WMMN Radio in Fairmont Goes on the Air

Fairmont Times
December 23, 1928

Radio Station WMMN Is Heard All Over U. S.

Most Powerful Broadcasting Station in West Virginia Opened

Radio station WMMN, the most powerful broadcasting base in West Virginia and the official voice of Fairmont, went on the air last night and sent to the four extremes of the United States a program that is still echoing north and east, south and west. The second program will be presented today.

The new station, located in the Fairmont Hotel, last night was the seat of interest for radio enthusiasts of all parts of the United States and the immediate vicinity in particular. The Western Electric Supply Co. sent a hug basket of national ponsettas with an attached card of congratulations. More than 250 messages poured into the studio, all congratulatory in the extreme.

Robin Hood of this city sent a wire from far Hot Springs, Ark., announcing unequalled receptivity and asking that Clem Bray and his Fairmont Theatre Orchestra play "Hail West Virginia." The program was received in Brooklyn, N. Y., Staunton, Va., Pittsburgh and other points too numerous to detail.

Great satisfaction was expressed last night by the station personnel. Clyde S. Holt and A. M. Rowe, owners of the station and the two Holt-Rowe Novelty stores of this city, were highly gratified at the splendid national and local reception tendered the first program of the station. Fred L. "Joe" Doringer, director of programs, was especially pleased because of the success of the program which consisted solely of Fairmont talent. The station hopes to continue the same program policy. Glenn Beerbower and his assistant, Doug Reynolds, and Holland Engle, announcer, also were well pleased.

Senator Mansfield M. Neely, in whose honor the station was named, fittingly introduced the local plant. In a five-minute address of typical brilliance, the senator expressed his faith in the success of the new station and presented it to the radio world in general. He congratulated the owners of the station and dwelt happily on the future of the new base. It was in large part due to the senator that the station was authorized by the Federal Radio Commission in Washington.

An address of welcome was delivered by Mayor Arthur G. Martin who in the name of the city welcomed the station as a new and powerful organ in advertising Fairmont and as material evidence that such men as Messrs Holt and Rowe have faith in the future of the city. Mr. Hoult and R. L. O'Neal, manager of the Fairmont Hotel, also gave short talks. Capt. G. M. Alexander, president of the Monongahela West Penn Public Service Co., addressed Christmas greetings to the country and to Fairmont, and Brooks Fleming, Jr., assistant to the president, Consolidation Coal Co., expressed similar greetings.

The program, composed chiefly of song and dance numbers presented by local artists, orchestras and groups, was given as planned, with one exception. "Happy" Havelchek, master of the keys, played several numbers on the piano in the absence of Miss Jean Billingslea, soprano, who was unable to sing because of illness. Miss Billingslea will appear on a later program, it is announced.

A program consisting in large part of sacred pieces will be broadcast today over the station. Church service at the First Presbyterian Church will be put on the air at 10:45 o'clock this morning.

Mrs. Florence Dunham will give an extensive organ recital at 2 o'clock this afternoon on the new $10,000 Pilcher organ at the First Baptist Church. The West Virginians Quartette will sing as a part of the recital.

The remainder of the program is as follows: 4 p. m. - Mr. and Mrs. Karl E. Gooseman, religious selections; 4:15 p. m. - novelty program, Holland Engle, Gene Etz, Premier Four; 4:45 p. m. - Irish melodies; 7:40 p. m. - Methodist Protestant Church services and choir selections; 8:30 p. m. - Gene Etz, piano, and 9 p. m. - Waverly hour.

Arts and Entertainment

West Virginia Archives and History