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Local Content and Services Report

2023 Local Content and Services Report

WNCW is a department of Isothermal Community College. The college is the station’s license holder and we operate just as any other department of the college does. We support the college’s goals through the operation of a full-service public radio station, providing news and information programming, as well as an eclectic mix of music programming. Our mission is to encourage a culture of life-long learning. We believe it’s important to encourage creativity, and to promote the history of our region, the arts, and economic development within our broadcast region. We work with various partners in our area to identify and address issues of concern. We strive to create a healthy respect for the cultural diversity and history that is such an important part of our service area.

We provide our audience with local, regional, and national news, long form features, short features, stories, and one on one interviews that highlight issues of concern, and the work of and opportunities available from, area health agencies, environmental agencies and organizations, municipalities, educational institutions, arts organizations, community organizations, and non-profits within our region. Arts organizations announce their events on our free weekday calendar listing of area arts events called “Art Break” which runs multiple times throughout the week. Additionally, we provide an on-line “Community Calendar,” where various agencies and organizations can share their events on our website.

Another of our most important missions is preserving and highlighting the rich musical heritage that is so important to our region and it’s influence on our culture. Our daily “Music Mix” programming Highlights the many genres of music that have roots based in the region. The majority of our programming is produced in house, and includes programs like: Goin’ Across the Mountain - highlighting bluegrass music, This Old Porch – highlighting old-time and folk music, Celtic Winds – highlighting Celtic music, The Saturday Night House Party – highlighting the blues music that originated in the upstate of South Carolina, The Gospel Truth – highlighting gospel and bluegrass gospel music, Local Color –highlighting the music of local and regional artists from across the region, and many others. We are blessed to have a multitude of local, regional, and national artists that tour through our area on a regular basis. Many of these artists join us in our live performance studio, where our personalities conduct interviews and the artists provide live performances. A live Studio B session goes much further in depth than simply playing a recorded track from the artist on the air. Our audience gets a chance to learn the history of the music and a deeper look at the influences on the artists, who they are, what their music means to them, and what they hope it conveys to the listening audience.

As a department of a community college, we believe it’s our duty to share the knowledge and skills of our employees with our students. Since going on the air back in 1989, WNCW has partnered with the college's Broadcasting and Production Technology curriculum to offer students real, hands-on experience in broadcasting. The students produce programming for our "ARC Overnight" show that airs on WNCW each week. Additionally, the students in the BPT curriculum are actively involved in many of our live performance Studio B sessions with the artists. Students run camera, direct, produce, and edit the videos of these sessions which air live on our social media platforms. After the live performance is over, the footage is edited, and uploaded to our WNCW- Studio B YouTube page. These live Studio B sessions are with local, regional, and national touring artists, giving them a learning opportunity that is unavailable to most students. We offer internships as well, that provide students real life work experience in the various departments of the radio station. Interns spend time in the programming, business, and membership departments of WNCW, gaining "hands on" experience that prepares 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.

Public Service is the most important part of our mission as public broadcasters and we take it very seriously. Whether it’s sharing local news, an interview with a local organization about an issue of concern, working with local agencies to share information in an emergency situation, sharing our knowledge and skills with students, or whatever the case may be, we’re dedicated to meeting the needs of our communities. Our efforts have made WNCW a highly respected public radio station, on the local, regional, and national level, and an “in demand” partner. That’s a fact that we’re very proud of, and committed to continuing for decades to come.


WNCW has remained focused on several key initiatives important to those who make their home in our region. Those initiatives include 1- Educating and informing our audience on identified issues and concerns of importance in the region, 2 – Supporting revitalization, conservation, and economic development in the region, and 3 – Preserving and highlighting the musical heritage of our region. We are constantly on the lookout for like-minded organizations that share in our mission to support these initiatives.


Organizations partnered with for education on issues and concerns of importance include: The Rutherford County Humane Society, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, The Asheville Citizen Times, The Greenville News, The Charlotte Observer, The Daily Courier, The Red Cross, Relay for Life, Rutherford Housing Authority, Isothermal Community College, UNC Asheville, NC State university, Western Carolina University, Wilkes Community College, Rutherford Regional Hospital, The American Heart Association, Pardee Hospital, Rutherford County Schools, Mission Health, Rutherford County Health Department, Isothermal Community College, Rutherford County Sheriffs Department, and the NC Highway Patrol.


Organizations partnered with on revitalization, conservation, and economic development efforts include: Riverlink, Chimney Rock State Park, NC Co-Operative Extension, Town of Hendersonville, NC, City of Greenville, SC, Town of Saluda, Destination Cleveland County, The Blueridge Parkway Foundation, McDowell County Tourism Authority, Asheville Downtown Association, Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority, US Fish and Wildlife Services, Cleveland County Historical Society, Destination Cleveland County, Tryon International, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, and The Foothills Conservancy of NC.


Organizations partnered with on preservation of musical heritage include: The Foundation Performing Arts Center, Young Appalachian Musicians, Lake Eden Arts Festival, Merlefest, The Don Gibson Theatre, The Blue Ridge Music Trail, The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, The Peace Center, The Folk Heritage Committee, Dianna Wortham Theatre, The Earl Scruggs Center, The Tryon Fine Arts Center, and the Earl Scruggs Music Festival.

The impact of WNCW’s key initiatives can be witnessed in various forms. The continued financial support of our station through the generosity of our listener members is one. The revenue from our semi-annual pledge drives continues to grow each year. Additionally, we now have over 500 sustaining members who contribute to the station on a monthly basis. It’s obvious that our audience continues to find what we do relevant, values the station as a positive member of the community, and it’s important enough to them to support the station financially, despite the fact that most people are struggling in the current economic climate. We see the results on a regular basis through our member’s participation at various concerts, music and arts festivals, charity events, and community events where we have a physical presence to lend support. The success of our initiatives is evident by the number of amazing people who are willing to volunteer their personal time to help WNCW during our fund drives, and work at the multitude of music festivals, fundraisers, and charity events where we have a presence each year. There’s no way we could have the impact that we do, without our volunteers. It’s evident through the many phone calls and e-mails we receive from members, and It’s visible in the tremendous support we receive from area businesses that continue to underwrite our programming on a daily basis. Perhaps the best measurement of the impact we have comes from the comments of our members and those we collaborate with:


We can’t thank you enough for your support and help with the Earl Scruggs Music Festival. You folks were amazing. Everyone, from your staff and volunteers in the WNCW Booth, to your on air folks who MC’ed at our stages, was simply wonderful to work with. Thanks for helping to make the festival such an incredible experience for everyone who attended. We look forward to working with you again.


Claire Armbruster, Producer – Earl Scruggs Music Festival


Just listing to your music mix which is always excellent. WNCW is a treasure, both Regional and National! Keep up the great work. I am reminded to pledge now.


Take care.


Malcolm McAvoy - Morristown, TN


Your interview segment today with Ted of White Water Bluegrass Band was outstanding. I appreciated hearing the stories about Steve Sutton’s good works and that Steve Sutton Fest will be honoring him through great music by White Water Bluegrass, the Darin Nicholson Band and others. I won’t be able to attend but I hope y’all have a great time sharing the music and community of Steve as well as that of the Bluegrass world. But, I feel a part of this music community. That great positive spirit that was exuded in your interview is so alive in the music of the Blue Ridge of NC. That’s why I love to hear it.




Steve Houser - Waxhaw, NC


Longtime listener, first time winner. I won the VIP tickets to the Earl Scruggs Music Festival. Thank you so much. We had a wonderful time at the festival. What a perfect venue. Thank you all for everything you do to keep the music alive.

Jan Clinkscales – Belton, SC


WNCW provides our Broadcasting and Production Technology students with excellent opportunities for learning about the broadcast industry from the inside. Students learn the format of the “ARC Overnight” radio program. The students are taught how to produce and record the programming for “ARC.” It gives them the opportunity to create professional programming, and then have that programming broadcast on WNCW, a real radio station. There not just going through the motions. It’s an amazing opportunity for our students as they learn how to follow the format guidelines in preparing and producing their hour of the show, then actually get to hear it air on a real radio station.

Students can also apply for an internship at WNCW, to gain invaluable “hands on” experience in radio College credit is awarded for the successful completion of an internship.

Many of our Broadcasting and Production Technology students will also volunteer to assist with the station’s fundraising events and assist the station staff with various tasks.

Our students benefit from the exposure, just by being in the same building with WNCW. They get to see just exactly what it takes to run a real professional public radio station on a daily basis. Our partnership with WNCW is an amazing asset to our program and students.


Carolyn Young

Lead Instructor, Broadcasting and Production Technology

Isothermal Community College


At WNCW we are committed to meeting the needs of the various minority communities we serve. We work with a multitude of local organizations and groups, throughout the year, to support their efforts and address the needs of minorities. Each week we broadcast several syndicated public affairs shows, like 51% and Making Contact, that examine issues of importance to minorities. Additionally, we produce various in-house programs and interviews that address these issues.


Each week our News Director conducted various Interviews and shared many stories that focused on minority issues, help available to various minorities, and the work of various groups, with conversations like the following:


WNCW spotlighted how the Hispanic population has been the fastest growing population demographic in North Carolina. New demographic data explores characteristics of the population segment, including in rural areas of the state like ours, as well ass many of the challenges faced by the Hispanic population in our area.

We interviewed Evita Robinson of Urban Travels, Ms. Robinson takes groups across the nation, and internationally, to uncover history based on race and diversity. One of Evita’s spotlights had recently been on Asheville, NC which we discussed in depth.

WNCW featured an interview with Dreaming Stone Arts and Ecology Center, located in Rutherford County. We took an in depth look at the work of the organization and highlighted the fact that they were hosting a United States tour stop for Africa’s “Dance of Hope.” A Dance of Hope residency was ongoing, while the group provided workshops and classes for the region.

Jason DeBruyn, of WUNC, was our guest on air, where we shared details about legislative bills in North Carolina that could prevent transgender youth from taking steps to becoming the opposite sex. Jason talked about how measures could penalize healthcare providers who offer treatments to those who identify as transgender.

WNCW shared a report from The Centers for Disease Control/Prevention on Heart Disease and how African Americans were 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than whites. Here in North Carolina, heart disease ranks as the number two leading cause of death for African American males.


In 2024 we have already committed to working with several minority organizations and will also be working in conjunction with PBS to highlight the long history and cultural influence of black gospel music. We’ve partnered with the Earl Scruggs Center here to present a concert, and discussion with a panel of experts, along with showing video clips of the PBS documentary on black gospel music as well.

Stories, features, interviews, and partnerships, like the ones listed above, are a small snapshot of how WNCW works to highlight the needs and issues facing the many minorities in our region, as well as the work of various organizations to address them and provide help and education. WNCW has always been, and will continue to be, committed to covering issues like these, while helping to encourage progress and understanding in our communities.


I don’t know that I have the words to adequately express the importance of our CPB funding to WNCW. The funding we receive makes it possible for WNCW to have a real and tangible effect on the lives of so many people in our listening area. That may be something as major as sharing news, or information that helps them find vital resources to improve their health, help them attain financial stability, or maintain a roof over their heads in a desperate time, or it may be something as simple as enriching their lives through the music and history that we share, that makes them feel a part of the culture of the region. I think back to the shutdown during the pandemic, and I’m reminded how impressed I was by the number of people that I talked to on a weekly basis, that were spending it alone, and WNCW was the one resource that they had to combat the loneliness, and find some ray of hope. It made me realize that WNCW is much more than just a radio station to so many people. We’re more than just a resource for news, information, and entertainment. WNCW is considered a friend, or family member, to so many people. A large part of our coverage area in Western NC is made up of rural countryside. Through CPB funding WNCW is able to provide these areas with news, information, and other programming, that’s vital to their lives, and they might not otherwise be exposed to it. Our CPB funding gives us the opportunity to share quality programming like Morning Edition and NPR News Headlines. It allows us to highlight and preserve the rich musical heritage of our region, and share it with the audience. We’re able to give a voice to non-profit groups and other entities that would not be able to share their message with nearly as large an audience, or have nearly as substantial of an effect, without a vital partner like WNCW.


Our CPB funding helps cover a portion of the costs of quality syndicated programming for our audience. It helps cover part of the cost of maintaining a small talented staff of professional broadcasters. Our CPB funding allows us to commit a larger portion of our revenue from membership and underwriting, to other mission critical areas like maintaining our broadcasting gear, and purchasing new equipment to keep up with the technology, that changes so rapidly in our industry. It allows us to go out into our community, and be an active participant in various events, helping us to share live on the air, what’s going on in the moment, or share important events, and information with our audience. Without funding from the CPB, much of what we do would be impossible.


As I said before, much of our coverage area is rural. We don’t serve a huge metropolitan area, with a population of millions to appeal to for financial support. We rely on our CPB funding for a large portion of our operating budget. Without it, we would be far less effective at serving our communities with vital news, information, and programming. We are truly thankful for our CPB funding and we work to maximize every dollar of our CPB funding, and our revenue from membership and underwriting, to make WNCW a dependable, and trusted resource for our region. We strive daily to enrich, and improve, the lives of our audience. Without our CPB funding, that would be a far more difficult task.