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WFLO in Farmville to sign off the air for good on New Year’s Eve

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 6:43 PM EST
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FARMVILLE, Va. (WWBT) - A hometown staple radio station in Farmville is going dark on Friday, Dec. 31, after more than seven decades on the air.

The pandemic hit WFLO, making it difficult to stay afloat. However, the on-air talent says it is even more challenging to pull the plug and say goodbye to longtime listeners.

“We have been in people’s homes and lives for generations, almost 75 years,” WFLO General Manager Francis Wood said. “This week is a hard week.”

Wood has been with the station for half a century.

“It’s the voice of the heart of Virginia, a 50,000-watt powerhouse with a 500-foot tower,” Wood said about WFLO. “It’s a way for the civic organizations and local high schools and colleges to get the word out, and that’s going to be gone.”

Wood says between the economic crash of 2008 and COVID-19, their little homegrown station couldn’t keep up, no matter how hard they tried to pivot to other mediums.

“A lot of your mom and pop stores went away, and those were our bread and butter,” Wood said. “They kept us going all the time through everything.”

Calls flooded in from listeners who will soon be missing a key part of their morning routines. Many of them spoke to the on-air hosts about precious memories.

Henry Fulcher has been with WFLO since 1956 and has the stories to prove it.

“I met Elvis, and that must have been 1957,” Fulcher said.

The radio has been his lifeline. Now at 84 years old, he does not want to think about letting go of his passion.

“I kind of shudder to think of it,” Fulcher said. “It’s always been like a family, and people will call you, and I always try to treat them as if they are a personal, close friend because I do consider them as that.”

“It’s just all kinds of memories,” Wood said. “A lot of people get emotional about it, and we do as well; we’re gonna miss the people as much as they miss us.”

Those memories, photos, and stories will be on display from here on out at the historical society at Longwood.

“We feel the love from them, and we feel their sadness,” Wood said about the listeners. “Over 50 years in this business, and we didn’t do it for the money; we did it for the love.”

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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