The Resource WRVA Radio Collection

WRVA Radio Collection

WRVA Radio Collection, ca. 1988-1997
WRVA Radio Collection
Inclusive dates
ca. 1988-1997
Collection, ca. 1988-1997, including a souvenier block of wood taken from WRVA's first radio tower in Mechanicsville and metal numbers, 1140, from the WRVA building. Also included is artwork and paintings: WRVA Helicopter, framed, unsigned, 1997 [15 1/2" x 19"]; Millard the Mallard, framed, unsigned and undated [20" x 26"]; and WRVA Shoe Fund, signed and unframed, 1988 [19 1/2" x 22 1/2 "]. Also included are recordings, A Tribute to Alden Aaroe and A Tribute to John Tansey (copies can be found in the WRVA Radio Collection, Acc. 38210)
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • WRVA was officially dedicated on 2 November 1925. Owned and operated by Larus & Brother Company, manufacturers of Edgeworth Smoking Tobacco and other tobacco products, the station initially operated as a community station without commercial revenue and broadcast only two evenings a week. The Corn Cob Pipe Club was one of the many regular programs begun in 1925. It proved so popular with listeners throughout the United States and Canada that by July 1935, almost nine hundred clubs were established in the United States and foreign countries. By January 1926, the station increased its schedule to three nights a week, and by 1929, WRVA was broadcasting day and night seven days a week. Also in 1929, the station increased its power from 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts and became affiliated with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). In May 1933, WRVA opened new broadcasting studios in the Hotel Richmond, on 9th and Grace Streets. In April 1935, the station built and began using the first all-wood self-supporting radio tower in America. On 27 June 1937, WRVA joined Columbia Broadcasting Systems (CBS) as a full time affiliate. On 17 March 1939, the 50,000 watt transmitter, located in eastern Henrico County, was officially dedicated. In March 1940, Sunshine Sue and Her Rangers first broadcast on WRVA. In September 1946, WRVA leased the old Lyric Theater on 9th and Broad Street and the Old Dominion Barn Dance began airing on WRVA. On 28 January 1959, WRVA rejoined NBC. On 29 May 1968, the new WRVA studio, located in historic Church Hill and overlooking Richmond, was dedicated.
  • In 1968, Larus & Brother Company reorganized and became the Larus Investing Company. In July 1968, WRVA-AM and FM became WRVA Radio, Inc. and WRVA-FM Radio, Inc., respectively, subsidiary corporations of the Larus Investing Company. Larus Investing Company sold its entire WRVA stock to Southern Broadcasting Company of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in November 1969. In August 1977, Harte-Hanks Newspapers, Inc., purchased Southern Broadcasting Company, including WRVA-AM and WRVQ-FM. Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc., sold the radio stations to Edens Broadcasting Company, a company formed by the senior managers of Harte-Hanks Radio, Inc., a subsidiary of Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc., in December 1984. In September 1991, WRVA was sold to Force II Communication, L. P., of San Diego. In the Spring of 1992, Clear Channel Communications bought WRVA and is the current owner.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
WRVA Radio papers, 1925-1975 (LVA Acc. 50763).
WRVA Radio Collection
  • The Library of Virginia
Governing access note
There are no access restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Ashley, Debbie
Type of unit
cu. ft. (3 boxes)

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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