In this week’s issue… WNPR fills in its statewide signal – New host in Rochester – Ho-ho-ho time, especially in Albany – Remembering Richard Lorenzo
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*When the public radio system developed more than half a century ago, it was deliberately designed with local and regional ownership instead of national control. A handful of existing community- and university-run stations such as Boston’s WGBH and WFCR in western Massachusetts became part of the system to serve their regions, but it took longer for other areas to develop service. A few states, such as Maine, built out statewide networks with government support, while others, such as Vermont and New Hampshire, took decades to go statewide as community nonprofit groups struggled to find funding for new transmitters. (And in Rhode Island, it took well into the 1990s before a local public radio voice emerged at all.)
For $500,000, Connecticut Public is buying translator W279CI (103.7) in Danbury from Irv Goldstein’s Berkshire Broadcasting, bringing its local shows such as Colin McEnroe and “Where We Live” to listeners in northern Fairfield County who haven’t been able to hear the Stamford or Meriden signals.
The deal also includes a $1000 monthly lease of the HD4 channel on Berkshire’s WDAQ (98.3 Danbury) to feed the translator.
Like most of western Connecticut, Danbury will now be served by multiple public radio services – there’s an existing translator for Fairfield-based WSHU, as well as a nearby transmitter for the Albany-based WAMC network. The new 103.7 signal, though, will bring more Hartford-based coverage to a part of the state that often feels distant from the state capital. (It’s mostly New York City TV stations on cable, for instance.)
The sale of the translator will lead to some shuffling of Berkshire’s programming: the “94.5 the Hawk” classic rock format heard on another translator via WDAQ’s HD4 will move to the HD2, replacing the alternative rock “103.7 Rock” format that’s been on the translator and WDAQ-HD2. Country “The Bull 107.3” will continue on WDAQ’s HD3, along with the main channel’s hot AC programming.
FEBRUARY IS ALMOST GONE
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