WFCR takes new name: New England Public Radio

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Western Massachusetts broadcaster WFCR-FM has adopted a new name — one that seems to speak of ongoing expansion: New England Public Radio. CEO Martin Miller announced the plans at a station event Wednesday night.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the station announced it has arranged to buy new quarters in downtown Springfield, south of its longtime home in Amherst, and has bought a new FM frequency in the Berkshire Mountains town of Adams, northwest of Amherst.

The news and classical music station, licensed to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, added a second program schedule, all-news/talk, on a leased station in the 1990s and in October acquired WNNZ-AM for the schedule. By building translators in addition, one or both of its program streams now span from southern Vermont to northern Connecticut, New Hampshire to Albany, N.Y. Where it may encounter competition from another growing regional public radio franchise, Northeast Public Radio (WAMC).

New England Public Radio’s new logo features a grove of five vertical bars to the left of its name. The five represent the cluster of four colleges that founded WFCR 50 years ago and the fifth that joined later on.

The broadcaster is based in a 4,000-square-foot space on the UMass campus in Amherst, and has added a studio at Springfield public TV station WGBY and the new facility in a historic office block in downtown Springfield. A 50th anniversary capital campaign aims to raise $7 million for facilities and other needs.