Lewis Family Sells Virginia Chain Founded in 1939

Their family has owned the company since it was founded in the late 1930s by their parents. Patsy Cline debuted on one of their radio stations.
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Their family has owned the company since it was founded in the late 1930s by their parents. Patsy Cline debuted on one of their radio stations.

Now Mid Atlantic Network in northern Virginia plans to sell its area radio stations to a company based in North Carolina.

The buyer is Centennial Broadcasting II. The stations are WINC(AM/FM) in Winchester; WWRT(FM) in Strasburg; WWRE(FM) in Berryville; and WFVA(AM) and WBQB(FM) in Fredericksburg.

Mid Atlantic Network is owned by the Lewis family in Winchester, principally by brothers John, David and Howard Lewis. According to a company history, it was founded in 1939 by the late Richard and Marion Lewis who built WFVA(AM) in Fredericksburg and two years later, WINC(AM) in Winchester.

“Since then, the company added FM stations in both markets, including WINC(FM) in Winchester. One of the first FM stations to begin broadcasting in the nation, WINC(FM) signed on the air in 1946. The legendary country singer Patsy Cline, a native of Winchester, made her first broadcast appearance on WINC,” the company stated.

President John P. Lewis said the owners had fielded numerous inquiries in the past, mostly from large companies, but “did not feel comfortable selling the stations to a conglomerate.”

Centennial Broadcasting based in Winston-Salem, N.C., is headed by Allen B. Shaw; it now owns four stations in Roanoke-Lynchburg. Shaw is vice chairman of the board at Beasley Broadcast, which is not part of this deal.

Glenn Serafin of Serafin Bros. represented the seller. Terms of the purchase and sale were not disclosed.

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