NEPM Divides Signals Between News and Classical


New England Public Media is making a major split across its signals starting September 4. While time on NEPM’s stations was previously halved between talk and classical, now the Western Massachusetts-based network will dedicate signals solely to each format.

NEPM’s AM/FM flagship signal, 88.5 FM, will now shift to all-day news programming, and be simulcasted across five FMs. The station will feature both national shows like NPR’s Morning Edition and local productions such as The Fabulous 413. The revamped news format will also include a focus on local election coverage and multi-platform initiatives aimed at reaching diverse audiences.

In tandem with the changes on 88.5, NEPM is launching Classical NEPM across five FM signals and on WFCR-HD2, which will triple the classical music content offered. The expansion introduces new programs including Performance Today, Symphony Cast, and The New York Philharmonic This Week. NEPM also has plan for a new classical music app later in September.

New England Public Media President Matt Abramovitz said, “Our most recent evaluation — which included surveys, a listening tour, and a review of audience trends — pointed to a growing need for a stronger news service. That evaluation showed that splitting the daytime hours on 88.5 FM between news and classical music was not serving either audience very well.

These moves position NEPM to better serve western Massachusetts with journalism and conversations that create connections across our wonderfully diverse communities. That investment in local storytelling will also fuel upcoming multi-platform initiatives to reach new, diverse audiences. At the same time, we are bringing a full-time classical service to the region.”


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