Change-up in Virginia brings radio news to more listeners

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A multiformat public radio network in Virginia plans to expand the reach of its news network starting next month.

The network’s WVTF and Radio IQ stations air news and a variety of music in central and southern Virginia. The 11 WVTF stations now air a mix of news and music. Starting July 10 they will change to an all music-format featuring classical, jazz, Americana and bluegrass, according to a website explaining the changes. Its 12 Radio IQ stations will continue with their all-news format.

“We’ve heard from a lot of our listeners over the years about how this current format works for them — and are adjusting based on those requests,” the network says.

As part of the change, some stations will swap formats, expanding the news network’s coverage. Listeners in Roanoke, Rocky Mount, Lynchburg, Charlottesville and the New River Valley will be able to hear both formats, but some communities will lose music programming.

“The programming transition is in direct response to our region’s listening tendencies,” said GM Glenn Gleixner in a news release quoted in the Roanoke Times, “and a growing desire of all media consumers across the region who increasingly seek reliable, dependable, fact-based news and information sources.”

Meanwhile, bluegrass host Kinney Rorrer is retiring from his show Back to the Blue Ridge next month. It has aired on the network for 16 years.