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Connecticut Public Radio Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connecticut_Public_Radio

WNPR
Connecticut Public Radio Flagship Station
Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR) Logo.png
Broadcast area
Frequency90.5 MHz (HD Radio)
BrandingConnecticut Public Radio
Programming
Language(s)English
FormatNews/Talk (Public radio)
Affiliations
Ownership
OwnerConnecticut Public Broadcasting
Connecticut Public Television
History
First air date
June 1978; 44 years ago (1978-06)
Former call signs
  • WPBH (1978-1984)
  • WPKT (1984-2011)[1]
Call sign meaning
  • "Norwich Public Radio"[2]National Public Radio (alternate)
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID13627
ClassB
ERP18,500 watts
HAAT251 meters (823 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
41°33′42″N 72°50′41″W / 41.56167°N 72.84472°W / 41.56167; -72.84472 (WNPR)Coordinates: 41°33′42″N 72°50′41″W / 41.56167°N 72.84472°W / 41.56167; -72.84472 (WNPR)
Translator(s)See § Translators
Repeater(s)See § Repeaters
Links
Public license information
WebcastWNPR webcast
Websitewww.ctpublic.org

Connecticut Public Radio is a network of public radio stations in the state of Connecticut, western Massachusetts, and eastern Long Island, affiliated with NPR (National Public Radio). It is owned by Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, which also owns Connecticut Public Television (CPTV).

The radio network airs primarily news and talk from NPR along with several locally produced programs. It is headquartered with CPTV in Hartford, and operates an additional studio in New Haven.

History[edit]

The headquarters of WNPR and CPTV in Hartford, Connecticut

In the early 1970s, WTIC in Hartford dropped its longtime classical music format in favor of adult contemporary music, and sold its library to CPTV. Looking for a way to put the library to use, CPTV decided to get into radio. At the time, while Hartford got a fairly decent signal from WFCR in Amherst, Massachusetts, and much of southwestern Connecticut was covered by WNYC-AM-FM in New York City, most of the rest of the state did not even get a grade B signal from an NPR station. New Haven, for instance, had to content itself with a translator of WFCR on 90.5 FM. Finding available frequencies proved difficult, however. In addition to the crowded state of the noncommercial end of the FM dial in the Northeast, there was a considerable glut of 10-watt stations in the state. Ultimately, CPTV bought the 90.5 frequency from the Friends of WFCR, the New Haven group that owned the WFCR translator, and used it as the linchpin for what would become Connecticut Public Radio.[3]

The network's first station, WPBH,[1] signed on in June 1978.[4] The station was licensed to Meriden, halfway between Hartford and New Haven, in order to serve both cities (Hartford and New Haven, then as now, are separate radio markets). CPBI originally wanted the WNPR calls, but the FCC turned it down due to objections from WPLR in New Haven, who claimed the calls sounded too similar. It became WPKT in 1984[1] after board chairman Homer D. Babbidge Jr. requested the FCC change the call letters to honor CPBN head Paul K. Taff.

WNPR (89.1 FM) in Norwich followed in 1981,[5] WEDW-FM (88.5 FM) in Stamford in 1985[6] and WRLI-FM (91.3 FM) on Long Island in 1993.[7]

On September 15, 2011, WPKT and WNPR swapped callsigns.[1][5] Although 90.5 FM has always been the flagship station, the network had been using WNPR as its on-air name since the 1990s.

For the first 20 years of its existence, the network broadcast a mix of classical music, jazz and NPR talk. However, starting in the late 1990s, WNPR began gradually increasing the news programming on its schedule. One of the first casualties of this change was the popular classical music program Morning pro musica, which was fed from WGBH-FM in Boston. The program had aired on WNPR as part of the terms by which the Friends of WFCR sold the 90.5 frequency to CPBI. However, by the late 1990s, this resulted in WNPR only being able to run the first hour of Morning Edition. Ultimately, WNPR decided to cancel Morning pro musica, even though network executives knew it would cause a major loss in funding. However, the increased willingness of NPR member stations to focus on news, especially after the September 11 attacks occurred, made the format change palatable.[3] Ultimately, in 2006, WNPR dropped classical music altogether in favor of a full-time news and information format. In 2013, the station launched a new online service, WNPR News.

WAIC[edit]

From 2011 to 2016, Connecticut Public Radio operated WAIC (91.9 FM), the college radio station of American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. WAIC first went on air in February 1967, going stereo in 1985. Initially programmed from American International College (at various points programming top 40 and adult hits), it became a full-time relay of Connecticut Public Radio on November 1, 2011.[8] This ended in 2016, when WNPR turned over operation of WAIC to WFCR, the NPR member for Western Massachusetts. WFCR made WAIC a satellite of its all-news network.[9]

Programming[edit]

Connecticut Public Radio features the programs Where We Live, The Colin McEnroe Show, Audacious with Chion Wolf, Seasoned, and Disrupted with Khaliah Brown-Dean, all based in Hartford. The station also syndicates NPR programming.[10] Connecticut Public Radio also produces the regional news show Next with the New England News Collaborative.

From 1982 to 2019, Faith Middleton hosted various shows out of the New Haven studio. She hosted The Faith Middleton Show and The Faith Middleton Food Schmooze, until she retired in 2019.[11]

In 2020, The Wheelhouse, a Wednesday weekly political round table talk show was absorbed into Where We Live’s schedule on Wednesday mornings, and still with a focus on local and national politics.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria which hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, WNPR produced a documentary entitled "The Island Next Door", focused on the impact of the storm on the island and the links between New England and Puerto Rico. The documentary was released in late 2018 to coincide with the one year mark since the storm ravaged Puerto Rico.

Awards[edit]

WNPR has received many awards over the past few decades. It has received two George Foster Peabody Awards, five Ohio State Awards and two Gracie Allen Awards. It has also gotten over 60 Associated Press Awards, which include eight Mark Twain Awards for Overall Station Excellence.

Faith Middleton has been voted Best Radio Talk-Show Host by Connecticut Magazine readers for the past 10 years.[12]

Other stations[edit]

Repeaters[edit]

Call sign Frequency City of license State Facility ID Class ERP
(W)
Height
(m (ft))
Transmitter coordinates Call sign meaning
WPKT 89.1 FM (HD) Norwich Connecticut 13618 B1 5,100 180 meters (590 ft) 41°31′11″N 72°10′4″W / 41.51972°N 72.16778°W / 41.51972; -72.16778 (WPKT) Paul K. Taff
WEDW-FM 88.5 FM Stamford Connecticut 13619 A 2,000 92 meters (302 ft) 41°02′49″N 73°31′36″W / 41.04694°N 73.52667°W / 41.04694; -73.52667 (WEDW-FM) Educational Western Connecticut
(shared with CPTV's station in the area)
WRLI-FM 91.3 FM Southampton New York 13598 B1 10,000 95 meters (312 ft) 40°56′5″N 72°23′15″W / 40.93472°N 72.38750°W / 40.93472; -72.38750 (WRLI-FM) Radio Long Island

Translators[edit]

Broadcast translators of WNPR
Call sign Frequency
(MHz)
City of license Facility
ID
FCC info
W258AC 99.5 Storrs, Connecticut 13611 FCC LMS
W249CW 97.7 Torrington, Connecticut 147304 FCC LMS
W206BW 89.1 Westville, Connecticut 123260 FCC LMS

Additional affiliates[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "WNPR Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access Database. FCC Media Bureau. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "Call Letter Origins". Radio History on the Web. Archived from the original on February 18, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Grandjean, Pat (April 2013). "CPTV Celebrates 50 Years: Present at the Creation". Connecticut Magazine.
  4. ^ "Our History". Connecticut Public. Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "WPKT Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access Database. FCC Media Bureau. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  6. ^ "WEDW-FM Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access Database. FCC Media Bureau. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  7. ^ "WRLI-FM Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access Database. FCC Media Bureau. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  8. ^ "WAIC and WNPR Launch Collaboration to Bring New Programming to the Springfield Market" (Press release). Connecticut Public Broadcasting. November 1, 2011. Archived from the original on March 31, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  9. ^ "NEPR News Network Completed With Full FM Service In Four Counties". New England Public Radio. 2016-06-28.
  10. ^ "WNPR Program Listing". Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "FAITH MIDDLETON FOOD SCHMOOZE® BROADCAST TO END NOVEMBER 21, 2019 ON CONNECTICUT PUBLIC RADIO". foodschmooze.org. November 21, 2019.
  12. ^ "Honors & Awards for CPBN · Connecticut Public". Connecticut Public. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  13. ^ "About Connecticut Public Radio". Retrieved September 25, 2020.

External links[edit]