A! Magazine for the Arts

College Radio Station Expands Programming, Coverage Area

September 16, 2007

This article appeared Friday, Sept. 14, 2007 in the Bristol Herald Courier.

EMORY, Va. ? At Emory & Henry College, public radio has entered a new age. With an agreement signed Thursday, Sept. 13, the college radio station expanded its programming, and it also recently expanded its coverage area with a power increase from 100 watts to 500 granted by the Federal Communications Commission earlier this year.

Now, WEHC broadcasts can be heard as far away as Abingdon, with new locally generated programs, as well as programming provided by WVTF Public Radio in Roanoke.

"We all believe this will be an opportunity for the college to share more of the work that goes on here with a broader community," said Teresa Keller, professor of communications and general manager of the college radio station. "When Dr. [Rosalind] Reichard came to this campus [as Emory & Henry president last year], she challenged us all to dream big, and this possibility for this radio station is a bigger dream than I could've imagined."

She's speaking of plans under way to further increase the power to 10,000 watts ? enough power for the radio station's programming to be heard in Bristol, Tazewell and Mountain City.

"It's really going to put Emory & Henry on a par with East Tennessee State and Virginia Tech in terms of college and university presence on the airwaves," Keller said. "Realistically, it will probably be a year, but we would hope to get the approval [from the FCC] within a few months."

Emory & Henry spokesman Dirk Moore said the station will provide a broad spectrum of information on local topics ? and described it as "very much like a town meeting on the radio."

Glenn Gleixner is the general manager of WVTF, the Roanoke public radio station, and he said the programming agreement is beneficial on both sides. "It helps us take our news and talk formatted service called Radio IQ to more listeners," he said of the agreement. "It's an opportunity to offer more and better public radio programs to more people."

He said the programming ? which will include talk shows on public affairs and the arts, other National Public Radio content and BBC news ? is "intelligent, stimulating, broadening programming" and provides more in-depth information than other radio stations.

As for the new local programming, "It's coming from Emory & Henry," Gleixner said, "so we anticipate it's really going to be good."