WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA
Thanks to listener support, radio station WCQS has grown to set up a 24-hour, all-news sister station to be known as BPR News. The new station provides expanded and deeper coverage of current events. For example, it offers more daily content from National Public Radio with programs like On-Point and Here & Now, adds favorites to the weekend lineup like The TED Radio Hour, and airs more local programming. The station has increased staffing to manage local content, and the first program to be added was The Waters and Harvey Show, on which UNC-Asheville professors Darin Waters and Marcus Harvey explore issues geared toward minority interests. The new station soft-launched with a special event hosted by National Public Radio’s Michel Martin at the Diana Wortham Theatre. In the days leading to going live on March 6, operations were tested by airing programming from the British Broadcasting System’s World News. BPR News will operate on six frequencies, serving portions of Asheville (107.9), Brevard (101.5), Bryson City (99.1), Hendersonville (103.1), Mars Hill (90.5), and Waynesville-Hazelwood (98.3). WCQS will continue to operate on the same six frequencies as before, providing its mix of issues and events programming and cultural music. Both stations will operate under the newly-formed umbrella organization Blue Ridge Public Radio.