It’s always great to see public radio stations invested in bringing classical music to their audiences through terrestrial radio signals (as opposed to online-only or HD-2 channels). WHQR is a small station that has been operating for thirty years in Wilmington, North Carolina, and they recently launched a 24 hour classical music service. It’s a small signal (
250 99 watts), but it covers a fairly dense population center, according to this map from radio-locator.com.
The station will provide 22 hours of locally-hosted programming per week, along with WXXI’s With Heart and Voice, Suzanne Bona’s Sunday Baroque, and the Metropolitan Opera during its broadcast season. Most of the schedule will be provided by Classical 24, but WHQR’s local hosts Jemila Ericson and Pat Marriott have the all-important hours of 9 am to 1 pm covered every weekday. Pat tells me there are no plans to expand the local schedule, but it’s a great start, and I’m sure classical music fans in Wilmington will be extremely pleased.
Congrats and good luck to all involved!
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12 thoughts on “New Classical Station in Wilmington, NC”
A correction: The translator for WQXR HD2 at 96.7 in Wilmington, NC is actually 99 watts. The 250 watts was what they were at from the old site.
One comment I always wanted to make: as second shift worker I am asleep most of the morning every day when many Classical stations have their local programming. I wish classical music stations would have a local host on in the afternoon or evening when I listen instead of mornings.
Thanks for the correction. I’ll edit that.
I hear you about local announcers and their usual hours. Often, it’s simply a matter of resources. More local voices = greater expense for stations, so they opt to “get the most bang for the buck,” so to speak. I’m glad you brought that up, though, it is a good topic to cover in later post.
Thanks Joe and thanks for taking over the blog.
I meant WHQR.
Joe, thank you for the article. Not to get too wonky, but this is not obviously a full-power FM. It’s licensed as an HD2 translator. Originally it was at channel 243 (96.5) in Burgaw, NC. When we applied for the move as a condition of purchase, a pattern study showed better results at 244 (96.7). So our correct call sign is W224DH. Part of the FCC’s database has not caught up with its own licensing and still shows W243CX.
Unfortunately for us, interference concerns forced us to reduce power from the maximum of 250 for HD translators to 99. Still, at 99 watts on a flat coastal terrain, with a height of 475 feet, we cover a majority of listeners to 91.3, our primary. And the signal when clear sounds very good. Listeners in coastal communities to our south and southeast have difficulty picking it up, so it’s not a perfect solution.
WHQR has been around since 1984, licensed to the nonprofit Friends of Public Radio. That group was originally named Friends of the Opera — they wanted to Met on the air. Over the years an originally heavy schedule of classical music has been cut back on the primary in favor of news and talk. We’re very happy to have delivered on the promise of the Met, and more, with the new station.
Thanks Cleve for posting. When will the HD2 102.3 translator for Classical music come on in Myrtle Beach W272CV? Will there be any other translators? I am sure W231AB 94.1 in Lumberton, NC stays news. And there is the new translator 97.3 W247CE in Southern Pines, NC and new translator W237EC 95.3 near Conway, SC. Both will probably be news as well? I had wondered why only 99 watts instead of 250. And I wondered how the reception was. My hobby is following Classical music stations so I am very curious. I have been listening online from Springfield, IL including right now. Of course it would have been better for Classical music lovers like on this blog if the news programming went to the translator and classical on the 100,000 watts signal. haha! The classical HD2 signal will still cover a big area for WHQR however. That is the best option over a translator but HD radios are not as common. News programming is what is more popular now so that is why it gets the best signal. Where I live WUIS went all news last year and put Classical 24 on the HD2 as well but no analog translator and no local programming. So I have all HD radios to get the HD2.
I would rather have a 24 hour day Classical Station on HD2 than one only part time on the main channel. So I am glad to see stations doing that.
I should have identified myself — Cleve Callison, Station Manager, WHQR (HQR News and Classical HQR)
What has happened to “With Heart and Voice?” Personally, it was the best radio on the air and I am very disappointed not to receive it any more. I live in Supply, N.C and I get no response from the new station either. Can anything be done to allow those of us who live only 20 some miles away to receive the program which established the tone of my entire week? Many of my friends have made the same comments. Thank you for your consideration.
Mr. McNeely, With Heart and Voice is now on Classical HQR, 96.7. We understand that that signal’s range does not reach to Supply. There are options: listening online on a computer or smart phone, and the HD2 channel of 91.3 are currently the best ones. Longer-term we are investigating options for a signal that will reach Brunswick County better. — Cleve Callison, Station Manager, WHQR
Will whqr still air live opera at the Met?
Does reception reach the Wrightsville Beach area?