WMVY Nears Its Goal

This screenshot of the WMVY home page shows that as of January 25th they are a little under $7,000 away from their goal.
- This screenshot of the WMVY home page shows that as of January 25th they are a little under $7,000 away from their goal.

The Federal Communications Commission last week approved the sale of 92.7 FM, which means a change from the eclectic music of WMVY to WBUR, the Boston NPR news station, in the coming weeks.

While WMVY will go off the air, efforts to keep the station going as an online streaming resource are close to reaching a $600,000 goal. As of Wednesday afternoon, mvyradio had received $548,645 from 3,391 pledges, said Barbara Dacey, director of worldwide programming.

The station received support from musicians like Bonnie Raitt, John Hiatt, Jeff Tweedy from Wilco, and Mavis Staples, who recorded pleas to listeners to save mvyradio.

In an interview on WMVY aired January 16, Ms. Raitt said she listens to the station to discover new music. “The reason we all know so much of this music is because of radio stations like yours, which I have to say, I stream when I’m out here in California and out on the road. One of my favorite stations in the country. This is one of the ways I find out about songwriters and music that is under the radar,” Ms. Raitt said. “Radio stations like yours have a great deal of impact on how I find my new music.”

Matching donations from listeners have increased pledges rapidly, Dacey said. The average pledge from listeners is $140, she said. The largest single-day collection happened on January 9, netting over $85,000, thanks to listeners and an anonymous donor who matched every pledge that day, dollar-for-dollar. A second day of matching, on January 16th, netted another $60,000.

Roughly one-third of the pledges have come from Massachusetts, with donors also hailing from 48 states and 14 countries, including New Zealand, England, France, the Czech Republic, Australia, Italy, Canada, Oman, and Israel.

She is very confident that mvyradio will reach the goal, but when the changeover will take place is still unknown, Dacey said. The $600,000 will cover one full year of the mvyradio budget including a staff of 12 full-time and 12 part-time employees.

WBUR's Signal To Be Boosted

The purchase of 92.7 FM for $715,000 will bring WBUR, the Boston NPR News station, to Cape Cod listeners via a 3,000-watt signal from the highest point on Martha’s Vineyard. The signal will cover Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich, Bourne and Hyannis, but will weaken toward the outer Cape, said WBUR General Manager Charles Kravetz. The signal also covers all of Martha’s Vineyard, three-quarters of Nantucket, and some parts of the south coast, including Marion and Westport.

The signal will cover a much larger area than the 1,200-watt signal from the same tower that currently broadcasts WCAI on 90.1 FM, the Cape and Islands NPR station, owned by WGBH in Boston.

WCAI has planned for years to increase that signal to over 10,000 watts, WGBH spokesman Michael Raia said. The power boost will increase the number of potential listeners from 275,000 to as many as 470,000 when the upgrade goes through sometime in the coming months, he said.

The new WCAI signal will cover all of Cape Cod and the islands and the south coast, including parts of Rhode Island, he said.

WCAI began broadcasting from the historic Captain Davis House on Water Street in Woods Hole in 2000, and includes local radio hosts, news staff, and a daily talk show, The Point, hosted by Mindy Todd. There are also local features including the Local Food Report with Elsbeth Hay, Bird News with Vernon Laux, A Cape Cod Notebook with Robert Finch, Living Lab with Heather Goldstone, and Arts & Ideas, a documentary program produced by Jay Allison and Viki Merrick of Atlantic Public Media, also based in Woods Hole.

WGBH, which broadcasts on 89.7 FM, switched from a combination music and news format to a full-time news station nearly three years ago, duplicating some of the same programs that WBUR offers.

The WGBH signal can also be heard in many areas of Cape Cod, and there is overlap among the three stations' current programming schedules. Flagship NPR programs such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered, along with other popular public radio programs like This American Life and Marketplace, are broadcast on all three stations.

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