WFLO-AM set for relaunch this week

Published 8:30 am Thursday, December 1, 2022

A familiar radio station will be returning to the airwaves later this week. Over the weekend, the new owners of WFLO-AM confirmed to The Dispatch that their purchase of the radio station has been finalized. The station is expected to start broadcasting on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 870 AM or via livestream, which you can connect to through their Facebook page. Just search for wfloradio.

The announcement comes almost a year after the operation shut down. The original WFLO-AM and FM broadcast for the last time on Dec. 31, 2021. Earlier this year, Educational Media Foundation (EMF) purchased both WFLO-AM and FM, along with its tower, from Colonial Broadcasting Company. Now WFLO-AM has been sold again, with EMF selling it to Heart of Virginia Communications LLC. The new owners said they’re working on obtaining a new FM frequency, but as of now, the station will just operate on AM.

Chris Brochon will return to the station as WFLO-AM’s general manager, with John Staton III as production manager. Francis and Chris Wood, along with Ron Moody, will all host weekly programs, the new owners say. Brochon and Staton will both also work as DJs, with Farmville native Danny Huskey coming in as the station’s sales manager.

“We have assembled a talented group of radio veterans and a committed investment team to run the station professionally and efficiently for years to come,” said Donna VanCleave. She works as managing partner for Heart of Virginia Communications.

VanCleave is a former vice chancellor for administrative and financial services with the Virginia Community College System. Prior to that, she worked as vice president for finance and administration at Radford University.

WHAT WILL WFLO BE LIKE?

VanCleave says her group plans to bring back WFLO’s popular programming. That includes a variety of music, including everything from classic rock to modern hits. The award-winning talk show “Call Flo” will return, along with some new programs being added to the mix. Brochon agreed, saying that the group wants to be a resource for the community.

“Farmville has always been a radio town and we are so excited to re-launch WFLO for the people of Farmville and the surrounding area,” said Brochon. “Our goal is to preserve the history and authenticity of the station and provide the community with the local news, information and entertainment they deserve.”

The announcement brings back a Farmville operation that first got started more than 70 years ago. On Aug. 12, 1947, WFLO-AM received a telegram from the Federal Communications Commission, informing the station it had the authority to start broadcasting. After a few years, the original owners added WFLO-FM in 1961. During its time in operation, the station reached eight counties, including Prince Edward, Buckingham, Cumberland, Nottoway, Appomattox, Lunenburg, Powhatan and Charlotte.

That original group’s studios were on West Third Street from 1947 until the station moved in 1956. At that point, the group called 1582 Cumberland Road home, located on Route 45 North. But as part of the restart, the new owners are returning to a familiar spot. The new WFLO headquarters is at 217 W. Third Street, in the former Farmville Public Library building downtown.