WMVY announces return to Martha’s Vineyard airwaves

WMVY announces return to Martha’s Vineyard airwaves

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WMVY headquarters in in Tisbury. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

WMVY radio will return to the airwaves on Martha’s Vineyard next year, according to Friends of mvyradio. The station, now a nonprofit organization that relies entirely on public donations and underwriting, has completed an agreement to purchase an FM frequency at 88.7, which is assigned the call letters WMEX, and is currently not broadcasting any programming.

The frequency is rated at 250 watts, as compared to the station’s former place on the radio dial, 92.7, which is a 3,000 watt signal.

On its web site, Friends of mvyradio wrote that it’s not possible yet to determine how far the FM signal will reach.

“The range of an FM signal varies based on the strength of the signal, how high it is placed on a tower and how it reacts to the geography it covers,” the group wrote. “That said, we believe that the 88.7 FM signal will easily cover all of Martha’s Vineyard, and will cover close-by mainland towns such as Falmouth. But we don’t expect this new signal to fully replicate the coverage of the former WMVY at 92.7 FM.”

It will take several months to complete the sale, and the required license transfer. The station hopes to begin broadcasting again next spring.

The scramble to survive as a nonprofit listener-supported Internet station and find a new FM signal began one year ago. After nearly three decades, the Island’s local station lost its spot on the FM dial when Boston public radio station WBUR purchased the radio station from its parent company, Aritaur Communications, in order to acquire its signal.

The WMVY staff raised $600,000 in pledges in order to continue programing on the Internet at mvyradio.com.


  1. Must be someone’s pet project? No money to made in this venture. I look forward to it.

  2. Really??? I get Carly and James Taylor back. Im overwhelmed

    1. Local flavor is quite the bane of it’s exsistence. There are a lot of radio stations I do not care to listen to. The news, ferry updates, interviews with a neighborhood flavor…Coming across 195 the hunt begins for a taste of home.

      1. Without local coverage, news, events, etc. WMVY is of no great interest. Their musical selection is not all that unique and can easily be heard on other internet stations, Pandora, etc.. Hopefully, their PD realizes that and will increase the amount of time spent on Vineyard coverage.

  3. 88.7 FM will interfere with other small, low wattage transmitters used by the public. ( iTrip and like devices.)

  4. When WMVY acquires its new 88.7 FM frequency, will they be required to use the assigned call letters WMEX? Those were the call letters of a long-defunct AM rock and pop station in Boston that I listened to in my youth. Anyone remember the DJs Fenway or Arnie “Woo-Woo” Ginsberg?

    Will the station be able to relinquish its nonprofit status and resume accepting commercials to pay the bills?

  5. Just don’t listen? And from your description, you never did listen. Pretty clueless

  6. I don’t listen. That doesn’t mean that I’ve never heard it, or that others don’t listen to it. Nor does it mean that I’m not entitled to an opinion about its boring, middle of the road, snooze inducing programing that hasn’t really changed in thirty years. Or the fact that for years, a for-profit commercial radio station has conned the public into donating money to a pretty questionable non-profit to keep them running. $600,000 to run an internet only station for a year? You gotta be kidding.

  7. As for the programming, it is one of the most unique sounding stations in the country. They play things you will not hear on any other channel around and it somehow fits into their and the island’s personality. I don’t know anything about how they fund their operations.

    Maybe you should take the rest of the day and yell and shake your fist at some television stations.

  8. You seem to be under the impression that I stay awake nights worrying about this. I don’t really care, they can do what they want, and I can think it’s boring. If you think a steady diet of Indigo Girls, James Taylor, Jack Johnson, etc is unique, then more power to you. http://www.mvyradio.com/music_info/playlists.php

    Do I think it is sleazy for a commercial radio station to run fundraisers asking the public for money years and years? Yup.
    To each his/her own I guess.

  9. You’re missing the point. The point is, I don’t listen, because I find it boring. If they played different music, then I would listen. Just one person’s opinion, not a personal attack against you. Please explain to me how one goes about being properly “provoked” so I can meet your standards for commenting. Thank you, enjoy your (bruce) Cockburn.

  10. Just keep not listening.

    Just odd that you’ve gone out of your way to comment on a station you find boring and don’t listen to.