Area Has Access to Another Public Radio Station
BY LEIGH PEMBER
Special to The Pilot
Public radio fans will be happy to know that another station has been added to the line-up.
The station, which is new to Moore County, is WFAE 93.7 FM. Based out of Charlotte, the station had its 30th anniversary this year. The station's content includes both National Public Radio programming and programs produced by the station. Up until this point, people relied on WUNC 91.5 for public radio, but Bryan Talbott, WFAE's director of marketing and special events, says he does not feel like the two stations are competing.
"Our program schedule is different," he says. "You'll have more choices now in your area for more discussion and dialogue."
While both stations broadcast NPR and other public radio material, the specific programs are often different because of the wide variety available. WFAE has its own newsroom, too, which allows it to focus on specific topics and give them in-depth coverage. Talbott sees this feature of the station as potentially helpful for Moore County residents.
"It gives a voice to the area," he says. "People can respond with what's important to them, and we'll come back to our local team in Charlotte and address some of those issues."
WFAE installed a translator in the Moore County area, which means the area does not have its own station. Because of FCC regulations, WFAE is not allowed to originate content from the translator. Instead, it receives a duplicate of the Charlotte broadcast. According to Talbott, the equipment is located at the end of Devonshire Trail Road on an Aberdeen water tower.
"We found a place with the best available coverage at a low power level. Then, we went to the FCC for licensing," says Jobie Sprinkle, engineer for WFAE. "It took quite a bit of time to get through that process."
Thirty years ago, the station played music often. While it still has partnerships with music stations, that has begun to change.
"News and information is the main thing we do these days," Sprinkle says.
"As times have changed and people's interests have changed, we've tried to move along with that," Talbott adds.
Looking back at the past 30 years, Talbott says a lot at the station has changed. Along with a focus on news, new technologies have helped the station expand.
"A lot more work goes into the website, podcasts and digital radio. We now have a free phone app," Talbott says. "There are many program streams and platforms available now."
Leigh Pember is a rising sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill and is a summer intern at The Pilot.
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