The WDVX board made it official this week announcing station founder and visionary Tony Lawson will once again take the reins at WDVX as the station’s general manager. Having served as either program director or general manager for nearly 20 years, Lawson left to launch WBCM Radio Bristol for the Birthplace of Country Music, establishing the station’s branding, fund development efforts and programming direction. He returned to WDVX in a consulting role in 2015 and was named interim general manager earlier this year. After a formal search and interview process, the board concluded Lawson was the right person for the job.
Since rejoining the station, Lawson wasted no time furthering the station’s mission of promoting the cultural heritage of East Tennessee and the Southern Appalachian region with original programming and live performances. In addition to producing and hosting the station’s 20 Year Anniversary Celebration at the Bijou Theater on November 17, 2017, Lawson established two new programming ventures including the Smoky Mountain Jamboree Series at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville and The Secret City Radio Show at the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) in Oak Ridge.
“Tony’s passion for the station, its mission, and the family of employees and listeners is undeniable. With that comes a keen vision for its future,” said Scott Carpenter, WDVX Board President. “We look forward to what he has in store and continuing the momentum he started in a consulting and interim role.”
Lawson is no stranger to the radio business and his history with WDVX goes back to its inception when he and radio engineer Don Burggraf co-founded the station in 1991, making its official debut from the back deck of an A-frame house located in Peach Orchard before moving to a 14-foot camper in Clinton, Tennessee. The station has gained national and international acclaim – including features by Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ABC World News Tonight, the BBC and PBS – for its Americana focus before that was a distinct or understood genre and has since relocated to its home in the Knoxville’s Visitor Center on Gay Street in the heart of downtown Knoxville.
“East Tennessee’s own WDVX continues to provide a valuable service to our region and the world. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with an incredibly loyal and dedicated staff, building on 21 years of goodness,” said Lawson. “We will continue to create more regionally-based community programming that showcases and promotes our culture, and we will work hard to enhance and celebrate our quality of place through music and events.”
WDVX is a listener-supported radio station popular throughout the world for its American roots mix of music that includes Bluegrass, Blues, Folk, Swing, Celtic, Alt-Country, Classic Country, Classic Rock, and more. The station is a service of non-profit organization Cumberland Communities Communications Corporation. Its broadcast on 89.9 FM reaches eleven counties in East Tennessee and Southeast Kentucky, on 102.9 in downtown Knoxville, and 93.9 in the Seymour and Kodak areas and its webcast is heard online around the world at wdvx.com. More information on the station can be found at wdvx.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.