Danville's WBTM Adds FM Channel

Danville, VA -- WBTM radio in Danville has been around for more than 80 years. But Thursday, they made one of their biggest changes ever. They've always been an AM station. Now, they are a dual AM and FM station.

For many Danvillians, Alex Varadavas' voice should sound pretty familiar. After all, Vardavas has been on the Danville airwaves for decades.
"WBTM has been a big part of my life and will continue to forever," said Vardavas.
Being at WBTM since high school, Vardavas says this switch of adding an FM station is one of their biggest changes to date.
"What you hear on FM you will hear on AM and vice versa, we are just simulcasting the signal," said Vardavas.
WBTM started in 1930.
"It was one of the first radio stations in the country and the very first for the city of Danville," said Vardavas.
Since then they've moved through different buildings, they've drastically improved their technology, and through all of it they've kept up their listeners. At 3 o'clock on the hour, Vardavas got to say 'throw the switch', creating 'Big Hits 102.5'.
"To be honest with you, it kind of chokes me up a little bit to see how I used to be, how BTM used to be. To see how I am today...It's very special. It's very very special," said Vardavas.
With the new channel, WBTM hopes will to create a new group of listeners.
"There are some people out there who never turn on AM radio. So on their FM dial as they are scanning up and down the dial, they are going to find WBTM," said Phil Watlington, Production Manager.
And Vardavas will soon get to say a new name at his old station.
It's important to remember they are keeping the AM station as well. They say the music will be light rock kind of sound.