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Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Acquires Two Radio Stations

Community Idea Stations will reprogram 88.9 WCVE-FM to all news; two new FM stations will simulcast classical music, jazz and other music programs

RICHMOND, Va., December 20, 2017 – In a move that doubles its capacity to deliver news, public affairs programming and classical, jazz music and other cultural programs to listeners throughout Central Virginia, Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corp. (CPBC), the nonprofit organization that broadcasts national and local public radio and television programs in the region, has agreed to purchase two additional FM radio stations, WBBT (107.3 FM) and WWLB (93.1 FM).

The two stations will join WCVE-FM (88.9 FM), which currently broadcasts NPR’s "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" along with locally produced news and features, classical and jazz music, and other national and local programs, such as Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, This American Life and With Good Reason. 

WCVE-FM will be reprogrammed to an all-news and talk format, continuing to broadcast such NPR programs as "Morning Edition", "All Things Considered", and "Fresh Air" and American Public Media’s (APM) "Marketplace" and "Marketplace Weekend". Added to the 24/7 news and talk channel will be programs such as On Point, Here and Now, BBC Newshour, CPC Radio’s As it Happens , and cultural talk shows Only a Game, The Big Listen and The Splendid Table.

The newly acquired stations, which will be purchased from Alpha Media for an undisclosed price, will simulcast exclusively music programs, especially those airing classical and jazz music, including APM’s "Performance Today". Local classical music hosts George Maida, Shawn Evans and Mike Goldberg will fill more hours of the day with classical music and jazz host Peter Solomon will claim the evenings.  With so many more hours available for music, weekend favorites, such as Ian Stewart’s "The World Music Show" and Steve Clark’s "Sound of Swing", will be joined by additional local and national music shows.

The transaction is subject to FCC approval, which is expected  in the first quarter of 2018.  The new formats are expected to begin on all three stations as early as Spring 2018.

“This transaction fulfills a long-held objective, enabling us to meet the dual listening demands of our radio audience,” said Curtis Monk, president and CEO of CPBC.  “For the first time ever, we are excited to be able to dramatically expand our programming to our listeners, providing wall-to-wall news and public affairs programming on one station, while delivering the best in classical music, jazz and other music offerings on the other.  We are thrilled to be able to give every public broadcasting listener in the region the best of both worlds.”  

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