The community and college radio station of Emory & Henry College, WEHC 90.7 FM, has been recognized by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters (VAB) for outstanding sports coverage by a non-commercial or public radio station.
The runner-up award was presented to WEHC at the 74th Annual Virginia Broadcasting Awards, held Friday, June 24, at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach, Va. WMLU 91.3 FM was awarded the top prize for sports coverage of Longwood University in Farmville, Va.
The WEHC broadcasting duo of play-by-play commentator Josh Floyd and color analyst Bruce Hatch was recognized for season-long football coverage, which included a thrilling, double overtime season opening football game. During that game, senior running back Caleb Jennings corralled an E&H fumble and dove into the end zone to secure a Wasps victory over Ferrum College.
“Listeners in this area know how great Josh Floyd and Bruce Hatch are with our sports broadcast,” said WEHC station manager Richard Graves. “Their chemistry and charisma make Emory & Henry football one of the most exciting aspects of our operation. It was great to see them recognized at a statewide level.”
“One of us usually picks up on something and we can kind of go with it a little bit off the cuff, and I think that makes it enjoyable,” Floyd said.
In their sixth year together in the booth, Floyd and Hatch describe their broadcasting style as “non-homer.” Both men agree that there is little doubt which team they want to win, but when a situation or decision on the field requires criticism of Emory & Henry, they don’t hesitate to level it.
“When Emory is playing well, at the end of the day Josh has a sore right shoulder usually because I give him the shots right there on the arm when they do something well,” Hatch said, laughing.
The possibility of entering a submission for this year’s VAB awards was first brought to Floyd’s attention by WEHC general manager Teresa Keller. Floyd hopes that the success of this first entry into the statewide competition will serve to inspire other WEHC hosts to enter the competition.
“The programming that takes place on WEHC is just as strong, if not stronger than what you see in much of the commercial world,” Floyd adds.
WEHC was founded on Oct. 24, 1929 and was the second AM station on the air in Virginia. The College sold the station during the Depression, but revived the WEHC call letters with a 100 watt FM station in 1992. In the fall of 2009, WEHC started broadcasting from a new transmitter with a signal power of 9,000 watts, greatly increasing the coverage area that the radio station can now reach and changing the format to a community station.
“We are amazed at how WEHC has truly become a community station since we increased our power to 9,000 watts in 2009,” Keller said. “Our schedule shows more than 40 local programs, with hosts including area doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, artists and educators. The station also has become the destination for people who enjoy local music and for those who are engaged in the activity of our region.”
Josh Floyd serves as the director of admissions at Emory & Henry College. Bruce Hatch is co-owner and operator of Lawson & Hatch Financial Service in Abingdon, Va.
Both men will be back in the broadcasting booth on Saturday, Sept. 3 when the 2011 E&H Football season is slated to begin.