WBEZ’s second channel Vocalo [link] will reach more Chicago area listeners soon thanks to a plan crafted by Chicago Public Media (CPM) and WDCB. Chicago Tribune columnist/blogger Robert Feder reports [link] that the two organizations have solved an interference issue that has limited Vocalo’s coverage area.
Vocalo is an “urban music discovery” station created about a decade ago to serve younger and more diverse listeners than NPR News on WBEZ. Vocalo’s music mix continues add more Triple A to its ethnic music mix. Vocalo also airs issue-oriented talk programming.
Since 2014 CPR has been using FM translator W217BM 91.1 FM to repeat Vocalo’s programming originating on WBEZ’s HD-2 channel. The agreement allows W217BM to increase power its power from 10-watts to 99-watts. The transmitter is located atop the John Hancock Center.
A map of Vocalo’s new coverage area via 91.1 is on the right.
In exchange, jazz station WDCB’s programming will now be broadcast CPM-owned WRTE 90.7. This will provide additional signal coverage for suburban WDCB.
ST. LOUIS JAZZ STATION WSIE EXPANDS FORMAT IN EFFORT TO SOLVE MONEY PROBLEMS
Because of budget cuts to Illinois’ University system, WSIE in suburban St. Louis will add additional Blues programming to expand its listening base. According to Doug McIlhagga, the executive director of marketing and communications for Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville says”
“We've not been able to monetize the jazz format so we've chosen to expand that a little bit by adding blues.”
If the new programming doesn’t increase listener support, the university told WSIE management that more drastic measures will be imposed by university. News reports say that WSIE has three years to sink or swim. If the new plan doesn’t float, the university says it might sell WSIE’s license.
WSIE’s funding crunch comes as a budget impasse continues at the Illinois statehouse. Lawmakers have not been able to agree on a statewide spending plan for 10 months and that has prompted public universities to make tough financial decisions. WSIE is currently running promos every hour to “keep WSIE on the air.”
KMUW IS MOVING TO NEW DIGS IN WICHITA’S OLD TOWN NEIGHBORHOOD
Wichita’s NPR News station KMUW 89.1 FM [link] has announced that the station will be moving soon to a new location in the city’s historic Old Town area. GM Debra Fraser said the new spot was chosen because of the popularity of Old Town.
“It’s a great place to reach the community,” Fraser days. “Sitting in Old Town we can engage more…We want that to be what we do all the time.”
The new space has been under construction for 10 months. The construction includes new tables that the station made from eight sections of bowling lanes from Wichita’s Thunderbird Bowl, which closed last year.
As a nonprofit, Fraser says the station has to be smart about resources:
“When it comes to fancy things, we can get a little scrappy.”