frizzells

Mt. Washington Radio Group owners Ron (left) and son Greg Frizzell are shown in 2017 with late WMWV/WBNC radio station co-owner Skip Sherman. The Frizzells are being honored with the 2021 Steve Eastman Community Service Award at the MWV Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting Oct. 26 in Jackson. (TOM EASTMAN PHOTO)

CONWAY — Ron and Greg Frizzell, father-and-son owners of Mt. Washington Radio of North Conway, will be honored with the 2021 Steve Eastman Community Service Award at the annual meeting of the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 26 at the Wentworth: A Country Inn in Jackson.

The Frizzells have maintained the same commitment to the community that the late Joan and Skip Sherman showed when they owned what is now the Mt. Washington Radio Group, which operates WMV 93.-FM, Magic 104 and 98.1 and WBNC EasyFM 95.3.

The award honors the legacy of late Mountain Ear co-founder Steve Eastman (1949-2008), who died of brain cancer at age 58. The community-minded Eastman started such local events as the Mud Bowl and the Spring Shampagne Stampede.

Each year, a recipient who exemplifies Steve’s spirit is selected for the award by Steve’s wife, Sarah W. Eastman and brother Tom.

Prior to purchasing the local stations, Ron Frizzell owned and operated stations elsewhere in New England. Greg worked at an NPR station in Colorado during college and eventually teamed up with his father to work at Ron’s stations in Maine. Greg worked as a manager of sales for WMTW-Channel 8’s radio division, then left that job to again team up with his father to buy Mt. Washington Radio.

Ron is fond of telling the story of how when he and Greg were buying the station 20 years ago, Skip Sherman in typical Skip bluntness told him, “There. You own it. Now whatever you do, don’t (bleep) it up.”

That they have not done — just the opposite, and through their professionalism, they have served the community well.

For example, over the past year and a half of the pandemic, they have used public service messages from community leaders such as hospital president and CEO Art Mathisen and chief medical officer Matt Dunn as forums where listeners could hear the latest about the fight against COVID.

Upon hearing that he and his father were this year’s Steve Eastman Award recipients, Greg Frizzell said: “Having known Steve, and all he meant to this community, I am deeply honored to receive this award."

"When I first came to the valley to work at the radio station I realized what a great community it was and how important the legacy of WMWV was to the community and how important it was to carry on that spirit. Through all of these years, I have relied on my amazing staff who helps to the station to accomplish all of this.”

Added Ron, in a phone interview from Auburn, Maine, where he lives with wife, Diane, “Of the 15 stations I was previously affiliated with, those years of owning the three in the valley were the best: the best community, the best people. … And that has made us work harder at the radio station.”

The staff is anchored by WMWV Program Director Roy “the Skiing DJ” Prescott; Clay Groves, program director of Magic 104; News Director George Cleveland; and deejays Annie Provenzano, Kristen Corrigan and Rob Burbank.

The sales staff includes Greg Frizzell, Shannon Houde and Jeannie Cafarelli. Holding it all down is longtime station vice president, Lucia Seavey whom Greg describes as “the glue that holds the station together, who has been at the station for 30 years.”

The highlight of the day for many listeners is tuning in for the “Morning Weather Show,” where local weather observer Ed Bergeron rates each day’s weather on a scale of a nickel to a top bluebird-sky rating of 50 cents — carrying on a tradition that was started by late former Appalachian Mountain Club huts manager Joe Dodge and Joan Sherman, then continued for many years by Briggs Bunker.

The “Morning Weather Show” also always features a report from the Mount Washington Observatory from the “top of New England.” connecting the valley to “the Rockpile,” 6,288-foot Mount Washington.

In addition to his radio duties, Greg has served the community in many ways. He started the Vaughan Community Food Drive on Thanksgiving 2002 and has served in the past as president of the MWV Chamber of Commerce and Starting Point: Services for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence.

He currently serves as the advisory board of the Ham Foundation and the N.H. Association of Broadcasters.

He also does the play-by-play for Kennett High football broadcasts.

The station airs live coverage of MWV Chamber After Hours and carries on the tradition of North Conway Rotary Club’s Radio Auction, which is set to return next month after a year’s hiatus.

Mt. Washington Radio Group annually donates more than $200,000 of air time to local nonprofit service organizations.

WMWV is also known for such programs as “The Blues Summit,” aired every Wednesday featuring Prescott, and “Drive Time,” hosted by Cleveland Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with local non-profits.

Past Steve Eastman Award winners have included: 2014: Tom Chalmers of Chalmers Insurance; 2015: Cranmore General Manager and President Ben Wilcox; 2016: Josh McAllister of HEB Engineers; a Mud Bowl player like Steve; 2017: Brian Smith and family of North Country Fair Jewelers; 2018: Cindy Russell upon her retirement from Arts Jubilee; 2019: Vaughan Community Food Pantry volunteers Sharon and Bob Seaman and 2020: Kathy and Brian Ahearn of Four Your Paws Only.

For more information about the MWV Chamber’s annual dinner, go to mtwashingtonvalley.org or call (603) 356-5701.

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