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PENNSYLVANIA

     
  State population (2000 census)
12,281,054
     
  Population receiving a FM public radio signal
11,208,450
91.3%
  (from both in and out-of-state stations)
  Population in uncovered FM areas
1,072,604
     
  Stations in State FM stations
22
    FM translators
32
    AM stations
0
     
  1989 PTFP Study: Population receiving a
    FM public radio signal
9,093,000
77%
         

Broadcast Coverage Maps

FM Stations - Detail         FM Stations - Printable


Public Radio Stations in State

Main stations in bold followed by associated repeaters and translators
Translators are shown at the end of the narrative
Facilities in italics operated by out‑of‑state broadcasters
Location in ( ) - actual location of transmitting facilities
N - New facility since 1989 study     # - Station now meets study criteria

FM Stations
WDIY N 88.1 Allentown WXPN 88.5 Philadelphia
WMUH # 91.7 Allentown    WXPH N 88.1 Harrisburg
WQLN 91.3 Erie WDUQ 90.5 Pittsburgh
WITF 89.5 Harrisburg WQED 89.3 Pittsburgh
WLCH 91.3 Lancaster    WQEJ N 89.7 Johnstown
WWPJ1 N 89.5 Pen Argyl WYEP 91.3 Pittsburgh
WHYY 90.9 Philadelphia WVIA 89.9 Scranton
WRTI 90.1 Philadelphia WQSU # 88.9 Selinsgrove
   WRTL N 90.7 Ephrata WPSU 91.5 State College
   WRTY N 91.1 Jackson Twp    WKVR2 N 92.3 Huntingdon
   WJAZ N 91.7 Summerdale    WPSB N 90.1 Kane

AM Stations 

None

1 Operated by WWFM, Trenton, NJ.  
2 Licensed to Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. Operated by WPSU, State College, PA

General Comments

Public Radio in Pennsylvania is provided by a total of 16 licensees that include seven educational institutions and nine non-profit organizations.  Collectively these licensees have made a significant investment in an attempt to provide public radio coverage throughout the state.  Six of the main stations, WQLN, WITF, WHYY, WQED, WPSU, and WVIA, are operated by licensees who also operate public television facilities.  The state's three largest cities, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Allentown, are served by multiple program services, as are several other communities in the state.

FM Service

The 1989 PTFP study found that eleven stations and five translators provided public radio coverage to Pennsylvania.  The efforts of Pennsylvania's public broadcasters since then have significantly reduced the number of unserved residents through the addition of ten new stations as well as over 25 new translators.  An eleventh new station, WWPJ, was built by a New Jersey public broadcaster.  Currently, 22 stations and 32 translators provide public radio service in the state.  A list of the translators serving Pennsylvania appears at the end of this section.

The 1989 study identified central Pennsylvania as the principal region of the state lacking a meaningful public radio presence.  Three stations, WQEJ Johnstown, WKVR Huntingdon, and WPSB Kane as well as numerous translators have been installed in the central and western portions of the state.  In addition, WPSU State College upgraded its facilities to extend coverage to previously unserved areas of central Pennsylvania.  Also serving the eastern region of central Pennsylvania is WQSU Selinsgrove licensed to Susquehanna University.  This station was broadcasting in 1989 but did not meet PTFP's criteria to be included in the study at that time.  The station now meets the study criteria and is indicated on the station list with the # symbol.  

The Lehigh Valley, including the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, was another area identified in the 1989 study as lacking public radio coverage.  By 2003, WDIY Allentown and WWPJ Pen Argyl were serving the area as well as translators operated by WVIA Scranton and WRTI Philadelphia. Also serving the Lehigh Valley is WMUH Allentown, which is licensed to Muhlenberg College.  This station was broadcasting in 1989 but did not meet PTFP's criteria to be included in the study at that time.  The station now meets the study criteria and is included on the station list.

In the southeastern corner of the state, WRTL in Ephrata, WRTY in Jackson Township, and WJAZ in Summerdale repeat the signal of WRTI in Philadelphia.  WXPH in Harrisburg is the repeater station of WXPN, also in Philadelphia. 

The percentage of Pennsylvania's population who can receive a public radio signal increased from 77% in 1989 to 91.3% currently.  The number of unserved residents decreased from 2,771,000 in 1989 to 1,072,604.

AM Service

None

Service from Adjacent States

One station and three translators are operated by a licensee in New Jersey and a translator is operated by a station in Ohio.   Residents along Pennsylvania's borders receive public radio from each of the surrounding states: New York, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio.  

Unserved Areas

Over one million Pennsylvania residents are without quality public radio coverage. Extending or establishing new service in Pennsylvania in general and the unserved areas in particular is a difficult proposition due to the mountain ridges that cross much of the state, staggered by very steep valleys. State and national forests cover a large portion of the unserved areas.   The only relatively flat territory is found around Greater Philadelphia in southeast Pennsylvania and the far northwest corner on Lake Erie.

The one million residents are also scattered throughout the state. In only eight of the 67 counties do all the residents receive a public radio signal. Though there are clusters of counties in central, northern and western Pennsylvania with significant deficiencies in public radio coverage, the low population density when combined with the steep terrain compromises the economic feasibility of new or extended service.  

Many of the state's public broadcasters, including Temple University, Duquesne University, WITF, Northeastern PA ETV, and Public Broadcasting of Northwest PA, have applications before the FCC to extend service to the regions discussed below using translators.  They hope to receive FCC authorizations for singleton applications filed in March 2003 under FM translator auction No. 83.  These singleton applications are non-mutually exclusive FM translator applications filed for commercial frequencies, have no competing applicants, and are not subject to auction.  These applications, when granted, will expand service into unserved areas and, in some instances, provide additional services to currently served areas.

Region A

The northwest region of the state between the WQED and WQLN is home to approximately 282,000 residents of Crawford (34,275), Mercer (41,243), Venango (28,342), Clarion (36,244), Jefferson (31,941), Armstrong (35,232), Butler (37,769), Clearfield (16,573), and Cambria (20,277) counties that lack public radio services.  A translator application to provide service to Meadville is pending at the FCC.  

Region B

This area in the north-central part of the state along the border with New York state is characterized by low population density and is crisscrossed by forests and parks including the Allegheny National Forest and the Susquehannock, Moshannon, Sproul, Iadaghton and Tioga State Forests.  Over 129,000 people in this area are without public radio services.  These are residents of Bradford (25,615), Tioga (30,368), Potter (15,045), Cameron (4,701), Clinton (18,052), Lycoming (31,308) and Sullivan (4,256) counties.  An application for a translator in Wellsboro is pending at the FCC.

Region C

More than 41,000 people along the border with New York state in the northeast corner of the Pennsylvania do not receive public radio services.  These are residents of Wayne (19,246), Pyke (5,269), Lackawanna (7,510) and Susquehanna (9,527) counties.

Region D

West of Allentown and northwest of Philadelphia there is a large area with more than 120,000 residents who lack public radio services.  This area includes Berks (40,460), Lehigh (10,049), Carbon (21,867), and Schuylkill (51,343) counties.

Region E

The area in the southeast portion of the state bordering the state of Maryland has spotty coverage with more than 100,000 residents lacking public radio service.  These people are residents of Chester (38,749), Lancaster (34,571), and York (27,395) counties.

Region F

This area in the south-central part of the state borders Maryland is covered by mountain ridges including the Appalachian, Tuscarora and the South Mountains, and Tuscarora State Forest.  There are about 140,000 people without a public radio signal.  They are residents of Bedford (42,659), Fulton (9,800), Huntingdon (27,168), Juniata (15,446) and Miffflin (45,125) counties.  A translator application for service in Huntingdon is pending at the FCC.

Translators listed by operating station
Facilities in italics operated by out‑of‑state broadcasters

WWFM Trenton, NJ W291AP N 106.1 Scranton
W224AU N   92.7 Allentown W235AA N 94.9 Wilkes-Barre
W226AA N 93.1 Easton W214AC N 90.7 York
W300AD N 107.9 Philadelphia WXPN Philadelphia, PA
WYSU Youngstown, OH W285DH N 104.9 N. Whitehall Twp.
W248AD N 97.5 New Wilmington WVIA Scranton, PA
WDIY Allentown, PA W257AI 99.3 Allentown
W230AG N 93.9 Easton W289AH N 105.7 Bethlehem
WQLN Erie, PA W212AT N 90.3 Clarks Summit
W211AE N 90.1 Mayville W261CA 100.1 Lewisburg
W207AF 89.3 Meadville W235AD N 94.9 Pottsville
W220BA N 91.9 Oil City W232AM N 94.3 Stroudsburg
W218AP N 91.5 Titusville W289AI N 105.7 Sunbury
W255AE 98.9 Warren W207AA 89.3 Williamsport
WITF Harrisburg, PA WPSU State College, PA
W259AA N 99.7 Lancaster W294AE N 106.7 Altoona
WRTI Philadelphia, PA W265BB N 100.9 Bradford
W246AA 97.1 Allentown W284AK N 104.7 Clearfield
W214AL N 90.7 Denver W221BD N 92.1 DuBois
W256AB N 99.1 Pottsville W236AH N 95.1 Treasure Lake
W249AT N 97.7 Reading
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