Tri-Cities radio listeners lost a familiar voice Sunday with the death of longtime radio newsman Charlie Stuchell, who died at 64 after a long battle with cancer.
As a true radio aficionado, he was chairman and one of the organizers of Hamfest in Gray, which was a collection of the area’s amateur radio users. The event brought in people from neighboring states to discuss their craft and swap equipment.
Hamfest Vice-Chairman Danny Herman, of Mountain City, met Stuchell through their mutual passion for ham radios more than 10 years ago. He said months ago they had all planned to meet Sunday at Stuchell’s house to discuss plans for next year’s Hamfest. After learning of Stuchell’s death, they collectively decided to carry on with their meeting.
They made a unanimous decision among the seven members to cancel the next Hamfest and continue it, in Stuchell’s name, the following year.
Stuchell was praised by his colleagues as a true newsman.
Scotty Campbell, a former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, worked with Stuchell at WXBQ’s parent company, Bristol Broadcasting, from 2000-2006.
“For many of us, Charlie Stuchell kept an eye on Tri-Cities traffic and news,” Campbell said. “He was a trusted voice.”
A Fairmont State College graduate and West Virginia native, Stuchell went on to be the voice behind traffic alerts in the Tri-Cities area on WXBQ.
Erwin’s Jim Buchanan, who worked with Stuchell for 22 years, said, “Charlie had a wall full of scanners,” and was always available to get to the bottom of any story. He said Stuchell kept his contacts happy by supplying them with fruitcakes each year during the holidays.
Stuchell was appreciated and respected by his peers. Wayne Winkler, director of local public radio station WETS-FM, spoke of Stuchell’s impact on the region.
“There were only a few radio newsmen in the area,” Winkler said. “And Charlie filled an important role for the Tri-Cities for many years.”
When Stuchell got sick, Buchanan and Herman said Bristol Broadcasting, WXBQ and friends poured on overwhelming support.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by Weaver Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Bristol.