TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD — Visiting the village of Homer can feel like a step back in time. Steps away from the village green is something you don’t find much in small town America: a stand-alone locally owned and operated radio station.
WXHC is celebrating 30 years on the air.
“I like to use the term Hyperlocal Full Service Station. Not only do we have, of course, the classic hits music, but we cover the local news as well. We do our own original news reporting,” said Mike.
“We go to the council meetings. We go to the legislative meetings. We cover high school football. We give you something you can’t get anywhere else,” said John Eves,
John Eves made a name for himself in Syracuse TV, covering sports with a very young Mike Tirico. Since he was a kid growing up in Cortland, Eves has loved the connection local radio can make with the community.
“People want to support the local guy. Hey, I’m not gonna, we’re not gonna get real rich here but you can have a nice way of life. And you’re your own boss,” John Eves said.
When they got started back in 1991, they really were a mom-and-pop organization. Mom Patti did the books. Dad John did the morning show and just about everything else. And his brother Bruce headed up sales.
“It was funny as a kid, everybody knew my dad in town. Mention you’re an Eves, ‘Oh, are you John Eves’ boy?’ I was like ‘Yeah, of course.’” Mike said.
Today, John Eves is proud that his sons have both chosen to work with him at the station. Mike works in operations, and Jack in sales.
They join others who’ve benefited from their Dad’s mentoring, like his first hire, ESPN’s Beth Mowins and one of her first play-by-play partners, NewsChannel 9’s own Jeff Kulikowsky.
John Eves says he’s had chances to sell the station. However, they’ve weathered the pandemic, they’re debt-free, and he and his family are looking forward to the future.
“We know people have other ways to get their news but if we stay truly local and, you know, they can trust us and it’s been pretty good for us,” Mike said.