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Farmville radio station WFLO signs off after 75 years

Francis Wood.jpg
WFLO sign off.jpg
Posted at 12:17 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 18:00:18-05

FARMVILLE, Va. — After 75 years on the air, Farmville's legacy radio — WFLO — is signing off on New Year's Eve for the final time.

The station has become part of hundreds of listeners daily routines.

“It's a tough day for us today, a lot of emotions going on," explained host Francis Wood.

Francis has been the voice of the "Call FLO" radio show for 50 years.

"Grab a cup of coffee, and spend a little time with us," Francis tells listeners during his last broadcast.

But Francis is not just a radio host — he’s also the president and general manager of the station. He said things started to go downhill financially after the 2008 recession, and the pandemic gave him no choice but to sell.

“A lot of the businesses that have come into the area now are franchises," he explained. "They're run by Corporate America, and they don't buy local media for the most part.”

While the station is located in Farmville, it impacted hundreds of people throughout several counties in rural Virginia.

"Happy Birthday to Thomas Coleman and Bobby Motley," Chris Wood reads on the air. "They’re from the Crewe-Burkeville area."

"You think well, these days, you got the internet and you know, schools are contacting students and everything, but there's a lot of people in rural areas that are not connected to the internet. And they depend on radio."

Several listeners called into "Call FLO" Friday morning to say thank you to Francis and his team for their years of service.

"You guys are good folks, y'all are always friends," said one viewer.

While the folks who work at WFLO will no longer walk into the booth or building together anymore, Francis said they'll remain close.

"We're not just a family here at FLO," he noted. "Our family is far reaching, and those listeners are part of our family. That's why it's so hard to let it go."

As Francis and his team say goodbye one last time, they're signing off on the air, but leaving a lasting impact on this community.

"We are your hometown radio station, and we always will be," said Francis. "In your hearts forever. Take care everybody."

WFLO's final broadcast is Friday at 6 p.m.

The station wants to thank the local businesses and listeners that kept them in business this long.