Published: Aug 28, 2012 12:00 AM
Modified: Aug 27, 2012 01:07 PM
CHAPEL HILL - WCHL will celebrate its first official week broadcasting on the FM dial with a food truck rodeo Thursday outside its Weaver Dairy Road studios.
The station began broadcasting in January 1953 and for 60 years has operated at 1360 AM on the radio dial. As of Tuesday, listeners can also tune in to 97.9 FM to hear the hometown station’s local and syndicated programming.
“WCHL will be better able to serve the local community with our FM signal,” Barry Leffler, managing partner and CEO, said in a news release. “WCHL’s programming will be available with the rich, full quality of FM, day and night, 24/7/365.”
The Federal Communications Commission requires WCHL to turn down its AM signal at night, making it difficult for some listeners to get clear reception. The FM signal is not subject to this requirement, Lefler said. Among the benefits of this is that nighttime football and basketball games as well as all accompanying pre- and post-game shows will be available on 97.9FM with quality sound.
Longtime morning host Ron Stutts, who recently celebrated his 35th year on air with WCHL, says the community will benefit from this expansion.
“For 60 years, our AM signal has been a connector and lifeline for the community during good times, as well as in times of severe weather and important community news,” Stutts said. “We look forward to serving our community with news, sports, progressive talk and the stories of our local life on the FM dial."
To celebrate being on FM, WCHL invites the community to a Food Truck Rodeo at VilCom Center on Weaver Dairy Road, across from Timberlyne Shopping Center, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday. For details go to Chapelboro.com
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