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Small-town Virginia radio station acts as backbone for community

Small town radio station acts as backbone for community
Posted at 1:01 PM, Oct 07, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. — Long before the internet's existence, people needed a way to buy, sell, and trade goods.

They looked no further than the local radio station who took phone calls from listeners. And while times have changed, one small radio station keeps the tradition alive and does much more for the local community.

At 10 a.m. on Monday through Friday on 95.3 FM, neighbors in the local community call in.

"The Trading Post is just one of those things that, its tested format, people love to call up and buy, sell or trade and just chat about their neighbors and have fun," Jack Daniels, one of the hosts, said.

Jack said they squeeze in around 30 calls a day.

"Talking to people in this community that call into the show is also such a blessing because people are looking for things, they're trying to sell things, they just want to say hi, and it's just a really good service," "Miss Sarah" Keaton, the other host, said.

Finding a locally-owned radio station is somewhat difficult to do nowadays. However, the Bobcat's 500-foot antenna has a long reach in this part of the state.

"We get into about 24 counties," Dennis Royer Sr., the station owner, said.

The station is firmly planted in their local community.

"We have had people advertise with us for 30 years," Royer Sr. said.

Charles Dalby does the voiceover for his hometown sales and leasing that air regularly on the station.

"It's good to have that voice out here, and it really makes a big difference, I think," Dalby said.

The radio station has given free airtime to Blackstone Mayor Billy Coleburn during storms and other emergencies. Most recently, he took to airwaves to address the Afghan evacuee status at Fort Pickett.

"It was really important to address rumors as they were happening because if you don't, they grow, they spread more rapidly, and sometimes, facts don't put out rumors. But you at least know you've done all you can do, and so has the radio station," Coleburn said.

The station also sponsors Friday Night Football. "Miss Sarah," said everyone in the area is excited to tune in to hear their local teams take to the fields.

Other local sports are also featured on the station.

"We do Dixie Youth Sports in the summertime. And, I mean, we carry tournaments, seven or eight games, people love it," Royer Sr. said.

The radio station comes down to being a good neighbor by serving community members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"With our listeners and our sponsors, I mean, it's been a great 30 years. It has," Royer Sr. said.

"We want to be here to make people feel better or at least informed and a little entertained and a little happier at the end of the day," Daniels said.

Bobcat Country is there when the community needs them and is always willing to help out when they can.

Wayne Covil at WTVR originally reported this story.