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Public radio shifts to Fairfield County focus

weston-radio-nprOn Monday, March 18, the WSHU Public Radio Group will inaugurate a new broadcast service for the residents of Fairfield County.

Under the name WSHU Fairfield County Public Radio, it will combine quality news and programming from NPR, the BBC and other acclaimed sources with in-depth reporting of Fairfield County news, traffic and weather.

The new service will simulcast over five frequencies — 1260 AM (WSHU), 1350 AM (WNLK), 1400 AM (WSTC), 91.1 Digital-HD 2 (special receiver required), and 106.5 FM (W293AU) – and reach all of southern Fairfield County, from Greenwich to Bridgeport. The service will reach as far north as Ridgefield, and the WSHU Public Radio Group is working to secure an additional frequency in Danbury over the coming months.

More than a million people will have over-the-air access to this new service, while an unlimited number can access the programming via online streaming.

General Manager George Lombardi explained, “With this new service, listeners now have the best of both worlds: fantastic programming from organizations like NPR and the BBC, along with the added value of regional news, events, weather, and traffic. We have truly customized our programming to give Fairfield County residents all the quality content they are looking for.”

WSHU began laying the groundwork for this initiative last summer, when it hired four additional news professionals. This was done for the specific purpose of enhancing its ability to provide independent, investigative journalism in Fairfield County.

Under the new name and format, listeners of all five stations will still enjoy such favorite programs as The Diane Rehm Show, Fresh Air, Car Talk, and Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!

Now, however, they will also be treated to extensive local reporting in Fairfield County-focused versions of Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition, along with local traffic and weather reporting throughout the day.

“Public radio receives its funding from listener support,” said Mr. Lombardi, “and with that comes the responsibility of providing the public with programming they cannot get from commercial sources. We truly feel that in-depth local reporting addresses an unfilled need for the communities we serve and, moreover, may well represent the future of public broadcasting in America.”

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