WFSS in Fayetteville lost a transmitter line during a snow storm last month. Since then, 91.9 could only be heard within a five-mile radius of its location on the campus ofFayetteville State University. The station normally serves a 14-county area.
The public radio station needed $30,000 to fix the problem that has crippled its signal.
Thursday morning, WRAL-TV General Manager Bill Peterson presented a check for $27,000 to FSU Chancellor Dr. Willis McLeod.
That money, along with listeners' donations, will allow the public radio station to operate at full power again soon.
Peterson says WRAL knows exactly what WFSS is going through. In 1989, WRAL's tower fell during an ice storm, and it was very difficult to get information to viewers.
"Our station was once off the air because of an ice storm some years back," Peterson says. "So the owner ofCapitol Broadcasting, Jim Goodmon, I think, felt a kindred spirit to the broadcasters here who did not have a voice."
McLeod says he and the radio station are grateful. "We are extremely pleased that WRAL has stepped forward and joined us in this partnership, and we will be deeply grateful forever."
Erma Armstrong is also grateful the Sandhills station will no longer be silent.
"It's our only means of knowing what's going on in the world," Armstrong says.
The 83-year-old is legally blind, and she relies on the Southeastern North Carolina Radio Reading Service to listen to the news. But for three weeks she has heard silence because the service is provided through WFSS.
Armstrong says she misses the reading service more than she thought she would.
Engineers hope to have the radio signal at full strength again within a couple of weeks.