On August 11, 1946, WCHA in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania signed on for the first time, after being delayed several years by World War II. Since its inception, WCHA has held the same call letters, the same frequency (800 AM), the same studio location and the same transmitter site. Since 2014 the station has been owned by Alpha Media.
Founded by John S. “Sam” Booth, WCHA-AM was the first radio station in Franklin County. WCHA-FM followed in 1948 as the first FM station, which eventually became WIKZ.
In 1966, WCHA was granted temporary authority to remain on the air after sundown in order to provide local news coverage in the nationally reported news story of the Peggy Ann Bradnick “mountain man” kidnapping.
Throughout its tenure, WCHA has been home to long-time local personalities who have been a big part of the Franklin County community. These include Earl Strine, whose Franklin County Fair broadcasts are legendary, Scott Douglas, Lisa Kline, and many others. WCHA also provided weather forecasts from local meteorologist Bob Sellers for many years.
Sports coverage has also played a big part in the history of WCHA, including at one time or another, play-by-play for the Phillies, Orioles, Pirates and Penn State Football, as well as local high school football. In fact, WCHA’s full season coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers continues to this day.
The faith-based community of Chambersburg and Franklin County has also been served by WCHA over the years, with their local church services being broadcast over the airwaves.
In 2010, WCHA became an affiliate of Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel, a format that plays many of the songs WCHA played as current hits back in the day. The year also included the beginning of a simulcast of WCHA on 1410, WHAG, in Hagerstown. In 2011, WCHA signed on a translator at 96.3, providing FM coverage of WCHA for Chambersburg and northern Franklin County.