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WKEY 1340 AM is an American radio station licensed to serve the community of Covington, Virginia The station, which began broadcasting in 1941, is owned and operated by Todd P Robinson, Inc The WKEY broadcast license is held by WVJT, LLC[4]

The station broadcasts a country music format to the Covington/Clifton Forge area WKEY is branded, along with its broadcast translator W278BF 1035 FM, Covington, as "1035 Big Country"[5]


  • 1 History
  • 2 Programming
  • 3 Translator
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Photo of Earl M Key, owner of WKEY from 1942 until 1973

WKEY began broadcasting on May 23, 1941 as WJMA with 250 watts of power[1][6] WJMA was owned by John Arrington Jr and his wife, Marcia[1] On May 26, 1942, WJMA was sold to Earl M Key and the callsign changed to WKEY in 1943[2][6][7]

By 1964, the station's power had increased to 1,000 watts during the day, while the nighttime power remained at 250 watts[8] On June 1, 1973, WKEY was sold to WKEY, Inc, headed by EH Barr, for an undisclosed amount[9] WKEY increased its nighttime power in 1987 to 1,000 watts, matching its daytime power[10]

On December 20, 2002, WKEY was acquired by Quorum Radio Partners of Virginia, Inc for $650,000[11][12] During 2002, WKEY switched from its longtime country format to oldies[11] On April 20, 2005, Quorum Radio Partners of Virginia, Inc filed for bankruptcy and WKEY placed into debtor-in-possession status pending a sale[13] On January 1, 2006, WKEY was sold to Todd P Robinson, Inc, for $100,000[14][15]

On May 1, 2008, the station changed its format from oldies to Southern Gospel, under "The Cross" branding[16] On January 14, 2012, WKEY began simulcasting sister station WIQO-FM, after its move to Forest, Virginia, and away from Covington[17] On August 9, 2012, WKEY began simulcasting full-time on translator station W278BF 1035 FM, located in Covington, with the country format that was previously heard on WIQO[18]

On November 18, 2013, WKEY began streaming its signal live on the internet[19]


Offices in Covington

WKEY carries a mix of local and syndicated programming Weekdays begin with a locally produced morning show called "Highway 64 with Big Al"[20] The station also has a news department which prepares and broadcasts local news reports on weekdays[20] The bulk of the broadcast day's programming comes from Dial Global's Mainstream Country network[20] Nationally syndicated programs aired on WKEY include the "Tim White Bluegrass Show" and "zMAX Racing Country"[21] The station carries a one-minute newscast from Fox News Radio at the top of each hour[22]

WKEY broadcasts live football games from Covington High School in the Fall[20] WKEY is an affiliate of the University of Virginia's Virginia Sports Network, which carries the school's football and basketball games[23] NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races can also be heard on WKEY with live coverage provided by the Motor Racing Network and the Performance Racing Network[24][25]

On Sunday mornings, WKEY airs an assortment of religious programming[20] Beginning with a half-hour, locally produced Gospel music program, the station then airs the syndicated In Touch Ministries and Focus on the Family programs, rounding out the block with a live local church service broadcast[20]


In addition to the main station, WKEY is relayed by an FM translator to widen its broadcast area[26][27]

Call sign Frequency
City of license Facility
m ft
Class FCC info
W278BF 1035 FM Covington, Virginia 139546 16 watts 3106 m 1,019 ft D FCC


  1. ^ a b c d Broadcasting Yearbook - 1942 PDF Broadcasting Publications, Inc 1942 p 186 Retrieved December 10, 2012mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-right
  2. ^ a b Broadcasting Yearbook - 1944 PDF Broadcasting Publications, Inc 1944 p 166 Retrieved December 10, 2012
  3. ^ "Call Sign History" CDBS Public Access Database FCC Media Bureau Retrieved May 13, 2013
  4. ^ "WKEY Facility Record" CDBS Public Access Database FCC Media Bureau Retrieved May 13, 2013
  5. ^ "Station Information Profile" Arbitron/Nielsen Holdings Retrieved November 20, 2013
  6. ^ a b Broadcasting Yearbook - 1960 PDF Broadcasting Publications, Inc 1960 pp A-242 Retrieved December 10, 2012
  7. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook - 1943 PDF Broadcasting Publications, Inc 1943 p 150 Retrieved December 10, 2012
  8. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook - 1964 PDF Broadcasting Publications, Inc 1964 pp B-163 Retrieved December 10, 2012
  9. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook - 1974 PDF Broadcasting Publications, Inc 1974 pp B-218 Retrieved December 10, 2012
  10. ^ Broadcasting & Cablecasting Yearbook - 1987 PDF Broadcasting Publications, Inc 1987 pp B-296 Retrieved December 10, 2012
  11. ^ a b Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook - 2003-2004 PDF Reed Publishing Nederland BV 2003 pp D-494 Retrieved December 10, 2012
  12. ^ Volume 19, Issue 86, Your Morning Radio Industry E-Paper Radio Business Report November 5, 2002 Retrieved May 6, 2012
  13. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook - 2006 PDF Reed Publishing Nederland BV 2006 pp D-518 Retrieved December 10, 2012
  14. ^ "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License" Federal Communications Commission November 18, 2005 Retrieved December 10, 2012
  15. ^ "Escrow Agreement" Federal Communications Commission November 4, 2005 Retrieved December 10, 2012
  16. ^ "M-Street Directory 2009/2010 - 18th Edition" PDF M Street Corporation 2009 p 644 Retrieved April 17, 2013
  17. ^ "Big Country 101" Todd P Robinson, Inc Archived from the original on 2012-01-16 Retrieved May 6, 2013
  18. ^ "We are set to" Todd P Robinson, Inc/Facebook August 9, 2012 Retrieved May 6, 2013
  19. ^ "BIG COUNTRY is now WORLDWIDE!" Todd P Robinson, Inc/Facebook November 18, 2013 Retrieved November 22, 2013
  20. ^ a b c d e f "Big Country 1035 - Highlands Media Group" Todd P Robinson, Inc Retrieved April 27, 2016
  21. ^ "Affiliates - zMAX Racing Country" Speedway Motorsports, Inc Retrieved May 11, 2013
  22. ^ "Station Finder - Virginia" Fox News Channel/Premiere Networks Retrieved November 20, 2013
  23. ^ "Virginia Sports Radio Network Affiliates" University of Virginia/CBS Interactive Retrieved May 11, 2013
  24. ^ "Radio Stations - Virginia" MRN Retrieved November 18, 2013
  25. ^ "Sprint Cup Series Affiliates" Speedway Motorsports, Inc Retrieved May 11, 2013
  26. ^ "W278BF Facility Record" CDBS Public Access Database FCC Media Bureau Retrieved May 11, 2013
  27. ^ "Application for Authority to Construct or Make Changes in an FM Translator or FM Booster Station" FCC Media Bureau January 3, 2012 Retrieved May 11, 2013

External links

  • 1035 Big Country Online
  • Query the FCC's AM station database for WKEY
  • Radio-Locator Information on WKEY
  • Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WKEY

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