RIPR & MVYradio Team Up on 96.5FM in Newport

Mar 11, 2013

Rhode Island Public Radio and Friends of mvyradio work together to keep a popular community resource on the air in Newport on 96.5 FM

A JVC car radio tuned to 102.7HD2 in South County.
Credit Aaron Read

For nearly a decade, FM radio listeners in and around Newport have been able to hear mvyradio on 96.5 FM.  mvyradio is a revered Martha's Vineyard institution with a quirky local, island-flavored music and information service that is well suited to listeners in the Newport and Narragansett Bay area.  

The recent purchase of mvyradio’s broadcast outlet on 92.7 FM in Martha's Vineyard, left mvyradio to rely on its internet presence.  Now, thanks to a successful fundraising campaign of over $600,000, the programming from WMVY will live on as an internet broadcast station. In an exciting new development – an agreement between Friends of mvyradio and Rhode Island Public Radio – residents and visitors in the greater Newport, RI area will continue to be able to hear mvyradio on 96.5 FM as well as on the internet.

This mildly complex arrangement keeps radio program diversity available in Narragansett Bay.  First, Rhode Island Public Radio will continue to broadcast its regular local public radio programming from its Narragansett station on 102.7 FM.  Second, with the miracle of digital HD Radio technology, Rhode Island Public Radio will add a second channel carrying mvyradio's programming from Martha’s Vineyard.  Third, by acting as a relay, Rhode Island Public Radio enables the Newport station on 96.5 to continue to broadcast mvyradio to regular FM radios. Narragansett Bay listeners who don’t have a digital HD Radio receiver can continue to listen to mvyradio on the Newport 96.5 FM signal. 

Credit mvyradio

"Rhode Island Public Radio is delighted to assist mvyradio to keep its unique and quality music programming on-the-air on Aquidneck Island," says Joe O'Connor, GM of Rhode Island Public Radio.

"The passion and concern of our Newport listeners during the Save mvyradio campaign was very evident," said PJ Finn, mvyradio Program Director.  “In just a few short years on 96.5, we have made a strong connection to Aquidneck Island, and are thrilled that this connection will remain strong."

David Maxson, the owner of the 96.5 station in Newport, said, "It has been an honor and a pleasure to offer mvyradio’s unparalleled programming to Aquidneck Island and Narragansett Bay area listeners for many years.  I am thrilled to be part of the cooperative effort of Rhode Island Public Radio and mvyradio to maintain this public service that is cherished by many."

Coverage map for 96.5FM (W243AI) in Newport

Rhode Island Public Radio is the NPR member station for Rhode Island. With studios & offices in Providence, RIPR transmits on 3 frequencies: WELH 88.1 FM for greater Providence, WRNI 102.7 FM for South County and Aquidneck Island, and WCVY 91.5 FM in Coventry. In addition to the best programs from NPR and other sources, Rhode Island Public Radio has a substantial news organization dedicated to covering important Rhode Island issues, including education, health care, arts, environment and local politics.

MVYradio is a pioneer of radio streaming making its programming available online starting in 1998. Streams are available in multiple formats, including WMA, MP3, and RealAudio, and it is a featured station on Apple's iTunes radio tuner service.

PJ Finn, Program Director, mvyradio


Joe O’Connor General Manager, Rhode Island Public Radio