From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
City of license Amherst, Massachusetts
Broadcast area Primarily: Pioneer Valley (Springfield, Massachusetts)
Branding New England Public Radio
Slogan Good thinking.[1]
Frequency 88.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date May 6, 1961
Format Public Radio
ERP 13,000 watts
HAAT 295 meters
Class B
Facility ID 69304
Callsign meaning Five College Radio
Owner University of Massachusetts Amherst
Webcast Listen Live

WFCR is the flagship National Public Radio station for western Massachusetts, including Springfield. Licensed to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, it operates at 88.5 mHz on the FM band.

Its broadcasting range extends to western and central Massachusetts, northern Connecticut and southern Vermont and New Hampshire. WFCR's studios for most of its history were located at Hampshire House on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. However, in 2013, the station moved most of its operations to the Fuller Building in downtown Springfield.[2] It airs a mix of NPR programming and classical music.

The station signed on May 6, 1961 as a repeater of WGBH in Boston. However, by 1964, it had expanded its local programming to 17 hours per day. The call letters represent "Four College Radio" becoming "Five College Radio in 1966". It was a charter member of NPR, and was one of the stations that carried the initial broadcast of All Things Considered.

The station is licensed to UMass, but receives funding from the Five Colleges (UMass, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College and Hampshire College). WFCR bills itself as New England Public Radio.[3]

WFCR claims the distinction of being the first radio station in western Massachusetts to transmit a signal using iBiquity's HD Radio system.[4] It airs two digital streams. The first is a simulcast of the analog signal, the second is a 24-hour classical music station.[5]


In addition to the main station, WFCR is relayed by an additional five translators to widen its broadcast area.

Call sign Frequency
City of license ERP
Class FCC info
W291CH 106.1 Pittsfield, Massachusetts 10 D FCC
W242AT 96.3 Williamstown, Massachusetts 250 D FCC
W252BG 98.3 Lee, Massachusetts 13 D FCC
W254AU 98.7 Great Barrington, Massachusetts 250 D FCC
W266AW 101.1 North Adams, Massachusetts 10 D FCC


WFCR provides a full-time NPR news/talk programming feed on WNNZ, 640 kHz, licensed to Westfield, Massachusetts, which was owned by Clear Channel Communications. WNNZ's grade B signal reaches into the Capital District of New York State. Transmitter power output is 50,000 watts daytime, 1,000 watts nighttime; the antenna is a three-tower array, using differing directional patterns day and night.

Until 2010, WFCR provided the station's programming, while Clear Channel sold underwriting advertisements.[6][7] However in July 2010, WFCR purchased WNNZ from Clear Channel for $525,000. The sale does not include the transmission towers, but rather has a lease clause in the sale agreement in which Clear Channel will own them and lease them to WFCR.[8] WFCR purchased the license from Clear Channel under the name of "WFCR Foundation Inc." The FCC approved the sale August 25, 2010.[9][10] Prior to 2007, the programming heard on WNNZ was heard on WPNI, 1430 kHz, in Amherst, which was owned by Pamal Broadcasting.

Call sign Frequency
City of license ERP
Class FCC info
WNNZ 640 Westfield, Massachusetts 50,000 day
1,000 night

WNNZ-FM (formerly WGAJ)[edit]

WFCR, again, under the licensee name of "WFCR Foundation Inc.", acquired the license of WGAJ 91.7 in Deerfield, MA from Deerfield Academy. The license transfer was granted on August 19, 2010.[11] WFCR paid Deerfield Academy $10,000 for the signal.[12][13] The call letters of the station were changed to WNNZ-FM as of September 1, 2010.[14]

Call sign Frequency
City of license ERP
m (ft)
Class FCC info
WNNZ-FM 91.7 Deerfield, Massachusetts 100 95 m (312 ft) A FCC


WFCR won the allocation of 98.9 in Adams, MA, in FCC Auction #91 (under the applicant name, WFCR Foundation Inc.)[15] WFCR won it for $189,750. WFCR has filed the application for new station with the FCC, to transmit the new signal from the top of West Summit, in North Adams, MA. (Where the current WUPE-FM transmitter site is located. WFCR already has a translator, W266AW, located there.)[16]

Call sign Frequency
City of license ERP
m (ft)
Class FCC info
WNNI 98.9 Adams, Massachusetts 630 116.6 m (383 ft) A FCC


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Public radio station WFCR-FM plans move from Amherst to Springfield". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  3. ^ Clarence Fanto (2011-05-19). "Public radio station aims to transmit by fall". Bennington Banner. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ HD Radio Guide for Amherst, MA
  6. ^ Blomberg, Marcia (2007-03-09). "Public radio station widens coverage". The Springfield Republican. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Application Search Details". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  10. ^ "CDBS Print". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  11. ^ "Application Search Details". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  12. ^ [2][dead link]
  13. ^ "CDBS Print". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  14. ^ "Call Sign History". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  15. ^ "FCC FM Broadcast Auction : Auction ID:91 - Winning Bids" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  16. ^ "FM Query Results - Audio Division (FCC) USA". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′50″N 72°25′23″W / 42.364°N 72.423°W / 42.364; -72.423