This is big news. WNCW had a tough year last year, but this sounds like good news. Press release here:

WILKESBORO (January 4, 2010) – WNCW is bringing its unique blend of Americana/roots music and NPR News programming to the Wilkes County this week.

“We kind of look at this as a New Year present for Wilkesboro and the surrounding areas,” said Dana Whitehair, WNCW’s general manager, “and we’re thrilled to be able to bring this programming to the region’s airwaves.”

The signal in Wilkes County will go out on the 90.9 FM frequency of WSIF, the station formerly owned and operated by Wilkes Community College.

In 2008, WCC officials decided to take the station off the air and discontinue the college’s Broadcast Production Technology program. Soon after, they contacted Whitehair to see if WNCW, the station licensed to Isothermal Community College in Spindale, would be interested in obtaining WSIF’s license and 1,000-watt transmitter.

“It just seemed like a good fit right off the bat,” said Whitehair.

“Wilkes Community College is home to the annual MerleFest, with which WNCW was already involved as a media sponsor. There is a rich tradition of music in the foothills and mountains of Wilkes and the surrounding counties. It seemed to everyone involved that it would be a match tailored quite well for WNCW’s diverse programming.”

WNCW, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is a nationally-known leader in the Americana, Triple A (adult album alternative) and bluegrass formats. The station’s eclectic music mix spans a wide variety of genres, but is typified by alternative rock and country, folk, blues, bluegrass, world music and jazz. Original programming ranges from a weekly sampling of bluegrass on Goin’ Across The Mountain to explorations into the music of Frank Zappa during Frank on Friday. Regional news headlines are highlighted each weekday morning during National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

By mid-2009, the details of the transfer were worked out and engineering work began on getting the station up and running. The WSIF 90.9 transmitter will act as a repeater to broadcast WNCW’s feed via an Internet connection.

The feed will run year-round with the exception of the weekend of MerleFest.

“During that weekend, the station will broadcast live from the stages of MerleFest on the WSIF frequency only,” said Whitehair.

“Broadcasting live from MerleFest has been a WSIF tradition and we’ve committed to both Wilkes Community College and MerleFest that the tradition will continue.”

The WSIF repeater is expected to bring WNCW’s programming to an additional population of approximately 70,000 people in Wilkes and parts of eight other North Carolina counties including Yadkin, Iredell, Alexander, Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany and Surry. WNCW 88.7’s main signal can be heard in parts of five states. The station also has translators in Boone, Charlotte and Greenville, S.C.

More information on WNCW and its programming can be found at www.wncw.org.

One Comment

  1. Glad to see WNCW expanding its footprint to the east. When I’m not in our second home in Ashe County listening live via an FM radio with rabbit ears hung against the screen window nearest the Boone repeater, I’m in Greensboro and would love to see them come even closer as it’s only available via the Internet right now. I especially enjoy WNCW’s "Going Across the Mountain" broadcasts on Saturday. Good music and great commentary, peppered with live interviews with the masters of bluegrass, especially your visit with Del McCoury. And keep on diong the "Birthday celebrations." Thanks to you, I now have a "Masters Degree" in Jimmy Martin! I’ve been Martinized!! Keep up the great work, WNCW.

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