CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia University and IMG College on Thursday unveiled the key Morgantown-based sports radio affiliate — and it wasn't a station owned by John Raese's West Virginia Radio Corp.
Fantasia Broadcasting's WZST-FM, located at 100.9 on the FM dial, will be Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG's primary-market affiliate station, taking over a coveted spot once held by WVAQ-FM and WAJR-AM Morgantown stations.
It joins more than 20 stations already signed on to the WVU radio network.
Joe Potter, senior vice president for broadcasting at IMG, welcomed the station to the new Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG, which he said was "the only place for fans to hear live WVU sporting events."
"Fantasia Broadcasting has been a part of Mountaineer broadcasts since the early 1950s, and we look forward to their continued loyal support as our flagship station in Morgantown," Potter said.
While the station will not handle the production of WVU sports broadcasts, it will serve as the hometown anchor station for those events.
Naming WZST as the hometown station represents a coup of sorts in the local radio market. The station's broadcast territory is significantly smaller than that of WVAQ or WAJR, both of which were leaders in local market ratings.
WVAQ's broadcast range stretches from Washington, Pa., to Buckhannon, according to the Federal Communications Commission, while WZST's range extends from about 10 miles north of the Pennsylvania border to about five miles south of Fairmont.
Listeners traveling south from Morgantown would also have the option of switching to Fantasia-owned WRLF-FM and WTCS-AM south of Fairmont.
"With the addition of WZST-FM, the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG now has added affiliates in Monongalia, Marion and Preston counties, and our North-Central West Virginia station lineup is strong," Potter said.
Nick Fantasia, president of Fantasia Broadcasting, said his company appreciated the opportunity WVU and IMG has given it and said he looks forward to the coming season.
"Our company has had a long history broadcasting WVU sports, and having WZST chosen as the Morgantown flagship affiliate is an unexpected thrill for us," Fantasia said.
In addition to the FM station, WVU sports will also be carried on Fantasia's WMMN-AM station in Morgantown.