Wheeler Broadcasting has split up its urban AC simulcast in Roanoke-Lynchburg to launch a new sports station. WVBE (610) flipped to sports Thursday under new call letters WPLY, simulcast on 97.3 in Roanoke and 98.5 in Lynchburg. “The Vibe” now airs solo on WVBE-FM (100.1, 97.7).

While WPLY is Fox Sports Radio affiliate, airing Colin Cowherd on tape delay from 3-6pm, it’s also picking up shows from DirecTV, including "The Dan Patrick Show" from 9am-noon and “The Rich Eisen Show” from noon-3pm. It will also carry Fox Sports staples like “Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and Mike North” from 6-9 am, Steve Gorman from 6-8 pm; and “J.T. The Brick” from 8-11 pm.

WPLY competes with 3 Daughters Media’s “ESPN Radio” WGMN (1240). Wheeler Broadcasting president and general manager Leonard Wheeler tells the Roanoke Times there is “a lot of appetite” for a second sports station in the market. “Even though a sports station is present in the marketplace, we feel like there’s an opportunity to put very popular shows on a good facility,” Wheeler said.