Local News

Public Radio Station Silenced by Snow Damage

Posted February 7, 2000

— Thousands of listeners tune in to public radio for news and alternative programming, but one popular station is now silent.

WFSS, 91.9, has been on the air for more than 20 years. The station normally reaches 14 counties. Now, it barely reaches 5 miles.

WFSS Music Director Jimmy Miller is at work, but hardly anyone can hear him or the music he is playing.

The station, which also broadcasts National Public Radio, has had a very weak signal since January 18, when snow damaged a transmitter line.

"We are still not reaching the core of our listeners and that makes it difficult to tell our listeners the problems we are confronting," says Joe Ross, the station's general manager.

It is also difficult to tell thousands of listeners they need their help. In order to get the transmitter line fixed, the public radio station must raise $30,000. The station has started an emergency fund drive.

Loyal listeners like Rebecca Miller have come by the station to donate money. "I'm hoping the radio station will come back up, broadcast full force and give back to the community what we've been missing the last several days," she says.

The weak signal has also disabled the blind community. As a subcarrier on the tower, The Southeastern North Carolina Radio Reading Service has no way of reading the news to hundreds of its subscribers.

If you would like to donate money to the WFSS Emergency Fund Drive, you can call(910) 486-1621or(800) 245-9377.


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