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Leonard Wheeler.jpg

History of
Mel Wheeler, Inc

Mel Wheeler Inc./Wheeler Media, began in Roanoke with an
AM and FM station in the late 70’s by Mel Wheeler, who formed
a Company with his sons who came with their own past
media experience in addition to Mel’s extensive media background. 


Our stations have won numerous broadcasting awards from
Associated Press, Virginia Association of Broadcasters, and
local publications.  Wheeler stations consistently rank at the top of
Nielsen ratings, in many demographics having the top
3 or 4 positions in the market. In 2016, Wheeler Media expanded
into digital marketing with our own locally based digital team,
offering a wide variety of digital products ranging from online behavioral marketing to fully produced digital video campaigns.


Wheeler remains a private, local business owned by Leonard Wheeler and his two brothers, Steve and Clark. The Company is led by Leonard Wheeler, who has been President for over 25 years.

Leonard began his career in radio sales in 1976 in San Diego.  He later joined in
with other family members on building Mel Wheeler Inc.  He has served in several
roles with the Company including Managing Radio in Oklahoma City, a
CBS affiliate in Missouri and as Vice President of WSIL TV, the Company’s
ABC affiliate in Southern Illinois.  Leonard moved to Roanoke, Virginia in 1992
to serve as manager of WSLQ-FM and WSLC-AM.

Since 1996, Wheeler has led the company through the successful acquisition
and development of seven FM stations in the Roanoke / Lynchburg /
New River Valley markets, an additional AM signal, and two stations operating
via HD-2/Translators, while also developing the company's digital advertising arm, Wheeler Digital.

Leonard has been a frequent traveler to Ukraine, During 2010 thru 2021 Wheeler stations have participated in broadcast exchange partnerships with five Ukrainian broadcasters/media companies and one in the Republic of Georgia.


In addition to his service on many local non-profit boards, Wheeler has served on the board of directors and as President of the Virginia Association of Broadcasters and currently serves on the board of directors of the
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).


Leonard Wheeler


“Radio has the ability to build emotional connections
with our audiences and community like no other
medium,” Wheeler told the Free Radio Alliance. And, he believes, t
ability gives radio a unique responsibility. “Our role
is to entertain,
inform and support the communities and listeners we serve.”


Among Wheeler’s stations is a news station that employs four 
full-time and four part-time news staffers and produce over
30 hours a week of local news programming. They also air four
live morning shows and feature predominantly live staff all day.
All this represents an extraordinary investment considering many
stations syndicate their news and entertainment content.

Leonard Wheeler’s stations instead employ local people and
create uniquely local content.


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