If you haven’t noticed already, WADV is back on the air.
The radio station at AM 940 broadcasts a Christian and Southern gospel program to the Lebanon County area. It was off the air for much of 2020, and many listeners didn’t know why it had gone silent. Was it sold? Was it experiencing technical difficulties? Did it simply cease operations?
The station, which doesn’t have an obvious social media or other online presence, wasn’t saying. Even the phone number listed for the radio station, 717-273-2611, was disconnected.
WADV has been back on the air for more than a month, although the station’s telephone number still appears to be out of service.
Station management could not be reached for comment.
Anne Goodwin Crump, an attorney representing station owners with Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth in Arlington, Virginia, said she passed a request for an interview to her client Tuesday morning, but they did not immediately respond. Neither did anyone pick up at a Birdsboro number listed for the station in FCC documents.
Crump provided LebTown with a copy of the “Resumption of Operations” form filed with the FCC on Nov. 27 by Julianne R. Kochel, who signed as station secretary.
The station officially went silent on Dec. 5, 2019, although it’s possible that broadcasts ceased on an earlier date. WADV resumed broadcasting on Nov. 19, 2020, the FCC document shows.
According to the form, WADV “returned to operations with its licensed facilities following replacement of its transmitter.”
The current transmitter is at 720 E. Kercher Avenue, according to previous reports, although the radio station’s physical address is listed as 152 S. Spruce St., Birdsboro. According to FCCinfo.com, WADV’s broadcast license expires Aug. 1, 2022. FCC documents list station owners as Earl Kochel III – the son of longtime station owner and radio personality Earl Kochel Jr., who died in 2005 – along with Julie Kochel and Jennifer L. Taylor.
Crump told LebTown in May that her “understanding” was that the station was off the air until a new transmitter could be installed, although she had no information on its status.
As of Jan. 12, WADV is still included in a list of “silent AM broadcast stations,” although the FCC website notes that updates to the list may be delayed.
According to comments left by listeners at radiolineup.com, the station was missed during its 11-month absence.
Susan Weaver, who described herself as a fan of WADV “for many, many years” from Lebanon County, wrote in October 2019 to ask: “What happened that you are (not) airing anymore? We sure hope it’s a temporary situation. Your station is the only gospel station to listen to. We miss it terribly. We hope and pray all is well with you.”
Jim Weber wrote on March 28, 2020 that it “looks like WADV is gone for good. Hope they sell to someone interested in continuing their programming.”
And Sandy Baird, a Lancaster resident, wrote that WADV was “my favorite music station. … What happened? I miss you so, so much.”
According to a previous LebTown report, the station was chided by the FCC for failing to notify the federal commission of its off-air status in a timely manner, and said the station should resume broadcasting by Feb. 28, 2020. It isn’t clear if WADV faces any penalty for either violation.
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Thanks to Paul Walker of the I Take Pictures of Transmitter Sites group on Facebook for sharing the February FCC filing with us.