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  State population (2000 census)
  Population receiving a FM public radio signal
  (from both in and out-of-state stations)
  Population in uncovered areas
  Stations in State FM stations
    FM translators
    AM stations
  1989 PTFP Study: Population receiving a
    FM public radio signal  
70 %  

Broadcast Coverage Maps

FM Stations - Detail         FM Stations - Printable

AM Stations - Detail         AM Stations - Printable

Public Radio Stations in State

Main stations in bold followed by associated repeaters and translators
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
Charleston    WAUA       N
Beckley    WVNP
Buckhannon    W297AA N
Huntington    W203AE N
Martinsburg    W220BK N
Morgantown    W219BM N
Parkersburg    W218AT N
AM Stations

General Comments

Public radio in West Virginia is provided by the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority (WVEBA), a state agency that also provides statewide public television service.  There is one AM public radio station in the state, WVMR(AM) Dunmore, operated by a community group on a daytime-only schedule. The station is located within the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ) described below.

FM Service

WVEBA operates nine full power FM stations across the state and five translators.  Eight of the stations were included in the 1989 PTFP study.  WAUA Petersburg in the eastern Panhandle joined the state network in 1997 and provides coverage to an area identified as unserved in 1989.  All five translators were also built since the 1989 study to fill in coverage in areas of rugged terrain.

The percentage of the total population of West Virginia receiving a public radio signal has increased from 70% in 1989 to 78.4% and the total number of unserved residents has dropped during this time from 589,000 to 391,486.

AM Service

WVMR(AM) 1370 kHz, a 5 kW daytime-only operation in Dunmore, serves Pocahontas County and is repeated via FM radio stations to adjacent counties across the border in Virginia.  WVMR broadcasts on the AM band due to broadcast restrictions within the National Radio Quiet Zone. It is located 8 miles from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, in the east central portion of the state.

Service from Adjacent States

West Virginians living near the state's borders receive signals from public radio stations in the adjacent states of Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Unserved Areas

Though a new station and five new translators have been built since the 1989 PTFP study, much of the uncovered area of the state as reported in that study remains uncovered today.

West Virginia's terrain disperses the state’s residents into small communities and remains a significant obstacle in establishing a cost-effective service. West Virginia has two principal mountainous characteristics that affect signal coverage.  The Appalachian Ridge, comprised of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, stretches from the Eastern Panhandle southwest across the eastern one-sixth of the state. The remainder of the state is covered by the Appalachian Plateau.  Almost two-thirds of the state's population, 64%, lives in small towns and villages along the deep valleys, river flats and stream beds that run between the mountainous terrain.

Besides terrain and population issues, eastern West Virginia is subject to a National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ) which covers a 13,000 square mile region straddling the West Virginia and Virginia border.  Federal regulations place additional constraints on the location of radio transmitters within the Quiet Zone to protect the radio environment around the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank and other adjacent government communication installations.  The NRQZ includes much of Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph and Webster counties.

Region A

Nearly 40,000 persons are unserved in the northern counties of Tyler, Wetzel, and Marshall.

Region B

This six county region of Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Jackson, Nicholas and Roane counties which stretches across the central portion of the state southeast of Parkersburg and east of Charleston contain 54,000 West Virginians unserved by public radio.

Region C

Due to the designation of the NRQZ and also because of the rugged Appalachian Ridge, 37,000 residents of Pendleton, Randolph, Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties in the east- central to southeastern portion of the state do not receive public radio service.

Region D

Along the southwest curve of the state's border with Kentucky, more than 130,000 persons are unserved in a seven-county area consisting of Wayne, Mingo, Logan, Boone, Wyoming, McDowell and Mercer counties.  Besides the typical terrain considerations in this area, another factor that could affect potential future radio coverage is the presence of a channel 6 television station in Bluefield, West Virginia.

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