WBUR Buys Martha’s Vineyard Station 92.7-FM

BOSTON — WBUR is announcing that it is buying another FM frequency that will allow its programming to be heard throughout Cape Cod, the Islands and the South Coast.

WBUR is buying 92.7 in Tisbury, on Martha’s Vineyard — a station currently using the call letters WMVY.

The changeover to WBUR programming on the newly acquired frequency will occur in early 2013, pending FCC approval.

Listeners can continue to hear WBUR programming on 90.9 FM and on wbur.org.

– Here’s the full WBUR press release:

Changing of the tide in nonprofit radio on the Cape & Islands:

WBUR 90.9 FM Acquires 92.7 FM in Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard and WMVY Radio to go non-commercial

BOSTON, Nov. 27, 2012 – WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, 90.9 FM, announced it has signed an agreement with Aritaur Communications to acquire 92.7 FM in Tisbury, Massachusetts, the home of WMVY-FM. The sale of the 92.7 FM signal paves the way for WBUR to reach listeners on Martha’s Vineyard and most of Cape Cod and Nantucket, as well as the Massachusetts ‘SouthCoast’ including New Bedford, Fall River, Falmouth, Westport and Marion. WMVY, known on air and online as mvyradio, plans to create a non-profit, commercial-free business model going forward.

“We believe that the islands, Cape Cod and SouthCoast are important parts of the community we cover and serve,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz. “WBUR has long wanted to meet demand from listeners in this region who have been unable to hear our signature programs and outstanding local news reporting.”

WBUR is the most prolific producer of national programming in public radio including On Point, Here & Now and Only A Game. The station also produces hourly local newscasts, a daily news magazine program, Radio Boston, and carries NPR News programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

The changeover is expected to take place sometime in early 2013, pending FCC approval. At that time, WBUR will broadcast its signal on 92.7 FM, a 3,000-watt station reaching more than 60,000 prospective new listeners. This will be in addition to WBUR’s current 50,000-watt signal on 90.9 FM which broadcasts across all of metropolitan Boston and eastern Massachusetts. WBUR is the preeminent news and information public radio station in Massachusetts, reaching close to 500,000 listeners each week, and is ranked among the Top 10 public radio stations in America.

Aritaur Communications, which has owned WMVY since 1998, will transfer WMVY’s unique programming and all other assets to the non-profit Friends of mvyradio. The goal is to continue broadcasting mvyradio’s unique music programming through its online, live streaming at www.mvyradio.com, and look for a more affordable solution to return to the FM airwaves.

The mission of the Friends of mvyradio in the next 60 days will be to raise enough pledges from listeners and fans of the nearly 30-year-old independent radio station to sustain mvyradio’s programming and staff and find a solution to continue its broadcasting operations.

As one of the first stations in the country to recognize and invest in online streaming, mvyradio enjoys a worldwide audience which tunes into the station’s musically diverse playlist — one that includes everyone from Neil Young and Stevie Ray Vaughan to Norah Jones and Mumford & Sons.

“We hope our devoted listeners, and the residents and businesses of Martha’s Vineyard will respond and help us continue the ground-breaking digital streaming programming which has become mvyradio’s mainstay while we search for an affordable FM home,” said Joe Gallagher, president of Aritaur Communications. “Our ambitious goal is for mvyradio to evolve into a fully listener-supported streaming music channel and broadcast our programming on a new FM commercial-free signal. It’s an ideal scenario which will require significant fund raising, but we’re committed to making it happen.”

Closing of the transaction is subject to FCC approval and other customary closing conditions. Terms of the agreement will not be disclosed at this time.


About WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station

Founded in 1950, WBUR began broadcasting NPR programming in 1970, offering NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered along with local news programming, establishing its iconic identity as a news and information station. One of the nation’s most successful public radio stations today, WBUR produces extensive local and national content from its studios on Commonwealth Avenue at Boston University, in addition to airing content from NPR, The BBC, PRX and other independent content providers.

WBUR’s over-the-air mix of news, information and entertainment programming is complemented with a robust digital presence, including HD and satellite channels; mobile applications; and live streaming, podcasts and original online content such as Cognoscenti (opinion); CommonHealth (health care) and much more at its news destination website, wbur.org. The work produced at WBUR has won countless honors, including national Peabody and Murrow awards. More at www.wbur.org.

About WMVY

A Heritage Adult Alternative radio station, WMVY/mvyradio broadcasts and streams from studios on Martha’s Vineyard. Mvyradio’s day-to-day programming is a spirited and intelligent mix of classic and contemporary songwriters and bands. The station originates a full roster of specialty programming, including Blues, Jazz, Folk, Grateful Dead and Beatles shows, which are also archived for listening on demand through www.mvyradio.com. In 2007, non-profit Friends of mvyradio was created to take tax-deductible donations in support of online streaming operations and offerings.

More information about the station and its leading approach to digital, streaming music can be found at www.friendsofmvyradio.org. WMVY has been broadcasting from 92.7FM since 1981.

Media Contacts:

Kristen Holgerson, WBUR – 617.358.2011, kholgers@wbur.org

Barbara Dacey, WMVY – 508-693-5000 Ext. 110, bdacey@mvyradio.com

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on wbur.org.
  • J__o__h__n

    I don’t have much interest in the local news for this region and hope WBUR doesn’t expand coverage of it.  The residents were probably better served by a local station.  Bigger isn’t always better. 

  • Qwerty2002

    This sucks. Over-the-air WMVY is a fantastic radio station, it’s on in my home and car pretty much all the time. We’ve got a public radio station already on the Cape. Terrible, terrible news.

  • Michael

    WMVY is a great radio station that is a part of the fabric of Martha’s Vineyard.  This is very disappointing news.  There are plenty of NPR stations available on the Cape and Islands.  Yes, radio is a business, but BUR should explore ways to retain some of the MVY content and uniqueness.  Another outlet for CARTALK or ONLY A GAME does nothing for the listeners and residents (full and part-time) of the Vineyard….

  • Nar_easter

    The cape and islands have three stations currently airing all of this programming- WCAI, WNAN and WVVY. We are already over-saturated with repeat public radio signals, this is completely unnecessary, and the loss of such a unique music format is a tragic disaster. We are all saddened by the news.

    • Sonof9

      I agree ,how much control is enough , they continue to claim poor little PBS,the FCC
      should not rubber stamp this, how about tolerance and diversity or we have ours the rest of you are on your on. Bullying the little guy,greed , I wonder how much $$ was needed to persuade this deal or was it something else . Full disclosure

  • CapeCodAbout

    I hope this doesn’t negatively affect WCAI’s ability to fundraise and buy programming from NPR. I hope if offers much different content than WCAI (which of course is NPR talk radio). If that is true, then there is room for another NPR radio for our listening area (I am in the MidCape area)

  • MV_bound

    This could be a negative for WBUR. “Beloved local station replaced by NPR conglomerate” Granted MVY has been hurting financially for years but for WBUR to take it over without consideration to the local flavor MVY provides is a big PR mistake… As a contributor to both stations its very sad to see MVY fold on the airways.

  • http://twitter.com/nprnewsjunkie Freddie

    Well I’m happy for WBUR. I live in the Los Angeles where they are plenty of NPR stations and I prefer to listen to WBUR than my local stations. I donate money to BUR monthly and know from listening experience that they are one of the premier NPR news stations in the country.

    • corporate junkie

      Well we live near here. It’s a loss.

  • Judith

    I’m a WBUR fan but also like the unique programming of WCAI. What happens to WCAI?

  • Paul Geoghegan

    i expected more from WBUR. I expected them to help preserve diversity on the radio and not contribute to the Mallification of America,. Take your pledges to WBUR and send them to WMVY.com. That’s the only way to get BUR’s attention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.flynn.3344 Michael Flynn


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