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Staff

Andrew 2011 VAB Awards

Andrew Shearer

Founder/President of Royal Broadcasting

Andrew Shearer is a Pennsylvania native who began his radio career in 1983 at his college radio station at Lock Haven University.  Broadcasting was his 4th college major (computer science, math, chemistry came before) but it was the one that ignited his passion and allowed him to serve his community, a hallmark of Shearer’s entire 40+ years in radio.

His first commercial (paid!) radio job was at WBPZ in Lock Haven, PA starting in the spring of 1984.  Shearer spent time in State College, PA, Harrisburg, PA, and Philadelphia before stepping out on his own to form Royal Broadcasting in April 2000, with the intent of purchasing WZRV (The River 95.3) & WFTR (Fox Sports 1450).  It’s at these stations where his desire to be a part of a community has thrived.

Andrew enjoys working with a committed staff of professionals who take things as seriously as he does when it comes to serving the market, but still enjoy the sillier side of life.  An avid runner, Andrew pairs his running shoes with a suit for every meeting. 

His favorite social media?  Why, face-to-face, of course! 

Mike O'Dell

Mike O’Dell

vice president of royal Broadcasting

Mike has spent more than 40 years in the radio business. He started as a part-time DJ in his hometown of Beckley, West Virginia to earn a few extra dollars while going to college. His father is in the West Virginia Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame and it’s him that Mike credits for his getting into the business; though he says he tried to talk him out of it.

Mike served as the General Manager for Royal Broadcasting moving on a few years ago to a new career with Edward Jones. He also serves as emcee for the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival Sports Breakfast.

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Kathy Willis

Business Manager

In 1988 Kathy was looking for a career change when a friend told her WFTR was hiring. She interviewed with Kemp Miller and the rest is history.

It’s usually Kathy’s voice you hear when you call the station. She answers your question, finds your phone numbers and takes your information for public service announcements. Her voice might be as well-known as those of our on-air personalities! She loves her job and her family of co-workers at Royal Broadcasting.

Married to her husband Lloyd, Kathy has 3 grown daughters and some beautiful grandbabies.

randy woodward

Randy Woodward

Account Executive & Host of The Wake-Up Crew Morning Show

From the time Randy was 10 years old, re-creating Washington Senators’ games into a small tape recorder and listening to the late-night legends on AM radio, he knew he wanted to be in front of a microphone. 54 years later, Randy is still in front of a microphone, as host of “Randy & The Wake-Up Crew” on The River 95.3.

That journey has included stops in his hometown of Martinsburg (WV), Williamsport (MD), and for the last 40 years, the Winchester (VA) market. After 16 years as a Country DJ and Program Director, Randy found his radio home at WZRV & WFTR, playing “The Valley’s Greatest Hits.”

Randy is also an award-winning sports broadcaster, having called 5 VHSL State Football Championship games, and over 200 local college football games. For his play-by-play work, Randy has been honored by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters and Associated Press on multiple occasions.

Away from the studio, Randy has rediscovered his passion for running, and in 2023 ran his first half-marathon, followed by his second one a few months later. He’s still trying to master the game of golf, and enjoys the “mountain life” with his bride of almost 33 years, and his dogs Lilly and Biscuit. Although an “empty-nester,” Randy still loves going to movies, concerts, and the DC Auto Show with his son Christopher.

scott bradley

Scott Bradley

News Director

Since 1974 Scott Bradley has worked in radio, even though he did not intend to. He just didn’t want to get busted for trespassing way back in ’74. Through those years, Scott has worked from one end of the Shenandoah Valley to the other and beyond, including Washington DC. Spending time in radio in Virginia and West Virginia from Frederick, Berkeley, Prince William, Prince George, Shenandoah, Warren, and Page Counties.

Through the years, Scott has made a lot of friends and has gotten involved in dozens of non-profit organizations, from C-CAPs to Habitats to festivals. And as Scott tells it, he has never felt more involved with the communities than he has been as News Director of the River 95.3 and Fox Sports 1450. He has made very good friends with and worked with so many movers and shakers, bringing them on the air to tell their stories on the station’s weekday newsmaker segments. “It has been very rewarding to finally connect with and truly serve the communities in such a way after 50 years”, according to Scott. 

Genesis Walker

Genesis Henry

Administrative Assistant & host of the midday boost

Don’t let that afternoon slump get to you! Join me Genesis Henry for your Mid-Day Boost.

At 1 o’clock you’ll hear every #1 hit from every artist, through every decade on your #1@1.

Followed by only the best music from the 70’s and 80’s on through the 90’s and early 2000’s to keep you boosted for the rest of your afternoon!  

Air instruments are not only welcomed, but encouraged.

So come join me for your Mid-Day Boost every week day between 12 something and 2!

If a boost is needed outside of normal business hours, click here.

Janet at Handley Regional

Janet Michael

Host of The Valley Today

After appearing for several years as a recurring guest on The Valley Today, Janet took over as it’s host in May 2016. In November 2023, she celebrated her 2000th consecutive episode and is working her way to 2,633.

Janet’s favorite thing about hosting the show is learning something new every single day from her guests. Her enthusiasm and curiosity make her a natural interviewer that immediately puts guests at ease making for an interesting and entertaining conversation.

Janet is married to Tim with one son Josh, a stepson Dylan, and two “pandemic puppies.”

Janet is also the owner of Java Media, a social media and marketing firm, with 25 years of experience developing successful marketing & advertising campaigns. Java Media provides social media training and workshops for small business owners as well as social media management, oversight & evaluation as well as podcast production.

lonnie hill

Lonnie Hill

Operations Manager & Host of the Afternoon Traffic Jam

Jersey Shore Area High School in Jersey Shore, PA.  It’s mid-May 1979 as Lonnie and a classmate walk across the gym floor discussing their plans after graduation.  The classmate tells Lonnie that he was going to a local college to learn how to be a DJ.  Lonnie, not having a clue what he was going to do after graduation, said “that sounds like it might be fun” and joined his friend that August.  The classmate dropped out after the first year and joined the National Guard where he became a helicopter pilot, but Lonnie stuck it out and became a pilot of the airwaves.  

There have been several four-letter jobs since that August including WWAS, WJSA, WRAK, WKSB, WFTR, WZRV, WMJR, WUSQ, and back at WZRV where he’s been since 2004.

In addition to his work with Royal Broadcasting, Lonnie has done voice work for numerous radio stations across the country, the Department of State and narrations for various companies including ShopVac.

Technology has made some positive and negative changes in the radio business.  On a positive note, it’s a lot easier to do a live on-air shift.  On the negative side, that same technology has eliminated many local on-air positions.  Lonnie is happy that the ownership of Royal Broadcasting understands and is committed to “local” radio and continues to have live, local voices on the air.  

Lonnie is married to Carrie, and they have three boys and a daughter. (in-law)  Levi is the youngest, Evan is the middle child and Mason, the oldest, is married to Sky.  Lonnie and Carrie host the History With The Hills podcast.

When he’s not at the radio station Lonnie enjoys using the wood from old pallets to make new creations. Although not active currently, Lonnie is a licensed pilot.  He also dabbles in music, playing guitar and bass.  Carrie and Lonnie are members of New Hope Bible Church in Front Royal.  Visit on Sunday mornings at 9:30 and you may catch Lonnie on stage playing with the worship band.

You can check out his YouTube playlist full of songs that he listens to when he’s not “on the clock.”

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Kemp Miller

Weather Prognosticator

Kemp grew up on the Elizabeth River between Portsmouth and Norfolk. Boating was always a summer “thing” along with lots and lots of trips to Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. Boating made him aware of changes in the weather and along with his grandmother’s weather lore, he became more and more interested in the science behind it.

It wasn’t until he became General Manager of Straus Communications in Virginia that he signed up for the Broadcast Meteorology program at MSU that he jumped in feet first. About the time he was completing his coursework, WFTR-AM/FM’s meteorologist Gordon Barnes (of Channel 9 fame) announced he was leaving the area. So in December of 1988, Kemp became our weather forecaster. “It keeps me connected to the stations and I can’t sleep anyway”, Kemp says.

Almost two years ago, Kemp began the Weatherwise podcast which is available at TheRiver953.com. “Our quickly changing climate is a concern to me”, Kemp says, “and the podcast has given me the chance to keep up with the changes in technology and the possible impacts on our lives”.

Kemp and Sally live near Bryce Resort in southern Shenandoah County with their 7 dogs and several adopted raccoons and bears. They are the proud parents of three grown children and grandparents to eight grandchildren.

ryan rutherford

Ryan Rutherford

Sportscaster / news assistant

Ryan began his broadcasting career at his alma mater, James Madison University, where he provided play-by-play and color commentary for Division-I baseball and men’s and women’s basketball. He got his first taste of radio on ESPN-WHBG where he provided reports on CAA athletics. He helped hone his on-air skills while podcasting and through additional opportunities with the Valley Baseball League’s Front Royal Cardinals and Winchester Royals.

Ryan’s passion for local athletics enters the airwaves on The River 95.3 and Fox Sports Radio 1450 with broadcasts of high school football, basketball, and Little League baseball. You can also hear him on the Sports Dogs Podcast, News At Noon, Education Watch, and every Thursday morning at 8:20 with Randy and the Wake-Up Crew for Stump the Duke.

Off-air, he uses his creativity and community-centric background to help local organizations and businesses utilize radio to reach their goals.

When he’s not in the booth, you can find him in the lawn at your favorite concert venue or watching too many sports in his man cave!

Kemp Miller

Weather Prognosticator

Kemp got his first job in radio when he was in high school in 1964. He worked weekends and summers through high school and college and went to work for WGH in Newport News/Norfolk a week after graduating from UVA in 1970 and “has been at it ever since.” He joined WFTR-AM/FM as General Manager in 1982 when Strauss Communications purchased the station and stayed with us through the purchase in 2000 by current owner, Andrew Shearer/Royal Broadcasting, leaving his daily duties in 2002.

Kemp began his “weather career” after completing 34 hours of courses at MSU in meteorology. He became our weatherman in 1988. His favorite thing about his work with us is that it keeps him involved with the station(s) and with weather science. When he’s not pouring over weather maps & radar, Kemp enjoys skiing, photography and doing voice work from his home studio and of course, hanging out with his wife Sally and their three children.

If you could give yourself any title (made up or real) at work – what would it be?
Professional Straight Man To The Guy On The Air

What are your favorite sports teams?
UVA Cavaliers and whoever is playing VA Tech in any sport

What is your social media network of choice?
Facebook and LinkedIn and an occasional tweet

Janet Michael

Host of The Valley Today

After appearing for several years as a recurring guest on The Valley Today, Janet took over as it’s host in May 2016. As a self-proclaimed life-long student, Janet’s favorite thing about hosting the show is learning something new every single day from her guests. Her enthusiasm and curiosity make her a natural interviewer that immediately puts guests at ease making for an interesting and entertaining conversation. Janet is married to Tim with one son, Josh that you will frequently hear her mention on the show.

Janet is also the owner of Java Media, a social media and marketing firm, with over 20 years’ experience developing successful marketing & advertising campaigns. Java Media provides social media training and workshops for small business owners as well as social media management, oversight & evaluation services.

If you could give yourself any title (made up or real) at work – what would it be?
A former colleague called me the “Daytime Diva” and I have to say, it’s pretty close to the truth.

What are your favorite sports teams?
Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals

What is your social media network of choice?
I’m active on most of them because of my job, but my personal favorite is Twitter.

Randy Woodward

Account Executive & Host of The Wake-Up Crew Morning Show

For as long as he can remember, Randy has wanted to be on the radio. He managed his college radio station (WQAB in Philippi, WV) and has been on-air since 1978 – coming to The River in February, 2000. He shared this funny story: “one of my first radio jobs was working overnights, while I was taking a full load of classes at college during the day. I would put on the longest records I could find so I could “rest my eyes.” One night, during Marty Robbins’ “El Paso”, I fell asleep and woke up hours later with nothing on the air.  I kept my job, but management was none too happy!”

These days his least favorite thing about his job also involves his sleep schedule – he has to get up most mornings by 3:15am, but he loves being the “class clown” on the air and says it’s all worth it. When Randy isn’t on the air or working with clients to increase their business using radio, he enjoys running, playing golf and spending time with his wife and son “on the mountain.”

If you could give yourself any title (made up or real) at work – what would it be?
Man of Many Hats

What are your favorite sports teams?
Skins, Nats, Caps, and the WV Mountaineers

Lonnie Hill

Operations Manager & Host of the Afternoon Traffic Jam

Lonnie began his radio career in August 1979.  During a discussion with a high school classmate about their plans after graduation, his friend said he was going to college to learn how to be a DJ. Lonnie thought that might be fun and joined him. The classmate dropped out after the first year and joined the National Guard where he became a helicopter pilot but Lonnie stuck it out and became a pilot of the airwaves. He joined the team in 1984 & while he’s taken a few breaks since then, he’s been on board since 2004.

Husband to Carrie and father of 3 boys: Mason, Evan and Levi; Lonnie enjoys being on the air, working in the production room on creative ads & meeting and talking to our listeners. Though he admits being on the air is sometimes difficult, especially during times of tragedy. “It’s hard to not let your emotions come out when you’re reporting on something where people have lost their lives or loved ones.  It’s not easy keeping it together on the air and honestly, there are times when I can’t and just have to turn the mic off, say a prayer and regroup.”

If you could give yourself any title (made up or real) at work – what would it be?
“Go To Guy” or “Mr. Fix-IT” or “Agent Audio from MP3”

What are your favorite sports teams?
Front Royal Christian School Warriors – because that’s the team my kids play on.  I do like to watch the Little League World Series every year because it’s played near my home town in PA.

What is your social media network of choice?
The Facebook (But you can also follow him on Twitter: @lonnieLhill )

Kathy Willis

Business Manager

In 1988 Kathy was looking for a career change when a friend told her WFTR was hiring. She interviewed with Kemp Miller and the rest is history. It’s usually Kathy’s voice you hear when you call the station. She answers your question, finds your phone numbers and takes your information for public service announcements. Her voice might be as well-known as those of our on-air personalities! She loves her job and her family of co-workers at Royal Broadcasting. Married to her husband Lloyd, Kathy has 3 grown daughters and some beautiful grandbabies.

What are your favorite sports teams?
Baltimore Ravens, Washington Wizards, Marshall University and West Virginia University

What is your social media network of choice?
Facebook

Scott Bradley

News Director

How I got into radio? 

I didn’t want to get busted for trespassing after finding the backdoor of the station-wide open and no one around. After the owner then Charles Britt found me in the Bob Traister engineering area. I had to think fast and told him I…UH… was there to apply for a job. He asked me as what? I didn’t know at the time what else could be done at a radio station other than a disc jockey. He yelled that the guy who hires DJs Jim Lawrence isn’t available until after 5! I was told to come back at 5 and he slammed the door as I made my exit, whipping my brow and thanking God I wasn’t going to get busted. 

I have thought about this over the years that if I had said I wanted to be a salesperson he would have ushered me in and had me working for very little for the rest of my life. 

A little about myself? 

I Love Caves! The underground is my Quiet Place. To me, there is no better place to be. If it isn’t a cave it’s got to be somewhere in nature. Also, I love to be around wild animals or domestic either one. 

You will not like my favorite sports teams. 

I will tell you but we cannot tell anyone else. 

I have hated the Washington Redskins since they lost that first Super Bowl in the 1970s because they looked so bad in that game. I vowed then and there I would never back that team ever again and I haven’t. Keep in mind I was very young at the time. So I went with the Baltimore Colts who ended up sneaking out in the middle of the night. So I settled on the team from my birth city of Philadelphia the Eagles. Told you you wouldn’t like it. 

I do like the Orioles as well because the Senators up and left me. I blame Nixon. Nationals are a come lately and well they’re okay I guess.

Social Media?

Facebook I guess is my media of choice but the only reason I have an account is that I am in radio. 

Mike O'Dell

Vice President

Mike has spent more than 35 years in the radio business.  He started as a part-time DJ in his hometown of Beckley, West Virginia to earn a few extra dollars while going to college.  His father is in the West Virginia Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame and it’s him that Mike credits for his getting into the business; though he says he tried to talk him out of it. Mike served as the General Manager for Royal Broadcasting moving on a few years ago to a new career with Edward Jones. He still enjoys broadcasting basketball games for Shenandoah University.

If you could give yourself any title (made up or real) at work – what would it be?
The Big Fella

What are your favorite sports teams?
West Virginia Mountaineers, Shenandoah Hornets, Oakland Raiders, Washington Nationals

What is your social media network of choice?
Facebook

Andrew Shearer

Founder & President of Royal Broadcasting

Andrew began his radio career in 1983 at his college radio station, Lock Haven University.  His first commercial (paid!) radio job was at WBPZ in Lock Haven, PA starting in spring 1984. He founded Royal Broadcasting in April 2000 with the intent of purchasing WZRV & WFTR. Andrew enjoys working with a committed staff of professionals who take things as seriously as he does when it comes to serving the market, but still enjoy the sillier side of life. An avid runner, Andrew pairs his running shoes with every suit for every meeting.

If you could give yourself any title (made up or real) at work – what would it be?
Chief cook and bottle washer

What are your favorite sports teams?
I’m a fan of the black & gold (Pirates, Penguins, Steelers)

What is your social media network of choice?
Talking face to face