WCHA Celebrates 75 Years On Air

Release Date: July 20, 2021
Contact: Jo Klein
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Alpha Media-Chambersburg, PA is proud to announce an incredible milestone, the 75th anniversary of WCHA!!

On August 11, 1946, WCHA signed on the air for the first time, after having been delayed several years by World War II. Since its inception, WCHA has held the same call letters, the same frequency (800 AM), the same studio location (4th floor of the Professional Arts Building in Chambersburg, PA) and the same transmitter site (Paper Mill Road in Hamilton Township). This is a distinction practically unheard of in radio!

Founded by John S. “Sam” Booth, WCHA-AM was the first radio station in Franklin County. WCHA-FM followed in 1948 as the first FM station, which eventually became WIKZ. In 1953, the county’s first TV station, WCHA-TV, arrived in the living room of its residents. Booth’s legacy was carried on by his Children, John S. Booth III and Margaret Booth-Ehle, staying with their family for nearly 54 years.

In 1966, WCHA was granted temporary authority to remain on the air after sundown in order to provide local news coverage in the nationally reported news story of the Peggy Ann Bradnick “mountain man” kidnapping. This goes to show not only the impact of the story being told, but also the determination of the station to keep its listeners informed.

Throughout its tenure, WCHA has been home to long-time local personalities who have been a big part of the Franklin County community. These include Earl Strine, whose Franklin County Fair broadcasts are legendary, Scott Douglas, Lisa Kline, and many others. WCHA also provided weather forecasts from local meteorologist Bob Sellers for many years.

Sports coverage has also played a big part in the history of WCHA, including at one time or another, play-by-play for the Phillies, Orioles, Pirates and Penn State Football, as well as local high school football. In fact, WCHA’s full season coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers continues to this day.

The faith-based community of Chambersburg and Franklin County has also been served by WCHA over the years, with their local church services being broadcast over the airwaves.

In 2010, WCHA became an affiliate of Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel, a format that plays many of the songs WCHA played as current hits back in the day. The year also included the beginning of a simulcast of WCHA on 1410, WHAG, in Hagerstown. In 2011, WCHA signed on a translator at 96.3, providing FM coverage of WCHA for Chambersburg and northern Franklin County.

In 2014. WCHA became a part of the Alpha Media family.

Seven and a half decades running, WCHA remains a favorite of listeners who enjoy what is now known as the True Oldies Channel.

Happy Anniversary, WCHA! Here is to many more!

Alpha Media is a diverse, multimedia company that owns or operates over 200 live broadcast radio stations serving 44 markets across the United States. In addition to our over-the-air broadcasts, Alpha audio products can be heard across multiple platforms, including all major smart devices. Strong relationships with our listeners and clients in the communities where we live and work keep Alpha Media true to its local-first heritage.