WGYV under new ownership

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Greenville’s first (and at one time only) radio station is getting a breath of fresh air. The station recently was purchased by radio veteran, Robert Williamson.

Williamson, 41, and a native of the Crestview, Fla. area, has been involved with radio since he was a teenager, running around his best friend’s dad’s radio station, and talked the dad into giving him a job at the station.

&uot;I don’t know what made me ask him to hire me,&uot; Williamson said. &uot;But he did, and I’ve been hooked on radio ever since.&uot;

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Williamson says his dream is to own several radio stations, and he’s well on his way to fulfilling his dream.

&uot;I worked my way up – taking the natural progression of jobs over the years,&uot; he said. &uot;I started out as a deejay, and have worked in almost every position small-market radio has to offer over the years.&uot;

Williamson purchased a Florala station with a Christian music format a couple of years ago, while he was managing another radio station.

&uot;I let the Florala station kind of run itself for awhile,&uot; Williamson said. &uot;But in April last year, I went to the Florala station full-time and started building it up. Then the station here came available, so I bought it.&uot;

Willamson said he plans to leave WGYV’s current format in place.

&uot;Right now, it’s oldies and talk shows – Rush Limbaugh, Ken Hamblin and Bobby Likus’ Car Clinic,&uot; he said. &uot;I feel the format is right for this market.&uot;

The only programming change Williamson projects is to focus more on local news and sports.

&uot;I currently run five local newscasts a day,&uot; he said. &uot;I plan to add more sports, including local sports coverage.&uot;

WGYV currently has 1,000 watts of power and reaches about 2,500 listeners.

&uot;That’s fine,&uot; Williamson said. &uot;I reach most of Butler County. For what I’m doing, I don’t see any reason to change the setup the station has now.&uot;

That’s probably a good idea, since the station owner said he is the only employee at the station right now.

&uot;I wear all the hats around here,&uot; Williamson said. &uot;Everything with the programming, except for the local news, is computer automated. But I am the ad sales manager, the newscaster, the secretary and the janitor.&uot;

Williamson said that although there are two other radio stations in Greenville presently, he feels WGYV has a niche market that will keep the station viable.

&uot;I don’t have the regional appeal that the FM stations in town have,&uot; he said. &uot;My market is very local. And that can be a plus. The regional markets are so broad that you have to generalize a lot of your sports and news to accommodate everyone. Since I’m only local, I can target the community a lot better with my coverage and ad sales.&uot;

One thing Williamson has already done on that front is cover the Town Meeting with the Notre Dame students earlier this year.

&uot;I broadcast the meeting in its entirety,&uot; he said. &uot;That was a huge advantage for those who couldn’t make it to the Ritz Theatre for the meeting. They could sit at home and listen to what took place.&uot;

The broadcaster said his long-range plans for the station are to increase its community involvement.

&uot;If a radio station doesn’t contribute to the community in some form or fashion, then I don’t see the point of its existence,&uot; Williamson said. &uot;I think it should be doing something to help the community whether it’s providing information on a local topic or helping out with a local event. That’s my long- and short-range goal.&uot;