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Local Content and Services Report

2022 Local Content and Services Report

WNCW's license holder is Isothermal Community College. WNCW's mission is to help further the educational mission of the college, by operating as a full-service public radio station providing news, information, and an eclectic mix of music programming to the region served by our broadcast signal. The large region served by WNCW consists of a diverse and varied culture. WNCW provides programming and community support geared towards stimulating innovation, economic development, lifelong learning, the arts, and the musical and diverse cultural heritage that is such a part of our region. We make a concerted effort to identify issues of concern and importance to our audience and engage with partners in the region to provide our support and produce programming that addresses those areas of concern. WNCW provides our audience with local, regional, and national news. We include longer-form feature stories on important issues and provide multiple in-depth interviews each week that deal with important issues to our region. We produce much of this programming in house, on important local and regional matters, and include nationally syndicated programming like Morning Edition, NPR News each hour, 51%, Making Contact, and other nationally syndicated programming that provides education and knowledge on important issues to our audience. Much of our news and information programming produced in house serves to highlight the work and efforts of the many various local, state, and national agencies, non-profits, community groups, arts organizations, health agencies, environmental groups, educational institutions, and the many other entities that we collaborate with, across our region. All these entities share the common goal of improving the lives of area residents. We also air several short form, locally produced, educational pieces on a weekly basis. Programs like "The Southern Appalachian Creature Feature", produced in association with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, "Down the Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails", produced in association with the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, and many others. Our signal covers Western North Carolina and beyond, reaching portions of five states. Our broadcast range covers an area that has a rich and very diverse musical culture. We believe it is our responsibility to help preserve and highlight that musical culture that is so beloved by our region. A day of musical programming on WNCW will include old-time, bluegrass, classic country, blues, soul, folk, Americana, jazz, and many more genres. All of these musical styles have roots that can be traced back to our region. It's our goal to help preserve this musical history. Our night and weekend programming features several shows of block programming regarding several of the genres so prevalent in our area: Goin' Across the Mountain - featuring traditional bluegrass music, The Saturday Night House Party - highlighting the blues music with origins in upstate SC, The Gospel Truth - focusing on the Bluegrass Gospel and Southern Gospel music rooted in our region, Local Color - spotlighting the many local and regional artists that make up the region's thriving local music scene, and many others. As a part of Isothermal Community College, we also value the importance of sharing the knowledge of our industry. We work in conjunction with the college's Broadcasting and Production Technology curriculum to offer students the opportunity for real-life experience. Students produce programming for our "ARC Overnight" program that airs on WNCW each week. We also have a program with the BPT curriculum that gives students the opportunity to shoot videos of our live music sessions with artists from our Studio B each week. Students run the camera, direct, produce, and edit the videos of these sessions which air live on our social media platforms and are then edited and loaded to our website, or WNCW's Studio B YouTube Channel. We offer internships that provide students with real "hands-on" work experience in the various departments of the radio station. Interns spend time in the programming, business, and membership departments of WNCW, helping to prepare them for a career in broadcasting. BPT Students leave the program with invaluable "real world" experience to include on their resumes and videos and recordings for their portfolios to highlight their skills. We truly value the "public service" portion of our mission as public broadcasters and strive to honor that mission. Our efforts over the past 33 years have made WNCW a highly respected public radio station, not just on the local level, but nationally as well. We are blessed to be a valued and sought-after partner in our community.

WNCW partners with a multitude of like-minded businesses and organizations annually in support of several primary key initiatives that we focus on. These include the following:

1 - Preserving the musical heritage of our region

2 - Supporting conservation and revitalization efforts in our communities

3 - Educating and informing our listening audience on matters of public

concern and importance.

Key groups partnered with to preserve our musical heritage include:

a. The Folk Heritage Committee

b. Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

c. The Don Gibson Theatre

d. The Peace Center

e. The Dianna Wortham Theatre

f. Lake Eden Arts Festival

g. Merlefest

h. The Earl Scruggs Center

i. The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

j. YAM – Young Appalachian Musicians

k. Blue Ridge Music Trails

l. Tryon Fine Arts Center

m. The Foundation Performing Arts Center

n. The Tryon International Equestrian Center

o. The Earl Scruggs Music Festival

Key groups partnered with in support of conservation and revitalization efforts

a. NC Co-Operative Extension

b. Riverlink

c. Chimney Rock State Park

d. Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

e. Town of Hendersonville, NC

f. City of Greenville, SC

g. Town of Saluda, NC

h. Destination Cleveland County

i. Asheville Downtown Assoc.

j. Hagood Mill Historical Site

k. Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority

l. McDowell County Tourism Authority

m. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Commission

n. Town of Spindale, NC

o. Rutherford County TDA

Key Groups partnered with in support of education and information on matters of public concern and importance.

a. Red Cross

b. American Heart Association

c. Relay for Life

d. Pardee UNC Healthcare

e. Rutherford Housing Authority

f. Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

g. Isothermal Community College

h. Rutherford Regional Hospital

i. UNC Asheville

j. Western Carolina University

k. NC State University

l. Wilkes Community College

m. Warren Wilson College

n. Rutherford County Schools

o. Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

p. Rutherford County Humane Society

q. United Way of Rutherford County

Our impact can be measured in several ways. One of the most obvious is the continued financial support from our members. Despite the current questionable economic situation in our country, our semi-annual pledge drives have thrived. We continue to see record fundraisers each year. It’s obvious that our audience values what we contribute to their lives, and our communities. They recognize our efforts to improve the lives of those we serve and share in that commitment with us, through their financial support of our programming. Our impact is also evident in the large numbers of our members that show up to support various charity events, benefit concerts, community volunteer projects, and music and arts festivals, where we have a presence with our many partner organizations. It's also plainly visible in the increasing business support we receive to underwrite our programming. We witness it daily in the multitude of emails, messages, letters, and phone calls that we receive from our members/listeners and community partners. I can see it in many of the comments I receive in direct correspondence:

Just wanted to say I am enjoying your daily mix of music. I am home more now and listening more so I don’t know if your programming has changed a bit or I’m just hearing it more now. Or both!

I like that E Town is on (I have listened to E Town for years in Ohio!) I like the mix of jazz and some standards weekday mornings. Also, I was so pleased to hear some Greg Brown and DAVID BROMBERG! Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who listened to him.

I used to listen to an “underground” FM station in Denver, Co., where they played great music even if the song lengths were longer. I do enjoy all the Americana music and progressive bluegrass as well.

Just wanted to say “thank you” and keep up the good work!

An appreciative listener and member,

Lee Bushorn

Was just listening on the radio and heard you mention you lived in Virginia Beach in the mid-70s. I grew up in VB, and graduated from First Colonial in ’96. We just moved to Greenville a couple months ago. We had lived here for 2 years in the early 2000s, and were thrilled to get a good opportunity here and relocate. One of the main reasons I always wanted to return to the area was WNCW. In my humble opinion you guys have the best public radio station in the Country! Not that it’s a competition, but just know how much the listeners enjoy the programs and song selections. It’s a treat to have WNCW on the air. Anyway, just wanted to make the connection – no need to reply unless you would like.

Stay well,

Joe Menard


It was great to see you (and Joe and Martin), great to be with the fans and musicians and of course it is great that you have helped us raise funds for affordable housing! I am so grateful for all that you did. We’re grateful that WNCW is a sponsor of our work – and hope you will let us know if you can come out and volunteer one day.

Beth Russo

Development Officer, Individual and Corporate Giving

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

WNCW is a leader in preserving and sharing the music and heritage of our region, and a valued partner to MerleFest and Wilkes Community College. From on-site broadcasting services during our festival, to countless promotions months before and leading into MerleFest, Wilkes Community College appreciates the significant promotional impact that only WNCW can provide. We absolutely share an audience, and because of WNCW, MerleFest fans stay connected to the artists and music they love all year long. We are continually delighted when we receive requests for artists from our fans. More often than not, our fans tell us they discovered them by listening to WNCW. It’s obvious that our large fan base, and MerleFest’s success in general is due in large part to our partnership with WNCW. The faculty and Staff at Wilkes Community College and MerleFest are truly thankful for such a great partner in helping to enrich our community.


Wes Whitson

Festival Director, MerleFest

WNCW is an amazing resource for our Broadcasting and Production Technology students. They get to see first what it's really like to work in a professional radio station. Our students learn to produce and record professional programming that actually airs on WNCW. Our students also benefit from the opportunity to intern with WNCW. Interns gain valuable “hands on” experience in every aspect of station operations, while earning college credit for the internship. Our students also shoot video for WNCW’s Studio B sessions. The video streams live on WNCW’s Facebook Page, but it is also recorded and edited to be uploaded to WNCW’s Studio B Youtube Channel. Our students get the experience of working a live multiple camera shoot and gain valuable editing experience as well. Our students benefit from simply having a full-time professional radio station in the same building. They see first hand, what it actually takes to keep a station on the air 24/7/365. I can’t say enough about the value of WNCW to our students.

Jim Liverett

Broadcasting and Production Technology Instructor

Isothermal Community College.

WNCW makes a concerted effort to identify the needs within our minority communities. We work with several various organizations and agencies to help identify specific needs and partner with them to raise awareness via our airwaves. WNCW uses several methods to address these issues, airing many locally produced and syndicated programs that highlight minority issues. Our syndicated programs like Making Contact, 51 Percent, and even NPR’s Morning Edition, all feature many stories of importance to minorities, throughout the year. We consider it part of our mission to provide a voice for minority concerns throughout our listening area. Many of our own locally produced interviews and stories highlight minority concerns:

We spotlighted several Asheville theatre groups who are extending an invitation to find and discover African American Playwrights. This project is about opening doors to the creative minds and talents of future Black writers across Western North Carolina.

WNCW interviewed a representative from the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence. As serious as any problem facing women and children across the state is that of domestic violence. We learned that often the first step of a victim, speaking out for help, is one of the hardest in the cycle to break.

WNCW spotlighted the Greenville (South Carolina) Returning Citizen’s Program, where we interviewed one of its leaders, Sammie Stroud. Often after a young person is released from time in prison, the transition back to normal life including finding a job isn’t easy. The program is especially beneficial for minorities such as African-Americans and Latino males.

We spoke with representatives from Yokefellow of Rutherford County, a crisis 501(C) agency that helps low-income families receive financial support. Support that could help pay someone’s next heating bill or provide food, clothing, medication, and rent.

We featured the Mountain Biz-Work first ever Latino Catalyst Cohort, which was facilitated entirely in Spanish. The business development program is for entrepreneurs of color, focusing on developing practical business and leadership skills. We did an initial on-air feature interview with them around their launch of the program and continue to support their efforts in our community with regular public service announcements about their various opportunities.

WNCW would be a shell of the public radio station it is, without our CPB funding. We would definitely be unable to provide the level of programming that we currently sustain for our communities. Without our grant funding, respected nationally syndicated programming like Morning Edition, the NPR News Headlines, The World Café, and others would likely be an impossibility for a small station like ours. Our CPB funding allows us to maintain a small full-time staff of broadcasting professionals, that are well educated, experienced, and have the ability to create quality news, information, and music programming for our audience. Without that funding, we would be unable to provide the quality programming that enriches the lives of our audience and addresses local, regional, state, and national concerns and issues of importance. We’re probably one of the few smaller public radio stations in the country that still maintains a live and local broadcast almost around the clock daily. Without CPB funding, our full-time staff would likely be much smaller, our reliance on automation much larger, and the quality of our programming severely diminished. Our CPB funding has allowed us to make use of more of the revenue from our fund drives, and underwriting support, for necessary equipment upgrades. Technology seems to change almost daily and we have been able to keep up with those changes relatively well. Broadcasting is an expensive business. Despite our best efforts at maintenance and upkeep, there’s always another technical issue, equipment failure, etc. waiting to happen just around the corner. Our transmitter site is located on a mountain top inside Mt. Mitchell State Park. Mt. Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi. It provides us with an amazing signal for the communities that we serve, but the winters at that altitude can be harsh and unforgiving. That means that the lifespan of our broadcast gear, at the transmitter site, can be severely less than one would expect under normal conditions. Our CPB funding means that we are prepared and able to deal with those emergencies when they arise. Our CPB funding has allowed us to not only maintain our broadcast signal, but to improve it over the years. We are truly grateful for the funding we receive through the CPB. There is no doubt that without it, we probably couldn't remain on the air, let alone have the ability to provide quality programming to educate, inform, and entertain the people of Western North Carolina. It is my hope that Congress continues to recognize the value of the services that WNCW, and all public broadcasters, provide for America’s citizens. Continued adequate funding for the CPB is a necessity, if public broadcasters are to remain on the air. WNCW believes in our mission to help educate and inform our audience here in Western NC and the surrounding region. CPB funding is a large part of what continues to make accomplishing that mission possible.