MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Martinsburg radio stations WEPM, WLTF and WICL have been purchased by West Virginia Radio Corp., according to Dale B. Miller, president and chief executive officer of WVRC.
“The sale is pending (Federal Communications Commission) approval,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday. “In the meantime, we are moving into a local marketing agreement with Prettyman Broadcasting Co. and we will start programming the stations Saturday.”
Prettyman Broadcasting, of Salisbury, Maryland, owns the three radio stations. The studios are located at 1606 W. King St.
Headquartered in Morgantown, WVRC is part of Greer Industries Inc., which is owned by the Raese family. WVRC operates the MetroNews Statewide Network and owns 34 radio stations primarily in West Virginia, but also in western Maryland.
“We are thrilled to be in Martinsburg,” Miller said. “We’ve been trying to buy those stations for 20 years. We stayed away from the big river cities. With the purchase of the Martinsburg stations, it gives us a tremendous footprint. Getting into the Martinsburg market is a natural progression for WVRC.”
WVRC’s current markets include Charleston, Morgantown, Beckley, Elkins and Cumberland, Maryland.
“We plan to put our brand on the stations in the future,” Miller said. “We will probably rebuild WEPM, and take a long look at the FM stations.”
An AM station, WEPM’s current format is mainly sports.
“We will probably be adding personnel,” Miller said. “We want to supplement and augment the news department. WVRC believes in local news and the Martinsburg stations can serve as a bureau for MetroNews. We want to extend the news operation in the market. And we’ll probably have more live personalities. We like the synergy of stations and using personalities across platforms.”
WEPM was founded by C. Leslie “Les” Golliday in 1946. It was the first radio station in the Eastern Panhandle. He owned and operated it and WEPM-FM for 32 years before retiring.
Golliday also opened radio station WCLG – his initials – in Morgantown in 1954.
WLTF’s format is adult contemporary and WICL’s is country.
In addition to WVRC, Greer Industries also operates Greer Limestone, with several locations around Morgantown; Greer Lime Co. in Riverton; Greer Steel Co. in Dover, Ohio, and Ferndale, Michigan; Greer Asphalt, with locations in Morgantown and Clarksburg; West Virginia Newspaper Publishing Corp., which publishes the Dominion Post in Morgantown; Seneca Caverns in Riverton; and Pikewood National Golf Club, a private club in Morgantown.
Miller added that WVRC’s FCC application to purchase Prettyman Broadcasting will be filed today.
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