Serving our area with NPR news, sports, gospel, jazz and R&B for 30 years, 89.9, WRVS is a 41,000 watt powerhouse. We are a listener-supported public radio service of Elizabeth City State University.
WRVS became the first radio station in Elizabeth City and one of the first radio stations in Northeast North Carolina to broadcast using HD Radio TM technology.
WRVS' single largest and most important source of funding is you, the listener. Your gracious donations help to bring you all of the programs you enjoy on WRVS-FM and WRVS-HD1. Those programs include NPR shows such as Morning Edition and Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz as well as other nationally syndicated programs like The Tavis Smiley Show on PRI. But, WRVS does not stop there. We keep our listeners informed with original programming such as The Viking Sports Network, The HBCU Nation Radio Show, and NENC Sports Radio Show.
Listener support is the key to keeping your favorite programs on the air.
WRVS was the brainchild of former Chancellor, Dr. Jimmy Jenkins who hired David C. Linton to help the University realize his dream. Linton was brought in as Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Media Development and helped work with the FCC, engineers, and others to get the station on the air. Linton, who served as the station's first general manager and program director, also coined the original slogan "Wonderful Radio Viking Style." The original staff consisted of Paula Sutton, Public Affairs Director/ On-Air Personality; Andre Smith, News/Sports Director; Dorothy Keith, Traffic Director/ Gospel Announcer and a group of talented students.
The original student staff consisted of Ed Oakley (On-Air Personality/Public affairs), Gary Shearod (On-Air Personality/Student Music Director), Aerek Stephens (Sports/On-Air Personality), "The Almost Famous" Darius Morris (On-Air Personality/Sports), Stephanie Allen (News/Public Affairs), Pamela Brown (News/Public Affairs) and, Alvera Gunn (News/Public Affairs).
On March 18, 1986 (Chancellor Jenkin's birthday) at 6pm, Jenkins and Linton flipped the switch, turning on the transmitter and firing up WRVS at 10kW as station 90.7 FM. It was David Linton and Paula Sutton who shared the on-air debut honors by playing the 1979 hit song "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" by McFadden and Whitehead. There were also several on-air interviews including the City Mayor, Chairman of the ECSU Board of Trustees, Chancellor Jimmy Jenkins, and other dignitaries.
In 1990 the station received several upgrades, including a new transmitter allowing an effective radiated power of 41 kW as well as a new frequency of 89.9 MHz. On July 3, 1996 the station went dark for weeks due to water and smoke damage to equipment due to an electrical fire that occurred upstairs in Williams Hall. The station signed back on in October and later went to a jazz based format as "Jazzy 89-Nine." In 2003, the station reverted to its original and current Urban Adult Contemporary based format and moved from an 18-hour format to broadcasting 24 hours a day.
Originally coined with the slogan "Making A Difference in Your Life," WRVS is known today as "Your Community Voice" and is still one of the best college radio stations in the Hampton Roads market. On September 25, 2008, WRVS-FM, 89.9 completed its digital conversion project and on September 28, 2008 launched its digital broadcasting stream using iBiquity Digital Corporation's HD Radio TM technology. The station is currently staffed with five permanent employees and a host of community volunteers, student interns, and work-study students.
WRVS is a public-supported, National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), and African-American Public Radio Consortium (AAPRC) affiliate station.