Local news natural for Metcalf 

Published 12:41 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

For broadcaster James Metcalf, the news comes naturally. 

Metcalf’s current post as newscaster and general manager of the local station seems a good fit for the former Greenville DJ who has deep roots in the county. His office and the transmitting tower located in a bucolic valley at the foot of Tryon Peak are almost within sight of the Saluda tract first settled in the 1760s, and still occupied by Metcalfs.   

The station, founded by two women in 1954, first had its headquarters in Mill Spring. Having access to local news and weather back the was a big deal, according to Metcalf, who said parts of the population had only just gotten electricity in their houses.  

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Before that, Metcalf said, the only entertainment for many came from a battery-operated Philco, tuned with any luck to stations powerful enough to transmit Friday and Saturday night bluegrass down the mountain..  

WJFJ’s programming has changed through the years from easy listening with local news feeds including live coverage of prep team sports to its current format of all day gospel provided by out-of-state owners of a 25-station conglomerateThe call letters have changed through the years  also, in accordance to federal broadcast rules that require a change of name with each change of ownership.  

The one thing that hasn’t changed is continuing coverage of local news and events, which Metcalf provides four times daily. 

Metcalf will present the history of Polk County’s only radio station, WJFJ 1160 AM, at the Tryon Historical Museum March 20 at 5:30 p.m. The upcoming lecture is free and open to the public, as are all events at the museum, located at 26 Maple Street, Tryon. 

– Submitted by Jackie Burke