WVBG sending out signals from new spot

Published 12:01 am Sunday, April 17, 2011

Two local radio stations are enjoying new digs in the heart of downtown Vicksburg after several years of broadcasting from the basement of a home on Newit Vick Drive.

Mark Jones, owner of WVBG 105.5 FM and WVBG 1490 AM, has moved the bulk of his operations from off Oak Ridge Road, in Warren County, to the ground floor of the Vicksburg Hotel on Clay Street.

“We wanted to get the station into town for more visibility,” Jones said. “I wanted to make it so we could do all of our shows in town because it is more convenient, and I am always in town anyway.”

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Jones still has a studio in his basement so he can go on the air from home if the need arises.

A career radio man, Jones got his first taste of the business in 1972 disc jockeying at his high school in Amory. Since, he has owned and run stations all over the South, including a 14-year stint in Alexandria, La. Before that, he was in Missouri, Texas, and Florida.

In 2005, Jones and his wife, Lina, bought WVBG 105.5 at an auction. The FM station broadcasts classic rock from the 1960s to the early 1980s.

In 2007, he purchased WVBG 1490, the only talk radio station in Vicksburg. The AM channel runs certain syndicated shows, such as ones hosted by Rush Limbaugh, but keeps a focus on local happenings, with weekly call-in shows featuring civic leaders.

In the age of satellite radio and the Internet, the role of traditional radio in the future has often been questioned. Jones said he’s not worried.

“With these stations, I have gotten more of an advertising response than any other station I have owned,” he said. “People in Vicksburg like to listen to their local stations, and that helps a lot.”