New radio station seeks approval

Published 10:08 pm Friday, August 16, 2013

A new radio station could reach the ears of Suffolk listeners next year if a new FM translator proposed to be located west of downtown is approved.

Delmarva Educational Association has filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to place the translator on an existing signal tower at 708 W. Constance Road.

The communications tower off West Constance Road where a listener-supported, Christian radio station will rebroadcast its signal.

The communications tower off West Constance Road where a listener-supported, Christian radio station will rebroadcast its signal.

The new 80-watt transmitter would rebroadcast WWIP, “The Word in Praise,” from Cheriton. It would be heard on 96.5 locally once the process is complete.

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“Our format is contemporary Christian music and ministry programs,” said Colleen Dick, general manager of the radio station.

The station is supported by listener donations, rather than by commercials, but station officials are excited that the new station will broadcast on a higher frequency than nonprofits typically use.

“Now the translator will be in the part that’s more commercial-oriented,” Dick said. “We might have an opportunity to reach people that would not necessarily tune in.”

The station already has a weak signal in some parts of Suffolk, but the translator will allow it to be heard much more clearly.

“The fringe coverage gets into Suffolk, but not as strong as we would like, so when we got the opportunity to be able to have another signal, we jumped at the chance,” she said.

The station plays music for much of the day but broadcasts ministry programs as well, Dick said. The programs include well-known pastors including David Jeremiah and James Dobson, as well as some regional pastors.

Assuming the FCC approves the application, the translator could be on the air in roughly six months, Dick said.

“It increases the listenership to be able to reach and serve another community,” she said, adding the station is excited about the extension.

For more information on the station, visit www.wwip.org.