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CityChapel Hill, North Carolina
Broadcast areaResearch Triangle and eastern North Carolina
SloganBringing the world home to you
Frequency91.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air dateApril 3, 1976 [1]
Power100,000 Watts
HAAT415 meters (1,362 ft)
Callsign meaningWUNC: University of North Carolina
OwnerUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
(WUNC Public Radio, LLC)

WUNC is the flagship National Public Radio member station for the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, broadcasting on the FM band at 91.5 MHz. Based in Chapel Hill and operated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, it airs NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International, and BBC programming in an "all-news-and-information" format. On the weekends, the network broadcasts locally produced folk music programming; the longest-running continuously produced program offered by the station is Back Porch Music, a weekly folk and traditional music program.

WUNC should not be confused with WXYC, which is UNC's student radio station.

The station operates four full-service FM repeater stations, WFSS from Fayetteville on 91.9; WRQM from Rocky Mount on 90.9; WUND-FM from Manteo on 88.9; and WUNW-FM from Welcome on 91.1.

HD programming[edit]

WUNC broadcasts in the HD radio format.[2] Since the Summer of 2016, WUNC has broadcast WUNC Music on their HD-2 channel. WUNC Music specializes in indie rock, Americana, and music by North Carolina artists.[3]


The network consists of five stations. All stations were referred to simply as "WUNC" until 2005. In that year, the station rebranded as "North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC". The call letters of the other stations are identified only during required station IDs at the start of each hour. However, in recent years, it has largely reverted to using "WUNC" as its main on-air name, with "North Carolina Public Radio" as a secondary brand.

WUNC's 100,000-watt signal not only covers Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle, but also covers much of the eastern portion of the Piedmont Triad, including Greensboro and High Point. This is because its transmitter is located on the UNC-TV tower on Terrells Mountain in Chatham County, roughly halfway between Raleigh and Greensboro.

WRQM serves the far eastern portion of the Triangle market, as well as Greenville. WUND serves northeastern North Carolina and the Outer Banks. WUNW covers portions of Davidson County that are blocked from WUNC's main signal. WFSS serves the Fayetteville area. Combined, the five stations reach just over half of North Carolina's population, providing at least secondary coverage from the fringes of the Charlotte suburbs to the Outer Banks.

Call sign Frequency City of license ERP
Class FCC info
WFSS 91.9 FM Fayetteville, North Carolina 100,000 C1 FCC
WRQM 90.9 FM (HD) Rocky Mount, North Carolina 7,500 C2 FCC
WUNC 91.5 FM (HD) Chapel Hill, North Carolina 100,000 C FCC
WUND-FM 88.9 FM Manteo, North Carolina 50,000 C0 FCC
WUNW-FM 91.1 FM Welcome, North Carolina 180 A FCC
Broadcast translators of WUNC
Call sign Frequency
City of license ERP
Class FCC info
W216BE 91.1 Buxton, North Carolina 50 D FCC
W260CU 99.9 Southern Pines, North Carolina 10 D FCC


Aside from Back Porch Music, WUNC also produces The People's Pharmacy with Joe and Terry Graedon, a nationally syndicated program first broadcast on WUNC in the early 1980s; and The State of Things, a regionally syndicated local affairs show. The network began offering podcasts for The State of Things and other locally produced news stories in September 2005.

WUNC's main studios are located in Chapel Hill near the Friday Center; in 2005, a second broadcast facility was opened in Durham's American Tobacco Historic District. On October 17, 2005, The State of Things began production at the new Durham location and broadcasts live about once a month remotely from Triad Stage in Greensboro. Other programs continue production in the Chapel Hill studios.

Dick Gordon, former host of WBUR's The Connection, began hosting a new interview show called The Story with Dick Gordon on February 16, 2006, that was co-produced with and nationally syndicated by American Public Media. The show's final program aired on WUNC on October 11, 2013.[4] Talk of the Nation had been dropped by WUNC-FM earlier in the year. Today, in addition to the aforementioned current programs plus NPR staples such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air with Terry Gross and Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, WUNC-FM also airs 1A, The Takeaway, It's Been A Minute With Sam Sanders and Live From Here With Chris Thile. Many of these shows are distributed nationally by American Public Media, Public Radio International, or WNYC.


WUNC was originally on the air for a brief time as an AM station in the 1940s,[citation needed] then returned to the air in 1952 as a student-run FM station with equipment from Jefferson Standard Broadcasting, which had operated WBT-FM for several years. The original station stayed on the air until a lightning strike in 1970.[5]

WUNC signed on in its current incarnation on April 3, 1976. It immediately became the state's second NPR member. One of its earliest shows was Gary Shivers on Jazz, a jazz program produced by the station and syndicated regionally. (Shivers was the station's first program director and second General Manager.) WUNC had studios in Swain Hall on the UNC campus; it moved to a state-of-the-art studio near the Friday Center in 1999. Prior to its switch to a news and information format, the station was a multi-format station of NPR news, classical music, and jazz music.[citation needed]

WRQM began in 1992 as a separate NPR station under the call letters WESQ, licensed to North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount. NCWC set up the station to fill the void left by the closure of WVSP, an African-American public radio station licensed to Warrenton but which moved to Rocky Mount in 1985, shortly before it closed. WESQ offered a variety of music that included country and R&B. When Wesleyan opted to cut ties with the station in 1995, a group of Rocky Mount business leaders known as Friends of Down East Public Radio bought the station and relaunched it as WRQM on March 31, 1996. The station floundered for most of its existence, as there were just barely enough listeners in that area of the market for the station to be viable on its own. This caused a chronic shortage of financial support. In March 1999, it began airing most of WUNC's schedule; it became a full repeater of WUNC that October.

WUND-FM in Manteo signed on March 24, 1999, bringing NPR programming to one of the few areas of North Carolina without a clear signal from a full-fledged NPR station.

WUNW-FM in Welcome signed on as a full-service FM station on 91.1 FM[6] in December 2013, providing increased coverage of WUNC to suburban communities in Davidson County, located south of Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

On May 13, 2015, officials announced the acquisition of WFSS, a public radio station licensed to Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville. Simulcasting of WUNC began at 10:00 AM on May 13, 2015. [7] The sale closed in November.

On August 4, 2016, WUNC launched WUNC Music, an adult album alternative format, on their HD2 channel and on their website.[8][9]


  1. ^ "WUNC FM, Your NPR Station Celebrates 25 Years of Public Radio". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. March 23, 2001. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  2. ^ "Raleigh–Durham, NC". HD Radio. HD Radio. Archived from the original on October 9, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "About HD Radio". WUNC. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  4. ^ WUNC (August 26, 2013). "Award Winning Program "The Story" To End Eight-Year Run Due To Departure Of Host Dick Gordon". WUNC. WUNC. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  5. ^ "Raleigh-Durham FM Dial". Archived from the original on February 1, 2017. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "FM Query Results". transition.fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  7. ^ Futch, Michael (May 13, 2015). "FSU sells campus radio station to WUNC". Fay Observer. GateHouse Media. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  8. ^ "WUNC/Chapel Hill Launches Triple A Digital Station". AllAccess.com. All Access Music Group. August 10, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Venta, Lance (August 4, 2016). "WUNC Launches HD/Streaming AAA". Radio Insight. Radio BB Networks. Retrieved July 1, 2017.

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 35°53′59″N 79°0′45″W / 35.89972°N 79.01250°W / 35.89972; -79.01250