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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.

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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.

 

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