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Meet Your Neighbor: Maria True taking family legacy into a new era of radio

Located beneath the towering red and white antenna on Riverview Road, JET’s classic little radio station near the new Unicoi County hospital is home to WEMB 1420 AM station, owned and operated by Maria’s dad from 1958 until his death in 1994. It is also home to its sister station, WXIS 103.9 FM, founded by her uncle.

An Erwin native and Unicoi County High School graduate, Maria was in her early 20s when her father, James E. “Country Jim” True, passed away and placed the station in trust for his children under the management of his employees.

And so the station continued for the next 20 years when, in keeping with Jim’s will, Maria returned to Erwin to take control of the family’s broadcasting legacy and bring it into a new era of radio.

Still a young man when he purchased the station, during Jim True’s era at WEMB the station played primarily country music with blocks of rock, jazz and big band music in its programming mix.