WHQR

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WHQR
Broadcast area Wilmington, North Carolina
BrandingWHQR 91.3 & 92.7 FM
Translator(s)94.1 W231AB ( Lumberton)
98.9 W255BZ ( Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)
92.7 W224CX ( Wilmington, relays HD2)
96.7 W244DH ( Southport, relays HD2)
FormatFM/HD1: Public radio
HD2: Classical music "Classical HQR"
ERP100,000 watts
HAAT348 meters
ClassC
Facility ID22656
Call sign meaningWilmington High Quality Radio (WHQR)
Affiliations National Public Radio
OwnerFriends of Public Radio, Inc.
Webcast Listen Live
Listen Live (HD2)
Website whqr.org

WHQR is the National Public Radio (NPR) member station for Southeastern North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, broadcasting on the FM band 91.3 MHz. [1] Based in Wilmington and operated by Friends of Public Radio, Inc. (a community group). [2] It airs NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International, [3] and BBC programming as well as classical, jazz and adult album alternative music. WHQR hosts concerts and events in their gallery space as well as live-on-the air music with the original Soup to Nuts Live program. [4]

The station operates two FM repeater stations, W255BZ from Myrtle Beach on 98.9, [5] W231AB from Lumberton on 94.1. [6] WHQR also operates a sister classical music station called Classical HQR, broadcasting on the HD-2 [7] stream as well as on translator W224CX from Wilmington on 92.7, [8] and on W272CV from Myrtle Beach on 102.3. [9]

HD programming

WHQR broadcasts in the HD radio format. Since April 2009, WHQR has broadcast Classical HQR on their HD-2 channel. Classical HQR specializes in classical music programming with local and national hosts. [7]

Translators

The network consists of one class C radio station, 91.3 [1] and 5 FM translators. All stations are referred to as either WHQR or Classical HQR. [3] The call letters of the other stations are identified only during required station IDs at the start of each hour.

WHQR's 100,000-watt signal not only covers Wilmington but much of southeastern North Carolina including Jacksonville, Surf City, Oak Island, Whiteville, Elizabethtown, Wallace, Warsaw and Lumberton. [1] The translators expand that signal to cover northeastern South Carolina, including Myrtle Beach, Conway, Dillion, and Marion Counties. [5]

WHQR still owns the 96.7 translator in Brunswick county, [10] which was used for the Classical HQR format from September 2014 to March 2016. [11] The signal changed to 92.7 MHz, which increased the power from 98 to 250 watts. The current station manager, Michelle Rhinesmith, hopes that WHQR will be able to use the 96.7 station to increase the range of the classical station to more of Brunswick county and Kure Beach. [12]

Broadcast translators of WHQR/WHQR-HD1
Call sign Frequency
( MHz)
City of license Facility
ID
ERP
( W)
Height
(m (ft))
Class Transmitter coordinates FCC info
W231AB 94.1 Lumberton, North Carolina 22665 80 (Horizontal)
0 (Vertical)
38 m (125 ft) D 34°38′20″N 79°0′32″W / 34.63889°N 79.00889°W / 34.63889; -79.00889 FCC
W244DH 96.7 Southport, North Carolina 157724 250 0 m (0 ft) D 33°57′14″N 78°1′40″W / 33.95389°N 78.02778°W / 33.95389; -78.02778 FCC
W255BZ 98.9 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 147982 38 0 m (0 ft) D 33°42′13″N 78°52′36″W / 33.70361°N 78.87667°W / 33.70361; -78.87667 FCC
Broadcast translators of WHQR-HD2
Call sign Frequency
( MHz)
City of license Facility
ID
ERP
( W)
Height
(m (ft))
Class Transmitter coordinates FCC info
W224CX 92.7 Wilmington, North Carolina 157854 250 0 m (0 ft) D 34°17′8″N 77°58′32″W / 34.28556°N 77.97556°W / 34.28556; -77.97556 FCC
W272CV 102.3 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 148009 38 0 m (0 ft) D 33°42′13″N 78°52′36″W / 33.70361°N 78.87667°W / 33.70361; -78.87667 FCC

Programming

In addition to syndicated national programming, WHQR has local programs that are both talk and music shows. WHQR hosts local news on the 91.3 station with the call-in show Coastline hosted by Rachel Lewis Hilburn, which features problems affecting southeastern North Carolina. [13] There is also a short interview segment called Communique that airs several times a day about local movers and shakers. [14] WHQR also features several folk, jazz and adult album alternative local programming. [4] The MC Erny Art Gallery space at the WHQR studios in the historic Warwick building in downtown Wilmington also hosts community events. [3] There are six art shows per year and the gallery participates in Wilmington's Fourth Friday late night gallery event. [15] There are eight Soup to Nuts Live concerts per year, [15] which are then aired on the radio on the Saturday program. [16] In collaboration with StarNews Media, the MC Erny Gallery also holds the monthly book club, Prologue, which in February 2018 moved from 7p.m. to noon. [17] [18] A Little Lunch Music is an informal concert hosted in the gallery on the first Friday of every month at noon. [19]

History

WHQR began with a dark day for classical music lovers in Wilmington. On a Saturday in March 1979, avid listeners were disappointed when the local commercial radio station dropped the Opera broadcast without warning. [11] [20] Several listeners gathered together to figure out a way to bring opera broadcasts back, and held their first meeting on April 19 in the Kenan Hall Band Room on the UNC-Wilmington campus. They organized into a group called Friends of the Opera. [3] [20] They looked into the possibility of improving and collaborating with the UNCW student radio station, WLOZ, but there were many financial and administrative hurdles that made that a difficult possibility. Friends of the Opera slowly realized that Public Radio was the best way to bring classical music to Wilmington and changed their name to Friends of Public Radio in early 1980. With some financial and fundraising help from Friends of Public Radio, WLOZ hosted the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts while they were on air during the school year from December 12, 1979 until they went off the air in February 1981 due to a possible drug scandal. [20] [21] [22]

In early 1982, Friends of Public Radio applied to the FCC to secure the license for 91.3 MHz. They were turned down and told to apply next year. Friends of Public Radio continued to fundraise with concerts and newsletters and received local city and county grants. They were able to hire a technical director and a station manager. In July 1983, just as the station was about to start construction of their tower, WECT filed a complaint with the FCC that the radio station at the low end of the FM frequency station would conflict with their Channel 6 TV broadcast. In order to go on the air on their projected date of April 1984, the station was forced to drop the signal strength from a planned 30,000 watts to 1,500 watts with a plan with the FCC to slowly increase the power as long as there was no interference. The station was up to 10,000 watts by 1985. Friends of Public Radio signed a 10-year lease for studio space in 1984 and volunteers helped with construction and fundraising. The station hired 3 more staff members as required by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Membership for the radio station passed 1,000 in March 1984, and they choose the WHQR call sign. [20]

Renamed WHQR, the first NPR affiliate for southeastern North Carolina, the station went on-air at 7a.m. on Sunday, April 22, 1984. The first sound on the new radio station was of a baby crying, then Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, followed by then station manager Michael Titterton announcing;

Good morning and welcome to the very first broadcast day of WHQR-FM, Wilmington North Carolina. WHQR FM transmits on a frequency of 91.3 MHz at an Effective radiated power of 1500 watts from 1270 feet above sea level. WHQR FM is licensed to and operated by the Friends of Public Radio, Inc with studios and offices at 1026 Greenfield Street. Transmitter and antenna are located at Winnabow, North Carolina. [23]

The offices at Greenfield Street were in a converted bar in a strip mall. [3] The first classical programming was a needle-drop style hosted by Michael Titterton, Prelude and Concert in the Morning, and the station provided local news at the top of the hour in the mornings. NPR talk shows played in the afternoons and in the evenings local volunteer DJs hosted the show Jazz till Midnight. In keeping with the founding of the station, Metropolitan and other Opera companies played on Saturday afternoons. The station was on air for 18 hours a day for the first several years. [2] After less than 5 months of being on the air, on September 13, 1984 Hurricane Diana hit the Carolina coast. Most communication in the area was down, but WHQR was only off air for 90 minutes and was, for a while, the only FM station on-air. In May 1985, Sharon Mahoney won two Associated Press awards for journalism - one of them was for her reporting during Diana. Over the first five years, the station slowly increased and hit all of their semi-annual pledge-drive goals save for one where there was a problem with signal strength. [20] The Radio Research Corporation's (RRC) effectiveness rating in July 1985 showed that WHQR was 31st of 312 public radio stations nationally and in 1988 "Titterton announced in the program guide that the station had been in the top 20 of RRC-rated stations for the past 3 years." [20]

In 1992, the popular weekly program Flamenco Cafe with William "Paco" Strickland started. Station manager Titterton heard him at a bar and recruited him to play Flamenco guitar on air. Flamenco cafe was syndicated to public radio stations nationwide. [24] In April 1994 the WHQR studios moved to a new downtown location on the third floor of the historic Warwick building at 254 N. Front Street, Wilmington. [2] [25]

WHQR suffered serious financial problems during the recession, and "ran a deficit of nearly $400,000 in 2007-2008." [7] In January 2007, the station cancelled several local jazz and folk programs. This included Flamenco Cafe, which moved to The Penguin, a local commercial station. Programming manager Bob Workman and station manager John Milligan stated that they were trying to appeal to a younger audience and create smoother "talk blocks". [26] The next year, listeners complained in an editorial in the Wilmington Star News that there was too much talk on the station and not enough classical music. [27] In December 2008, Friends of Public Radio decided to remove the position of station manager as a cost-cutting measure. [7] WHQR purchased an HD transmitter in April 2009 after a successful pledge drive, which fixed the older, unreliable transmitter. [7] The station's financial problems improved slowly, from 2008 to 2009 WHQR ran a $170,000 deficit and almost broke even in 2010. In September 2010 WHQR hired Cleve Callison as station manager, [28] who pushed for most of the financial changes at the station. [29]

On June 1, 2009, WHQR added the HD-2 station, Classical HQR, which simulcast the morning local classical music and added NPR classical stream. Listenership was low as people had to buy new HD radio receivers to tune in. The station also had an extra pledge drive in the summer of 2009 to help pay off their debts. [30] Local actress Mary Carole Erny died in 2010. She spent 15 years volunteering for WHQR. [31] In her will she bequeathed the station $50,000, which WHQR learned about in 2011. The station spent some of the money for an assessment team to see if WHQR would get a positive response from a capital campaign. [32] The station renamed the art gallery space in the Warwick building to be the MC Erny Gallery in her honor. In early 2013 the emPowering Our Future campaign started with a plan to raise $1.5 million [33] to expand service, improve technology and create a welcoming space. [15]

In 2014 WHQR divided into two stations. Even though the classical station already existed on the HD-2 channel, Friends of Public Radio purchased a transmitter on the FM frequency 96.7 and Classical HQR was on the airwaves with classical music and opera. The morning classical music was removed from 91.3, which became a news, talk and jazz station. [11] In August 2014, with money raised from the capital campaign, Friends of Public Radio bought the studios in the Warwick building outright. [25]

Classic HQR moved to the FM signal 92.7 in March 2016 with a higher broadcast power of 250 watts. The campaign slogan "92 is the new 96" played for a month during the transition. [11] On April 23, 2016, the birthday of Shakespeare and the day after the station's 32nd anniversary, WHQR added W272CV 102.3 FM in Myrtle Beach for the classical format. [34] In December 2016 the emPowering Our Future Capital Campaign reached its $1.5 million goal after a public drive. [33] Most of the campaign operated in a quiet phase, receiving $1.15 million in grants and support from underwriting businesses. The money from the capital campaign is going towards one-time improvements to the station. [15] In January 2017 the goal was exceeded with a final amount of $1.9 million raised. [35] Michelle Rhinesmith replaced station manager Cleve Callison in August 2017. [12] [36]

References

  1. ^ a b c "FCC Query Results WHQR".
  2. ^ a b c Crouch, Michelle. "Our 30th Anniversary". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  3. ^ a b c d e "About WHQR". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  4. ^ a b "HQR News 91.3 Radio Schedule | WHQR". whqr.org. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  5. ^ a b "FCC Query Results W255BZ".
  6. ^ "FCC Query Results W231AB".
  7. ^ a b c d e Writer, Ben Steelman, Staff. "Public radio gets HD transmitter". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  8. ^ "FCC Query Results W224CX".
  9. ^ "FCC Query Results W272CV".
  10. ^ "FCC Query Results W244DH".
  11. ^ a b c d Board, StarNews Editorial. "Editorial, March 12: WHQR looks to the future". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  12. ^ a b Staff, Ben Steelman StarNews. "Changes coming to Wilmington public radio". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  13. ^ "CoastLine". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  14. ^ "Communique with Gina Gambony". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  15. ^ a b c d "emPowering Our Future exceeds the goal!". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  16. ^ "Soup to Nuts Live!". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  17. ^ "WHQR and StarNews Present "Prologue"". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  18. ^ DeVries, Caroline. "Prologue: "Side Effects" by Myrna Brown - New Meeting Time - NOON". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  19. ^ "A Little Lunch Music | WHQR". whqr.org. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  20. ^ a b c d e f Megivern, Marjorie (1989). A High Quality Miracle: How WHQR Came to Be, A History 1979-1989. Wilmington, NC: Published by Friends of Public Radio and WHQR-FM.
  21. ^ "College Radio Read: Kill the Music - Radio Survivor". Radio Survivor. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  22. ^ "Can you tell me what shut down UNCW student radio station WLOZ in 1983? - MyReporter.com". MyReporter.com. 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  23. ^ Callison, Cleve. "First sound ever on WHQR? Here it is". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  24. ^ Ben.Steelman@StarNewsOnline.com, Ben Steelman. "Flamenco guitarist William 'Paco' Strickland has died". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  25. ^ a b "Corporate parent of WHQR to buy offices". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  26. ^ Writer, Ben Steelman, Staff. "Public radio program shuffle has some former hosts upset". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  27. ^ Writer, Ben Steelman, Staff. "WHQR listeners complain station has too much talk". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  28. ^ Gareth.McGrath@StarNewsOnline.com, Gareth McGrath. "WHQR hires new station manager after 19-month vacancy". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  29. ^ Board, StarNews Editorial. "EDITORIAL, March 3: Callison revived WHQR, helped it flourish". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  30. ^ Ben.Steelman@StarNewOnline.com, Ben Steelman. "WHQR offers all-classical format to digital customers". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  31. ^ Amy.Hotz@StarNewsOnline.com, Amy Hotz. "Actress M.C. Erny dies less than a week after her final Shakespearean performance". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  32. ^ MyReporter.com, StarNews journalists answer your questions at. "M.C. Erny left a lasting legacy". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  33. ^ a b Staff, Cheryl Whitaker StarNews. "WHQR's emPowering Our Future campaign". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  34. ^ Callison, Cleve. "Classical HQR is on the air in Myrtle Beach!". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  35. ^ Callison, Cleve. "Friday Feedback for January 13, 2017". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  36. ^ Staff, Ben Steelman StarNews. "WHQR names new manager". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2018-07-15.

External links