LOGAN — Long time radio broadcaster Larry “Speedy” Bevins has announced he will be leaving the WVOW radio station.
Bevins’ last day at WVOW will be Nov. 30.
Bevins, who has worked for 43 years at the station, is well-known to people across the coalfields of West Virginia.
During an interview with the Logan Banner, Bevins explained, “I am making a career change.”
Be it news, talk or entertainment, WVOW has beamed Bevins’ trademark tone, timbre and diction into coalfield homes and vehicles for decades, and his voice, which for many has become a regular part of their day, will surely be missed.
Bevins began his career at WVOW as a part-time announcer during his senior year of high school in 1972, and after attending Marshall University, Bevins was employed at the station in a full-time capacity in 1977.
In 1981, Bevins was promoted to station manager and has remained a constant voice of the community since.
Bevins noted his unique position as a long-serving broadcaster in the coalfields has led to him to develop many friendships.
“You know, it’s interesting…if I walk from the bank, the post office or McCormick’s back to the office, practically every car that drives by we wave at each other. It’s really special to know that everybody you see is your friend, and that’s something you just don’t get everywhere. But, you do it get it Logan,” added Bevins.
Bevins explained his constant goal is to make a difference in the lives of the station’s listeners and advertisers, and Bevins added he will continue to embrace that goal in his new line of work with Allstate Insurance in Putnam County.
“It’s going to be the people that I miss. In my new career with Allstate, I’m also hoping to make a difference in the lives of people there by helping them plan for the future, manage the day to day unexpected things in life and help them recover from the tragic,” explained Bevins.
Throughout Bevins’ career, he has covered many events representing the best and the worst moments experienced in the coalfields.
During the interview, Bevins noted two highlights of his career.
As a high school senior, Bevins explained that circumstances led him to be an announcer for Logan High School basketball.
“When I first started here at 17 years old…I was the play-by-play voice for the Logan Wildcat basketball team. When you’re 17 years old and student…that’s huge. When somebody says, ‘name the top five highlights of your career…’ that’s got to be near top,” added Bevins.
The Aracoma Mine disaster in Jan. 2006 was also discussed by Bevins as a memorable moment in his career saying, “When it was all said and done, the world got to see what Logan County was like. I mean that sincerely because of the amount of support, food and people coming up there at Melville wanting to do something to help. The world got to see what we’re like here.”
The interview ended with Bevins professing his outlook on the future of WVOW and media in the coalfields in general by saying, “People are always going to want to know the news. I think the station is in very good hands. The Beckers have owned this radio station for 60 years, and they will continue to own it.”
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]