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WCVE expands public radio programming in Richmond metro

RICHMOND, Va. – At 1 p.m. Thursday, Community Idea Stations acquires the keys to two additional radio stations and its 88.9 WCVE-FM signal will begin simulcasting.

Community Idea Stations’ purchased WWBT 107.3-FM and WWLB 93.1-FM from Alpha Media for an undisclosed price, and the sale will be finalized Thursday.

The nonprofit agency will hire more journalists and is working to finalize the program line up before more permanent format changes are made in June. The organization has wanted to expand for decades and said that several other public radio stations throughout Virginia operate across multiple stations.

In June 88.9 WCVE-FM will be reprogrammed to an 24 hour all-news and talk format, WCVE News, over which such NPR programs as “Morning Edition”, “All Things Considered” and “Fresh Air,” and American Public Media’s (APM) “Marketplace” will still be broadcast.  The plan is to add programs such as “Marketplace Weekend,” “Here and Now”, “BBC News”, CBC Radio’s “As it Happens”, and cultural talk shows “Only a Game”, “The Big Listen” and “The Splendid Table.”

The newly acquired stations will simulcast exclusively music programs (WCVE Music), especially those airing classical and jazz music, including APM’s “Performance Today”.

Local music hosts will fill more hours of the day with classical music and jazz host Peter Solomon will claim the evenings.

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.

“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 Community Idea Stations.  “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.”