Today’s post is an updated version of a story from our archives. It was originally published on January 5, 2016.
Burlington, Vermont has been called the happiest city in America for a good reason. It hugs the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain, the largest freshwater lake on the eastern seaboard. Burlington is full of dreamers and has a strong do-it-yourself ethic. It is an enclave for liberals – Senator Bernie Saunders was mayor. It is a place where eople in suits and people in t-shirts mingle comfortably.
Burlington is also a very sophisticated noncommercial radio market. Vermont Public Radio’s NPR News stations set the pace with an incredible 18.0 weekly Cume Rating. Local CCM WGLY – The Light – is a regional presence. WOMM is one of the best LPFM stations in the nation.
Though the city of Burlington has a population around 50,000, the area has over 300,000 including lots of folks in Upstate New York on the west side Lake Champlain.
88.1 WXLU is a repeater of WSLU – North Country Public Radio – based at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. North Country Public Radio’s regional news is highly regarded.
89.3 is a translator and satellite-fed repeater of Family Radio, the rapture-loving folks based in California. Consider this to be further proof of the lameness of the FCC’s rules that allow noncom religious broadcasters to use satellite-fed translators and do fundraising in places where they provide no local service.
90.1 WRUV is the radio voice of the University of Vermont. Their emphasis is on the local music scene. Most of WRUV’s funding comes from student fees but pledging and underwriting from the community continues to climb. WRUV provides a comprehensive guide to venues and life in Burlington.
90.9 WOXR is the flagship of Vermont Public Radio’s (VPR) classical network. In 2007 VPR bought a struggling religious station and flipped it to classical allowing VPR’s statewide NPR station to concentrate on news.
91.1 WGDR puts a marginal signal into Burlington but has a larger reputation. WGDR broadcasts from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Goddard’s alumni include such notables as actor William H. Macy, writer David Mamet and musician Trey Anastasio of Phish fame. WGDR is old-school community station, combining political shows like Democracy Now! and local music and talk programming. WGDH, a repeated of WGDR signed on in 2008.
91.5 WGLY is owned and operated by local nonprofit Christian Ministries Incorporated. WGLY is the flagship of The Light Radio Network, one of two regional CCM networks serving the faithful in Vermont, Upstate New York, New Hampshire and Canada.
91.9 WCEL is a repeater of Northeast Public Radio (NEPR). It repeats WAMC, Albany. NEPR is a regional public radio network with over 30 stations and translators that serve portions of seven states.105.9 WOMM is 105 The Radiator, an excellent LPFM station operated under the auspices of the Burlington Peace and Justice Center. It is part of the Vermont Alliance of Musicians and Presenters, a gutsy nonprofit doing business as Big Heavy World.
The volunteer-based organization also makes possible an artist directory, business referral network, a record label and an online music store. The station plays a tasty blend of Triple A and Alternative Rock with smatterings of blues, Americana and lots and lots of Vermont artists. I wish there were more LPFM’s like this one!
107.9 WVPS is Vermont Public Radio’s primary NPR News signal in Burlington. Since 1977 VPR has provided remarkable service to the entire state of Vermont.