First Media Services LLC, a West Virginia owned media company, has filed with the Federal Communications Commission to acquire legendary and top rated radio stations based in the Bluefield-Princeton market from Alpha Media LLC, a multimedia company based in Portland, Oregon.
Pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission, First Media Services will purchase radio stations including WHAJ (J104), WHIS (News Talk), WHKX and WHQX (Kicks Country), and WKOY (The Eagle Classic Rock).
First Media Services currently owns and operates WKQR (Kiss FM), WKQB (Mix 102.9), and WAMN/WELC (Willie 94.5).
“We feel extremely blessed and honored to have the torch passed to us from well-respected former owners, including Mike Shott and the Shott Family, David Benjamin of Triad Broadcasting Company, and Larry Wilson of Alpha Media,” said Bob Spencer, managing partner of First Media Services.
“In my opinion, these stations have one of the best and most talented staffs in the region. Many of them have worked there for over two and even three decades.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to continue great radio and first-class customer service throughout our corner of the Virginias,” Spencer emphasized.
WHAJ began as WHIS-FM in 1948, as the strongest FM station in the world at the time.
West Virginia radio stations are limited to 50,000 watts of maximum power. However, WHAJ-FM is licensed to operate at 100,000 watts serving communities throughout a large area of southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia.
WHAJ is also one of the most successful radio stations in the area and was awarded the prestigious “Legendary Radio Station” award by the West Virginia Broadcasters Association in 2010.
WHIS-AM hit the airwaves in Bluefield on June 27, 1929, and was one of West Virginia’s pioneer radio stations. The first broadcast featured a performance by the local Lions Club quartet.
WHIS was the brainchild of Hugh and Jim Shott, the sons of local newspaper owner and future Congressman Hugh Ike Shott. During the first two decades, WHIS expanded from 100 to 5,000 watts and quickly became the most listened to radio station in the area. Today, WHIS serves the area by being the market’s only News Talk station.
For its 90th birthday year, First Media Services is making plans to broadcast WHIS on an FM frequency along with its AM signal in order to enhance and increase the station’s service area subject to FCC approval.
WHIS-AM was also named “Legendary Radio Station” by the West Virginia Broadcasters Association.
With the transfer of ownership to First Media Services, the group will once again be operated by local West Virginia ownership.
“The Shott Family has made and continues to make significant contributions throughout our region,” Spencer said. “It’s important for us to continue working with the many great people in our area to help make life better and to position the area for a successful future.
“Continuing with what the Shott Family started presents very large shoes for us to fill, and we pledge to do our best by doing all the right things for all the right reasons to ensure continued success.”
Spencer and First Media Services lauded the efforts of Jason Anderson and the team at Kalil and Company along with the team at Alpha Media for their hard work, professionalism, and diligence throughout the purchase process.