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UPDATE: When will WMVY be back on the air? (Scroll down)
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MVY IS COMING BACK TO THE VINEYARD AIRWAVES!!!
Friends of mvyradio has entered an agreement to purchase the broadcast license for 88.7 FM from Vineyard Public Radio, Inc. WMVY will return to the airwaves in 2014 at 88.7FM. We're sure you have a number of questions, and we've tried to answer many of them, here.
UPDATE: When will WMVY be back on the air?
We estimate that our return to the FM band on Martha's Vineyard will happen in mid-May. In March, the local Zoning Board granted approval for us to proceed with the installation of the antenna on the tower. In early April the FCC approved the assignment of the FCC license for 88.7FM to the ownership of Friends of mvyradio. While the request is approved, it does not become final until mid-May. In the meantime, we have ordered a new transmitter, antenna and other equipment necessary to broadcast on 88.7 and it is being shipped to Martha's Vineyard. Contractors will be installing this equipment but since it is outside work it is weather dependent. We hope to have everything ready so when final approval comes from the FCC, we'll be ready to flip on the new transmitter and be back on the air!
When I go to 88.7FM now, there is nothing there. Does that mean I won’t be able to hear the new WMVY?
The current license holder is not currently broadcasting regularly, so there is nothing on 88.7FM at this time.
When will WMVY be back on the air?
We expect WMVY to return to the FM band on Martha’s Vineyard, sometime in the Spring of 2014. There are a number of steps that must be taken, including completing the purchase, filing the applications required for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approvals, and purchasing and installing the equipment on the tower. We hope to complete all of these steps by April.
Why will this take so long?
Currently, Vineyard Public Radio (VPR) holds the license for 88.7FM. Broadcast licenses must periodically be renewed by the FCC and all of the radio stations in Massachusetts are in the midst of that renewal process. The license renewal for 88.7 must be approved by the FCC before the sale can be approved and completed. We expect the FCC to renew the 88.7 license in February of 2014. Our application for a license transfer (from VPR’s ownership, to Friends of mvyradio’s ownership) should be approved within 60 days after the license is renewed. Once Friends of mvyradio is approved as the licensee of 88.7 and all of the new equipment is installed at the tower site we can bring WMVY back to the airwaves on 88.7FM.
Will you still be non-profit when you go on 88.7? Will I still be able to hear you on (the way I currently listen)?
From here forward, mvyradio's programming and streams will be non-commercial and non-profit. We know some of you will miss the old commercial spots, but the non-profit model is going to be the most sustainable model for the station's future.
We are only adding 88.7 as a way to listen to MVY. There are no plans to subtract any of the channels or methods that currently exist. If you listen on 96.5 or 102.7HD2 in Newport, we'll still be there. If you listen to any one of our streams, via iTunes or Windows Media or TuneIn or anything else, we will continue to stream there. And if you access us through your smart phone, we'll continue to provide that connection, too.
Will I be able to get the new WMVY signal in my town?
Until we get 88.7FM on the air, we can’t be certain of the full range of the 88.7FM coverage. The range of an FM signal varies based on the strength of the signal, how high it is placed on a tower and how it reacts to the geography it covers. That said, we believe that the 88.7FM signal will easily cover all of Martha’s Vineyard, and will cover close-by mainland towns such as Falmouth. But we don’t expect this new signal to fully replicate the coverage of the former WMVY at 92.7FM.
Will WMVY acquire other signals, so it can be heard in my town?
Our long term goal is to exceed our original 92.7FM coverage and bring WMVY/mvyradio to as large a listening audience as possible. Acquiring 88.7FM is just the first step in the process of expanding the reach of WMVY on other FM stations. There are no additional deals that are imminent, but once this current purchase is complete and paid for, we can turn our eyes toward that larger FM coverage goal.
Why did WMVY sell its 92.7 signal, just to turn around and buy a new signal?
WMVY’s owner for the past 15 years was Aritaur Communications. In the Fall of 2012, Aritaur’s Board made the decision to accept the WBUR (the public radio station in Boston) offer to acquire WMVY. Instead of selling the entire business Aritaur only sold the 92.7FM signal to WBUR. The non-profit Friends of mvyradio took over the rest of mvyradio to preserve the station and staff and work to find a new FM home for WMVY. The non-profit Friends of mvyradio operates WMVY and will now take the steps needed to acquire 88.7FM.
Why didn’t Friends of mvyradio just buy the signal from Aritaur?
The staff at WMVY had 60 days to raise the $600,000 necessary to cover the station’s expenses for 2013. We did it in just under 60 days. To buy the signal from Aritaur, we would have additionally had to raise enough money to compete with the purchase price offered by WBUR. That was not feasible. We saved WMVY in 2013, and can now work toward restoring it to the FM airwaves in 2014.
How will Friends pay for this?
Friends of mvyradio will begin fundraising immediately. To start, Friends will rely on significant donations that provide the critical foundation of a capital campaign – similarly to those launched by major institutions or community projects. Going forward, listener donations, major gift fundraising and increased underwriting will cover the costs associated with a new FM signal and strengthening mvyradio for the long haul. Simultaneously, special fundraising will focus on much needed station equipment, and creating new initiatives to better serve the Community.
- Listener donations: We have been actively raising the funding needed for our 2014 budget, raising money through on-air drives and Friends of mvyradio concert events. The balance of our $600,000 raised in 2013 will carry over to continue operations in 2014, and we will need to raise additional money to pay for the cost of this new FM and the equipment needed to launch 88.7FM. Donations to Friends of mvyradio are now needed more than ever and will bring the music and voices of WMVY back to the FM dial on Martha’s Vineyard.
- Major Gift Fundraising: We are coordinating an effort to launch our first ever Major Gift Fundraising drive, reaching out to the listening communities of the Vineyard and to the world wide supporters who are able to make significant contributions to what has been, and will continue to be, one of the Island’s anchor institutions and part of the vibrant fabric of life on the Island.
- Increased Underwriting: When WMVY left the FM dial last winter, we did lose many of our underwriting clients and revenue. Returning to the FM dial will mean that many of those businesses can be encouraged to return to the FM airwaves. This, combined with the listener donations will build operating revenue, and help to create a more balanced funding picture – similar to the revenue mix of other public radio stations around the country.
Who is running mvyradio? What is the Friends of mvyradio board?
Day to day operations at mvyradio are being run by the folks who’ve been there for years, including General Manager Greg Orcutt, Director of Worldwide Programming Barbara Dacey, Program Director PJ Finn, and Business Manager Marianna Cibulasova.
A board has been formed and is continuing to expand as they deal with immediate needs associated with the development of Friends of mvyradio and ongoing governance for the organization. Board members are listed here. Board members are expected to help with major fundraising.