Agnes Simpson: The Mother of WOOF Radio

Womens History

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — March is International Women’s Month, and we here at WDHN took the time to speak with business women in the Wiregrass.

In 1947, Mrs. Agnes Dowling Simpson and her husband, R.A. Dowling, started WOOF radio. At the time it was AM only, but in 1964, Mrs. Dowling started WOOF FM.

Today, WOOF is managed by her daughter, Leigh Simpson. WOOF is the only family owned and managed radio stations, and Simpson tells me to her that’s everything.

“To me that’s radio, and that’s all radio was ever intended to be, I believe in live and local 24/7,” Simpson said. “We have real people here 24 hours a day seven days a week, which is unheard of in the business now. It’s just old fashion radio; it’s the way radio was meant to be. It’s pure radio.”

Mrs. Agnes instilled a family and community into the station, and once you walk through the doors, you can tell it still exists today. Simpson said she and her mother have always been employers that looked after their staff. 

“We’re a family,” Simpson said. “I think we spend more time together inside this building then we do at our own homes, so we’ve been together for a long time. Most all of us, a good majority of employees here, my co-workers, are 20-plus years. it’s just an extension of my family.”

Leigh has a photo of her mother hanging a wall right across from her desk so she can see her all day and said if an eighth of her day was something like Agnes’s, then she’s done good.

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