Local Content and Services Report

WNCW is fortunate to be a part of Isothermal Community College.  The college is our license holder and we share their overall mission to “Improve life through learning” for our audience.  It’s a large part of our mission to advance the broadest education goals of Isothermal Community College through the operation of a full service, professional public radio station that encourages it’s audience to continue the quest for learning.”  WNCW is committed to enriching the lives of our audience in various ways.  We strive to enhance economic development, innovation, creativity, the arts, and general growth within the region we serve.  Working collaboratively with the communities we serve we identify and address issues and interests of concern.  Ultimately we hope to nurture respect for individuals and cultural diversity within our service area.  For 27 years we have shared this mission and utilized our resources to benefit Western North Carolina.  Our efforts have helped us achieve a reputation of excellence in public broadcasting.  By partnering with various organizations throughout the region we’ve been able to serve as a voice for the public and provide experiences, opportunities and interactions for the communities that we serve.  It is an honor and a privilege to help enrich the lives of our audience.

We strive to serve our community through local and regional news stories, feature stories, and weekly one on one interviews with many various non-profits, health agencies, municipalities, preservation societies, educational institutions, arts organizations, community organizations and environmental organizations from across our region.  WNCW provides a free weekday calendar listing of area arts events called “Art Break.” That airs several times a day.  Outdoor and Environmental interests are featured in our free weekday “Outdoor Events Calendar.”  Local arts, outdoor, and environmental groups and agencies provide us with information for the listings to share with the audience.

Another Important goal of WNCW is preserving and highlighting the rich musical heritage of our region and its impact on our culture, through music and informational programming.  We present an eclectic mix of music that includes locally produced programs like: Goin’ Across the Mountain - highlighting bluegrass music, This Old Porch – highlighting folk music, Celtic Winds – highlighting Celtic music, The Saturday Night House Party – highlighting blues music, The Gospel Truth – highlighting gospel music, Local Color –highlighting the music of local and regional artists, and our weekday music mix that blends all these genres and more.  We are fortunate to have a live performance studio, Studio B.  This enables us to provide a more in depth look at local, regional, and national acts to our audience.

We provide training and education for broadcasting students through our internship program.  Students from Isothermal, as well as other area colleges and universities, get a “hands on” experience in all facets of station operations.  Everything from programming, and production, to membership, development, and business is covered.  Students from the broadcasting program also create on-air programming that is featured weekly on WNCW.

Through these continued efforts, WNCW has become a beloved and respected member of the communities of Western North Carolina.  We provide an outlet for music, opinions, ideas, points of view and educational opportunities that would, otherwise, be without a voice.

WNCW makes a concerted effort to seek out organizations that have similar goals and many of them come to WNCW for support.  We are thankful for the chance to collaborate with these organizations and share their message in an effort to educate and inform the communities we serve.  WNCW focuses on several key initiatives that we find important to our mission and our region.  These include:  
1 - Preserving the musical heritage of our region
2 - Supporting conservation and revitalization efforts in our communities
3 - Educating and informing our listening audience on matters of concern

Key groups partnered with to preserve our musical heritage include:
a.    The Folk Heritage Committee
b.    Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
c.    The Don Gibson Theatre
d.    The Peace Center
e.    The Dianna Wortham Theatre
f.    Lake Eden Arts Festival
g.    Merlefest
h.    The Earl Scruggs Center
i.    The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
j.    YAM – Young Appalachian Musicians
k.    Blue Ridge Music Trails
l.    Red, White and Bluegrass Festival
m.    Tryon Fine Arts Center
n.    The Foundation Performing Arts Center

Key groups partnered with in support of conservation and revitalization efforts
a.    NC Co-Operative Extension
b.    Riverlink
c.    Chimney Rock State Park
d.    Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
e.    Town of Hendersonville, NC
f.    City of Greenville, SC
g.    Town of Saluda, NC
h.    Destination Cleveland County
i.    Asheville Downtown Assoc.
j.    Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
k.    Hagood Mill Historical Site in Pickens, Sc
l.    Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority
m.    McDowell County Tourism Authority
n.    Tryon International Equestrian Center
o.    NC Fish and Wildlife Commission

Key Groups partnered with in support of education and information
a.    Red Cross
b.    American Heart Association
c.    Relay for Life
d.    Pardee UNC Healthcare
e.    Rutherford Housing Authority
f.    Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
g.    Isothermal Community College
h.    Rutherford Regional Hospital
i.    UNC Asheville
j.    Western Carolina University
k.    NC State University
l.    Wilkes Community College
m.    Warren Wilson College
n.    Rutherford County Schools
o.    Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
p.    Rutherford County Humane Society

The impact of WNCW’s key initiatives can be witnessed in various forms.  The continued support of our station through the generous membership of our audience is one.  We are always thankful that our audience continues to find what we do relevant year after year and it’s important enough to them to support our efforts financially.  We see the results on a regular basis through our member’s participation in various concerts, music and arts festival, and charity events where we have a physical presence to support the effort.  It can be witnessed daily through the many phone calls and e-mails we receive from members, and It’s also very evident by the support of the area businesses that continue to underwrite our programming.  Perhaps the best measurement of the impact we have comes from the comments of our members and those we collaborate with:

I have listened to your station for years, since the beginning really.
I just wanted to thank you.  This has been a rough week, largely due to the election results (for me personally).  Sporadically, listening to WNCW after the election, I've found hope, encouragement, connection, inspiration-----not from anything in particular that the DJs (do we still call them that?) have said (though I enjoy what they have to say).  I've found and heard this sense of hopefulness and not giving up though the music I've heard played on WNCW.

Anne Wray

Howdy WNCW,

I just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate your radio station and specifically how much Roland crushes it.  I work in Charlotte and I am an avid supporter and listener. You all are always on my dial.

I've gotten to a point where I would like to thank you for your service, and would like to extend a welcome to all of WNCW to Birdsong Brewing next time anyone is in Charlotte.

Jeff Bowman
Charlotte, NC

I really like what I’m hearing on the station, particularly in the mornings. The station seems to be evolving and continuing to grow with its music selections—which is important so it stays relevant and strong. There is so much great music and new music out there and we know we are not going to hear it on top 40 stations. I like that WNCW seems to be a bit more edgy and pushing the old envelope so to speak lately. I don’t mind the needed underwriting announcements as long a the program hosts read it—it’s not intrusive this way.  Keep bringing it.

Rick Bingner
Spartanburg, SC
Longtime listener and financial supporter

“WNCW and the Don Gibson Theatre share a common goal of preserving the musical heritage that is so rich in our area.  Our theatre is located in the heart of downtown Shelby, NC and presents a multitude of concerts and arts related events throughout the year.  The theatre is named after legendary country singer and songwriter Don Gibson, who was a Shelby native.  As a part of Destination Cleveland County, the theatre exists to preserve the memory of Don Gibson, as well as the musical heritage of our area that Don was such a large part of.  It’s also our goal to be a catalyst to the local economy, by drawing in visitors from outside the local area.  
WNCW has been a wonderful partner in helping us reach the audience that we are looking for, those who value, respect, and enjoy all styles of music and the arts.  WNCW’s listenership is made up of that audience that we are seeking.  WNCW helps us draw patrons from across the region and not just our local area.  These patrons have a direct impact on the economy of our community.  They not only attend our performances, but dine in the local restaurants, shop with local businesses and stay overnight in area hotels.
We see the effectiveness of our partnership with WNCW from the patrons who have mentioned hearing about the concert or event on the station.  It’s also evident in the increased attendance to our events when partnering with WNCW.  We have even seen attendees at events from many other states outside WNCW’s broadcast range, who learned about the show from listening to WNCW’s on-line stream.
We at the Don Gibson Theatre value our relationship with WNCW highly.  We’re thankful to find a partner that shares our goals, values the arts and helps provide cultural experiences for the enrichment of our community.”

Stan Lowery                                                                                                                 
Executive Director
The Don Gibson Theatre  

“WNCW provides interested Broadcasting and Production Technology students with excellent opportunities for academic knowledge and enhancement.  Students enrolled in Radio Performance courses learn the format of the “ARC Overnight” radio program.  These same students learn how to produce and record the programming for “ARC.”  The ultimate goal is for students to produce professional programming that is broadcast on WNCW.  This opportunity is extremely valuable for students as they learn how to properly follow the format guidelines in the preparation and production of programming that will be broadcast on the station.

Broadcasting and Production Technology students also have the opportunity to apply for student internship positions at WNCW.  College credit is awarded for the successful completion of an internship.  Numerous students have successfully completed internships in both the programming and business departments of WNCW.  It is the “real world working environment” of WNCW that assists students with their preparation for entering the workforce after completing their degrees.

Students are highly encouraged to do volunteer work at WNCW.  A number of Broadcasting and Production Technology students volunteer to assist with the station’s fundraising events.  Students also occasionally assist station personnel with various duties.  

Students benefit tremendously by simply being in the same building with WNCW.  They not only observe the daily activities of a professional public radio station, but they also witness the many professional musicians who arrive on our campus for live performances in Studio B.  Several student interns have benefited from assisting with the load-in, set up, and take down involved with these visiting musicians.”

Jay Coomes
Lead Instructor, Broadcasting and Production Technology
Isothermal Community College

The work of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is dependent upon partner relationships.  WNCW is a clear leader in our community and we are proud to affiliate with your mission to preserve and celebrate the music and culture of the Appalachian region.  
As we work to bring greater exposure to Western North Carolina’s music, traditions, and culture, we could not hope for a more appropriate partner.  We are thankful for your continued partnership as we seek growth and preservation of the natural, historical, and cultural resources of Western North Carolina.”

Angie Chandler
Executive Director
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

WNCW is genuinely concerned with identifying the needs of the various minority communities we serve.  These needs are often identified through various organizations and agencies that seek out our help to raise awareness of their causes.  WNCW has several various methods of addressing these issues, such as locally produced programming, local and national news stories, and features on such topics.  

Some of the more recent feature interviews included a conversation about the outreach of groups and residents in Western North Carolina in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their fight against a Dakota Access Pipeline being constructed on sacred land in North Dakota.  Groups that were featured from Western NC in this segment, that have been acting in support, are the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, UNC Asheville and the group "Asheville to Standing Rock".  Group member Tark Zee was a guest.  

Our Program Director and News Director did an in depth documentary on refugees in our region, how the resettlement process works, and the problems many of these refugees face.  The piece featured interviews with Marsha Hirsch, Executive Dir. of the Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency in Charlotte, NC and Thakur Mishra, who told the story of how he became a US Citizen after his family was expelled from his home country of Bhutan.

Another recent interview was with Ariane Kjellquist, Communications Director with the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity about their projects to make living in a new home a reality for minorities and families in need.
Other featured interviews highlighted the Child Welfare Report for North Carolina, quality of care for adults with disabilities, the disparity in North Carolina traffic stops with regard to race, and many more topics of importance to minorities in our region.

Additionally, WNCW airs many syndicated programs that feature various stories on issues of concern to minorities.  Programs like Morning Edition, 51 Percent and Making Contact have been an important part of our weekly programming line-up for many years.  WNCW is proud of our history of providing a voice for the concerns of minorities in our region and will continue to grow those efforts in the coming years.

Simply put, WNCW would be far less effective without the financial support provided by our CPB grant.  The funding provided by the CPB allows us to provide our audience with quality nationally syndicated programming and locally produced programming.  Without it, we likely wouldn't be able to provide nationally syndicated programming at all and those costs continue to grow year after year.  The funding allows us to increase or audience and improve our service to our community.  We are able to purchase new equipment to keep up with the advances in technology that seem to be changing the broadcasting industry on an almost daily basis.  We definitely never would have been able to begin the process of digitizing our music library and preserving the many historic recordings that we have from the many genres of music that have their roots here in our region.  Western NC has a rich heritage of music that was born here and deserves to be archived and protected, so that we can share it with future generations.  We are truly thankful for the funding we receive through the CPB.  There is no doubt that without it, our capacity to educate, inform, and entertain the people of Western North Carolina, would be greatly diminished.  I sincerely hope that Congress will see the value in the services that WNCW and all public broadcasters provide for our citizens and will continue to fund the CPB as they have for many years now.  WNCW is a station that truly does serve the public as a public broadcaster should.  We stand behind our mission to help educate and inform our audience and to present and preserve the music that might not otherwise have an audience, were it not for WNCW and other public broadcasters.  Our CPB funding makes that mission possible and we are thankful for it.