WVTF Radio IQ will expand its reach this fall, enhancing its current coverage in the Richmond metro area through the acquisition of the 89.7 FM frequency.
This additional frequency will cover the entire Richmond metropolitan area with a robust signal of 20,000+ watts. The acquisition aligns with WVTF’s statewide approach to covering Virginia. WVTF Radio IQ now extends from Wise, Virginia, in the southwestern part of the state, north to Spotsylvania, and east nearly to Williamsburg.
"Virginia Tech and WVTF radio have invested significant funds over the years to ensure that communities as diverse as Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, and Wise have access to important news and information from a wide variety of sources,” said Roger Duvall, general manager of WVTF Radio IQ. “Our statewide approach to reporting local and regional news has a significant audience in the Richmond market, and we are taking this opportunity to expand our footprint and to improve our quality of service to the Commonwealth.”
“The Virginia Tech Foundation’s support of WVTF Radio IQ demonstrates our enduring fulfillment of the university’s motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve),” said John Dooley, the foundation’s CEO. “We’ve provided access to news and civil discourse for more than 30 years. This expansion of our broadcast frequency represents an extension of our commitment to serving our listeners and citizens in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
WVTF has maintained a presence in Richmond since 2009, when it acquired a low power frequency at 92.5 FM to broadcast its Radio IQ service. At that time, greater Richmond did not have a full-time NPR news station. That station grew its power to 220 watts in 2013. 92.5 FM will continue to broadcast Radio IQ.
The acquisition of 89.7 FM began in spring 2018, when Educational Media Foundation expressed interest in selling the frequency. This new frequency will feature flagship NPR programs and be the exclusive carrier of programs such as The Daily from the New York Times and 1A, which is produced at WAMU in Northern Virginia.
The Virginia Tech Foundation has operated WVTF since the early 1980s, when it acquired the public radio station from Virginia Western Community College. WVTF’s broadcasting area has grown considerably ever since.
WVTF has been the managing station for Virginia Public Radio, a news service for partner stations WHRV in Norfolk, WMRA in Harrisonburg, WTJU in Charlottesville, and WVRU in Radford. WAMU in Northern Virginia is also a presenting partner in Virginia Public Radio.
Nationwide radio still reaches more than 90 percent of adults. In recent years, NPR stations have rapidly become the leading radio news source in more than 70 percent of media markets in the country. Radio IQ adds to that number by being the radio news source in both the Charlottesville and Roanoke-Lynchburg markets.