Spindale-based gospel station holds revival
After broadcasting southern gospel music for 50 years, the future looked bleak for Spindale-based WGMA.
The station had been on the market since its founder and figurehead, Billy ‘Moon’ Martin, passed away in 2003.
During the industrywide downturn experienced by radio in the mid-2000s, the small AM station struggled to attract investors.
This past summer, the surviving members of Martin’s family decided it was finally time to pull the plug.
“We didn’t want the station going dark,” Christian Albertson explained.
A resident of Graham County, Albertson runs Blue Mountain Broadcasting, LLC, alongside his business partner, Gloria Bibey — a resident of Greensboro.
In July, BMB acquired WGMA from Barbara Martin for $75,000. After months of transition, the station was officially rechristened WVOH [1520 AM] on Oct. 1.
The name, however, is pretty much the only change that Albertson and Bibey have made to the Main Street radio station.
WVOH will retain its predecessor’s southern gospel format, as well as its locally established stable of on-air personalities.
“These three men have been the foundation of the station since 2004,” Bibey said of anchors Andy Foster, Neil Murray and Gordon Hoots.
Over the next few months, Blue Mountain plans to add syndicated programs featuring nationally recognized pastors to the station’s lineup. The company also hopes to stretch out WGMA’s longstanding broadcast schedule — which runs from “dawn until dusk,” according to staff — to make room for 24/7 programing.
“We want to improve this station and help it grow and flourish,” Bibey said.
“We’re a small station with a big faith.”