station.

It was on May 1 that WVBD 100.7 FM Fayetteville made its debut, boasting a signal that blankets the Beckley area market.

Shumate, known by his radio moniker “Cowboy Will,” has added a new chapter to his radio dossier that includes a stint in Charleston. Radio fans in this region recall the ever-popular DJ in his days at WTNJ in Mount Hope.

Of late, he has forged a partnership with officials at Summit Media, headquartered in Summersville.

“What we have on now is a country station called ‘The BOSS,’ or ‘BOSS97,’ running on 100.7,” Shumate said.

Within three months, Shumate is promising a major shift in the format, but for now, he isn’t showing his cards on just what that will be.

“Some big things are about to happen,” he said.

Shumate is identified at Summit Media as director of local operations. BOSS is an acronym for Best of Sutton and Summersville.

A totally licensed transmitter reaching some 3,800 feet in the air has been erected atop Man Mountain around Layland in Fayette County.

“It’s not the most powerful station in the area, but it’s got a good signal and we think we’ll have a very good product,” Shumate said.

“We’re playing modern country and simulcasting The BOSS 97.1 out of Summersville and Sutton. From an advertising standpoint, it’s a real good deal. If you buy radio ads on 100.7, at the same time you can be heard on 97.1, which stretches into Fairmont and Clarksburg. Advertisers see statewide coverage. It’s a good thing from that angle.”

Owner Daniel Finch says 100.7 FM originally was licensed to be built in Arnoldsburg in Calhoun County.

“The Federal Communications Commission changed its regulations in 2008, which permitted a location change for the channel so we took advantage to move the station to Fayette County,” Finch said.

A 32-year broadcasting veteran, Cowboy Will launched his career back in 1977 as assistant news anchor and engineer at WJLS-AM in Beckley.

“Cowboy Will has many contacts in the Beckley-Fayette County area and certainly a big plus in our operation,” Finch added.

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