Longtime listeners to Vineyard radio station WMVY-FM, whose three-decade presence on Island air ended when WBUR bought the MVY signal last year, can find their way back to streaming online MVY by clicking a link on the mvtimes.com homepage.
The end of the on-air life of WMVY touched off a scramble by the station’s staff to raise funds to continue online during 2013, while they hunted for a new broadcast location. The Vineyard radio station raised pledges of $600,000 to do that, in a drive that ended January 30. More than 3,716 people made pledges.
Now, as a nonprofit listener-supported Internet station, MVY Radio, in a cooperative arrangement with The Martha’s Vineyard Times, will be available to Times site visitors via a homepage link. The arrangement was negotiated between Times co-publisher Peter Oberfest and Greg Orcutt, the radio station manager. It includes a content-for-access swap.
The pledged gifts will cover the online station’s operating budget for a year. Programming and staff are unchanged.
MVY will continue Internet streaming and be available to listeners via computers, Internet radio devices, smartphones, and tablets while trying to find a way to return programming to the FM dial.
An institution on the Island for nearly three decades, the quirky WMVY highlighted a mix of local news, played and promoted Island musicians, and offered local sports programming. But WMVY executives said the company was not solvent, and it was no longer feasible for parent company Aritaur Communications, a small, privately held company based in Newport, Rhode Island, to cover the losses.
Signs that the broadcast station was struggling appeared in May 2007, when the station announced that, faced with a sizeable increase in royalty payments, it would transform its web business model from an advertiser supported business to one supported by listeners and corporate underwriting.