The Pilot was just a newspaper 25 years ago when publisher David Woronoff and his partners bought the newspaper from Sam Ragan.
From the start, however, they realized that it was rather limiting as a business. In no time, the Moore County phone book was born – another opportunity to serve the community with news and information.
In the years that followed, The Pilot grew as a business. The newspaper is stronger than ever, even though it now represents a much smaller share of the overall business. We now also publish four arts and culture magazines, including PineStraw magazine and sister publications for Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, and the monthly Business North Carolina magazine. In 2010, the company bought – “saved” might be the best word – The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines and turned it into one of the best independent bookstores in the state.
What about the phone book business? Its success over the years has grown into what is today First Flight Agency, a full-service digital media company providing a range of web and email services to other companies, although we still publish the popular annual directory.
We are a company and a culture rich in innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Speaking as one of his main “sounding boards”, David has no shortage of ideas and a willingness to try new things.
Sometimes these things don’t always work. A bold plan to bring wireless internet to the entire city didn’t work out as we hoped, although we still have the equipment on our roof to show the effort.
But more often than not, our ideas have resonated and flourished in the communities we serve. Today I am delighted to write about another of them.
Over the past few months, we have been working on developing a local streaming radio service for our Moore County community. Under the direction of the staff of First Flight and, in particular, Frank Daniels IV, we developed Pilot Radio, which was “smoothly launched” last week.
Pilot Radio, which can be listened to on pilot-radio.com, is an online radio station which, for the moment, broadcasts a mix of music ranging from Americana to rock and artist songs. based in North Carolina as Watchhouse (formerly Mandolin Orange) and Rhiannon Giddens.
While listening, you can expect to go from The Breeders to Train to the Avett Brothers to Blondie. The music library includes an array of artists spanning over 50 years, and we’re just developing it.
In addition to the music, you will also hear regular news and weather updates. In the coming weeks, we’ll be adding sports and business updates, podcasts, and programming from locals who love music.
We also have key sponsors assisting us in this latter endeavor including Southern Pines Brewing Co., Pinehurst Surgical Clinic and Coldwell Banker Advantage.
How to listen On your computer, we have a link at the top of thepilot.com, or you can click pilot-radio.com. We also have apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
We are excited about the future. We have a lot to learn, but we love the huge potential this has for all of us in Moore County. Like everything else with this business, Pilot Radio’s primary goal is to serve our community.
Like “WKRP in Cincinnati,” one of our favorite TV shows, we hope we are fun, free and interesting. Unlike WKRP, we promise not to bomb downtown by dropping turkeys from a helicopter. Because unlike Station Manager Arthur Carlson, we know that turkeys are poor flyers.