This year commemorates the 70th anniversary of when Beaver County’s first radio station, WBVP, was heard over the airwaves for the the first time on May 25, 1948. To mark the historical event, each week, another “70th Anniversary Moment” will be showcased on the airwaves and published on the station’s online feeds.
Perhaps the most famous caller to be on the other end of the phone when a WBVP announcer would “go to the phone lines” during an talk show was none other than President Ronald Reagan. Dave Felts was the host of “Teleforum” in the early eighties and happened to be at the right place at the right time when The Chief Executive decided to dial in. Local Beaver County historical writer, Kenneth Britten, wrote about the famous call to WBVP in a 1990 article entitled “Local Radio”:
“A historic moment in WBVP history occurred when David Felts was hosting the morning talk show. It was on the morning of Tuesday, April 22, 1981, as Felts was interviewing Democratic Congressman Eugene Atkinson on the air when the station received a call from the White House and Ronald Reagan, President of the United States. The assassination attempt by John Hinkly had (just) occurred two weeks and one day before and the President was calling from the hospital to speak with the Congressman (publicly) about needing his vote concerning economic development. For the President to call a talk show of a relatively small radio station was front page news. Dave and Congressman Atkinson were interviewed by members of the media from as far away as London, England.
The Staff and station received a Spot News Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters for that year along with others. WBVP had really cracked into the big time and became visible to Western PA as well as the World!”
“70th Anniversary Moments” is presented by Freedom United Federal Credit Union.