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Whatever happened to WHQR’s plans to launch a second, all-classical radio station?

Ben Steelman
StarNews

Those plans are still in progress, according to WHQR station manager Cleve Callison.

WHQR’s corporate parent, the nonprofit Friends of Public Radio Inc., has filed with the Federal Communications Commission to broadcast on a second FM signal in Southeastern North Carolina. The filing proved to be more complex than supporters had previously thought, Callison said, but it now appears the second station will get final approval sometime in the summer of 2014.

WHQR will move Jemila Ericson’s weekday-morning classical program to its new, all-classical station. StarNews file photo.

WHQR will move Jemila Ericson’s weekday-morning classical program to its new, all-classical station. StarNews file photo.

“Between now and then, we will be running some programming, operational and engineering tests for the new station,” Callison wrote in a newsletter recently mailed to financial supporters of WHQR.

The new station will essentially carry the same programming as WHQR’s current all-classical HD2 channel, Callison said. One big exception will be that Jemila Ericson’s popular weekday-morning classical program will move from WHQR to the new station, he added.

In the newsletter, Callison wrote that WHQR will be “adding more news and information on 91.3 (FM).”

Callison cautioned that the new FM station will not be as powerful as WHQR’s 91.3 signal. It will, however, be able to reach the bulk of WHQR’s listeners in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, he added.

A second station has been part of WHQR’s strategic plan since August 2012, Callison said. The station is currently conducting a $1.3 million capital campaign, titled “emPowering Our Future,” in part to raise funds to launch the new station.

The new station would be Wilmington’s first all-classical radio oulet since Wilmington Hometown Media reprogrammed Bach Radio in November 2013.

RELATED LINKS:

When will other local radio stations (besides WHQR) broadcast in HD?

When will WHQR begin broadcasting on its third HD channel?

 

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