Vines to be sole owner of WHOC
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 1:00 AM
Forty-year radio veteran Joe Vines will soon be the sole owner of radio station WHOC/ WWSL.
Vines said Monday that he was in the process of buying his partners' share of the radio station, which was founded in 1948 by William Howard Cole.
He hopes that the purchase will be completed by June 15.
A part owner for the past 25 years, Vines is buying the remaining share from Laura Cole Thrash and Leah Cole Jarrell, daughters of the station's founder.
"They [the Cole sisters] looked at the possibility of putting the station on the open market," Vines said. "I've been here all my life and I want to keep it local."
Once he gains full ownership, he doesn't plan to make any format changes. Instead he will focus on cosmetic changes.
"I really want to get the neon sign back working," Vines said. "The average listener will see no changes. We'll continue to do what we've done."
"We'll see how I manage it all by myself," Vines said with a laugh. "It's a lifelong dream and when it's done it'll prove to me that dreams can come true."
He said the community has remained loyal supporters of the radio station over the years.
The people depend on the station, he said.
Vines grew up on a farm before working at the station as one of his first jobs.
He eventually took classes and started working at the station fulltime.
"I've worked in all areas [of the station]," he said. "I've gone from sweeping to owning."
Vines bought his half of the station in 1989.
In August 1948, WHOC was the first station to broadcast from The Neshoba County Fair as lines were run form Philadelphia to the Fairgrounds.
WWSL became a reality in December 1980.
William Howard Cole died in 2011. He was 87.