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WRVL announces expansion

December 01, 2009 | Liberty Journal | Sarah Funderburke

Liberty University news and athletic events will soon be reaching the ears of 2 million more people.

WRVL “Victory FM,” a non-commercial broadcast station on Liberty’s campus, will purchase four new full-power radio stations and two translator radio stations in North Carolina from Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in Santa Ana, Calif.

WRVL, at 88.3 in Lynchburg, Va., will begin streaming its broadcasts over the new stations in early February. WRVL airs the Flames Sports Network, local weather, music and top Christian radio programs, including “Focus on the Family” and “Answers in Genesis.”

Although the new stations are located in North Carolina, they will allow Liberty’s broadcast network to reach several new areas in Virginia, including Virginia Beach, Suffolk and Newport News.

“This has been the most exciting experience of my broadcast career,” said WRVL station manager Jerry Edwards.

He said the expansion continues the dream of Liberty’s former chancellor, Jerry Falwell, Sr., who wanted to eventually broadcast WRVL in every city in Virginia and northern North Carolina.

The four full-power stations being purchased are WGPS-FM (88.3) in Elizabeth City, WAJC-FM (90.5) in Zebulon (near Raleigh-Durham), WPGT-FM (91.1) in Roanoke Rapids and WJIJ-FM (94.3) in Norlina. The new translator (low-power) stations will take WRVL’s signal and broadcast it on an available radio channel in another area.

The new stations necessitate more work for the WRVL staff, including creating weather forecasts separately for each of the new areas.

“We have a small staff at WRVL, but they are all very dedicated, hardworking people,” Edwards said. “None of this could have been accomplished if they were not on board with this decision.”

Consultant Rob Brach, an LU graduate who owns Calvary Technical Management Services, helped work out the deal, Edwards said, which has been in the works for the past 18 months.

The recent expansion is not the only one WRVL is planning. The station has also received a license to build a full-power station in Amelia, Va.

“It’s a small full-power station that will feed a translator in Richmond and Ashland, Va.,” Edwards said. “We also purchased a construction permit from another ministry for a full-power station in Clifton Forge, Va. That one we hope to build within the next six months, and it will give us coverage along the whole I-64 corridor through the mountains reaching as far as Lewisburg, West Virginia.”