The Dialogue with Anne Williams
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 152nd installment visiting with Anne Williams, Operations and Development Director for WDVX, which is a non-profit community radio station that creates and provides content to promote the cultural heritage of East Tennessee and the Southern Appalachian region by entertaining and educating audiences globally with original programs showcasing live radio performance, under-represented arts, and emerging local talent.
Describe WDVX. WDVX broadcasts 24 hours a day with a bluegrass morning drive, an Americana mix for the rest of the day, and specialty programming at night and on the weekends. WDVX broadcasts at least 8 hours of live music performance each week. The Blue Plate Special is WDVX's signature concert series Monday through Saturday at noon.
How did WDVX begin? WDVX started in a camper in Norris in 1997 playing a mix of bluegrass and Americana music as well as promoting events featuring this music.
What is the background? Founder Tony Lawson had been a commercial DJ for over a decade prior to the creation of the radio station. Don Burggraf helped as engineer while he worked for Channel 10.
Who is your muse? The music and culture of East Tennessee is a major resource as well as our people, mountains, lakes and rivers that inspired the songs and tunes. WDVX continues to look to new venues, festivals, and new artists to sustain us into the future.
Describe your listeners. WDVX listeners and donors believe in the entertainment value of the music and live performance as well as the preservation of the musical culture of East Tennessee. They love live music, go to concerts, eat at restaurant and are active in their community. Most are male and are between 35 - 65.
What impacts your work environment? WDVX was at the forefront of webcasting and maintains a wide international and national audience beyond East Tennessee. Along the way technology has allowed many people to find music other than reading a magazine or listening to the radio. These technical challenges invites us to go beyond thinking only about broadcasting over the air and through the web. We are launching a new streaming player, doing more video production and upgrading our website to engage more visitors and keep their interest.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. Three things that we would have like to know about in 1997 would be satellite radio, internet radio, and capturing more of our live performances in multiple ways.
What do you enjoy about WDVX? Our listeners are so passionate about what we do. WDVX enjoys supporting local and emerging artists. We love seeing folks like Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers grow to be top of the music business.